How to Create a Form Prospects Actually Want to Fill Out
“It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic.”
— Jeffrey Eisenberg, CEO of BuyerLegends.com
Converting more prospects to leads from current web traffic might be as simple as taking a second look at your prospective client form. Having unclear instructions or asking for too much information can have detrimental effects on your bottom line. Take it from Expedia – they removed one optional data field from an online form and increased their profits by $12 million.
So, if you want to create a form that prospects actually want to fill out, you need to focus on several areas. The form itself needs to be designed correctly, the requested information needs to be limited, and you need to appeal to the needs of your prospects. Each one of these individually is important, but together, they create a form that will bring in the highest number of prospects with the most interest.
General guidelines for creating prospect forms
First and foremost, do not make the form complicated or in-depth. Prospect forms should ask for enough information to determine the quality of the lead, but not so much that prospects click the back button. If you ask for too much, they won’t give anything at all; however, if you don’t ask enough, you won’t obtain enough information to determine if they are a qualified lead.
According to HubSpot, “most recommend somewhere between three and seven fields” on a form to maximize credible conversions. So, what should you include? The basics – name and contact information – are a must, leaving you with one to five additional fields to portray value to the prospect and obtain quality lead information for your sales team.
In addition, use language appropriate for the industry and your prospects. For example, a technology company that supplies software to small businesses should not use highly technical terms. Even though they are a tech company, the small-business owners are not – use verbiage that they will understand.
Prospects need to see value – show it to them
Prospects have options – your competitors. They need to see the value in selecting you over the competition. The prospect form needs to show them the value.
Let’s take, for example, a furniture wholesaler supplying hotels. The average prospect’s problem is the need for furniture for their hotel. What additional information could you use? The number of hotel rooms, price of the rooms (luxury or budget), hotel décor and style, and geographic location are all possibilities.
These additional pieces of information are going to show the prospect your value. When they are filling out the form, they see you are taking into consideration the exact things they are concerned about. Step into your clients’ shoes and see what shows them value.
Layout and design
The prospect form will likely be one of the first interactions customers have with you, so this form needs to make a good impression. Once you decide what information will be required for the form, you need to ensure the form is physically appealing and designed for usability.
- Should your form be colorful and contain logos or images? Yes, but don’t go overboard. Using your logo or an image – as well as using brand colors – increases brand awareness and makes for a visually appealing form.
- Should you use radio buttons, drop-down menus, check boxes or a blank data field? Evaluate each field individually. Determine which style is typical or makes most sense. For example, most information forms use radio buttons for fixed options and blank data fields for “last name.” Follow the standards and consider your options for your customized fields.
- Do you require certain fields to be entered in a specific format? Your answer should be no. If you said yes, fix that. Not putting hyphens in your phone number should not cause an error. Putting your company name in all uppercase letters should not cause an error. The format of the information does not change the information – don’t push away prospects with nit-picky errors and requests.
- Is the form responsive? A responsive design is not a quick adjustment, but it’s worth it. Having to scroll up, down and side to side on a mobile device is confusing and time-consuming – and a prospect repellent. Some are pushing off switching to responsive, but that’s just delaying the inevitable. Get it out of the way and you won’t risk losing prospects because of it.
While the layout and design might seem like the least of your worries, it would be my first priority. The information requested and the value portrayed are both important, but those will just push the prospect closer. The layout and design, even when perfect, do not push prospects closer; instead, a bad layout and design can push prospects closer to that back button. Before you should focus on pulling prospects closer, you need to prevent prospects from being pushed back.
Finally, before putting the prospect form on your site, test it. Test it in-house and test it using outside sources. The last thing you want is to have a problematic or malfunctioning form on your site.
Prospects are the future customer of the business that portrays its value best. Don’t lose these prospects because of a sub-par form. Prove your value and increase conversion to leads by rethinking what information you require and simplifying the process.
How many prospects can you convert this week?