Three factors that influence form completion on landing pages:
- Form Length – One of the major deterrents to completing a transaction online is a form that is overwhelmingly long. If you can’t see all the required fields in one screen, it is definitely too long. Businesses will often ask the sales team what information they want from new leads, and the sales team will send back a wish list. Brutally edit your list of required information down to only what is absolutely necessary.
- Information Requested – Avoid requesting inappropriately personal information or confusing potential clients with requests for technical information. If someone wants to signup for your e-mail list, do you really need their birth date? Unless you are explicitly advertising your free birthday giveaway, the answer is probably no. If you are soliciting quotes for stump grinding, don’t expect the customer to go out in the yard and count all their stumps and measure them. Just ask for their phone number and address and call them to set up an appointment.
- Handling of Long Forms – Sometimes it is necessary to collect a lot of information from a customer. Usually, this is only for higher priced items or specialized services where the provider is not local. Take, for example, ordering a customized luxury vehicle from a dealership and having it shipped to your local area. It is best to break down long forms into smaller pieces. Again, the idea is to try and fit all the fields on one screen if at all possible. Typically it is a good strategy to have a very short form that leads to one or more longer forms. This allows potential clients to enter the process gradually and without being overwhelmed. Be sure and let the user know what stage of the process they are in as they progress!
Let me give you an example of a smart way to handle the collection of information:
You are offering a free download of a technical report to users and want to collect their name, number and e-mail address so you can add them to your e-mail list and follow up with them by phone. You could request all that information at once, but sometimes people find giving their phone number away online to be too personal.
You decide to request only an email address up front. After the form is submitted, you request their name and phone number and let them know that a link to the download is being sent via e-mail. If they decide to enter the extra information in, you can follow up with them as desired. If not, at least you have their e-mail address and permission to send them periodic e-mails. I am sure they will recognize how valuable the download and your regular e-mails are and will seek out your expertise at a later time.