What to know: Forms are one of the best tools to generate leads. That’s why you should always look are always be looking for ways to improve your forms. Have you tried our Smart forms from Arengu? If not, I highly recommend doing so. All I can say is you’ll fall in love. You’ll thank me later.
All the advantages they provide are just superb. Keep on trying to improve your conversion rate by, paying attention to the number of fields that maximize it. Don’t as too much. Be as concise and brief as possible. However, ask the right questions to collect all the info you can. Fear not! That’s why we are here, keep scrolling down to find out all you need to know about. ” The must-have fields you need on your form.”
Your landing page: Your form’s environment
The first thing to bear in your mind is that your landing page is not a simple gateway to your fantastic content. No. It has a form to complete to generate leads. So this is a gateway to qualify and start a relationship with this objective. Take into account that before closing the deal and having a new customer, you must contact this potential customer.
If this happens in the offline world, this first contact may take place through greetings. In the online world, this first contact usually takes places on your landing page. So you need to be as detailed-oriented as possible. From the images to the elements that appear, to the potential distractions, and last but not least (drum rolls, please!) the forms.
Considering that nowadays digital marketing is a trend, many of the interactions will occur online. However, you don’t want them to be only visitors. No. You have an online business, so you want leads. A prospect lead that can eventually become customers. That’s why you need to focus your strategy on lead generation. And what’s the best form to get new leads? Forms! Exactly: Forms are your great allies to get as many leads as possible. You can identify users and get their contact details via forms.
And when you have these contacts, it’s the moment to contact them. Statistics show that companies which make contact first have more possibilities to close the deal.
What’s the ideal number of fields in my form?
This is an excellent question. The ideal number of fields always depends. If you asked this question years ago, you’d probably find 3 as the optimum number. But, nowadays, the scenario has changed. Some people state that the average of fields with a reasonable conversion rate is 11 fields.
Taking into account that contact forms usually present only 4 fields, you can ask for a lot of information across 11 fields! However, you shouldn’t take this as a rule per se. Offering 11 fields in a form to subscribe to your newsletter could mean the suicide of your form.
How could you know then what’s the perfect number of fields? Ok. Before designing your form, consider these two questions:
- Do you prefer lead quality or lead quantity?
- What info do you need to ask for?
Preferences: Lead quality vs. lead quantity
Before making this decision, consider the phase in the buyer’s journey. Questions and needs are different depending on the stage of the potential prospects. If you don’t know this information, your first task will be figuring it out.
You must be clear about your target. Your content will be different depending on this point of the journey and the number of fields that you are asking for too.
- In early stage prospects, the lead quantity is a priority. Fewer fields will work better to reach this goal.
- In later stage prospects, you’ll need more quality, so more form fields are required. You can consider the time your leads spend completing a more extended** form** as a sign of interest.
Regarding resources, things might be different, as well.
- Quantity: In this case, it’s vital to have systems in place that allow sorting and qualifying leads effectively and efficiently, e.g., automation system or an inside sales team that can actually handle a high lead volume.
- Quality: Here, you must take into account your back-end resources.
Let’s talk about costs: The ROI!
Of course, you must consider the costs of production of the content your offer. In every single online campaign that you launch, quantifying the ROI is always a must. Consider the costs of accessing your content and establish your lead value. Ultimately, there are different types of contents you can offer to generate more leads.
And some of them are cheaper than others. For instance,** a webinar is much more expensive than a checklist**. At the same time, the leads you generate with one or another option don’t present the same value. Sometimes it can be more worth to launch a webinar taking into account the value of your leads than displaying just a checklist. Always consider this cost per qualified lead to measure the ROI of your content.
These issues are also important when it’s about making a decision on a higher quality or quantity. Hereon you can find some questions that might be helpful to decide the number of fields of your form:
Are your leads on the top of the funnel or farther down the journey of the buyer?
What about your back-end qualification process? - Can you handle all the leads you can generate in a timely way?
What kind of lead gen system are you using: Dynamic forms, fast-track high opportunity leads, push out segmented e-mail drip campaigns…?
What’s the number of leads that your sales team and SDRs can actually handle?
What about the measurement of the ROI of your content? - How much are its production and promotion?
How can it contribute to your sales goals and revenues?
Do you have any other campaign that supports your content to push qualified leads generated into the sales cycled? Do they add any cost to close the deal?
What information do I need to ask for?
It’s said that you get what you give. Are you providing anything with your form? Think about it Perhaps you are asking your users to complete your form, and you are not offering anything of value in exchange. Why would they provide their data then? In case of having doubts or questions, they’d probably fulfill the contact form.
Why would they answer other forms just for the sake of it? If you want to generate leads with your form, you must offer something valuable on your landing page: It must include VALUABLE content.
Of course, the decision of your content can be made based on the costs to produce and to promote it. But you also must take into account its value. If the valuable content has beneficial value to the lead, it can be worth it. For instance, take into account that users won’t generally fill out 11 fields for basic info. But they might be willing to do it if this content is related to improve their own experience or the products they like.
Another issue is the type of information you are asking for. If you ask too personal questions, users will probably run away. For instance, not many people would provide their annual revenue. Except this question is relevant due to the topic your landing page offers. In this case, the form could have shown only 4 fields to complete. With these kinds of personal questions, users could run away as soon as peeking.
Let’s imagine a total different scenario. You are very interested in new technologies. You love mobile phones. And you are always looking for the latest improvements. Sometimes you even imagine what features a smartphone should have to be as perfect as can be. Wouldn’t you answer 11 fields of questions related to improving them? Exactly. That’s the kind of excitement users need to feel when it’s about filling your form. So, once again: The number of fields to ask for will depend on the objectives of your form… And also the kind of info.
You need to ask for the ideal info. If you have a company of events planning, you need to know relevant info, such as the type of event, the number of attendees or even the time of performance. This is relevant data for your users’ needs. Take into account that they are looking for customized service and they will be looking for the best options for them before even calling you.
But, of course, you don’t have to take into account ONLY your lead’s needs. You must meet your very own needs, too. Sometimes you need to add more than 11 fields because maybe you need to know two different phone numbers or their account number. This kind of fields are not important to them, but they are relevant for you, so they must appear in your form.
To sum up, the info you ask for in your form must meet your needs, but also your customer’s needs, and it shouldn’t be too personal.
Further suggestions to create forms that convert
As mentioned, it’s not always about the quantity, it’s about the quality, too. If you want to add many fields, a good option is to establish those with non-essential information as ‘optional.’ In general terms, users tend to complete forms that look short. On the other hand, if you want them to complete a long form, a good idea is to display **multi-step forms. **
They look shorter, and they look like a task, in psychological terms. Users feel that this is a task they must finish. So they will feel committed to the form from the very first moment. Definitely, the design is one of your best allies in forms. You can make them look comfortable and easy to complete, e.g., adding radio buttons for mutually exclusive choices or checkboxes. Everything that might be helpful to complete the form is welcomed! Labels, validation and error signals, dropdowns…
Apart from this, your form must establish trust. They won’t provide their personal info just for the sake of it. They need and deserve to know why you want these data and what you are going to do with them. A message explaining that you won’t spam, sell or trade your user’s personal information is totally worth. Moreover, your form must meet their offers.
If you ask them to fill it out to download a specific file, let them download it as soon as they submit the form.
As this is a task that users don’t usually like, your form must be comfortable to complete. Base its organization on a logical flow. Firstly, ask for their personal info, and then the rest. But also in a natural way. For example, it’s more natural to ask for the e-mail address right after the last name than to ask for the zip code. Help them make this process more comfortable, and they will complete your form. These tips can help you optimize the number of fields for your forms.