How to optimize your Landing Page forms for better conversions
What are the two most important elements of a landing page? If you said the headline, you’d be halfway there. The other one is your conversion form. In fact, I would venture to say that the conversion form is the most important element of your landing page. Why is that?
Because driving conversions is what your landing page is all about. If you want to build your mailing list, if you want people to download your eBook and if you want your customers to buy your product via your ecommerce system, they have to fill out a form. Your conversion form is the point at which all your social media, search engine marketing, landing page optimization fails or succeeds. It’s where the rubber meets the road. It’s where your hopes and dreams get dashed upon the jagged rocks of disappointment, or where they turn into your dream machine.
Your conversion form is why you have a landing page in the first place.
But you may have focused so much on your great headline, your professionally produced video, your stand-out benefits-laden bullet points, testimonials, contrasting colors, and compelling copy, that you may have forgotten about your conversion form. Not to worry. We have created this basic guide on how to optimize your conversion forms to drive higher conversion rates and increase your newsletter subscriptions, white paper downloads, and online purchases.
5 Ways to Optimize your Conversion Forms
There are many different ways to tweak, change, and improve your conversion forms to increase your conversion rate. Too many to list in one blog post. So what we decided to do is to boil it down to five essential elements that you should focus on if you’d like to go from 1-2% conversion rates to 5, 10 or even 25% conversion rates.
1. Form Length
How long should your form be? Should you ask for your prospects’ name, email, address, phone number, social security number, height, weight and favorite color? It depends. If you’d like to convert as many online visitors into prospects or customers as you can, keep your form short. This is especially true if you’re trying to drive subscriptions to a newsletter, or get visitors to download your eBook or your latest case study. Your online visitors are naturally suspicious. The more information you ask for, the more skittish they’ll get, and the less likely they are to fill out your form.
My suggestion: ask for their first name and an email address. Period.
If you’re trying to attract highly qualified prospects, such as high net worth individuals who invest a minimum of $10,000, or parents of special needs kids who are looking for a particular type of therapy, then you want to convert only those people. You want to limit your conversions to the most qualified prospects. Then it’s ok to ask them for more information. The more detail you get from your visitors, the more qualified your prospects will be. And the fewer you will convert. The length of the form depends on your goals. Go shorter if you want to go for volume, and go longer if you want a higher quality yet smaller list.
2. Radio WIIFM
I know, I know, the radio station WIIFM cliché has been overused. But I love it - it explains this next point so well.
What’s in it for me?
Web Designer Depot says that when you’re trying to convert visitors, your form should communicate to your visitors what they’ll by filling out the form. You may have already told them in the headline and in the body copy of the landing page. But you need to tell them again in the form itself. What will your visitors get when they subscribe to your newsletter? Offer a free report or eBook. Sell the benefits of the free report or eBook (even though you’re giving it away).
If you’re promoting a newsletter, don’t use the word “newsletter.” Use words like: “Sign up to get useful tips in your inbox.” Or “Get daily specials delivered directly to your inbox.” Use language that entices your visitors. Let them know they’re signing up for something exciting, valuable and helpful.
3. Minimize the Risk
As I mentioned earlier, your online visitors are a little skittish. But reducing the length of the form is not enough. You need to actively reassure your visitors. Web Designer Depot also says it’s a good idea to provide logos of other companies that have become your customers. Or if you target consumers, provide logos of the companies whose products you sell, or logos of the companies you partner with. Also, explain exactly what you’re going to do with their email address. Tell them you’re not going to spam them. Tell them you’re not going to sell their email address to a third party. Tell them how often you’ll be emailing them. If you plan to email them daily, tell them!
4. Put some Style in your Form
Your online conversion form may be underperforming because it’s just plain boring looking. Jazz it up! Smashing Magazine says you should create quirky, modern looking forms if you want to improve conversions. Check out this article if you’d like examples of quirky designs from different industries.
5. Use Standard Language
Another conversion killer is confusion. If your prospects are confused, they won’t do anything. They’ll just leave. A great way to confuse your visitors is to use non-standard language to label your form fields. We recommend using the vernacular your visitors are used to. In other words, standard web language. Use “first name,” not “Christian name.” Use “click here” instead of “press the button.”
You get the picture.
Your Next Steps: Optimizing your Conversion Form
Now that you know what you need to do with your conversion form to increase conversions, how can you optimize your forms to turn them into high-converting landing page forms?
The trick is to test your forms on a regular basis. Use an A/B split test tool (Lander has a great one).
Here are a few ideas for things you can test on your conversion form:
- Try a few different colors for the call-to-action (CTA) button. For example, try green, red, orange.
- Try a few different versions of the CTA text. E.g. “subscribe now” vs. “get your eBook now” vs. “Download now.”
- Try a few different colors for the form itself: blue border vs. grey border vs. beige border.
- Delete or add fields and see what happens with your conversions, you might be surprised!
Do you have any idea on what else can you test?
And remember, your landing page forms are the most important element (along with the headline) for driving conversions. Focus on making it as optimal as possible.
Now it’s your turn.