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3 Powerful Optimization Techniques To Supercharge Your Website Forms

by Andrey Milyan September 07, 2017

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is about finding and removing barriers to purchase. We create most of these barriers when we fail to take our website visitors’ perspective. Here are 3 powerful techniques for optimizing your website forms, be it a lead form or a checkout flow.

1. Add More Steps To Your Forms

This seems counter intuitive at first but multi-step forms have been shown to consistently outperform a single-step format. A series of fields revealed several at a time is a lot less overwhelming than a single, long form. Breaking things out into multiple steps can also help make the form a bit more interactive through a series of questions.

Take a look at the email capture form below. Which one do you think gets a higher submit rate?

Email form example

I’ve cheated a little and added a few more elements to improve the form, like a more enticing copy and a CTA that isn’t as bland. Regardless, even without those changes, the two-step format is going to beat the original virtually every time.

2. Provide Rationale for the Information You’re Collecting

Do you bother to explain to your website visitors why you are asking them to provide certain information? Most companies don’t and that’s a mistake. Let’s use the above example again. In your mind, the purpose of this interstitial is to collect emails so it is only natural to ask for one. However, from your site visitors’ perspective, it is not self-evident what the email address is being collected for. Notice that in the second version, I’ve included the rationale for giving me their email address – “where should we email your guide?”

Same logic applies to other forms on your website. For example, why are you asking for an email address as the beginning of the checkout flow? If you are using a cart recovery tool (as you should), you can explain to your visitors that the email is being collected in order to save their progress in case of an interruption and to email them the confirmation receipt. Reassure them that you are not going to spam them and will handle their personal information with care.

3. Proactively Address Concerns

Your job is to remove any barriers and objections to completing the form. Here are some of the typical concerns your website visitors might have:

  • Is my transaction secure?
  • How is my personal information going to be used?
  • Is this a trustworthy company?
  • Is this a good deal?
  • Is this going to be a long and confusing process?

Here is how Priceline addresses some of these concerns:

Priceline form example

If Priceline was less well-known, they might have also included customer reviews, talking about their experience. Additional security signals, like a lock icon with a “secure transaction” message could help as well.

Now review all of your website forms with a critical eye and start improving those submit rates.

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