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Landing Page Forms: Best Practices For Ideal Experience

While maybe not being the flashiest part of your landing page, entry forms are an essential part of landing page optimization. As many experienced marketers can confirm, having a bad landing page form can ruin your landing page experience. With this in mind, we are going to cover some of the most important landing page form statistics with advice of experienced digital marketers and proven ways of optimizing your forms to go along with your landing page and increase your conversion rates.

Best practices

Why is your landing page form important?

A large portion of conversion issues come from the landing page form itself. Your landing page form is the place where you collect your users’ information. There is a significant difference when it comes to percentages of people that visit your landing page and those that reach the conversion point. Of all the visitors on your landing page, an average of 98% of them will leave without taking any action and only about a third of the remaining 2% will finish the conversion if your page isn’t loading properly. Every second of delay in load speed can make you lose 7% of your traffic. 

Landing Page Forms: Best Practices For Ideal Experience

Your prospects’ impression on your landing page varies depending on which source or ad they clicked on to bring them to you. You can’t expect your visitors to read the entire landing page copy, but be sure that they will be paying attention when it comes to entering their personal information on your landing page form. This is the point where your prospect becomes a lead and where many of them may slip out of your hands if your form isn’t optimized correctly. If you wish to avoid bounces, you need to make the conversion process as easy as possible for the incoming users. The first thing you should attend to is lowering landing page friction against conversions on your form. This can be achieved in many ways. Depending on your strategy, you could build users’ trust by providing useful information or even give them an incentivizing push with a special offer or a free trial period.

To stress the importance of optimizing your landing page forms in your PPC campaigns, you should know that only 3% of landing page visitors complete the contact form if they have already started it. This means that 97% of your potential leads came very close to converting, but abandoned ship when they hit the form.

Design-based landing page form statistics

Design is a good place to start since it is probably the first thing that will catch your visitor’s eye by the time they reach your landing page form.

  • Reducing form friction – The more form fields you include on a landing page form, the more friction you can expect during the conversion and the more leads you can lose. Statistics show that if you include more than 7 fields, your conversion rates drop by an average of 4% for every additional field. This is why it is important to ask your future leads only for the information that is essential for your business.
  • Navigating your form fields – Having under 5 fields in your form can boost your conversion rates up to 120%. Asking only for the first name, last name, and email address will do just fine for most businesses. However, you can collect more useful information from your visitors and lower the friction on each form field by splitting up the conversion process, about which we’ll talk later.

Copy-based landing page form statistics

Besides your landing page form design, your prospective leads will take notice of the kind of questions you ask. This is where it is crucial to understand what information is necessary for the next steps in your marketing or sales funnel and where your incoming traffic is when it comes to conversion intent.

Different types of search queries constitute different levels of search intent. Your landing page form has to match the level of intent of the offer that drew the user to your page in the first place. For example, if the visitor came to your page expecting to download a free ebook, you should not be asking them for their credit card info. This kind of question can only repel your subscribers. There is another thing that results in a major drop in conversion rates on landing page forms, and that is not providing your clients with an explanation of why you are asking for their personal information. This is natural since nobody is eager to give their information to a stranger without knowing what they are going to do with it. This is why we suggest creating the so-called “conversion momentum” by constantly providing your subscribers information about where they are in the conversion funnel and what benefits that brings.

Test-based landing page form statistics

Not every landing page optimization strategy comes down to either design or copy. Every landing page form example must also undergo a series of different tests to optimize conversion and completion rates. This optimization process can include anything from eliminating distracting site navigation or limiting the number of fields to email only, to adding extra content to your offer. All of these tests, no matter how different they are, offer valuable statistical insight. The best optimization can be achieved through A/B split testing. Conducting these tests by yourself will give you the best chance to find leaks in your strategy since you know best what your audience needs and what you have to offer.

This is one of the most successful strategies for optimizing your landing page form. The idea is to break down the big conversion form into several smaller forms. This way you will lower the friction for each conversion. As your visitors move through this multi-step form, each step further qualifies them and brings them closer to conversion while providing you with the information you need.

Optimizing Form Fields

Since landing page forms are such an essential part of a landing page, it is highly unusual that so many marketers get them wrong. As you could see from all the numbers above, there is a thin line between people sharing their information with you and bouncing in the middle of the process (only 3% of people who start, finish the form). From the number of fields to the design of your CTA button, everything has to be just right. Too long a form and you risk discouraging future customers from converting. Too short, and you may not gather the information you need. If this looks like an impossible chore to you, don’t worry. Here is all you need to know to make your form a lead magnet.

Only ask for information you need

Many marketers ask for too much information in their landing page forms. This is especially common with B2B software companies. We understand that there are kinds of forms that require additional information. If you are trying to schedule a software demonstration, for example, the company needs to know that you are serious and not only wasting their time. However, more often than not, there are too many fields for you to fill in. When designing a form, it is important to find a balance between requesting enough information to qualify visitors as leads and sounding intrusive. We have already mentioned that after 7 fields, conversion rates start to deteriorate.

Having white space is OK

Now that you have made sure that you are not asking too many questions, let’s talk about how your form looks on your landing page. No matter how many fields you have, your form needs to look pleasing for the eye. This means not pushing your fields too tight against one another, but cleverly using white space to give the form a nicer overall look. Giving your form some space to breathe makes it look less intimidating to the user.

Invest time in your CTA

The call to action is one of the most important parts of a landing page form. Without a strong CTA, your prospect may feel reluctant to reveal their info. A strong CTA, on the other hand, will reinforce their intent to purchase your product and convert to leads. Although it helps, creating a compelling CTA is more than just using persuasive language. You should determine the benefits that your customers get from signing up with you and focus on those benefits in your CTA. For example, if you offer free incentives to your subscribers, a simple “Join” or “Sign in” could be replaced with “Get Free Stuff”. This kind of call to action is stronger and makes it clear to your customers what’s in it for them if they sign up. There is also the unspoken “I want to” rule which is a great starting point for writing CTAs. As in I want to “Get Free Stuff”, make sure that your CTA could be prefaced with these three words. This can give you a better idea of how your Call to Action may sound to others.

Use radio buttons

Most people like to avoid typing whenever possible, so consider including radio buttons and drop-down menus for as many of the fields as you can. They work well in situations where there are few options to choose between, or where entering the data manually would be too much of a task. In addition to making it easier to enter information, it also makes your form visually more attractive.

Use directional visual cues

Besides including your web form above the fold, using plenty of white space to make it look nicer and asking for a minimum of information, why not make it even more obvious where your visitors should enter their information by using visual directional cues such as arrows that point to your CTA? Remember, you can never make it too obvious, but you can certainly make it unattractive, so be tactful when choosing a method to implement this suggestion.

Another good technique you can use to accomplish this is the line of sight. Including an image of a person looking at your landing page form is a more subtle but equally effective way of drawing people’s attention.

Optimize forms for mobile devices

Many marketers don’t create mobile versions of forms thinking that people usually don’t complete them. Although this might be true to some extent, it has nothing to do with the limitations of mobile devices or the lack of intent from people to sign up on the go, but rather with poor form design. Many businesses design their landing page forms for desktop users and leave it at that, not realizing that they are missing an opportunity to convert more people. The number of mobile web searchers is higher than ever. Whether using responsive web design or creating separate mobile pages from scratch, make your forms mobile-friendly to grab that last chunk of audience you have been missing out on all this time.

Maybe not all of your forms can be optimized for mobile, but with some outside-of-the-box thinking and considering how people use their phones, you will easily pick those that can. Although not the best platform for a 10-field form, asking someone to subscribe for a newsletter or take an action that requires less information is a perfect fit for mobile devices.

Always A/B test your landing page forms

Even if you follow all the best practices above, it is crucial to get your data and know your numbers when making a final decision. If something bodes well for other companies, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it would fit your business. Conduct A/B tests on each aspect of your landing page forms to find what works for you.

Final thoughts

Filling out forms doesn’t have to be “the boring part” of conversion. By following some of the form optimization best practices we have talked about in this article, you will improve your landing page conversion rates and, down the road, also increase sales. With the internet becoming an increasingly important resource for buyers seeking information about specific products or solutions to a problem, marketers need to adjust their websites, campaign landing pages and forms to suit their prospects’ unique requirements. Remember, there is always another percentage point of conversion waiting around the corner.

Brian Djordjevic
About The Author

Brian Dordevic

Bojan is Marketing Strategic Planner with a passion for all things digital. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or schedule a consultation call with him.

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