For many customers (current and future), their first exposure to your company is through your website or other online branding. Whether they found you via a Google search, social media, or another website, it’s important to make sure they connect with you so you can continue the lead nurturing relationship and eventually make a sale. One of the best ways to make that first contact is through an online form.
A basic contact form, an online contest form, or an event registration form are all great ways to get submissions and continue the conversation via email marketing or a sales call. Online form builders like Formstack and Jotform make it easy for you to build those types of forms and embed them in your site or emails – but there’s a lot to consider when creating a form that will encourage site visitors to submit their information.
Here are some “best practices” for creating the ideal forms to collect contact information from potential customers, use the data in the best way to build relationships, and get them to submit the ultimate form for your business: the payment form.
1. Optimize your form for mobile devices.
As our friends at Emma have proven, mobile email design matters. Your form should be designed for your mobile audience as well. Many online form builders have already optimized all of their published forms for mobile devices, so the hard part is already completed for you! However, just because your user doesn’t have to zoom in or rotate the form to make it fit on your screen doesn’t mean everyone is going to fill it out. Make sure mobile-popular forms are short, include prominent submit buttons, don’t ask questions that require a lot of typing, and feature social sharing buttons and shortlinks so that your users can easily tweet them or text the link to their friends.
2. Don’t get too personal.
Think about your form like a first date with a web/mobile visitor. You would never ask really personal questions on a first date, right? Same with a form. Make sure your form is as short as possible while gathering the info you need to keep the conversation going. This is especially important for the mobile user crowd; seriously, think about how easy it is to tap that home screen button and exile that form into the abyss of opened browser windows. You want to get the information you need to start a conversation, take the relationship to the next level (hello, email marketing!), and use other marketing tools to get even more relevant information.
3. Make sure your content aligns with the form.
Let’s say you have an event coming up, and you’ve built a fantastic, relevant, mobile-optimized form that’s sure to make everyone want to attend. You send the form out in an email with the subject line “Take our product feedback survey,” which results in a “WTH” moment from anyone who opens up the form. While this may be an extreme example (we trust that you’re all smart enough to never do something that silly), it’s important that your content aligns with your purpose for the form. While it’s typical to have a little content at the beginning of your form that explains your event or how you will use the customer’s info, never write more than 3 or 4 sentences. Anyone viewing the form – mobile or otherwise – will get bored of all the scrolling and leave.
What are some surefire ways you’ve found to get customers to fill out your forms? Is there something you’ve done that should be a form-building don’t?