Tim Witcherley

How to optimise your website contact form for conversions

by Tim Witcherley on December 29, 2012

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Imagine this. You’ve got a fantastic new website and it’s working really hard. It’s attracting lots of users and engaging them with its fresh and inspiring content. You’re impressing people. They’re on the verge of making contact. Then your contact form puts them off.

As marketers, we go to great lengths to encourage web visitors to make an enquiry. But a raft of recent research shows that we should pay just as much attention to the final hurdle: the layout and content of the contact form.

For a start, reducing the number of fields users have to complete can have a direct impact on how many enquiries you get. One company cut their form fields from eleven to four and saw a 120% jump in conversion rates as a result.

This makes sense. We know that web users don’t have the time or inclination to tell us their life story. But did you know that changing the word on the button at the end of your form from ‘submit’ to ‘click here’ can increase conversions by more than 30%?

The difference here is tone. Make your language less aggressive, intimidating or ‘sales-y’ and users will find it easier to take the plunge. Another site proved this by changing the title on their form page from ‘Risk free’ to ‘Free and unlimited access’ – a tiny alteration that increased their form completions by a staggering 113%.

Sometimes it’s a case of trying different things to see what works for you. Play with the alignment of your fields and field titles. If you use two columns, try reducing it to one. Label your fields at the top rather than at the side. Anything that increases readability and makes the page look simpler is likely to have a positive effect.

Finally, be careful what you ask for. Would you rather get the email addresses of ten potential customers or the email addresses and phone numbers of three? Research proves that asking users for a phone number reduces conversions; so if you don’t need it, don’t ask for it. If you’d like it but don’t want to put users off, consider adding the word ‘optional’ to the field title. Expedia did this to their phone number field and doubled their conversion rate as result. (Interestingly, the little notation that denotes a required field doesn’t hold the same sway: a recent eye tracking study noticed no fixation at all on it.)

Look at your form now. Is it easy to fill in? How long does it take? Do you ask for any information that you don’t absolutely need?

One small tweak could double your lead gen – not bad for a morning’s work.

Learn more by downloading our Online Lead Generation eBook.

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Tim Witcherley

This post was written by Tim Witcherley

As Cognition's Managing Director, Tim sets by example by being an incredibly driven and commercial businessman who has built a very impressive marketing consultancy which has continued to grow year on year. With a very straight and honest approach to business, he ensures he gets the best results for his clients and builds strong partnerships with his suppliers.

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