A database of consumers interested in your brand is a valuable resource for your business. After all, these are people who are likely to respond to sales and special offers. They’re also likely to recommend your product or service to others.
One of the most efficient and effective ways to obtain your customer’s email address is with a form on your website. Forms have a variety of uses including:
- Account creation
- Opting-in to an email or newsletter
- Signing up for a free trial
Designing a form which appeals to visitors is no easy task. Each form has to be tailored to your specific customer persona. Here are the top ten tips for using forms:
- Align Fields to the Top
The simpler you make your forms, the easier they’ll be to fill out. The easier a form is to fill out, the more people are likely to sign up. One simple technique is to put the name of the field directly on top of the form. The goal here is to prevent the reader’s eye from moving from left to right as they navigate the form. You want their eye to move downward.
- Make Forms Difficult to Close
You don’t want a form which can easily be closed by clicking an X in the top corner. Instead, use a “cancel” or “close” button. This prevents users from accidentally closing the form. Even though this is a small change, preventing accidental closings of a form can have a big impact overall.
- Validate Fields
You want to reduce frustrations which can occur if the user makes a mistake when filling out your form. The easiest way to do this is to inform the user if they fill out a field incorrectly. This gives them a chance to quickly correct the error. Don’t wait until the user is trying to submit the completed form before highlighting any mistakes. Users are far less likely to fill out an entire form for a second time.
- Make the Call-to-Action Easy to Understand
The ultimate goal of your site is to convince your user to take an action. So you just want a single, clear call-to-action button. Instead of the typical “submit” or “send,” try making your button more specific to the action being taken. This could include “Send My Free Sample” for a free trial or “Join the Discussion” for an opt-in newsletter.
- Use “Microcopy”
This is a short, detail-rich bit of content which answers common questions. With a form, you’ll want your microcopy to address common concerns. Typically, these concerns are “Will I get spam?” and “How long will this free trial last?” You’ll want to answer these questions clearly in microcopy placed in or near the form.
- Keep Your Page Short
Sign-up forms need to be a quick stop on the conversion journey. You want to keep your forms as short as possible. This means no unnecessary fields. You also want to design your form so that it fits “above the fold” as much as possible. Users are less likely to fill out a form if they have to scroll down the page.
- Be Clear about Your Offer
The internet isn’t always the most trustworthy place. You want to reassure your users that they’ll get exactly what they’re signing up for. If you’re offering a free trial, make it very clear what product will arrive and when. If users are signing up for a subscription, specify when and how often the newsletters will arrive.
- Show Your Popularity
If your product or service is already popular, don’t be shy. Let your new users know that other companies and individuals have already tried your brand and are satisfied with the results. When visitors know that they’re not the only or the first person to try your product or service, they’ll feel much more confident in making a purchase themselves.
Forms are a very effective tool for generating leads and building a customer based. But you want to use them correctly. Keep your forms simple and clear. Also, make sure your intentions are transparent. Great forms will increase your conversion rate and your sales.