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Convert Website Visitors into Leads With Web Form Optimisation


Leads are the lifeblood of your business, second to customers of course.

And to gain leads, you need contact details. Which means getting your website visitor to complete a form.

How can you do this better than your competitors? We show you with these web form optimisation tips.

Choose Your Weapon – Carrot or Stick

Encourage website visitors to complete your lead generation web forms in one of two ways: entice them with an offer (carrot) or create a sense of urgency (stick).

You could offer a free piece of content in return for their details. Or, for those seeking to boost leads in a specific period, try running a competition. Formstack found that this kind of incentive lead to more conversions than any other kind of form.

Form Stack - Conversion by form typeSource: Formstack

The type of web forms you use to capture leads will impact the fields you include. Typical field number by form type is shown in the image below. Be sure to follow good web form design practice and include relevant and necessary fields only.

Good web form design practiceSource: VWO Nitin Deshdeep, 2015

Another way to get website visitors further down the sales funnel is to use social proof. In this example from Basecamp, a combination of tactics combine to form a powerful message:

    • Testimonials
    • A free trial subscription
    • The number of people who signed up last week
    • Supporting copy that sells the benefits of subscribing
Basecamp Form Example

Source: Tes Teach

Even if the individual doesn’t sign up for the product following the free trial, Basecamp have captured their details enabling a follow-up contact.

Make Forms Conversational

Nobody enjoys filling in web forms. But if you can improve your user’s experience you have a better chance of converting visitors into leads.

One web form optimisation tactic reviewed by internationally recognized digital product leader, Luke Wroblewski, shows what a little form-design imagination can do.

This Mad Libs-style form locates data entry fields within sentences. As the customer completes the form, their information fills the gaps in the narrative giving the user a pleasant form-filling encounter. And it’s not style over substance: one example of this kind of form increased conversion by 25-40%.

Bought By Many Form

Source: Bought By Many

We agree with @lukewconversational forms are a much nicer way to get customer information with big conversion gains.

Optimise Your Final Step

Once you’ve optimised the majority of your web form design, put the cherry on the cake with a strong submit button. As this research from Formstack shows, including just one word after ‘submit’ on your call to action button can make a big difference in terms of conversions.

strong submit button.Source: Formstack

Help Repeat Visitors

Many individuals will be repeat visitors to your website. Particularly if you provide valuable content that keeps them coming back. Hubspot’s content marketing strategy does exactly this. And, to make life easier for their visitors, they’ve amended their lead gen web form design.

Instead of decimating their conversion rate by asking all their lead-qualifying questions at once, they use progressive profiling.

These web forms hide questions that your lead has already completed (in the same or a previous session) and replaces them with alternative questions.


Source: Northern Beaches

It’s web form design like this that makes form filling less repetitive and ensures your visitor becomes a prospect. All while painlessly giving away more information.

If your business wants to increase conversions, take a long hard look at your web forms. And with these tips, you’ve got a great starting point for your web form optimisation project. To find out more about how to test your form changes, take a look at some of our other content.