4 Things You Are Doing Wrong When Creating Web Forms
This is why people don’t complete your web forms…
Webforms are an essential element of any business’ sales and marketing strategy.
In case you’re unfamiliar with them, web forms, also known as online forms or HTML forms, are forms on a web page that allow a user to enter information that is sent directly to a website or to a system to store.
Here is an example of a webform:
When designed correctly, they help you capture your website’s visitors’ details and they also make it nice and easy for people to sign up to your newsletters, make a purchase, and so on. So why is it that so many people still get them wrong?!?
Think about it, with the amount time and effort we put into bringing users to our website and in particular, our sign-up pages and contact forms, it’s surprising that we tend not to spend a proportional amount of time on the forms themselves! Sure, everyone knows that a contact form is important, but how many of us put real effort into making a form effective? Not nearly as many. That’s why I wanted to take the time to showcase and acknowledge some of the most common mistakes I notice people commit when implementing their webforms.
#1 No Follow Up
This is the biggest mistake you can commit. A huge no-no is not following up after a lead completes a form. Whether they want a call back, or they’ve added their email to your weekly newsletter list, you should always acknowledge their action. The damage of not doing so, it’s irreversible and something as small as this could make the difference between you making a sale, and your competitor making a sale instead.
If the form is about a quote or a requested call back, make sure that you set up your webform in such a way that it automatically creates a task for a sales person to give them a call as soon as possible. It is much easier, more efficient and quite practical for the sales rep to receive a notification that a new person has requested a call. This way you won’t miss on any potential opportunities to make a sale.
Alternatively, if your web form is for visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, which doesn’t require a somebody to get back to them, you can easily send an automated email that welcomes them to your list. the email doesn’t need to be too long or too complex. Here is some suggested content:
Subject line: Thank you for subscribing!
You are now successfully subscribed to the %Your Company Name% newsletter.
You should receive your first newsletter from us very soon!
Meanwhile don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For daily news from us, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Have a great day!
You can even copy and paste this into an automated email right now, thus making sure that the person who has subscribed has their action acknowledged.
You can also use this space to prompt them to follow you on social media maybe even send them a free eBook as a welcome-to-the-club etc.
Ultimately, you have got to accept and confirm their subscription via an email.
If you are only going to take away one point from this article, let it be this one: Always follow up!
If someone wants to sign up to your newsletter, get a quote, or request a brochure, make sure that you’ve made it super easy for them to do so! Bottom line is, there is plenty of competition out there, and sometimes something as small as not being able to complete a request form, may be the difference between making a sale, or giving that customer to the competition.
There is nothing more frustrating than searching through a website trying to find the form you need to complete to ask for a call back. After all, it’s not your prospect’s jobs to dig around the website and ago into too much trouble to become your customers. It’s your job to make this whole process as easy and seamless as possible so that you capture their details.
#3 Too Many Fields
The one thing probably even more frustrating than having trouble finding a web form, is when you find it but you have too many field to fill in. And it’s not just a matter of irritating the visitor. Research has shown that the more data fields you have in a contact form, the less likely a user will choose to fill it out.
So don’t ask for too much information too soon. Things like company, job title, or mobile phone number are shouldn’t be asked for unless it’s absolutely necessary. Most times, a name and email address will suffice. You can always get the rest of their details later or simply ask them to log into the correct page and update their own personal information.
Alternatively, you can ask for all the information you want, but give the option for visitors to opt out of revealing too much too soon by not making the fields required.
Therefore you give the visitors the choice of completing the entire form, or just giving you their basic contacts details.
Speaking of required fields…
#4 Required Fields Not Clearly Marked
When you’re designing a form most of you will mark required fields with an asterisk (*). Then you’ll add something like ” Required fields” to the top of the form. But surely we now live in a world where everyone already knows this. Right?
Well not really. You can never assume anything, especially if you’ve committed mistake #2 and you’ve asked for too much information.
It’s both frustrating and time consuming to fill in an entire web form bar one question and then when you click submit, to have the entire form cleared out of the data just because that one field you omitted was actually a required field.
If you are using InTouch, you can easily mark fields as required by ticking the appropriate box. See below
So these are the 4 most common mistakes most people make when designing their web forms. Instead of making them enticing and attractive, they are often frustrating to the visitor.
Bad practices have everything to do with how the web form looks and feels to your respondents and those 4 faux-pas are definitely a key ingredient to bad web form experience. If an online form is confusing or difficult to navigate, it’s much less likely that visitor will hit the submit button. A bad web form sends the message that user experience isn’t a priority, which is definitely not the message you want to send, or for that matter receive.
If you’ve gone to all the trouble to get traffic to your beautifully designed website, wouldn’t it be a waste of time and money (and potential sales) to put off the visitor with a poorly thought out web form? Act today, set up an automated follow up campaign and revamp your web form!
Feel free to drop a subtle hint to someone you know who has made these mistakes by sending them this article.