Form Optimization & Form Abandonment - The Ultimate Guide

Learn Tricks & Tips to avoid Form Abandonment. With avg. abandonment rates >80% it's a serious business threat.

Published
November 25, 2021
Last Updated
December 8, 2021
Abandoned Forms

What is web form abandonment?

Webform abandonment happens when a customer starts entering information into a web form and then leaves that page before the form is considered complete. Depending on your number of form fields, if they are mandatory or optional fields, your form completion rate will differ. 

Your form completion and conversion rates also differ depending on the traffic sources. For example if you get traffic from SEO, Paid Media, Email or Social, each channel will have their unique completeness rate.  

It’s not uncommon for site visitors to give up on your form before submitting.  It can be because of privacy concerns, too many fields or unwillingness to share personal information. Your visitors are in a hurry and you just presented them with unnecessary friction.

Form abandonment is a huge problem on most lead generation websites that can waste your valuable and hard earned traffic. 

If you're not measuring form completion rates, conversion rates vs number of fields on your forms, your abandonment rate per channel, then you are missing out on valuable data which could improve your bottom line. 

Low conversion rates is one of the most common issues on B2B and B2C websites with lead generation web forms as the primary business driver. Furthermore, it can be something hard to prevent with increased complexity in website structures and CMS systems. 

Especially in e-commerce where time is money and people expect instant gratification with low prices and fast deliveries.  

Your webform is the crucial business component to success, as it determines whether a half-filled lead form will turn into a real customer. In this article, you will learn what the most common reasons are why customers abandon your web forms.

5 Top Reasons For Form Abandonment

Form abandonment is something most marketers come across when analyzing site analytics. Previously, it was difficult to measure form completion rates but with newer versions of  Google analytics (GA4) and the rise of online marketing ROI tools, it has become a crucial factor to regain your marketing budget. To know why forms are being abandoned and how to fix them, we need to understand the reasons for form abandonment in more detail.

 

Your business success depends on web form abandonment to be as low as possible. It’s never a good sign when potential customers leave your website without engaging. Whether engagement metrics such as bounce rates, time spent on page or number of fields filled in a form is tracked, it’s important to track over time and follow the trend. 

Most people assume that web form abandonment means the visitor has given up on their page, but research reveals several key points that lead to this behavior.

5 top reasons for form abandonment and how you can fix them.

  1. The form is either too difficult to complete fill out or the next step is unclear
  2. Too many steps with no information why the form fields are needed.
  3. The form is too long and it's unclear which fields are mandatory
  4. There is no contact information provided for inquiries or feedback
  5. The form has no spam protection or built-in pre qualification methods

The form is either too difficult to complete fill out or the next step is unclear

People won't finish the form if it's too long, that's just a fact. You can run all the A/B tests you want, but it doesn't change the underlying problem. 

If you have a lot of optional fields in your forms, consider removing them altogether. Ask yourself the reason why you have these fields in the first place. Are you collecting for market research, marketing campaigns or simply because you’d like to know more about your prospect? 

Remember that your prospect is most likely at the top of the marketing funnel. Asking too much information too early is a costly mistake. Let your email nurturing campaigns take care of educating the prospect along its user journey if you feel more pre-qualification is needed. But make sure to at least get the email and name first. 

Friction is not only created by bad form design. It can be psychological, motivational or fueled by lack of trust as well.

Too many steps with no information why the form fields are needed.

It's a pain, isn’t it? You enter details into a form and then hit the enter button, only to be met with a mind-boggling page of steps detailing what you need to do next. Some businesses fail to implement the simplest of lead generation forms because they don’t know exactly what to include or where to direct the user once they submit the form.

We’ve all experienced it. You click through to a dedicated landing page, fill out the form and submit it only to be taken somewhere other than where you were expecting to go next. Maybe it was an error. If it wasn’t, there doesn’t seem to be much of an explanation of what the next steps are, leaving you confused and wondering if you should start again. 

Will you be called back? At what time? Do they have your time zone and complete information? A pile of internal questions arise in the prospects mind and cause friction once again. 


The form is too long and it's unclear which fields are mandatory

Did you know that 67 percent of all form abandonment is because forms have too many fields? That means that for every hundred visitors to your website, sixty-seven will abandon and never return to contact you. That's a huge number, which highlights the importance of keeping your forms short and simple. 

One way to accomplish this is to present only the most critical information upfront and place secondary form fields below - but if you do this, make sure it's clear what is required and what is optional. 

As a general rule optional fields should be avoided. But if you choose to use optional fields, at least make it clear which ones are not required. The convention is an asterisk (*) for mandatory values or clearly use the word "optional" when there's no need for a particular input field. 

Also check if your form provider can measure form completion rates on mandatory vs optional fields. Something which Responser can do. 

This is especially true for long forms with multiple required items that may cause confusion as people try filling them all out anyway because they think maybe one was left blank even though some were checked off already. If your design includes hints below each individual line on what these symbols mean then everyone will understand better.

Just be mindful of users' cognitive load. Every time you add more information around a field, you are increasing the total mental brain processing power needed to fill out the form.

Single vs Multi-columns

FOorm columns
https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2017/06/designing-efficient-web-forms/

Even how you arrange form fields matters to form completion rates. One of the problems with arranging form fields into multiple columns is that users will likely interpret them inconsistently. 

If a field has horizontally adjacent ones, then you have to scan down in a zigzag pattern slowing down comprehension, increasing the mental processing power which also leads to a higher  interaction cost .

But if there's just one column, it makes things much easier because all your fields line up nicely from left-to right without having any confusion about where users should go next.


There is no contact information provided for inquiries or feedback

Does your website show potential customers your phone number, your email address, skype or chat options in close proximity to the call to action? It not only asserts visitors that you are available, it instills trust. 

After all, they went through your marketing funnel, your lead generation landing page. Adding more contact options increases your chances of conversion. Just make sure you can track the attribution to your marketing expenses. 

Online marketing is about engaging with your audience. Whether you are letting visitors book hotels, find restaurants, or search for answers to their questions. Effective communication is what will keep you ahead of your competition. After all, who wants to feel like they are talking to a brick wall?

The form has no spam protection or built-in pre qualification methods

Form captcha

It’s almost impossible to give your online forms 100% protection against spambots, but there are several easy ways to mitigate the risks greatly.

For example, A CAPTCHA code like Google V3 form verification can be used to verify that the submission is being done by a human being. As a result, it ensures that the form submission is not made by an automated program. 

It not only skews conversion rates and makes calculating your marketing ROI harder, but also slows down your sales team if the information in your CRM is false. 

We wrote an article about CAPTCHA and how they can lower your conversion rates.


How To Reduce Form Abandonment

How to reduce form abandonment

Research shows that up to 81% of people who start filling out a form on a website will abandon that form without finishing it.  Abandoned forms are a serious problem for you and your business. 

The fact is that you need some way to monitor and track abandoned forms.


Form Tracking with Google Tag Manager specifically for form abandonment

Google Tag Manager Form Abandonment Trigger
https://www.analyticsmania.com/post/google-tag-manager-form-tracking/


Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free tool provided by Google Marketing Platform that allows you to track various events or forms on your website, create conversion rates and set up goal funnels. 

With some email provider integration know-how, you can even trigger email responses based on user interaction. For example, if someone signed up for your newsletter, you can create a custom rule in Google Tag Manager to automatically send them an email thanking them or send them to an offer or designated landing page. 

The goal of web form tracking with Google Analytics is to learn how your visitors interact with your form, so you can make changes to your form fields, design and layout to improve the user experience. 

Make no mistake, you will need a developer to install the code and set up the tracking the way you want. 

According to Analytics Mania; 

Each form tracking method  depends on different elements/events that occur on a website after the form submission:

  • Form auto-event listener
  • Thank you page
  • AJAX form tracking
  • Tracking with Element Visibility trigger
  • Writing your own form auto-event listener
  • Developer’s help (to ask for the dataLayer.push)
  • DOM scraping

We highly recommend further reading at Analytics Mania form tracking article for a deeper understanding of each of the methods mentioned below. 

There are several different Google Analytics Form Tracking methods you can use; 

Method #1. Google Tag Manager Form Submission Trigger (GTM’s built-in form listener with enabled built-in variables)

Method #2. “Thank you” Page Tracking with Google Tag Manager (Create a page view that fires only on the success submit page)

Method #3.  Track AJAX Form Submissions with Google Tag Manager (Your form is using Ajax. To be used when your form is not sending valid form submit events and no redirection to a success landing page.) 

Method #4.  Track Form Submissions with Element Visibility Trigger (Enables you to track when a particular element appears on the screen, in ex a success message)

Method #5.  Write Your Own Form Auto-Event Listener (The most complicated and time consuming part for custom forms)

Method #6 . Form Tracking with dataLayer Events (implement a custom dataLayer.push() into the callback function upon successful form submission)

Method #7. Track Form Submissions with DOM Scraping

Compare Responser with Google Analytics form tracking.


How to save form data from partially filled and abandoned forms

Most form providers and Wordpress plugins don’t allow you save partial entries from abandoned forms. Some exceptions, like Formstack, give users an option to “Save For Later” with access to a unique URL to complete the form afterwards. That sort of defeats the purpose of users unknowingly or unwillingly abandoning the form completion process. 

When looking at different form providers and plugins also check if their “partial save” functionality saves information locally on users computer or centrally in Wordpress, or in the software. 

If information is saved locally, that means you can’t deploy (email) retargeting campaigns or get valuable insights into IP and GEO-data since all information about the user is stored on their computers.

GEO location like country, state and city level are crucial to understand why users are abandoning your form. Very few software records and give you access to form field data for further insights.

We are going to assume you are already using a form provider or Wordpress plugin. Your best chance to save abandoned form data is to activate your form provider” partial submissions” or “partial entries” and export data to your CRM via Zapier or API’s, or simply export to CSV. 

It’s imperative that you collect email addresses, that goes without saying. However, can your form provider, in Wordpress or Web App, collect emails from abandoned lead forms? 

If not, then you can’t target those prospects which started a form and left before they converted. The whole point of using retargeting emails in the Awareness stage is to reach visitors you have already paid to get to your landing page, but bounced. 

Whether it’s via organic, paid media or social, you have already made an effort to drive them to your lead generation form. 

Abandoned Form plugins for Wordpress are using paid add-ons such as; 

  • Form Abandonment addon
  • Partial Submission addon
  • Partial Form Entries addon
  • Abandoned Form Recovery Feature
  • Partial Entries or Save & Continue Feature.

Some of the Wordpress form providers out there that have this feature are:

Partial entries on forms can be stored in three different ways;

  1. Partial form entries are stored when at a Heartbeat API request, which is built into WordPress. This means that it can store information about the current timestamp of each form entry in your website's database. 
  2. Partial entries work by checking for validation errors for example in Gravity Forms when you click next or previous buttons on your form
  3. Partial entries are saved when people click save and continue. This can be enabled in your form provider  by checking the "Save Partial", “Abandoned Form Entries” or similar checkbox. 

Depending on how the field is triggered, partial data will only appear if you're using a WordPress Heartbeat API request or a validation error in Gravity Form.  When someone clicks next/prev buttons as these functions take care of those themselves already. 

Now when the data is stored at your form provider or in Wordpress, you should be able to export the data either in CSV or Excel format. 

If you want users' forms to be pre-filled upon return, you’ll need an additional solution. Responser not only auto-saves all entries by default, it also records all GEO location data, form completeness ratios and form field level abandonment.

Send retargeting emails or launch a retargeting campaign

Using data from your platform and utilizing re-engagement techniques such as email auto-responders will help close the conversion gap and make lead nurturing a self-sustaining process. These incremental solutions will help you reduce form abandonment and increase conversions and are absolutely instrumental in your success. 

According to The Manifest

“Another 19% return to complete an online form if the company initiates additional contact through an email or phone call.”

Send retargeting emails 

In the previous chapter How to Save Your Form Data, we talked about how you can collect your abandoned email addresses. 

Now, to start sending retargeting emails, you need to upload your CSV file with your email addresses directly into your Email Service Provider, or put them in Google Sheets and connect to Zapier for further export to a CRM or ESPs.  

  • CRM - Hubspot, Salesforce or Marketo
  • ESP - MailChimp, Drip, ConvertKit, SendGrid, Active Campaign etc
  • Responser Built-in Email Retargeting

You want to look for a solution that has a built in nurturing sequence in place so you don’t have to build one yourself. Conversion focused email providers like Drip and ConvertKit have this in their DNA. 

Retargeting Campaigns

Emails are powerful identifiers that allow digital marketers to reach users on multiple platforms. The most common retargeting platforms are:

  • Google Customer Match
  • Instagram Video and Image Ads
  • Twitter Tailored Audiences
  • Linked Targeting
  • Facebook Custom Audiences
Google Customer Match 

You can make your marketing more effective by uploading an email list of prospects you already have. Google's identity-based targeting options allow these people to be targeted through Search, Gmail, Shopping tab and Display ads as well as YouTube videos, all with just one upload! 

Google Customer Match is a powerful tool for marketers because it can help you tap into the giant pool of potential customers who have signed-in Google accounts. 

Once your contact list has been uploaded and formatted according to Customer Match guidelines, they become eligible as a target audience in new or existing campaigns. If someone from that group performs a search or checks their Gmail while signed in - they may just see your ads. 

Instagram Video and Image Ads

Facebook's advertising platform not only allows you to use all of the features on Custom Audiences, but also acts as a parent for Instagram. This means that your ads can include video and images in addition to "carousels" (multiple images or videos).

If you're already up and running on Facebook, exploring Instagram may be worth your time. It's not only the perfect platform for businesses who want engaging visuals in their posts -it also has a whopping 500 million users!

Twitter Tailored Audiences

The Tailored Audiences feature on Twitter is like Facebook's Custom Audience. You can upload your list and watch as they match email addresses with users who are then able to see ads for your product or service.

Similarly, there is also a lookalike option available where marketers will be able to target users which should receive their advertisements so that more potential customers may become aware.

LinkedIn Matched Audiences Targeting

Matched Audiences is a set of targeting options to combine your business data with LinkedIn’s professional profile information. This results in an even more accurate and effective marketing strategy than what you would get by using just one platform.

Matched audiences includes Retargeting, Contact Targeting Account(Retail)Targeting as well Lookalike targeting.

Facebook Custom Audiences

Facebook is the world's biggest digital network. It allows marketers to target their ads not only based on interests and demographics, but individual email addresses as well with its Custom Audiences tool. 

Though there may be some limitations such as how many people you can upload into your list or which Ads Networks will show; it still has benefits like reaching those who have already shown interest in what you have to offer- saving time by targeting them first instead of making cold calls later down the line (or even worse: sending mass emails).

With Facebook, you have the opportunity to reach a much larger audience than with other networks. You can narrow down your focus and target only those people who share similar interests as well.

If there are less than 1k users on your uploaded list, the list is perfect for creating an expanded look alike audience. 

Scaling up or down is easy too because it's all done through the platform in real time without having to do any extra work.  Let Facebook do the work that they already do best: connect brands with consumers online by using data sets compiled over a decade.

A/B test the performance of your online forms


A/B split testing web forms is a conversion technique that allows comparing two variants of web forms. In other words, it is a statistical method for learning what makes a web form more effective.

A/B-testing is a fast, cost-effective way to get actionable insights from research and apply them to your web forms immediately to start increasing conversion rates. 

When it comes to conversion optimization platforms you have to consider your budget first and foremost. These platforms do not come cheap and if you are just starting out your best bet might be to try out the low cost alternatives first. 

Some of the most popular A/B testing platforms include: 

 

Google Optimize by Google Analytics is the obvious free choice. Brian Massey from Conversion Sciences puts it best: 

“Although I am not normally a big fan of Google for the sake of split testing, Google Optimize stands up as a robust AB testing tool. First, Google gives it away for free.  The second is you can have all your data in one place under your Google analytics account. When you combine Google Sheets and the Google Analytics for Sheets add-on, you gain a powerful ability to analyze test data on a segment-by-segment basis. The tool has proven to support our most complex experiments, and, for beginners, the WYSIWYG tool seems robust. If you are looking for a low barrier to entry in your testing then this is a good place to start.”

We won’t go into testing hypotheses and what to start optimizing first in this section, but you can read more in-depth about conversion rate optimization below.

Reduce form abandonment by focusing on UX

There are several form types we all encounter – whether they’re to sign-up for a service, purchasing an item online, or even simply submit feedback. Most common in sales and marketing being:

  • Signup forms
  • Contact forms
  • Booking forms
  • Application forms
  • Survey forms
  • Lead gen forms
  • Order forms

These forms and the experiences around them directly affect your conversion rates and need careful consideration and refinement.

Webform load time optimization

Web forms speed is important to both users and Google search results. Recently, Google announced that website load time will be considered in their ranking algorithms. This means that if your web form takes too long to load, your rankings might get worse. 

If you are looking for ways to get better rankings for your web form landing pages, check the following tips to reduce your load times.


1. Check the Web Form’s Landing Page Current Speed

You can do this using Google’s Page Speed Insights tool. It will give you a comprehensive breakdown of how long and what needs improving and steps to take to speed up your web form. The reports generated by this tool are good for providing a bird’s eye view on things but if you want to dig deeper, you can use Web Page Test.


If you're just getting started, here are 3 tools for checking site speed:

  • Pingdom - offers an easy-to-use site speed test that mimics the way a page is loaded in a web browser. This allows you to see if your page is effectively optimizing for responsive design, your stylesheets are well organized, and your HTML code is well written. 

 

  • GTmetrix - Get a waterfall breakdown of resources and a page summary report on user perceived speed. You can test your site in 22 countries and get the ever so important metric for SEO -  Core Web Vitals, checked out too. 

  • Web Page Test - is another tool to help you find out if your website is running slow and what your CWV (Core Web Vital) Score is. (Largest Contenful Paint - LCP, Cumulative Layout Shift - CLS and Total Blocking Time -TBT.


2. Optimize Your Images

If you are not aware of which file format to use for your images, it’s important to understand that different file formats can dramatically change the size of an image without affecting the visual quality. It is also necessary to make sure your images are optimized correctly by following some simple rules to ensure you get optimal results.

  • GIF - If your image has few colours, you can use GIF for it.
  • JPG - is the best choice for images with many colours like people, photos, videos or wallpapers. 
  • PNG - is a good option for high quality transparency and it’s among the most widely supported image formats.


If you don’t have access to expensive image software like Adobe Photoshop, you can use Pixlr, a free online image editing program. For quick image compression and optimization, try Kraken

3. Compress and Optimize Your Page Content

Compressing your web form's content can have a huge impact on reducing your web form load times. By default, when a browser loads a web page, it has to download all the files from your server before the page will appear in your browser window. 

With image files, in particular, you have to wait for each image file to download before the browser can continue loading the page. By letting a Content Delivery Network (CDN) take care of your files hosting, you files get closer to the users since it’s dispersed over a global server network, and thus faster loading time. 

The best ways to combine and speed up your website are: 
  • Connect Cloudflare DNS Hosting for faster DNS lookups and CDN
  • Use a CDN, either via Cloudflare or Fastly, CDN77 or StackPath
  • Use Cache Plugins for Wordpress like W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache.

Experiment to determine what works best for your users

Exit surveys are a great way to learn from your users and find out why they leave your web form. The most common survey providers are Hotjar, Qualaroo and Google Forms

Surveys can be either qualitative or quantitative. 

How do qualitative and quantitative questions differ?
Quantitative survey questions are used in initial research, defining a research project for the right target audience. Qualitative questions are often open-ended and help answer "why” and gain context about quantifiable data and understand hard-to-quantify behaviors.”

Source; Pollfish

The “why” part is specifically important to understand. Your users intent for arriving at a landing page with signup, lead generation or order forms is key to high form completion rates. If you are driving highly qualified users to your form, then you have a transactional intent which is a part of the lower part of the funnel. 

Google Micromoments
https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/consumer-journey/micro-moments-understand-new-consumer-behavior/


If you’re running an exit survey it can be useful to ask your visitors which of the presented options is their primary reason for abandoning your web form

Compare those reasons with your keywords/queries in the Performance Report in Search Console data for the landing page where your form is.

For example, some of the top queries in Search Console for Responser are:

Form abandonment, reduce form abandonment, form abandonment rate, form abandonment tracking and abandoned form software. 

In other words, it would appear that visitors are already getting what they are looking for.  Getting user intent from exit surveys mixed with data from Google Search Console is a great way to increase your CTR and user engagement for your lead generation pages. 


To maximize form completion rates, provide incentives or raise the perceived value.

Credits Tradeready.com and https://watchthem.live/perceived-value/

To understand how offering incentives can impact web form completion, you need to understand why people fill web forms in the first place. It might sound obvious, but you need to give people something they want so they’ll fill out your forms. The incentive you offer them will usually be some kind of reward they value. Or better: Increase the Perceived Value. 

Here is what you need to know about the three reasons users fill out survey web forms:

  • They wish to be of assistance.
  • They are interested in the survey's topic.
  • In exchange for a concrete reward, usually in the form of an incentive

Yes, there are many reasons to offer incentives for your survey web form. It may be that you want to get more responses, or that you want to retain your respondents. And of course, if cost is an issue, offering an incentive could help reduce the cost of the survey by making it more valuable to people taking the time to respond. 

Here are 8 ways to increase your perceived value: 
  1. Improve Design Aesthetics 
  2. Raise Product Price 
  3. Use Charm Pricing 
  4. Emphasize Quality 
  5. Convey Authenticity 
  6. Leverage Influencers 
  7. Point Out That a Product is Worth More Than You’re Charging 
  8. Embrace Social Responsibility

https://sleeknote.com/blog/perceived-value

Follow best practices for creating high-converting web forms

Form design is an often overlooked aspect of web form optimization. It’s easy to focus solely on the headline, call to action, and copy. But your form can have an equally big impact on your conversion rates if not given the attention it deserves.

Forms are an important part of your website. Every time you want to turn a prospect into a lead or a lead into a customer, you’ll find yourself asking for their contact information. But the truth is, not all forms convert equally. The design of your form can make all the difference. 

That’s why you want to apply these 3 best practices when designing your next web form. By blending them into your custom form, you can create the perfect way to collect the data you need from your audience.

  1. Reduce the amount of resistance - reduce the number of form fields and try to pre-fill as many fields as possible. For example zip codes, country or country codes via IP-lookup services. You can also use a service like Clearbit https://clearbit.com/lp/use-cases/shorten-forms to shorten your forms by looking up an email address and via matched fields from LinkedIn etc . You don't have to display the full form. Statistics say removing a single form field can boost conversions by 26%.  
  1. Make a straightforward web form - Conversion rates are directly influenced by the design of forms. Use large fonts for headlines, add a contrasting CTA, put a frame around your forms so it stands out. 
  2. Only include fields that you require – The General Data Protection Regulation impact on forms - is becoming clear. With the implementation of tougher regulations for data collection both on and off websites, consumers are beginning to get seriously concerned about how their information is being used.

If you really want to take your conversion skills to the next level, we suggest that you brush up on your “conversion centered design” skills. Follow the best practice of conversion and utilize Conversion Centered Design, two good resources are:  

“It’s either blends in or stands out”

 -Responser.com

You’ll learn how to use form placement, adjust size, apply the right color to CTA’s and to add visual cues to focus attention to the right places. That’s called Visual Hierarchy

Credits: https://alvalyn.com/capture-attention-with-visual-hierarchy/


Designers have been using visual hierarchy for years to help them lay out each element in a logical manner. It is important so the user can more easily understand what his or her eye should be on first, and where he or she might need some extra guidance when looking through an interface. 

These are the 12 principles of Visual Hierarchy:
  1. Size Impacts Visibility 
  2. Perspective Creates an Illusion of Depth 
  3. Color and Contrast Draw Attention 
  4. Fonts Organize Design 
  5. Space Provides Emphasis and Movement 
  6. Proximity Suggests Relationships 
  7. Negative Space Emphasizes 
  8. Alignment Directs Eyes 
  9. Odd-Numbered Groups Create Focus 
  10. Repetition Unifies a Composition 
  11. Lines Suggest Movement 
  12. Grids Organize a Design

https://visme.co/blog/visual-hierarchy/

Consider mobile-friendly online form design

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Mobile-friendly forms are an important factor in conversion optimization. Studies suggest that more than 50 percent of all internet consumption takes place on mobile devices. [Statista, Q1 2021]

Only 14% of desktop forms convert. Desktop forms are rendered by the browser, which translates them into mobile-friendly user interfaces. But if you take a desktop approach to a mobile form, whether it’s a lead generation form, login, or e-commerce checkout, your users are going to be frustrated. 

Here are the 5 tips regarding mobile-friendly forms that will help you avoid that miserable experience for your users.

  1. Number of Fields 

Most users abandons lengthy forms, especially if there are too many form fields. According to research, a long-form user registration page has over 10 fields to fill out. Really ask yourself why you would need all these fields in a pre-sales situation. 

  1. Field Order and Field Inclusion 

The order in which your present form fields matters a lot. The order in which you ask users to provide information can make them more likely to complete the form, or leave them frustrated and calling your support instead of hitting “Submit” on your form. Always group fields together for information that belongs together. Add dividers between sections.

  1. ‍Input Fields 

Web forms targeted towards mobile devices should not only be coded in a mobile-friendly way, they should be designed to be mobile-friendly, too. This means using the whole viewport of devices and not making it hard for users to get to the information they’re looking for. Tapping small input fields or having drop-down menus at the top that require lots of scrolling to access is frustrating for mobile users.

  1. Field Labels 

I’m sure you’ve seen them – those field labels that appear as a series of dots or dashes below form fields. They immediately tell the user what information is being asked and provide clues as to what types of information should be included. 

  1. Feedback and CTA Buttons 

are important elements to have on your mobile site, especially since it’s becoming more and more common to convert mobile visitors into leads.

 Make the security of your website and web form a top priority

With recent research showing that one-third of people are worried about how much personal information they provide through the internet, security should be your number one concern when creating a web form. Make sure your web forms are secured with SSL encryption, but to build trust with the respondents you need to go further.

Make use of exit-intent popups

Exit-intent popups are one of the most effective marketing tools online today. They often get us to go where we never thought we would. I’m sure you’ve actually purchased an item because an exit popup appeared and you decided to take action. 

“According to Conversion Sciences, “10 to 15 percent of lost visitors can be ‘saved’ by using exit-intent popups. In other words, between 10 [and] 15 percent of visitors leaving your site will respond to a well-crafted message.” So regardless of some people’s perceptions of popups, exit-intent popups do work”

https://conversionfanatics.com/exit-intent-popups/ 

What exactly is an exit popup?

An exit popup is a modal window that's designed to catch your reader as they're about to leave your site, and funnel them back into your sales or marketing funnel. 

Exit-intent popups have been around for a long time and they've become significantly more sophisticated. Exit intent can be attention grabbing, it refocuses your visitor's focus towards the exit prompt which then creates a sense of urgency in order to increase conversions.

Grab the visitor’s attention with a welcome pop-up that is collecting emails and gives them a second chance to grab your lead magnet. Your email marketing efforts will definitely be more successful. You collect emails on every webpage, not only the one dedicated to the outreach.

Gather Abandonment Web Forms Data

How many times have you gone to fill out a form, only to get one step in and realize that you’re missing crucial information? I’ll bet it’s happened to all of us. That’s why the “Save for Later” feature — we all know what a pain it is to start over from scratch.

Save for Later It’s a super useful function for people who are not looking to immediately submit their form, but would rather come back to it later. It allows users to save time by not entering the same information twice.

Not all web form providers will have an auto-save feature. They do however deploy different tactics to this problem. For example, the most common scenarios are: 

  • “Save For Later” buttons  
  • A unique link emailed to you to continue at a later time
  • Auto-save with pre-populated forms 
  • Email Auto-reply with link to form

Let’s go over them one by one and look at the pros and cons! 

  • Save For Later Buttons 

There are usually two sorts of web form providers, web applications or plugins/add-ons. The former usually are true for Wordpress or CRM systems like Salesforce. Web applications are full-scale SaaS applications like Formstack. 

A web application has more abilities to save data from forms centrally with higher security measures then what a Wordpress plugin would have, technically.

Credit: https://indition.com/forms/save-resume


  • A unique link emailed to you to continue at a later time

When your users save their form entries, you'll be able to send them a link that takes them right back. You can customize the From address and Subject of this email as well as any message included in it! 


  • Auto-save with pre-populated forms
Credits: https://engage.activedemand.com/hc/en-us/articles/360047171173-How-do-I-pre-populate-forms-with-contact-data-

Instead of a blank form, you can have a prefilled form that includes the previously entered information automatically populated for your users. This makes the filling process much shorter and will reduce any friction. Finding a form provider with an automatic pre-filling option is not easy since most providers only have the Save For Later in combination with Email Unique Link. 

Here at Responser we recognize the need for the auto-fill function regardless if users have Wordpress, CRM system or using a web application. So if your form provider doesn't have that, you are welcome to explore the Auto-Save with built-in email responder


  • Email Auto-reply with link to pre populated form
Abandoned Cart Emails are the key to re-engaging shoppers who leave items in their carts without completing checkout. A recent survey of 500 leading global brands found that 44% opened this type email and 29.9 percent led back to a recovered sale. 

The recovery rate for shopping carts aligned with abandonment B2B/B2C web forms that we see at Responser. On average we see a recovery rate of 27%. That means that if you're buying traffic from paid ads, it’s the same thing as getting 27% of your marketing budget back. Just by installing the lead capture script and enabling the email auto-reply.


Gather Partial Entries From A Web Form

Partial entries are the missing link to your Sales Funnel. It’s not uncommon for lead capture forms to get visitors who make it part way before abandoning the form completely, leaving all their details behind. 

But you don’t have to let these missing visitors slip through your fingers. Because with Responser’s Partial Entries feature, you can easily recapture that information and move them along in your lead generation process.

Many form providers that have partial submissions feature, like Formstack, don’t let you see referring traffic on partial entries. Which would be crucial to mitigate any future loss and do form optimization. It’s also not uncommon for partial submissions not to be connected to Zapier or CRM systems since the data is not validated. 

Credit: Responser.com


Responser’s lead management includes form completeness, traffic source and medium, converted or not converted as well as email status of Sent, Opened & Clicked.

Credit: Responser.com Funnel Analytics

Partial Entries are the first step to regain your lost leads. Leads can be recovered via the above tactics of pre-fill forms in combination with an email autoresponder. This can increase your leads between 25-50% in some cases.

Improve the Design of Your Web Form

From the Journal of Marketing; 

“Considerable research has shown that customers are highly sensitive to online forms, even when they are not able to articulate it.” 


Have you noticed that most web forms are not very easy for customers to use? Or if they are, they're clunky and require a lot of unnecessary data. Here is what to consider when designing your forms;

 

Web Form Design Tips:

  • Form structure: only ask what is necessary - With more fields on your form, your conversion rates are likely to drop. When you have a small number of fields on your forms, it makes completing the form easier for your visitors.  Instead of thinking up another question they might not necessarily want to answer, they can quickly get in contact with you.

 

  • Avoid optional fields in input fields - It’s human nature: we don’t like to provide the information we’re not asked for. This means if you put an 'optional' field in your form and the visitor scrolls past it to try and find the 'submit button, they might not complete it.


 Web forms that work on all devices

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/chapter-5-form-entry.html

It's essential to make sure that fields are readable and accessible at all times. Make sure they're not obstructed by any interface elements such as the keyboard, and allow users complete their input before advancing each field up on screen automatically.

Your forms should be accessible on all mobile devices to create an easy experience for visitors. This means optimizing your form with the latest technology and attentive design so that it can work in any size or orientation - whether you're using an apple product, Android device (or anything else!).

While smartphone usage will continue to accelerate, tablet users are predicted to overtake laptop/desktop users in the near future. Making sure your web form can be used on all devices is important so avoid any drop-off in user engagement!

Forms are the web’s way of engaging the users. Used properly, forms can engage your users and increase your conversion rate. However, if designed poorly, you could create a horribly scary experience that scares your users away.

Credit: https://www.frevvo.com/blog/beautiful-responsive-web-forms/

Mobile users naturally scroll down their phones, not across. That’s why it's important for forms to start at the top and go all the way to the bottom so they can easily find where you want them in your content! 

It may seem like a one-column form would be easy enough because there isn't any left or right scrolling involved–but this just causes confusion when we have multiple columns with text on each line of widgets (like fields).

Because of the limited screen real estate on a mobile device, it's important not only for users to be able complete your form quickly but also throughout their journey so they have an enjoyable experience. This can be accomplished by providing them with progress steps or pagination when needed during their session and helping guide you through any confusion along the way.


Use form tooltips to provide assistance

D:\Responser\tooltip-th.jpg

To create a better user experience, you need to make your users feel comfortable on your site. One of the techniques is to use tooltips that provide some information about elements of your interface. This is a simple and quick way that can be widely used. You just have to know how and where to do that.

 

So, what exactly is a Tooltip?

Tooltips are those little boxes that appear when you hover over a button, and they provide information and instructions about what will happen when you click. This is a great way to give users all the information they need without overwhelming them. 

Tooltips can also help users better understand difficult choices or complex options. When used wisely, tooltips can be an important UX tool, helping users understand complex options in a clearer way. Every good form has them, and we think yours should too.

3 Strategies for Improving User Experience with Tooltips

  1. Contextualize your form assistance

With tooltips, you can annotate your web form with helpful or contextual text. For example, you might use a tooltip to explain the purpose of an image or provide instructions on how to interact with a particular element. Tooltips are useful when users need clarification of what content is available on the web form or instructions on how to interact with that content.

  1. Assist with the completion of forms

Tooltips are an efficient and useful way to present users with information in several instances. For example, when providing input in a form field or when providing navigation options, tooltips can offer help when users don’t know the proper way to fill a field or aren’t aware of how to move forward in the interface.

  1. Explanation of complicated features

If users don’t understand what your form is asking them to do, they can quickly get uncomfortable. That’s why you often find tooltips helpful. They can be really useful if you want more detail on something your users might not understand.

Increase form conversion by utilizing a progress indicator


Credihttps://dribbble.com/shots/10488601-Progress-Indicator-on-Forms/attachments/2323166?mode=media


Simple progress bars let users know how far along they are in a process. The result is that your customers will know exactly how far they have progressed through the form-filling process, and will be more likely to complete the form.

A Progress Bar's Psychological Impact

Inside or outside the form, progress bars might display. The following are the two primary types:

  1. Percentage bar 

This is a basic bar that registers progress as a percentage. It usually runs along the top of the page and works well for shorter forms. It also goes back to zero, so returning users can easily figure out where they are up to – no ‘Where am I now?’ questions – and it makes it easy for users to spot how much progress has been made, and how much work is left to do.

  1. Steps left process bar
D:\Responser\step bar.jfif
Credit:https://dev.to/codingnepal/multi-step-form-with-step-progress-bar-in-html-css-javascript-4dac 

Often a series of steps are required to fill out a form. To keep people from getting sad and abandoning, you can tell them how many steps are left per page. With the “steps left bar” you can implement a progress bar that shows how many steps have been completed and how many remain for each individual page.


Make Use Of The Web-Based Screen-Recording Tools

D:\Responser\hotjar.PNG
Chttps://www.hotjar.com/product/heatmaps/ 

Screen recording tools are helpful in tracking how your visitors are interacting with your website or web form. Using these tools, you can replay how actual customers interact with your web form. If you then watch the recorded video, it will provide you with real insights into which elements on your website they clicked and what they searched for, for example.

One great tool you can use is Hotjar. This tool allows you to see how people are filling out your form. It also reports where visitors got stuck on your form and allows you to create user sessions. This way you will be able to know where the visitors are getting stuck on your form, which fields they are having issues with and if there are any problems with the layout of the page that's slowing them down

Screen recording software comes in a variety of forms, including:

  • Hotjar
  • Mouseflow
  • Inspectlet
  • Smartlook
  • Hoverowl

Another great tool is Logrocket. LogRocket is the perfect tool for developers who want to get a clear understanding of what users are doing in their apps, and how they interact with it. With Logrocket you can capture all sorts of session recordings as well logs from your app so that problems will be found before too many people notice them.


Credit: https://logrocket.com/for/error-tracking-software/

Best Form CTA colors for conversion

D:\Responser\CTA-COLOR.png
Credit; https://snov.io/glossary/call-to-action/ 

The color of your call-to-action can have a huge impact on how people click, and what they see. We know that the way we communicate with our audience is important so it might seem confusing when you're given different options for CTAs in terms or colors from orange to blue; but don't worry. 

That's because there are certain factors involved regarding culture differences as well as reactions towards these two specific moods/associations across demographics such age groups etc., which means one set may work better than another depending upon where this campaign will be seen by its consumers. 

A contrasting color is used in an effective CTA button. The goal of a call to action is to get your audience's attention. Unless the tone is contrasted, this is impossible to create. Red and orange are the finest contrasting colors you may use on your forms. If you're unsure about other colors, keep in mind that these combinations are the most effective.

 

SAP found that orange CTAs boosted their conversion rate over 32.5%. (QuickSprout)

 

  • Colors and their psychological connections

Color is an important aspect of web form design. The colors in your layout can either lift you up or bring you down. Unfortunately, too many web form owners are just guessing when it comes to selecting colors. Since these colors are used for call-to-action buttons, they are very important to get right.

  • Experiment with different color combinations.

What is the color combination that works best in your call-to-action buttons? Without testing, you'll never know. Experiment with different color combinations.

Red - is the color of love, blood, fire, passion, strength, power. It is said that the red color has the strongest effect on human beings. This is why most fast-food restaurants are using this color for their logos and advertisements. 

Orange - is a color that stimulates the senses which makes people react quickly. Even the color itself makes you think about fresh fruits or hot things. Orange is one of the easiest colors to read in print because orange sparks creativity. That is exactly why it’s likely to be placed on the CTA button. 

Colors Decision - So instead of trying to find the “perfect” color, go for the color that increases the visibility of your call-to-action. With this simple and proven approach, you can virtually guarantee an increase in web form conversions.

Best Tips to choose the right CTA color

Tip #1 Stand out

The CTA button needs to be eye-catching, bold and vibrant. In order for your site's design aesthetic you can use a lot of colors that stand out from the rest such as orange or red

Tip #2 Use white space and keep it clean

For your call-to-action button to be effective, make it the focal point of attention. Don't use any other colors on the page except for this one great bold CTA! Keep things clean and simple with white space or calming tones if necessary so that users can quickly scan through all available information without being distracted by anything else. 

If possible try not to have too many vibrant hues appearing in front of whatever product/service is being offered because then people might miss out on clicking into contact details - which should always take centre stage when potential clients are looking at something online.

Reducing clutter around their CTA increased Open Mile's conversion rate by 232%. (VWO)

Tip #3 Don’t use the CTA color for anything 

No matter what color you choose, make sure it’s used solely with your CTA. The only time a visitor should see the color is when they click on the button. Don’t distract your visitors by adding the same color to more elements on the page. Make it unique!

Test The Message On Your Call To Action Button

CTAs are important because they can help amplify your marketing efforts.

What makes an effective CTA? A convincing CTA button stands out, there is no doubt about it. But make sure you go the extra mile, to make its effectiveness absolute. The following tips will tell you what makes an effective CTA button, followed by some practical advice on how to create one of your own.

ContentVerve saw a 90% increase in click-through rate by using first-person phrasing: "Start my free 30 day trial" vs. "Start your free 30 day trial."

 

A new study has found that personalized calls to action convert 202% better than traditional ones. 

Credit: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/personalized-calls-to-action-convert-better-data 

Generic CTA
A call-to-action button with this style will be the same for every visitor, regardless of their devices or attributes.

Multivariate CTA
CTAs are similar to Generic CTA's, but instead of just one call-to-action there can be two or more being tested against each other. The variations will have traffic split evenly among them and then the winner is picked based on highest conversion rate. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/personalized-calls-to-action-convert-better-data

Smart CTA

This catchy CTA is tailored to your individual needs. It can adapt depending on where you are, what browser or device we're using to access the site (for example mobile), whether it's just curiosity that brought us here today as opposed those who were looking for something specific - like "How do I get free gifts?"

Hubspot.com

One of the best ways to improve conversion rates is by testing different copies. Hubspot wanted to see if button-based CTAs would be more successful than images for different types of call-to action buttons, so in this experiment they compared them side by side and it's clear that buttons outperform their image counterparts dramatically!

HubSpot found that text-based call to actions within blog posts like in the image above convert better. Generally, this type of CTA is placed near or at the top third of the post and then accompanied by another one at the bottom for added impact. The pairing has dramatically increased conversions from blogs content.

 Adopt pre-filled forms on your website

What are the main advantages of using pre-filled forms on your website? If you're using forms for lead generation purposes, it will reduce your client’s workload to a significant degree. Form Pre-qualification of prospects is a great way to combat form abandonment.

If you've never used a form pre-filling tool before, here's how it works

Many companies like Clearbit, FullContact and InsideView are using 100s of data points to check your prospects via server-side lookups and enrich your forms. 

The benefit of presenting your visitors with an instant email lookup process is to verify the email address against updated LinkedIn and other data sources. 

By populating the rest of the form, you don’t have to ask the prospect for that information up front. It leads to shorter forms and higher conversion rates. 

Furthermore, your CRM system gets enriched firmographic data on company name, title & role, number of employees and company turnover etc.

If a form and contact enrichment software seems like a costly alternative, you can always verify your email and do phone number look ups to verify your prospects legitimacy for a fraction of the price. 

Companies like Numverify validate phone numbers in over 200+ countries which can be great for your outreach team to rely on. 

The idea is brilliant, the implementation is sleek and seamless to the user. Pre-filled forms based on user data is a great idea that can be implemented for many industries alongside social sign-ins. This could allow you to get ahead of your competitors in terms of gaining your visitor’s valuable information, but also help increase conversions by reducing form abandonment.


To keep forms simple, use pre-designed form templates

A clean and simple contact form is the best kind of form. It gets the job done quickly, easily, and without complications. Unfortunately, many forms are less effective at getting people to respond. By asking for too much information or making the form too long, you’re more likely to be left with abandoned forms. After all, it only takes a few extra clicks to get to another page of your site.

Developing forms can be time-consuming. There are so many things to consider to make sure you’re collecting the right data. Luckily, there are form providers that offer flexible options that allow you to create beautiful forms in just minutes to collect data.

These form templates ensure that your forms collect data without unnecessary distractions.

According to US Web Design Systems, the General accessibility guidance for forms are as follows:

  • Customize accessibly. As you customize these templates, make sure they meet the accessibility guidelines in this introduction and as described for each control.

  • Don’t control element order with CSS. Display form controls in the same order in HTML as they appear on screen. Don’t use CSS to rearrange the form controls. Screen readers narrate forms in the order they appear in the HTML.

  • Align validation with inputs. Visually align validation messages with the input fields, so people using screen magnifiers can read them quickly.

  • Use proper markup. Group each set of thematically related controls in a fieldset element. Use the legend element to offer a label within each one. The fieldset and legend elements make it easier for screen reader users to navigate the form.

  • Use legends. Use a single legend for fieldset (this is required). One example of a common use of fieldset and legend is a question with radio button options for answers. The question text and radio buttons are wrapped in a fieldset, with the question itself being inside the legend tag.

  • Embed multiple fieldsets and legends for more complex forms.
  • Use simple vertical layouts. Keep your form blocks in a vertical pattern. This approach is ideal, from an accessibility standpoint, because of limited vision that makes it hard to scan from right to left.

https://designsystem.digital.gov/templates/form-templates/


Create Smart Forms with Conditional Logic

 

D:\Responser\Logic form.png
Credit: https://www.jotform.com/help/57-smart-forms-conditional-logic-for-online-forms/   

Smart Forms are forms that use conditional logic to detect user behavior and then take action accordingly. 

Depending on how the form is configured, actions can include saving progress, hiding/showing elements like input fields and error messages, advancing to the next step in the form, etc. With conditional logic, you can create customized forms that are tailored to user behavior. If you’re looking to improve the experience for your users, then you should consider using Smart Forms with Conditional Logic.

Ninja Forms are a great example of a Wordpress plugin that takes conditional logic seriously. 

Credit: https://ninjaforms.com/docs/conditional-logic/

Improve Form Security To Inspire Confidence And Build Trust

You’ve worked hard to build up an online presence, but are you getting returns for your investment? It does not matter how useful your web form is, how vast the collection of information you offer free of charge, or what deals you are running. 

If customers can’t trust you. No one will sign up for your newsletter, become a fan on Facebook or follow you on Twitter, or buy from your store or even fill out loan applications. Without website security, you are ceding the playing field to the competition.

Everyone in the world, probably you too, uses online forms. To protect your business from scamming and hacking, it's important to have a secured form. 

Here are the two tips on how to avoid form abandonment by implementing security measures and make your process smooth enough for your clients to fill out your forms.

  • Install a SSL certificate

One of the easiest things you can do to protect your website, yourself and users from hackers is installing an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. You may not realize it but when browsing the web there are usually the letter 's' in https which stand for Secure; this means that every site using encryption on their pages will have a lock over them if accessed via google chrome or safari browsers

  • Use antimalware

There are plenty of options out there for anti-malware software. Some have free plans, while others you need to pay for with your data plan or purchase an all access license key if they offer one at all (SiteLock). Anti -virus programs will automatically scan files on startup and then do weekly scans too so that nothing is missed!

  • Web scanning 
  • Malware detection and removal 
  • Web application firewall 
  • Vulnerability patching 
  • DDoS protection 
  • PCI compliance

  • Keep your Wordpress site up to date

If you don't update your WordPress core software, as well any plugins that are installed on the site then it can all become outdated and vulnerable to bugs or glitches. If this happens hackers will be able to exploit these vulnerabilities for malicious purposes.

  • Manually accept comments 

So when you see those comments that aren’t quite so fun, just know they might be coming from a bot or fake account. This is because bots and fakes are always looking for an opportunity to spam people in your niche with their link - which can pose security risks too.



Expectations of Customers

When someone fills out a form on your website, you should have no other choice but to offer a secure connection. You should be doing everything you can to ensure that the information provided by the other party is safe.

For many, security and trust go hand in hand. This is because people tend to trust those who appear to also take security seriously. Consequently, products or companies that do not maintain a high level of security may not be as trusted as those that do. When developing an online form, it's an excellent way to increase trust with your customers by covering all your bases with the proper security methods and precautions.

There are numerous things to keep in mind to preserve this confidence and protect the security of your customers' data.


  • Privacy Policy
  • Brand Recognition
  • Contact Information 
  • Encryption 
  • Authentication
  • Data type collection

Form Abandonment and Optimization In Conclusion

Most businesses suffer from the poor conversion rate on their web forms. Many visitors abandon the web form midway, even before completing it, while some leave the page altogether. This is not only a loss of revenue but also an opportunity cost. 


There are many reasons why people abandon web forms. It’s important not to focus on only one source, but to understand what causes abandonment at each stage of the conversion funnel. 


By doing this, you can create a strategic plan for improvements and minimize the number of people who leave your web form before converting.


It’s not about focusing on a single tactic, rather implementing a holistic approach to form optimization.



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