A 2015 Formstack study found that when a form has 4 fields, it will convert at a rate of 1%. This means that when you have 10,000 people come to your page, only 100 will fill out the contact form. So the big question is how can you improve the conversion rates on your contact form? How can you increase that conversion rate even if it is only by a few percentage points so that you can get 200 or 300 visitors to convert out of 1000? Well, after some research that included reading up on case studies, statistics, and digging through data, I made an infographic on how to craft the ultimate contact form.
I am making the assumption that you know that we are discussing the contact form on the contact page on your website. There are tons of contact forms in different industries and on many websites but we do not have the time, and it is not practical to discuss them all. The data in the infographic is relevant to companies that offer some kind of service who need to increase the number of quality leads from their contact form.
1. Place Labels above Fields
When users can see what they need to enter in the respective fields, it makes it easier to fill the form. Users are more likely to make more mistakes in filling the form when the label is inside the field as it will disappear when they start typing. Moreover, they would have to delete what they have written in the field if they want to see the label again.
Another critical tip about labels is to keep them as close to the corresponding field as possible. The law of proximity applies to labels too and if you have the labels too close to previous fields, you significantly increase the probability of errors and mistakes. This has a knock on effect on your conversion rates.
2. The Phone Field Needs to be Labelled “Optional”
A lot of people do not like to give out their phone number for whatever reasons. People become even cagier on a contact form where they know they do not have to talk to you. If you need to get phone numbers, let the field be optional and clearly label it as such next to the field. Our clients at Black Storm have seen conversion rates jump from as low as 42% to 80% just by making this one small change.
3. The Fewer the Fields the Better the Conversions
People have very little patience, particularly on the Internet. if you have a large number of fields, people can feel overwhelmed and intimidated. You do not need to get information such as zip codes, phone numbers, and addresses unless you are going to call them or send them mail. The contact form is there to get you into the room with the client, not to close them. Every extra field added onto the contact form will negatively impact on the conversion rate. One of the best examples of this is Expedia, which removed one field from their contact form and got a 12 million dollar bump in profit.
4. Make the Contact Form for Mobile Responsive
Mobile overtook Desktop in 2014 as the most used device for people to access the internet. In 2015 Google made a change to its algorithm to give mobile-optimized sites a ranking boost in mobile searches. As such, a mobile-friendly contact form will not only easy to use on mobile devices but could also give you a ranking boost in the search engines.
5. Eliminate Captchas
With spam bots getting better, captchas are getting worse and more annoying. A lot of captchas are almost unreadable and most users will abandon your contact form if they cannot figure out what the captcha is. A good alternative to captchas is a honeypot which unlike a captcha, is not meant to be seen by the user. However, the bot will see it and fill it which will cause them to be rejected for filling an invisible field. Honeypots are great for conversions as they do not produce a bad user experience but are effective at fighting bots.
6. Do Not Use a Reset Button
The reset button is silly and will cause you to lose conversions. No one actually hits the reset button so that they can enter all their information again. However, some people may accidentally click on it and delete everything. It can be annoying and unless the user really wants to fill out the form they will likely not want to fill it out again and you will lose the conversion.
7. Rather than “Submit” Label the Button “Send Email”
Send email sounds so friendly and easy as compared to submit which has technical connotations that may intimidate the use.
8. Have Only One Column
Having two columns increases the complexity of your contact form and may result in mistakes and errors that may reduce conversions. Users have been known to miss fields, especially in mobile if they are in the second column because people are used to filling things in one column. Keep it simple with one column to improve conversions.
9. Have More Forms to Increase Conversions
At Black Storm, we did a study and found that 7 out of 15, which is 46% of contact form submissions were filled in on pages other than the contact page. As such, the more contact forms you have on different pages on your website the better the chance at converting clients. This is especially so for big sites with hundreds or thousands of sites where some people may never click to your contact page.
What makes a great contact form is a matter of subjective opinion and what works really well for one site may not work for yours. However, Statistics never lie and our testing at Black Storm has shown time and again that the content on the page, the position of the form, the color of the form and industry play a significant role in determining the conversion rates. So what should you do? Start with the blueprint on this article and then rigorously do some AB testing to find what works best for your site. Once you have found what converts best, you can adapt it and then maybe then could you claim you have found the perfect contact form.