The purpose of most well-crafted business websites is to convert visitors into sales leads (or customers, if your site is ecommerce). There are many aspects that go into engaging your website's visitors and convincing them to give you their information. Some of these aspects are easy to modify and test, like the placement, size and color of call to action buttons. Others are a little more difficult and costly, such as an overall website design change. However, the element that your site relies on to convert visitors to leads, the form itself, may be hurting your website's ability to do its job. Is your form actually discouraging visitors from filling it out? Here are a few elements of your web form to check.
New visitors to your website don't necessarily trust you yet, so don't expect them to give you the keys to the castle. Chances are you don't need to know all of the information about a potential customer to start a conversation about your product or service. If you can get away with just learning their name and email address, perhaps a phone number, then go for it.
Even if you're not requiring each form field to be filled out to submit the form, seeing a large form can be discouraging. Does knowing a client's location really help you prior to speaking with them? If not, eliminate the field all together and see if the amount of submissions increases. Try this with other fields that may not be necessary (Fax number, address, multiple phone numbers, title, etc.).
Eliminate the "How much is your budget for this project" question. Yes, qualifying leads is important; however, this goes back to the trust issue of your website and a potential client. Chances are they don't want to tell you how much money they have until they've at least talked with you. There is a good chance your budget question has discouraged a qualified lead from contacting you.
The takeaway from this article should be a desire to test new formats for your web collect forms to increase conversion rates. Test, analyze, rinse and repeat until you have found the perfect balance for your web form.
Do you have experience testing your web forms? If so, what are your favorite tools? Leave your feedback in the comments below.