Web tip – Optimizing your web forms

Web forms are an integral vehicle for converting traffic to revenue. Collecting explicit website data (information visitors give when filling out your web form) is often the first step in effectively marketing to your leads. Optimizing your web forms helps you gather more qualified leads.

Get your math on

According to MECLABS, a conversion index is the best way to boost conversions. They use the following equation: C = 4m +3v + 2(i-f) – 2a, wherein:
C = Probability of conversion
m = Motivation of user
v = Clarity of the value proposition
i = Incentive to take action
f = Friction elements of process
a = Anxiety about entering information

Applying the formula to web forms helps you assess how effectively they’ll convert traffic. The theory is conversions are highest when the visitor is both comfortable providing their information and motivated to fill out the web form.

Today, we’ll use a Whereoware web form (above) and evaluate value proposition, incentive, friction, and anxiety to demonstrate how the theory boosts form conversion.

Value Proposition

The value proposition is the reason your customers should take action. Here, the value prop is a newsletter full of website and marketing tips. Some common value props include: newness, price, or quality. The most important thing to remember is your value prop needs to have appeal and exclusivity, as well as being clear and concise.

Incentive

MECLABS defines incentive as “an appealing element you introduce to stimulate a desired action.” Some common incentives are discounts or free gifts. If you are offering a whitepaper or piece of content to users for free, you’d highlight the value of the content piece. We decided not to use an incentive in our example

Friction

Friction refers to elements on your landing page that make visitors uncomfortable converting into a lead. Your goal? Minimize friction. Long forms with tons of fields or multiple calls-to-action are examples of elements that cause friction.

Here, we minimize friction by requesting only one field (our forms are progressive, which allows us to capture information over time – we’ll cover this in another blog post).  An optimized submit button doesn’t say “submit,” rather, it states what the visitor can expect after filling out the form. In our case, our submit button is playful and aligns with our branding – Get Geeky.

Anxiety

According to MECLABS, anxiety is the “psychological concerns simulated by a given element in the sales process”. Your job is to curtail visitor’s anxiety. Small tweaks to your web form will make it more inviting for people to fill out. As web forms are an extension of your company’s website, they should have identical branding. Our simple popover form above is warm, welcoming, unintimidating, and matches the tone and design standards of Whereoware.

Other ways to reduce anxiety? You can provide reassurance that the lead’s email address will be kept private, display different seals validating your credibility, or indicate that future communications will be high quality and worthwhile.

Optimize your web forms to convert more traffic into leads. Keep in mind that web forms are an extension of your website and company. Update your web forms following MECLABS’ best practices for effective data collection and a positive experience for your website visitors.