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On average more than 60% of websites forms are abandoned. That means 6 out of 10 people who start a form, leave for some reason. Based on conversion rates of leads to sales this could be a huge difference in the success of any project you are working on.
Even small changes to your form or website can make a huge difference in improving your submissions. Let’s take a look at some changes you can make, to get more forms completed.
Why People Abandon Forms On Your Website
Too Many Or Unnecessary Form Fields
When people aren’t filling out your forms, Oli Gardner from Unbounce suggests checking the length of your form. How many fields are on your form? Can you afford to get rid of any of them?
While you definitely need some information, there may be data you can collect later such as the fields below:
Fields that are often not necessary:
- Country (unless doing business internationally)
- Additional phone numbers
- Long checklists of medical issues
- Date of birth (unless needed for medical reasons)
- Company name or title
In this infographic on QuickSprout, you’ll see that a decrease in form fields took a conversion rate from 5.4% to 11.9%. This seemingly small increase resulted in 120% more conversions for the project.
Along with removing unnecessary fields, you might want to consider what you already know about the person filling out the forms.
You may be able to skip extra fields when transitioning the person from a simple contact to a full registration form. For instance “Job Title” and “Department” or “Home Phone” and “Mobile Phone”.
It all comes down to what information you need to get started with a user, and what information you can tactfully ask for later.
Technical Issues With Your Forms
In a survey that asked people why they abandoned forms, one of the biggest reasons for abandonment was technical issues. 22% of those surveyed had this issue, which means it could be happening on your site, as well.
This is a bit weird and dull, could be more conversational. I.e. Make sure you test test test, and not just on the one browser, there are all kinds of quirks and issues that can occur. The solution – running your form through an online testing tool like BrowserStack.com, will ensure these cross browser quirks aren’t costing you conversions.
As mobile usage has soared over the past few years, forms are sometimes abandoned because people can’t see them to fill them out on their phones and tablets. In a post by HubSpot they discuss ways to improve the form/mobile experience for users.
With mobile devices it’s even more important to avoid long forms, or forms that are difficult to fill out, these forms almost always lower completion. Use your traffic tools to see if a lot of your visitors are coming from mobile devices, if so offer the shortest and easiest forms you can.
Trust and Security And How They Affect Forms
With the Internet being a vast and open arena, a person doesn’t have to go far to be reminded of the scams, hacks, and stolen identities we are all at risk of incurring.
Since credit card numbers are often stolen, people have become more cautious, and reserved about sharing their information, even as technology improves.
With these things in mind, it comes as no surprise that people want to see some explanation of security on your site, in order to inspire trust and get them to enter their information. This is even more true when considering shopping carts.
In a survey by Actual Insights, when people were asked “Do trust logos affect your sense of trust for a specific website?” Over 75% of people responded, “Yes”.
Fortunately, it’s quite simple to fix this trust issue. By securing the ability to display badges on your site, you can ease any fears your potential users have. Here are 5 of the most trusted badges for your shopping cart.
Another aspect of security for form abandonment is the password field. Often considered a pain, password fields are demanding, not user friendly, and cause for ditching a form.
Why People Abandon Password Fields
- They can’t see their password as they type it.
- The passwords don’t match.
- They are asked to type a password of specific length.
- They are asked to add capital letters, special characters, and numbers.
- They know they won’t remember the password to log in later.
In a blog post by LukeW, he talks about how password fields cause people to have issues logging in later, and ultimately lead to a loss of revenue, when sales are involved.
And, one last security issue concerning forms is the captcha element. In a blog post from 2009, Baymard Institute talked about the how frustrating these fields are for users. 7 years later, many sites still use this service, and many have no idea why. Similarly, the customers filling out the forms wonder why they have to go this route, not knowing it was once used for security purposes.
If you aren’t familiar with Captcha, it is the field on some forms that asks you to spell out jumbled, blurry, or incomplete words or sets of numbers, to prove you aren’t a bot. The process is frustrating for users because it’s easy to type the wrong answer and get presented with a new Captcha.
It’s far better to use form building software that comes with honeypots. The honeypots trigger a fake hidden field when completed and the submission is marked as spam, so it is not sent. Since it isn’t more work for the user, it won’t hurt completions.
Fixing Form Abandonment On Your Website
Once you sit down and analyze what information you really need from a user, and when you can ask for it, you’ll probably only need a few fields to begin collecting information. When you do need to get more specific information, you can use a profile wizard that separates the information into sections, making it a more approachable task.
This article by UX Planet has recommendations on when to ask for information, along with suggestions on how to order and design your forms.
Here are a few guidelines for when to ask for information:
For landing pages, you can start with just an email, and as you offer deeper information and content options, you can ask them to complete larger profiles.
On registration pages you’ll want more personal information, such as address, phone number, etc. But if you already have some of this information in your own filing system, you can integrate it to make the form easier for the user.
When you have a shopping cart form, allow guests to check out without making an account. When they have checked out, give them the option of adding a password to use the account in the future.
Relay the benefit- Your users need to feel that they will benefit from registering or filling out your form.
Examples of reasonable information requests:
- When a shopping cart emphasizes the opportunity to get monthly sales coupons.
- When a doctor’s office offers better communication or faster care for registering for patient portals.
- When you make a purchase and you need to include your phone number for shipping purposes.
You can’t just assume people will automatically make connections between filling out a form and the benefits it has for them. Read this post about how to make users want to fill out your form.
Sometimes technology can be difficult. Like, when you open your email software and you can’t get your email to load? You get frustrated.
Imagine your users’ when they come to your site and are presented with a long form, a form with several options, dropdowns, radio buttons, etc.
On every project you need to empathize with your users. Look at your text, your forms, and even images on the page from their point of view. And if you can’t empathize with them, ask others to take a look, it’s worth the time to get a second set of eyes on the page before errors go live.
Using a form building software with modern capabilities can help you improve form completions. Inflow allows you to build forms that are easy to fill out, and they allow you to recapture some of those lost conversions by sending emails to anyone who has filled out their email address but never submitted the form. You can also send all of the automation emails you need to, without using another tool.
Most website owners will use a default form to collect information. But, it’s almost always more work for the user, and will lead to fewer forms being completed.
Take the time to sit with your team and decide what form fields are needed, then talk to a developer who can get the form to work the way you need it to. This does take additional time, but it’s this time investment that can make a true difference in your completions.
Are your forms leaking conversions?