As a wise man once said: “There are known knowns, and there are known unknowns.” Sure, we’re paraphrasing a bit here, but there’s still some essential truth to this morsel of epistemic logic, especially when it comes to digital marketing. After all, it’s a known known that a contact form is a superb method of attracting and converting high-quality leads.
But there are also the “known unknowns” in this equation: What mistakes or oversights might be resulting in your forms not performing to their full potential? And what can you do to fix them? Fret not, dear reader, because the answers are simpler than you might think.
In many cases, companies use contact forms that are confusing, long, or just plain boring, which can cause website visitors to click away from your site. The hard truth of the matter is that — even if you attract your visitors’ attention with your engaging content — it’s possible to turn them off with a poorly designed contact form.
In this post, we’re going to highlight some contact form blunders that cost you leads, and what you can do to fix them.
Mistake 1: Your form is so long it scares visitors away
If your contact form is too long, it’s guaranteed to make your prospects run the other way. That’s because long forms or overly complicated ones are overwhelming, and many of your website visitors will immediately give up on them. At the same time, you want to give your leads the chance to express their needs and wants so you can qualify them effectively.
The Solution: Keep your forms on the short side and include no more than six form fields. Some studies suggest that as few as three fields is the ideal number. A HubSpot study of 40,000 contact forms found that reducing the number of form fields from four to three improved the conversion rate by nearly 50 percent.
While it’s tempting to try and find out everything about your clients, only ask for information that you absolutely need to know. At the very least you’ll need to know their names and how to contact them down the road. When deciding what to ask your prospects, keep in mind that contact forms shouldn’t take more than one or two minutes to fill out.
Mistake 2: Your form doesn’t work right
How would you feel if you filled out a contact form, only to find it didn’t work? Chances are you’d be pretty miffed, and you probably wouldn’t bother filling it out again. Sometimes contact forms do break, or stop working right for no apparent reason. You might find that your submit button doesn’t work anymore, or that the contact form keeps displaying an error message. If your visitors run into this problem when they fill out your form, they probably won’t stick around for long.
The Solution: Luckily, there’s a simple fix for this one. You can avoid this problem by testing out your contact forms regularly to make sure they’re working properly. In addition, you should always test your form if you notice that your number of conversions suddenly drops for no apparent reason. By regularly testing your form, you can catch any problems and fix your form before it negatively impacts your customers.
Mistake 3: Your form is a hot mess on mobile
Since many of your customers browse the web on mobile devices these days, it’s essential that your form is optimized for mobile. In fact, more than 50 percent of web page views take place over mobile devices, which is why it’s so important to have mobile-friendly forms. For website visitors, there’s nothing worse than a contact form that doesn’t work right on mobile. A form that’s unresponsive, has messed up labels, or is hard to see is a sure way to wind up losing your leads.
The Solution: The first step is to test out your contact form on various mobile devices to see how well it performs. If there are issues viewing or filling out the form on mobile, then it’s time to take action. Your best bet is either to switch to a website template that’s optimized for mobile, or to hire a web developer to correct the problem. After making the necessary fixes, be sure to test your form again to make sure it’s working right.
Mistake 4: Your layout is annoying or confusing (or both)
The last thing you want is to drown your website visitors in a sea of text. Your form needs to be simple to read and understand if you want your visitors to actually fill it out. It’s a known fact that website visitors won’t stay long on a site if it doesn’t engage them, and they won’t waste their time on a confusing contact form. When it comes down to it, your form layout is just as important as the questions you ask or the fields you include.
The Solution: Be sure to design a form that’s easy for your website visitors to read and understand. Some of the most important guidelines for designing your forms include sizing your input fields correctly, placing each label directly above its input field, and only including one question per row. By following these guidelines, you ensure that your form is easy on the eyes and simple for your visitors to fill out.
Mistake 5: Your form sent message leaves visitors hanging
No one likes being ghosted, and the same goes for people who fill out your contact forms. You definitely need to have some type of message confirming that the form was successfully submitted. This assures your new leads that you’ve actually received their information and will be following up with them shortly. Still, you want to avoid just sending a generic, boring old message like “we’ve successfully received your form.” Instead, you want a message that will make them excited about starting their customer journey with you.
The Solution: Create an engaging “form sent” message that tells your leads exactly what to expect from you. Give them an idea of when they’ll hear back from you and let them know who will contact them. Another important practice is to fill them in on how often they will receive communications from you.
To make your message even more engaging, include content tailored to your specific audience. This can include links to relevant blog posts, e-books, or other content that addresses their needs and provides value. By sending useful resources, you can make a positive impression on your leads, and encourage them to keep moving down your sales funnel.
These five contact form mistakes are very common and often end up costing companies leads. The good news is that these mistakes, while annoying and disruptive, are actually pretty simple to correct. That said, it’s important for all companies to regularly monitor their contact forms. This way, they can address any issues as they come up and avoid losing leads due to a contact form mishap.