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Amit Thapliyal Author's Perspective
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Top 10 best practices to help you convert more leads with Sitecore Forms

Forms Optimization

Marketers today are measured on the engagement & value they create- not on budgets spent & number of campaigns run.

While investments in marketing are still cautiously increasing, for over 70% of marketers the allocation of these budgets are more inclined towards demand gen. (source: 2018 Demand Gen Survey). 34% of marketers believe this will grow by more than 20% next year.

With Cost per Lead ranging from $150 to $350 on an average (source Hubspot) , the cost per lead will only increase with bigger brands pumping in bigger budgets- competing for the same prospects.

As customers move down in your funnel, exploring your web properties, discovering value- invariably what sits in between this value & their actions are  -Forms

Forms play a vital role in lead conversions with the potential to make or break the lead inflow. With over 68% of marketers intending to improve the quality of leads & 55% needing an increase in lead volume, forms gain even more importance. (Source B2B technology Marketing)

We’ve compiled a list of Top 10 best practices to help you convert more leads with Forms

Step 10. Turn Off Captcha

Turning Off Captcha can surely increase lead conversions. This is based on a case study done by Marketing Psychology on 50 forms. They found that with the captcha turned on, large number of failed transactions happen, as people get annoyed and don’t complete the form fill process.
Tip: With Sitecore 9 , you can create Honeypot fields. Honeypot Fields are basically hidden fields in a form, which are not visible to users. Click on New Form on Sitecore 9. Under Label - enter Honeypot, and under Styling – enter hidden as the CSS class – and you have a hidden field on the form.

Step 9. Keep Your Forms Above The Fold, Make Them Easy to Understand

Everything we do on a landing page is to increase engagement and to get the right people to trust us. It’s about influence.Engagement (in time measures) usually peaks above-the-fold. Place your action-oriented elements ( Forms, CTA & of course Hero Messaging) above the fold to give them prime real estate & max attention to improve lead capture. Below-the-fold builds on this.

If you have the right information to help people fill out forms, you can increase the conversions by 25-40%. Luke Wroblewski, Chief Design Architect at Yahoo tried to test mad libs style contact form, to see how these forms would stack against forms which ask for first name, last name, etc. A mad libs style contact form makes the form conversational.

Tip: The labels and placeholder text on Sitecore 9 are completely editable. You need to create an email field similar to mad libs style form. Under label – you can edit the text and write ‘I want to sign up for this event. My email id is ‘...’ to make it more conversational - in the placeholder text you can write a prompt text such as ‘email@address.com’. This feature also lessens the scope of entering wrong information significantly.

Step 8. Create Short Multi-Page Forms

The focus here is not short forms, but short multi-page forms. This can increase conversions by up to 50%. Dan Zarella at HubSpot researched 40,000 customer forms, and found out that on a page - if you decrease the number of fields from 4 to 3, you can increase conversions by almost half. Single-page forms convert at an average of 4.53%, while the figure for multi-page forms is 13.85%.

Step 7. Make the Form a Part of the Customer Journey

With 62% more conversions - making the form a part of the entire customer journey, stands as the top feature.
Formstack’s report on 400,000 form conversions, found out that 61% of form users drive the most traffic to their forms via email marketing, with 62% more conversions for forms that are embedded on emails, as compared to those that redirects the email to a landing page.

Tip:Use Sitecore’s Customer Experience Database & goal completion in conjunction with mapping the customer journey on your website. This enables you to control the visitor flow towards conversions while triggering relevant actions ( and information) for your prospects , giving them a contextual, personalized experience

Step 6. Think about All Your Form Factors

There’s nothing worse than a form which hinders a web visitor’s exploration of your website, just because you haven’t paid attention to their device & the forms are not able to adapt dynamically to his smaller/bigger device size. You can gain 100% more conversions by optimizing forms, with focus on how the customer experience will be on each of the devices.

Tip: Sitecore 9 provides exceptionally good styling capabilities for forms. Under the Scripts section of the form on Sitecore, one of the thing that works is - Bootstrap. You can add an obtrusive version of bootstrap. Thereafter, we can use the bootstrap CSS to optimize the form.

Step 5. Personalize Your Forms

Voices.com saw a 400% increase in conversions with audience segmentation, as this speaks volumes about the importance to personalize forms. Personalizing forms means that either you can have pre-filled information in the form fields, or you can choose to ask a different set of information, when users visit your website for the second time. This is also called Progressive Profiling aka ‘get more information’, the next time users fill out forms.

Step 4. Measure & Analyze Your Data

Brokernotes observed an increase in conversions from 11% to 46%, by surveying users, analyzing sessions, and crunching numbers to see what users were doing on their forms. This means a 400% increase in conversions.

Tip:Sitecore 9 has a lot of information on your forms, and pulls up quality data on how users are using the forms, under the ‘Performance’ tab. Therefore, you can see how many users are viewing the forms, how many are abandoning them aka people coming to the forms, but not filling them out, and the percentage of people coming to the form but not submitting it. Furthermore, it can also show how each field is performing, and show data on how many users are abandoning the form on a specific field, what is the error rate of the field or how many people are not filling the fields correctly, and how much time they are spending on each field. These data are beneficial to identify what issues each of fields have.

Step 3. Give Something in Return

With 800% more conversions - giving users something in return, stands as the #3 feature. You can offer free giveaways for filling forms. If users fill the form on the left, they could get  for eg. a Swiss Made watch and if they filled the form on the right, that would guarantee them a free ticket registration the Intergeo 2018 event. This makes is clear to users as to why they are filling the forms. Make the giveaway clear & unambiguous.

Musiclawcontacts.com increased their conversion rate to 26%, by redirecting users to their best product. Some more ideas of giving users something in return are free demos, free tools, whitepapers & marketing asset downloads, free account sign up, etc.

Step 2. Create More Landing Pages for your Forms

HubSpot in their research on 7000 forms found something pretty interesting – websites with 31-40 landing pages witness 7 times more leads, as compared to websites with 1-5 landing pages. Moreover, websites with over 40 landing pages generate over 12 times more leads.

This translates to a 700%-1200% increase in conversions, with the use of more landing pages on your website. This is because landing pages allow for a more personalized experience, with offers and forms based on user persona and the customer journey.

Step 1. Take on a Structured Approach to Testing and Optimization

This feature will help you get to the top 10% of websites that register the maximum conversions. SearchEngineLand and WordStream analyzed 1000s of advertiser accounts, to figure what the top 10% of did differently. Although, it is different for every industry, but there is absolutely a trend.

Once you test 4 landing pages, and choose a winner – you break into the top 255 of converting websites. For every landing page that is finalized, if you test 10 landing pages – you break into the top 10% of converting websites. With A/B testing, it is about testing massive changes and observing what it means for conversions for your website.

Bonus: Picking the Right Form

There are majorly 4 types of forms – survey, contest, lead generation, and contact us. Data based on a 650,000 form study that was conducted by Formstack, found that that survey type of forms has the most number of fields - 22, while contact us forms has the least number of fields – 4. It is generally believed that the lesser fields you have in a form, the higher is the conversion.

However, Formstack in their research found out that to be completely opposite – contest forms had a conversion rate of 35%, while survey forms registered a rate of 14%. On the other hand, contact us forms are pretty easy to fill out, but have really low conversion rates at only 1%. 

 

Conclusion:  Conversion rates don’t depend on the Number of Fields , rather on the value offered to the visitor

Amit Thapliyal VP - Marketing


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