Sales Lead Forms: Choosing the Optimal Size According to the Research Results

Sales Lead Forms: Choosing the Optimal Size According to the Research Results

Lead Form (or Capture Form)  is one of the main parts of a website or landing page where the user can give his or her own personal information. It helps the user subscribe to newsletters or contact the company. Today, we show you how changing the size of a simple lead form can increase a website’s conversion rate by 120 – 240%.

If there are too many fields in a form, the user’s desire to fill them decreases. However, if there are only a few fields then you get less information about the user.

So how can you choose the optimal lead form size?

We have collected the pros and cons for both the long and short lead forms. Several cases will show you how changing the number of fields increased the conversion rate several times over, allowing you to determine which lead form will be best suited for you.

Short lead form: advantages and disadvantages

Short lead forms usually have 1 to 3 fields. Such a lead form has several advantages:

  • it is compact and this allows you to place it on any website
  • one or two fields are easier to comprehend
  • users do not need to exert much effort in order to fill it out
  • it does not require much personal information from the user
For example, the subscription form of Webdesigner News only has one field and a "Subscribe" button.

For example, the subscription form of Webdesigner News only has one field and a “Subscribe” button.

Short lead forms are considered to have better conversion rates, and we have collected the most interesting cases to highlight this fact.

3 cases that prove lead form field number reduction can increase conversion rates

1. ImageScape reduced the number of fields in their subscription form from 11 to 4, thus increasing the conversion rate to 120%. 

ImageScape reduced their contact form from 11 to 4 fields, gaining a 120% conversion increase from 5.4% to 11.9%.  Image Source

ImageScape reduced their contact form from 11 to 4 fields, gaining a 120% conversion increase from 5.4% to 11.9%. Image Source

2. The second case – Gemm Learning service specialists marketing research.

Two lead forms were tested by an A/B test. There were 6 fields in the first form and seven in the second. It was the drop-down list with a request to call.
 

70.43% more people finished the form without the phone call option, thereby showing that the short form was more effective.

70.43% more people finished the form without the phone call option, thereby showing that the short form was more effective.

The conclusion is that the more options for interaction you offer, the higher probability there is of confusing the customer and taking them away from the main target action.

3. The third case from Expedia.

Removing the “Company Name” field from the lead form resulted in this company earning $12 million.

37% were abandoning a form field called "phone." The website added the word "optional" to the field label, doubling their conversion rate from 42.6% to 80%.

37% were abandoning a form field called “phone.” The website added the word “optional” to the field label, doubling their conversion rate from 42.6% to 80%.

Researches that confirm the effectiveness of a short lead form

Dan Zarella, from HubSpot, has conducted research on optimal form length and has analyzed more than 40,000 landing pages. He has shown how the conversion rate correlates with the increasing number of fields in the lead form.

The forms with three fields have the best conversion rates. As the number of fields increases, the conversion decreases.

The forms with three fields have the best conversion rates. As the number of fields increases, the conversion decreases.

He also found that lead forms that request personal user data reduce conversion rates:

  • If you add the “Age” field, the conversion drops by 3%.
  • If you add a “phone number “ field, it drops by 5%.
  • If you request an address, the conversion may fall by 2-4%. Most of all, the request to enter the name of the street reduces the conversion rate when compared to requesting the city or state.

Case studies prove that the short lead form is more convenient for the user, and a reduction in the number of input fields can greatly increase the conversion rate. But despite all the advantages, there is a significant drawback. You get minimum information about the user and this means:

  • There is no way to organize an audience by interest, area of activity, or other criteria.
  • The lack of information complicates the sales and marketing department.
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Therefore, to make the second contact with the user more personalized you have to make the form longer.

The pros and cons of using a long lead form

The lead form is considered long if it has more than three lines to fill out. From the above studies we can conclude that users have a particular distaste for additional input fields:

  • They are reluctant to waste their time filling out the information you need.
  • They are alarmed by the requirement to reveal additional information about themselves.
  • It is inconvenient for them to fill in the required text from mobile devices.

Why are long lead forms still used?

Because they also have a number of advantages:

  • Such a form gives more quality leads. If a person has taken the time and energy to fill in all of the fields, it means that the user is really interested in what you have to offer.
  • You have enough data to organize the audience and create a newsletter more relevant to your particular audience.

Crayola’s suggested form to fill out: 

Thus, the company prepares a more relevant newsletter for the user.

Thus, the company prepares a more relevant newsletter for the user.

Cases that prove that a long lead form can also provide high conversion rates

1. Research on the Advanced Grass website

A simple three-question form (name, E-mail, phone) was changed to a longer one that consisted of seven fields.

 The user fills this form in two stages. In addition, the form itself is different from the usual one and more like a test.

The user fills this form in two stages. In addition, the form itself is different from the usual one and more like a test.

After such a change, the conversion rate increased by 214%.

This example has one important nuance: the developers made two short ones out of one long form. As a result, it is not difficult for users to fill in the first part (only three fields), and then they already have the motivation to fill out the second one simply because they don’t want to abandon what they started.

2. Example of a long lead form from TopTal

TopTal went further and created a lead form much like a test:

The screen displays only one question.

The screen displays only one question.

This unusual long form is well-thought out:

  • Conditional logic is used to ask questions to different users based on their previous answers.
  • There is a green indicator that shows a percentage of the filled-out form.
  • The application is then sent to the sales department when the form is 40% filled out.

All of these cases prove that the long form can also have good conversion rates, especially if that form looks good.

What to choose?

When choosing your website’s lead form you must first understand that it’s better to have the smaller form. Also, if you want to add one more field, think carefully in regards to how justified it is. To do this, you must have answers to the following questions:

1. What is your lead form’s main goal?

If you need a subscriber base, then one or two fields are enough. If the user submits an application for an event, additional information is required.

2. What is the user’s motivation?

To get the user to fill in more fields, promise him or her something useful like a free audit, bonuses, or offer to find more relevant and valuable information for them.

3. How will you work with the information given?

If you can operate without additional information, then by all means do it. If the data is collected anyways and you don’t use it for further segmentation or sales, do not torment the user with unnecessary fields.

4. Where can the lead form be placed?

The short lead form can be placed on almost any page and website. The long one is not so flexible in this regard.

5. What will the lead form look like?

If it looks like a test with several steps and has an unusual design that doesn’t have walls of text, then the probability of filling out the form will be higher.

But remember that compliance with all these recommendations will not give you a 100% accurate answer as to what the optimal size of the lead form for your website is. The best results can be achieved with the help of A/B tests, thoughtful texts, and high-quality graphics.

 

 

Additional articles on this topic:

  1. Research: How the 100 Fastest Growing SaaS Companies Structure Their Lead Forms

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