The following is a guest post written by Lisa Margetis of Singlehop
Contact forms are an important weapon in the marketing ninja (minja)’s arsenal of growing a customer base. But their power is all in the balance.
Forms that are too simple let in too many dead-end leads. Complex forms that are difficult to complete discourage potential clients from seeking more information on a company’s services.
The key is to find the ideal amount of friction.
Friction, or the number of fields on a form, varies. Lowering the friction tends to increase the number of conversions. But adding relevant fields improves the quality of leads coming from those conversions. Expedia once increased earnings by $12 million by removing a single redundant field. Marketo reduced its cost per lead by $10.66 by scaling back the number of fields from nine to five.
But getting visitors to click through and convert on a company website is about more than honing a form. Businesses need to earn users’ trust—a process that never ends, but begins with some basics:
- Always include contact information on your website. Although email and electronic contacts are nice, phone numbers and addresses put an essential human face on your firm, confirming that there are real, live service providers behind the pitch.
- Use customer proof, including endorsements and testimonials, to let satisfied third parties tell your story.
- Offer free services or products to try.
It can be trickier to close online than it is in person. The “call to action” copy on a webpage must be personal, simple, and urgent. One company increased conversions by 90% by rewriting copy from second to first person. Click-through rates increase with words like “click here” and “go.” They decrease with words like “download.” And a little gratitude goes a long way: One business discovered when it added a Thank You page at the end of the sales cycle, 39% of users accepted additional offers listed on that page.