Tips for Optimizing and Managing Forms on Your Web Site
Good Web response-management techniques are essential for building relationships with visitors to your Web site. Optimizing forms on your Web site, such as registration, subscription or contest forms, is an integral part of this process. Forms that are correctly optimized for speed and efficiency increase return visits, Web traffic and sales.
The following tips and techniques can help you to create more effective Web forms and improve your online data collection:
1. Keep it consistent. When creating forms for various offers on your Web site, the first step is to carefully consider the number and type of questions to be included in your form. Rather than building customized forms one by one with unique database fields for each effort, sophisticated Web response-management systems allow you to copy forms from existing programs, to ensure compatibility across all data collected. Not only does this save time, if you consistently use the same form or even the same core contact fields, you’ll have the ability to “roll up” all data associated with multiple forms, creating a more comprehensive view of all Web response activity.
2. Keep it short. Another consideration is what kind of demographic questions you will ask in your form. Rather than building forms with all the information you’d like to have, carefully determine what information is absolutely necessary to create customer segmentation. You can then use this to develop filters for scoring, qualifying and routing the response data once it is collected. According to survey data from Jupiter Research1, registration forms including more than 11 fields, experienced significant “drop off” or non-completion rates. Since contact information can easily account for 10 fields (E-mail Address, First Name, Last Name, Title, Company, Street Address, City, State, Zip, Country), this doesn’t leave room for many extra questions before you start depressing response. However, one simple, attitudinal question about the type of products and services you offer, can provide a lot of insight into the type of content, tone and frequency of communication that is most appropriate for each new registrant.