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Designing Forms to Convert Visitors

You’ve done a lot of work and spent a lot of money to draw shoppers to your site and convince them to buy from you. Then you see your traffic reports and learn that only a small fraction sign up for your mailing list, leave you information for marketing, or, heaven forbid, actually buy something. Studies show that one of the places you’re likely to lose them is on your forms.

Shoppers know they have to give you some information if they intend to buy from you, but that doesn’t mean they like it. At best, it’s a nuisance; at worst it’s a reason to shop somewhere else. That’s why designing user-friendly forms that inflict the least amount of pain is key to maximizing online sales. Here are some dos and don’ts.

Use the Right Number of Fields

There’s no one right size for online forms, but a good rule of thumb is to have as few fields as needed to get the job done. If they want emailed notifications or quotes, you don’t need their address and phone number. You may want some demographic information, but a simple ZIP code or area code will give you a lot. Don’t pry. If you need age, gender or income level, go ahead and ask for it, otherwise leave them alone. If you want more data for analytics, explain why (to help us better serve you, for instance). You might even consider making it optional.

Use Clear Labels

A surprising number of forms are hard to understand. Clear labeling of forms and fields with short, easy-to-understand wording increases the likelihood they’ll get filled out. Visual cues can cut down on reading time and increase conversions as long as they’re understandable. Good design and easy navigation through the form are big plusses, too.

Design Matters—A Lot

Most forms are dull, dreary affairs with about as much appeal as an IRS document. A good form designer can make it seem like the customer is having a conversation with you instead of just rattling off a bunch of boring information. Use your forms to keep your sales narrative going and keep your customer engaged, making the process friendlier and more personal. And more profitable for you.

Don’t Demand Information Until You Need It

Are you holding valuable selling tools for ransom? Forcing customers to sign in or register prior to purchasing or accessing secure information is guaranteed to lower your conversion rates. Why force shoppers to register just to read your blog or see additional content? Ask for information when you need it. Otherwise let them browse in peace.


Good form design is a powerful but often overlooked way to increase conversions. The web designers at The Unleaded Group have been building attractive, effective forms with proven results for over 16 years. They’re experts at optimizing user experience from the home page to the back page.

The Unleaded Group can help ensure that your company’s digital marketing delivers all its potential. Our design and development teams will make your site captivating, dynamic and user-friendly across all devices. Our ecommerce marketing and content management specialists will make sure your site is designed to drive up its rankings and build revenue gains with our exclusive Agile Marketing techniques.

We’re happy to send you a free quote for designing or hosting a site that does the job you need. Or call us toll-free at 855.865.3233.

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