Form abandonment is a disease or fungus that steals sales that should rightfully be yours. Why pay so much for traffic whether it is PPC, SEO and/or TV advertising if you can’t convert what you already have. Many companies tend to ignore the white elephant in the room and waste marketing efforts but for those that want to tackle abandonment then read this article to discover how to detect it, remove it and get more sales.
Tracking Form Conversions
For companies that are dependent on lead generation it can be a real drain on sales. If you’re using an analytics package such as Google Analytics or Omniture then make sure your tracking the number of conversions you acquire. Measuring the number of completions and abandonment is important in benchmarking room for improvement.
Google Analytics is quite basic and limited at funnel analysis, especially when it comes to segmenting funnels by different marketing channels. Tools such as ClickTale are more comprehensive and will help you make better marketing decisions. For example it can tell you where people abandon to, where in the form people drop out from, how often certain fields get refilled and how long it takes to fill up each form field. Although there are hacks to get form abandonment data in Google Analytics, ClickTale is much cleaner and simpler. And is one of the reasons we have officially become Certified Partners with ClickTale.
4 Questions to Reduce Form Abandonment
Once you’re tracking it correctly then it’s time to start asking questions of your form. By doing this we highlight potential barriers to form completion. Here are 4 simple questions to improve form completion.
Q1 – Can your users actually get to the form?
If people can’t find it then how can they complete it right? Improving form visibility will acquire more CTR to your form page and improving it means more form completions regardless of whether your form page is optimised or not.
Q2 – When a user lands on your form are they ready and were they expecting it?
(The call to action says view white paper but there’s no mention of registration anywhere on the page)
In most cases users are not aware they have to fill a form. For example they assume a free product, land on the form and then abandon. Tricking users might increase CTR but will not increase form completions. From our testing improving messaging before the form will increase overall form completions, abandonment starts before the form.
Q3 – Are there unnecessary form fields on the form?
(Prefix and suffix , do your users understand each form field?)
Often the sheer quantity of form fields can have a negative impact on form completion. By removing unnecessary form fields and assessing what form fields users drop off from you can significantly reduce form abandonment (tools like ClickTale can help with identifying specific form fields that are causing problems). In some cases the reward of signing up can be so irresistible that the number of form fields actually has little or no impact, so split testing your forms is really important.
Q4 – Do all form fields work and validate?
(Resolving human errors early on increases the likelihood of form completion)
Time and time again we see forms that don’t work properly because the form fields have basic errors such as not validating properly, not allowing a user to select their country, not even remembering information after a human error etc. By resolving these usability errors you can really grow form conversion.
When you answer these 4 questions you get the following impact (chart 1).
Chart 1 – Impact of Form Optimisation for A B2B Website
One of the key things to getting results like this is to actually speak to your customers, we ran surveys on the actual form pages with tools such as KISSinsights, acquired email addresses higher up the form and targeted abandonment directly. You’d be surprised how often your customers want to help you out but if you don’t ask you don’t get. Acquiring qualitative data can really reveal hidden gems within your site.
Whether you’re a Retail site or a Lead Generation company questioning your forms and then optimising it can really have a massive impact on sales, reduce cost per acquisition and needs to be part of marketing strategies. Always split test, build and learn from your tests and reduce form abandonment. From our work we’ve seen that when you only acquire information you really need, keep it short and sweet and ensure it works properly you get a recipe for improved conversion.
As always it’d be great to get your thoughts and feedback below or catch me on twitter.