Forms are used to capture information on a website and either email it to the website owner or store it in a database, or both. The most common form we encounter is the contact form, which collects names, addresses, emails and phone numbers and perhaps a brief message. They are a way of ensuring we get the information we need. They help us to communicate with our current customers but also to gather information for potential sales leads.
When designing a form for your website, you should follow best practice guidelines to ensure that your forms are a helpful tool to you but not an off-putting nuisance to your visitors.
Form position is an important thing to consider. A single field newsletter sign-up form might be appropriate for a sidebar, but a form that you want people to fill in completely should be placed prominently on the page.
You must also consider the length of your form. A short form will be easier to complete and more people will be inclined to do so, but a long form will provide you with the most information, though it may be off-putting to some. You must decide what result is more important to you: getting the most people you can to submit their data or getting a few people to submit but with very complete information. Always remember that once someone has submit their information, you are then in a position to respond back to them and gather more information if you need it.
Another thing to consider when deciding what to include in your form is what information will allow you to quickly assess how valid a lead the submission is.
Long form or short, ease of use is essential to getting anyone to complete a form. If you can organise your questions so that your visitors need only select a response from a drop-down option field or can tick off selections from a set of tickboxes or radio buttons, this will allow them to complete the form more quickly and will also ensure you get precisely the information you need.
Moreover, consider what information you require them to provide. Do you absolutely need to have their phone number or would it just be handy? Also if you intend to contact them and ask for various methods of doing so, perhaps you could give them the option to tell you which method they prefer.
If one of the roles of your website is to gather information in a desire to increase your customer base, we can help you design ways of doing this without sabotaging your intentions.Return to Knowledge Base