What's Wrong with Online Forms on Websites?

Make online forms more fun

Brands and business owners put a lot of effort into great web design.

There is just a little problemy with that.

Design alone, however, won't monetize your website.

More importantly, it's about building channels that generate leads and sales.

And that's where online forms come in.

Many brands neglect the importance of forms, yet it's the key inquiry channel that determines the success of your website.

Most forms on the internet look boring, unwelcoming and consequently generate less conversions.

Forms are the gateway for capturing new business potential.

Using user-friendly and enticing online forms is crucial if you want to take your lead generation seriously.

To help you connect better with your audience, here are our 10 best practices to make forms fun again:

1. Eliminate Confusion

Eliminate confusion in online forms

Firstly, the form needs to be easy to understand for your audience. And that's often easier said that done. Before you think of making your form fun and exciting you need to ensure that it is functional and user-friendly in the first place.

The internet is full of forms that have redundant questions, that ask questions in a confusing language and those that simply look boring. All of these characteristics make forms less encouraging to complete for web visitors to complete.

simplifying online forms

Important factors to remove in Online Forms:

 

❌ Long forms (less is more)

❌ Redundant questions

❌ Unnecessary questions that don't provide good value

❌ Wrong question type for a question, e.g. use of open text field instead of button choices

❌ Jargon & technical language

❌ Standard Call-to-action text on buttons, e.g. Sign-up, Subscribe, Complete Form

❌ Colors and contrasts that are difficult too read

 

All of these points might sound obvious, but the reality is that even the simplest online forms violate some of these points.

The internet is full with thousands of forms with lacking user experience.

A single negative experience can affect the user much more than a great experience about your form.

Review these practices and you will have much better chances to generate conversions and create engagement.

2. Switch The Format

Switch the form format

When we think of online forms, we typically have simple long forms in mind. Long forms or single-step forms present all questions on a single step, typically one-by-one below each other.

There are tons of good use cases for single-step forms, e.g. for forms that just ask for first name and email address. However, you should definitely consider switching the form format when thinking of making forms more fun.

The alternative to single-step forms are multi-step forms.

Multi-steps forms, sometimes also called wizard forms, are much more intuitive and a provide better experience along the user journey.

Multi-step forms

Because the user only sees one question step at a time, the information is less overwhelming.

It is much more encouraging to just see one question at a time vs. 10 or 20 different ones. It's no different to real life: In a personal conversation with another person, you would also just ask one question before you ask the next question.

Within multi-step forms, you can use progress bars that provide an indication of how much of the form is already completed.

Related:  7 Best Practices For Creating Long Forms To Boost Conversion

Progress bars

Progress bar in a multi-step form

We find multi-step forms more user-friendly in lots of cases, e.g. lead capture, user qualification, feedback forms, application forms and more. LeadGen App lets you build multi-step forms with custom text and graphic elements very easily.

3. Entertain with Content

Entertain users with interesting content in online forms

In LeadGen multi-step forms, you can show textbox elements along your questions and form steps, e.g. above a question.

These textbox elements can be added via the WSIWYG editor where you can add links, graphics and GIF images. Headlines can be set to different sizes, e.g. H1, H2, H3 format.

Textboxes in LeadGen forms
Enhancing LeadGen forms with textbox elements - Form-builder and Live form

By adding some lines of text for example, e.g. for introducing questions, you can make the form more individualized and easier to understand.

This can make your form look more conversational and less static like a typical online form (See image below)

interactive user journey

LeadGen form customised header section 

You can also use GIF images in the textboxes to let your creative juices flow. See example form below to enter a competition:

Prize draw competition registration form with GIF image


4. Design Your Form

Design your LeadGen form

The branding and styling of your online form is typically not something marketers pay attention to. On the other hand, people obsess about web design (which is obviously important too). The lead form however, is the key element of website that actually drives business.

Be one of the few marketers who take advantage of this potential and start optimizing your lead generation form for best conversion rates.

Here is one example of an online contact form with before and after pictures:

Style your form

The original form was built an in long format. It was making things more complicated than necessary.

The questions were unclear and left room for interpretation. In terms of branding, the form was just using white and grey colours, the most boring it could possibly look.

 long format

Above you see the new form in the brand's actual design. The brand already used strong green colors in logo and website, so we adopted this style for the form. The multi-step format makes questions much easier to understand and users more likely to follow-through.

Colors plays a few important roles for forms in terms of:

1) Adding personality to the form and making it look less serious;

2) Matching the form style with your brand identity

3) Create more user-friendly experiences

5. Gamify

Gamify your online forms

LeadGen form questionnaire to engage users on website

People love games and entertainment. Instead of showing plain form designs, think of ways you can engage users with games.

This might not be the right fit for every form you build. For example, contact & lead capture forms should probably still look as simple as possible.

Gamification is "The process of adding games or gamelike elements to something (such as a task) so as to encourage participation" (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary).

Gamified conditional form

The image above shows a gamified LeadGen form that provides answer feedback based on conditional question logic on the following steps.

Correct answers will show a different form step than wrong answer. For example, if the user selects the correct choice "Manila", then the LeadGen form will open up the form step for the correct answer. For all other questions, you can prepare a question step which informs the user, either about the correct answers as well or the option to try again by clicking on the back button.

Gamified conditional form - answer page
Questionnaire LeadGen form - Answer page for correct answer

These response form steps can be customized any way you like, e.g. by writing a short answer text with an explanation. Both the right and wrong answer can be connected to the next question (Q2), so that the user simply continues the whole questionnaire until the end.

A gamified online form could also be something creative, out of the box, that you wouldn’t find elsewhere on the internet. One great example of a gamified online form is this quiz by the BBC

 interactive questions

It asks you to guess the Champions League finalist by only showing you the player as a baby. Things like this make people curious to go through the form to see the answer. Furthermore, your quiz or gamified online form is more likely to be re-shared which will help you win exposure for your website which would not simply happen for conventional forms.


6. On-Page Navigation

On-Page navigation on website

It’s important to not just look at the online form itself, but the entire user journey.

The journey on the web-page start where the user lands and continues even after the form submission. It adds value to to optimize the entire page for one call-to-action which could be your form.

Locate the form in page content

Your online form should be prominently placed on the site. The form should be located at the right spot on the page where it can easily be found and where the user is navigating towards.

Finding the right place depends on the form use case.

A landing page or offer page typically has the form right on top (like our Demo booking page below)

Book a call landing page
Simple newsletter sign-up forms could be located anywhere on the web-page.

Lead capture forms, e.g. report downloads or consultation offers in blog posts are a different use case. These forms should never be shown at the top of the post because the user needs to first engage with the blog content to understand the value of the lead offer. Forms should be located 3/4 down the page or at the very end.

Point towards the form

Contact form page design
Another tactic that helps to get more interest for your forms is to use web design elements that direct users to the form.

This could be a simple arrow image or an image of a human face which looks towards the form.

The image above shows our contact page, the design we use on our LeadGen website www.leadgenapp.io/contact. It contains an arrow graphic that points towards the form.

Furthermore, you can split your page structure in two parts and showcase a video on the left and the form next to the right.

These are subtle, yet effective tactics that make your form stand out.

At the end of the cycle after form submission, you should show a Thank-you page or redirect to a custom Thank-you page URL. This is particularly important when using lead capture forms. The last thing you want to do is to confuse the lead whether the form submission was successful or not.

 

Build Your New "Fun" Form

Combining all these ideas, you can be sure that forms will be more fun for your audience.

And more fun also means that you can collect more responses and increase conversion rates.

If you haven't got a LeadGen App account yet to build your fun form, get started here:

 

 

 


About the Author

author_image

Christopher Lier, CMO LeadGen App

Christopher is a specialist in Conversion Rate Optimisation and Lead Generation. He has a background in Corporate Sales and Marketing and is active in digital media for more than 5 Years. He pursued his passion for entrepreneurship and digital marketing and developed his first online businesses since the age of 20, while still in University. He co-founded LeadGen in 2018 and is responsible for customer success, marketing and growth.

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