Having a form on your website is an unchallenged status quo of marketing and sales efforts. Be it an online contact form or online registration form, you likely use it to capture personal information and other data of visitors or potential customers. However, the form conversion rate doesn’t seem to justify their uncontested popularity.
If you are here, you are probably wondering: How can I make it better and improve my form conversion rate?
This article was created to answer that question and show you how to design web forms that not only reduce friction but also champion lead generation.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a controlled process of growing the percentage of site visitors who take the desired action be it filling in a form, making a purchase, clicking on a CTA, etc. The process is all about understanding how users navigate through your site, what kind of actions they take, and what discourages or prevents them from completing the goals you set out for them.
Why are Conversion Rates Important?
CRO is important because it enables you to decrease customer acquisition costs by increasing the value you obtain from the visitors and users who interact with your website. Optimizing the average conversion rate of your lead generation landing page, online form, or website in general, increases the revenue per user and in doing so allows you to grow your business.
How to Calculate Form Conversion Rate?
Calculating the form conversion rate depends on the goal of your online form or landing page. That goal can be measure against a total amount of:
- Sessions: Divide unique orders/subscriptions/quote requests by the total number of sessions
- Unique Users: Divide the number of unique orders/subscriptions/quote requests by the number of unique users.
Why Is Your Online Form Failing?
Imagine you are really interested in a product, service, or business. You are curious and want to get in touch. So, you click on “Contact Us” and BOOM! You receive a cold shower in the form of a contact form.In the minds of users, an online contact form equals WAITING. They are the voicemails of the internet that leave you hanging with a vague hope of receiving a response… at some point, if ever.
The same set of feelings often goes for registration forms… either they have too many form fields half of which don’t even apply to you, or they are confusing, or just have a really outdated form design. There are a number of factors that could be causing your prospects to roll their eyes and give up.
Therefore, if you are struggling to boost your form conversion rates, don't just ask
“How can I make my forms better?”
The question you should be asking is: Why am I still relying on forms at all?"
The Power of Instant, One-on-One Communication
As the world becomes more and more interconnected, consumers demand ever faster, more personalized approach and instant gratification. Thus, instant responses that were once considered luxury have become a matter of course.
According to a survey by Velocify, an improvement in your conversion rate can reach an incredible 391% if you get back to your lead within a minute of an online inquiry. Letting an additional minute pass drops your improvement chances to 160%, and if you wait an hour, it drops to a low 36 percent.
And that’s just one of many studies. For example, Vendasta’s research shows that after 5 minutes, the odds of qualifying a visitor decrease by 80%. Furthermore, the Lead Connect survey found out that 78% of shoppers buy from the business that responds to their inquiry first.
That’s how severe can be the consequences of taking even a few extra minutes before getting to those visitors.However, online forms, like voicemails, became so widely used for a good reason. The majority of businesses simply can’t afford to keep up with all the incoming visitors and inquiries. Hiring a team big enough to deal with them all would be unsustainable.
If you want more leads while keeping your response rate down to a minimum, it's time to consider chatbots as your main lead generation tool.
Customers Are Ready to Go Conversational
Did you know that in 2019 only 14% of customers would prefer to fill out a form overusing a chatbot? That’s a 10% decrease from 2018 when still 26% said they would opt for a traditional form. Hence, not only is the preference for chatbots stronger, but it’s also growing from year to year.Furthermore, when asked about the possible benefits of chatbots, 63% of consumers chose 24-hour service, and 53% listed instant response.
This suggests consumers are ready not only to interact with chatbots but to see the benefit of it as well. Still, only a few companies take a conversational approach to data collection.
Chatbots Address the Shortcomings of Online Forms
The most common issues with online forms include:
- Being too long
- Including too many irrelevant form fields
- Untraceable drop-off
- Delayed satisfaction
A chatbot - AKA a conversational form - can address all of these issues.
1. Chatbots Turn Long Forms into Short Conversations
The fact that consumers dislike long forms is no secret. Hence, forms force you to cut down the number of input form fields as much as possible which, in consequence, limits your ability to qualify visitors or properly personalize further communications.
Chatbots offer an interactive user experience that requires the user to focus because of the natural turn-taking that takes place during a conversation. Also, because the bots proceed to ask the questions one by one, the user is not overwhelmed with too many questions/fields at once. This allows you to sneak in a few more questions than you could get away with in a traditional form.
2. Chatbots Personalize Experiences in Real-Time
With a static form, you have to lay all cards on the table regardless of whether all of them are relevant to all prospects. Hence, to some leads, the form might seem just fine while to others it will appear messy and bothersome because they have to waste time reading information that doesn’t concern them.
However, with conversational forms, you are able to customize user paths based on their choices or by using the more elaborate conditional logic feature. In other words, your conversational “form” adapts the journey to every single prospect in real-time avoiding unnecessary friction.
This system comes in particularly handy when you decide to qualify users in the process of submitting the information to maximize average conversion rate.
For instance, a lead qualification bot can instantly assess which visitors are ready to buy or match an “ideal customer” description and fast-track them to live chat with your sales team. This way you provide instant attention to the leads most likely to convert as well as allow your sales rep to spend their time more efficiently.
That’s conversion rate optimization at its best!
3. Chatbots Allow You to Track Customer Actions & Save Partial Data
When visitors load your web form but don’t convert, you know they were there but you have no idea what dissuaded them from submitting the form and completing the process. Did they see the form and bounce? Did they start but got discouraged halfway? Is there a particular field that causes friction?
Since the conversational flow is dynamic and requires constant back and forth, it allows you to observe user actions. Flow analytics offer an important insight into when or where prospects most often drop off allowing you to optimize and improve the funnel on the go.
Another benefit? Bots are able to collect and save even partial data. Hence, even if a potential prospect doesn’t finish the entire sequence, you still have data to work with and perhaps design a nurture sequence that can help close the deal at a later date.
4. Chatbots Offer Instant Gratification
Forms, no matter how well-designed and efficient, make you wait. They leave you hanging. So, regardless of yours being a good or a bad form, it will be incapable of offering instant gratification.Chatbots, on the other hand, provide a variety of opportunities to satisfy your prospects right there and then. As mentioned before, hot leads can be fast-tracked to speak to your team within minutes. Though, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The instant qualification can give you the capacity to allow eligible prospects to schedule meetings; share content that corresponds with the lead's position in the customer journey; answer basic questions; offer discounts or free trials when necessary, etc.
5. Chatbots Are Flexible
You might be thinking: “OK, but there are cases when seeing several input fields makes sense and is, in fact, more comfortable for the user.”And you are right. Forms such as signup forms or booking forms are more reassuring when asking for data in clusters or groups so the user can fill in all the fields and review them peacefully.However, that’s not a problem because chatbots, if anything, are flexible. They can switch from conversation to more “formal duties” whenever needed.For example, Landbot no-code builder offers the multi-questions feature that allows you to put together a mini-form inside of an automated conversation. Within the mini-form, you can customize pretty much anything from the field number and size to the required input format and required fields.
Hence, you can combine the engagement of the conversation with the practicality of the form on command.
6. Chatbots Deliver Results
When testing chatbots, many businesses saw positive results not only in the number of leads but also in conversions. The trick often lies in using bots to collect the user data as well as to provide answers to the most common doubts. Quantitatively, most surveyed entrepreneurs (approx. 50%) claim that chat generates the highest landing page conversion rates.
7. Chatbots are as Easy to as Build as Forms
There are plenty of online form builders offering form templates that allow you to launch in minutes. You might be surprised to know that the same goes for chatbots.The recent boom in no-code tools has made conversational solutions accessible to businesses of all shapes and sizes. For instance, with Landbot, you can build a conversational form within minutes whether or not you decide to use a pre-existing template. The drag and drop canvas allows professionals with little to no technical skill to create personalized data collection flows:
If you are interested in giving chatbots a try, you can start by following our step-by-step tutorial on how to build a conversational form. In the tutorial, we take a real-life sales contact form example and transform it into a chatbot which you can also interact with at the end of the article!
Start your Journey to Better Form Conversion Rate
Online forms became popular because they helped businesses deal with large volumes of requests and inquiries from their visitors and prospects. While that was the only viable automation option available, trying to optimize your form was the best you could do to increase conversation rates.
However, times have changed. Today, you can do more than try to fix a few bad online forms. No-code conversational form builders offer you the opportunity to automate in a more interactive and personalized way that doesn’t alienate your prospects.
Are you ready to give chatbots a try and improve your lead generation processes?