Simplify your form fields

Once the prospect reaches the form, you’ve already caught their interest and they’re at least partially invested. You want to make the form experience as painless as possible to limit the chances that they’ll back out. Reduce the time it takes to fill out your forms by leveraging info that you already know about your prospects and only asking them to provide what you think is needed.

 

Reduce the number of required fields

Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. Would you be more inclined to fill out a short form with just the essentials or a longer form with what may seem like less relevant questions? In general, prospects are more likely to submit a form that is simple with fewer questions.

Consider reducing the number of fields that you ask for on your forms.

  • Decide what you absolutely need to ask and make those fields required.
  • Anything that doesn’t make the cut is “optional” at that point.
  • Either remove optional fields entirely or allow the prospect to leave them blank.
Illustrative example: Snowflake

The example on the left is a form on Snowflake’s website. It’s not super long to begin with, but when you compare it to the simplified mock-up on the right, you can get a sense of how much easier it would be for a prospect to fill out and submit.

 

Prepopulate fields based on what you know

Have you ever called customer service and ended up providing the same info to several different people before you even get to the point of your call? It can be annoying and probably makes you wonder why they ask for that info in the first place if they’re not passing it along the chain.

Forms are a big opportunity for you to leverage the info you already know or can learn about a prospect to make their experience as smooth as possible.

  • Prospects will appreciate not needing to reenter info they’ve previously provided.
  • You reduce the time it takes to submit the form, increasing the likelihood of submissions.

Consider prepopulating fields with the info you already know. You can leave the fields editable to let the prospect correct incorrect info as needed. Prospects often prefer updating parts of the info over filling it out from scratch.

The info you have to leverage will vary, but examples include:

  • Industry and role
  • Country and state (zip codes often are inaccurate with reverse IP lookup)
Illustrative example: RMS Cloud

In this example, we’ve prepopulated the country and industry field.

They should be able to identify that we’re US-based and could tell that we’re in the hotel industry based on either:

  • How we interacted with their site
  • Because we arrived on the site from an email campaign / paid ad that was catered to our industry
  • They’ve associated us with data via other means (e.g. CRM data or a lead-generating service like Marketo).

Each field that’s prepopulated makes it one step closer to us clicking Submit.

 

Hide fields based on what you know

This is similar to prepopulating fields, but with a twist. When you’re confident that the info you have is correct, you might consider simply hiding the form field entirely.

This will save the prospect from needing to even review the info, further reducing the overall time it takes to submit.

Optimize your CTAs to drive engagement

When prospects arrive on a page, you want them to take one or more desired actions. Of those actions, reflect on what the main objective(s) is for that page. You want to make the desired path to that objective obvious. Create a natural flow for the prospect, like waypoints in a GPS app, to these key CTAs. You can provide information and engagement opportunities along the path, but the objective should be clear.

  • Put key CTAs front and center
  • Don’t hide key CTAs below the fold
  • Don’t let key CTAs get lost in a sea of content
  • Give key CTAs a high contrast design
  • Limit the number of CTAs on the page

 

Make the key CTA stand out

You want to avoid letting key CTAs blend in with other CTAs and the page itself due to poor contrast or due to design choices. Make the key CTAs pop so that the prospect can casually glance at the page and the CTA is what their eyes are drawn to. When the prospect is ready to engage, they know exactly where and how to do so.

Example: Segment’s homepage
Segment - Personalize Every Interaction

When the prospect lands on the page, the key CTA (“Get a demo”) is obvious at glance.

  • Above the fold, the key CTA is presented in two different ways with varying contrasts against the background.
  • Other CTAs (“Create a free account” and “Log in”) are presented less prominently to avoid distraction.
  • As the prospect scrolls, the navbar CTA remains sticky and pops against the background color.
  • Below the fold, the page provides more info, but no other CTAs distract from the key CTA.

 

Consider keeping the key CTA sticky

One way you can keep your key CTA prominently featured is to have it remain present as the prospect scrolls down the page. You might have the CTA float, like a widget, or be part of the navbar.

Example: Clearbit’s homepage
Clearbit - Drive Prospects for Demo

The main objective of this page is to drive prospects to request a demo.

  • The only prominent CTAs (“Get started”) both point to a request demo form at the bottom of the page.
  • As you scroll, the navbar CTA remains sticky, allowing prospects to click it from anywhere on the page.

 

Consider repeating the key CTA

Another approach is to have the CTA repeated on the page, almost like a reminder to the prospect as they scroll.

Depending on your page’s length, you might:

  • Have the CTA at the top and the bottom
  • Repeat the CTA every other “visible” section of the page as they scroll

You could also try having the repeat CTAs:

  • Be identical in appearance and verbiage
  • Have unique appearance but the same verbiage
  • Have unique verbiage but the same appearance
  • Have both a unique appearance and verbiage
Example: Asana’s homepage
Asana - Increase Sign Ups

The main objective of this page is to drive prospects to sign up for a free trial.

  • 2 key CTAs above the fold highlight this objective and make it obvious to prospects scanning the page.
  • The navbar containing a key CTA remains sticky, keeping the objective present at all times.
  • At the bottom of the page, the key CTA is repeated as a reminder.

Place important content above the fold to grab attention

Highlight Key Concepts and CTAs

The concept of “above the fold” originates with newspapers, where the newspaper was folded and only a portion of the page was visible at first glance. The industry learned that they must present the important, attention-grabbing content on the visible part of the page to gain interest.

This idea is just as important today where all of our content is online and on screens. The new “above the fold” is the visible part of the page you see when you first land on the page.

 

Showcase what’s important above the fold

Most audiences only scan pages, looking for something that jumps out at them. Front-load the important content above the fold so that prospects are immediately exposed to it, grabbing their attention. By highlighting key concepts and CTAs up front, the prospect’s eyes will gravitate to that content naturally as they scan the page.

What’s important, you ask? Think about what the page’s main objective is; what’s the point of this page? When the prospect lands on the page:

  • What do you want the prospect to see?
  • What do you want the prospect to learn?
  • What CTAs do you want the prospect to engage with?

Whatever is essential to reaching the main goal of the page is what’s important. Make that objective and your key CTAs obvious, with hero images and messaging supporting that goal.

 

Push additional info down below the fold

Any content that you decide doesn’t make the “most important” cut can be considered optional or additional information. This content can be pushed below the fold.

You can restructure the page with things like collapsible sections, learn more links, mouseover popups, etc. below the fold so that if a prospect is interested in diving deeper into some of your additional content, they can at their own discretion.

Examples of optional info might include (will vary based on your business goals):

  • Ebook
  • Podcast
  • Social proof
  • Case studies
  • Customer logos
  • Informational videos
  • Additional resources

 

See it in action

In the example below, Bill.com focuses on pushing prospects to sign up for a trial. When the prospect lands on the homepage, they’re presented with the following above the fold:

  • A hero image/animation as the background.
  • Messaging to support their objective.
  • Two CTAs directing them to trial signup forms.
  • A chatbot to answer questions and direct them.
  • A navbar that guides their experience if they want to dive deeper before signing up.

As the prospect scrolls, additional information is presented for the prospect to learn more, such as integration info, informative videos, customer logos, and more.

Bill - Encourage Prospects to Sign Up for a Trial