Optimize lead generation forms

1. Conduct conversion research using a tool like Zuko to find the fields that people are interacting with and avoiding, and where people are abandoning your form.

Look for answers to these questions: What fields do your visitors interact with most? Least? Where are visitors dropping off and abandoning your form? What takes your visitors the longest to complete? Where are your visitors running into issues? What fields are triggering errors most often?

2. Pre-populate as many fields as you can, with data you've already gathered about the visitor.

For example, adding the country based on the user’s IP address, or filling in address information from a registered user’s profile.

3. Include a checkbox that lets users indicate that their billing and shipping are the same, to save them needing to complete two forms.

Set the billing address to the shipping address when the user clicks on the form submission button.

4. Display error messages near the field containing the error to save the user effort in looking for the problem.

For example, instead of displaying a standard error at the top or bottom of the form, display a custom error next to, above, or below the field so the user can instantly see the issue.

5. Only display coupon code fields to visitors arriving via email or affiliate links, as these are the people most likely to have a coupon code to use.

This limits the issue of visitors getting to the checkout, seeing a coupon code field, and getting distracted by a search for an applicable coupon rather than finalizing their purchase.

6. Use multi-page forms with a progress bar if you need to ask for a lot of information.

Moving through each stage offers a sense of achievement, even though the user knows there are more fields to fill out. If you’ve ever purchased something from Amazon, you’re probably already familiar with this concept: Imagine asking for all of this information at once, on one page. If you listen closely, you can hear the faint sound of thousands of your visitors closing the tab.

7. Ask higher value questions that give you valuable information. For example, ask for a business email address rather than any email address.

By doing so, you increase deliverability, reduce the need for a name field, and set the context for your product or service like this is a business tool. For each question on your form, ask yourself: Do I already have this information from this visitor? Can I get this information from another source such as IP address? Will this information bring me closer to a sale?

8. Test versions of your form with various combinations of optional and required fields.

Here are some optional vs required field testing ideas: What happens when you remove all of the required asterisks, implying everything is required? What happens when you make a field you consider required optional? What happens when you make a field you consider optional required? What happens when you remove all optional fields?