Optimize your website forms

1. Decide which information is essential and remove fields that don’t harvest that information. Make it very clear which fields are required and which are optional.

For example, Pendo marks all fields as required, and limits the number of fields to a small number, making it immediately clear to the prospect what is needed to move forward.

2. Test interactive and visual elements to make the experience of filling out your form more interesting.

Think outside of the form field box and liven up the experience to encourage engagement on your forms. Try clickable answers when there are only a few answers the prospect might provide, such as: Radio buttons for lists of items. Buttons or images that act as buttons. Sliders to select a range. Checkboxes to select multiple items at once. Consider using a dropdown menu for a small list or a large list of options. For larger selections, though, dropdowns might present a cleaner design. Use icons or buttons to: Break up a form so it seems less form-like. Present a more engaging way to collect info. Reduce the number of keystrokes and clicks, making it easier and quicker to submit.

3. Pre-populate form fields based on data you already have and only ask for additional information that you really need.

Data you may already have includes: Job title. Company. Industry. Country and state: but note that zip codes often are inaccurate with reverse IP lookup. Make sure you leave pre-populated fields editable so that a user can fix any incorrect info as needed. If your data is reliable, and you’re choosing to pre-populate form fields, your visitor will have fewer fields to complete, reducing the time it takes to complete the form, keeping up momentum, and thereby increasing the likelihood of submissions.

4. Hide fields that you don’t need the user to fill out because you already have the data.

If you’re confident that your visitor data is correct, consider simply hiding the corresponding field. This will save the prospect from needing to review this piece of information, streamlining their experience. The form will also look less intimidating, therefore increasing the chances that the prospect will start filling it out. Additionally, this is a great way to remove distractions and avoid having the visitor stop and think, keeping up momentum from clicking on the call-to-action to submitting the form.

5. Use form validation to filter out non-fit leads by defining the criteria you find less desirable.

The criteria you choose to filter out leads will vary based on your key business goals and ideal buyers, for example: Email address: excluding personal email addresses from being submitted. Employee count or company size: excluding those that aren’t a good fit for your solution. Position in the company: excluding roles that aren’t involved in the purchase decision. Country or region: excluding those your solution doesn’t serve. Form validation encourages visitors to self-filter themselves out. For instance, if a solution can only serve ecommerce companies, then it would make sense for a company to have Industry as a field. Any other option can trigger an alert for the visitor that the company is currently only serving e-commerce companies and to check back later. This prevents a non-fit lead from being submitted and then sales having to take the time to process it and reach out to decline the request, and it immediately sets expectations with the lead that they shouldn’t expect outreach and should seek out alternative solutions.

6. Test and iterate your forms continuously.

Your website forms are a critical element in your lead generation and qualification process. To make the most of every conversion opportunity, update your forms, and then test and iterate continuously.