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Registration forms that appear daunting or time-consuming

48 Comments · SEO

You created a lovely, beautiful marketing campaign.  You spent hours with the art department tweaking typefaces, photos, copy.  You bought the best media you could select.

And then you asked the Web guy to “stick up a form for them to respond to.”
It’s a bit like gussying yourself up for a date, then showing up with onion-breath.

That’s why about 94% of prospects who “click here” and reach your registration form to get a white paper, or sign up for a webinar, or get a quote, will immediately leave.

You’ll need to tweak, measure, and tweak some more to beat the averages.  But for starters, we recommend that you make some quick fixes:

- Include a picture plus a brief description of what the prospect will get when they fill out the form.

Just because you described the offer on the marketing piece they clicked from doesn’t mean they remember (or trust you to.)  They need to see it again here.

- Get rid of every question that you don’t desperately need right away.  If you have zip, you don’t need city and state.  You don’t need fax.  You may not even need phone.

- Add a short line of reassuring copy immediately next to the box asking for email address.  “We value your privacy” is a good standard.  Don’t rely on a little tiny privacy link at the very bottom of the Web page to be reassuring.

- Strip off the button that reads “clear form” or “reset” because that can only hurt you.

- Take off extraneous copy and hotlinks (including your regular nav bar.)  These can be fatally distracting.

Don’t describe your company, your clients, your glory, your options.  Wait until after they’ve registered.

- Replace stock photos with real people or products or white paper covers.

Plus, start measuring your form abandon rate.  It’s easy — just take the number of leads generated (forms successfully submitted) and divide it by the total number of visitors to that Web page.

It’s a very useful number to convince your CEO to give you more Web design and testing funds!


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