Happy New Year!
I’ve written before about the dangers of asking too much of your site visitors before you have established a meaningful, value-based relationship with them.
Now Lisa Margetis at Singlehop has reminded me of the importance of keeping any “asks” you must make of your customers as simple and pain-free as possible.
In her curiously titled “Contact Forms for the Minja” (which stands for Marketing Ninja, apparently!) infographic, Lisa illustrates how response levels and conversions fall as the number of fields in an online form increase. Using data from Dan Zarella, we can see that the optimal number of fields in a form is around 3 to 5:
And from Marketing Sherpa we also know which fields are most valuable to most marketers:
In summary, as Lisa rightly points out:
It’s all about finding the right friction
Too much friction (e.g. too many fields or hoops to jump through on your site) and people will refuse to fill out your online form. Too little friction and the data you collect are unlikely to yield sufficient insights to allow intelligent segmentation and targeted content marketing in future.
As Lisa’s infographic shows, there are many examples that prove, and sometimes disprove, the theoretical principles. But the simplest rule I think any marketer should follow is:
Only collect data that you actively plan to use.
In my experience, that’s by far the easiest way to ensure that all forms present the minimal amount of friction to your online customers and prospects.
Now go forth, learned Minja, and create beautiful, friction-free forms!