All websites have them. You know, those annoying forms that ask you to input your email address in return for some type of content or special offer. It’s a trap that leads to a series of marketing emails throughout the year. Annoying to some, useful to many.

Website page forms are important to your digital marketing strategy.  Their design must be on point if you want to capture the 1.95% of website visitors who actually opt-in to email lists. Following the website form conversion best practices outlined in this article will help you get leads who eventually become paying customers.

Don’t Ask for Too Much Information

Website visitors don’t want to feel like they’re taking a lie detector test. They only want to offer the bare minimum of information especially in this era of high rates of identity theft. Shorter forms seem less intimidating and make it more likely that a website visitor will provide the required information.

The type of information you request should be relevant to your sales process and meet the buyer at that stage in the sales funnel. For instance, a new website visitor may be intimated by a form that asks for his or her phone number from the get-go. It’s better to ask solely for a prospect’s name and phone number in the initial stages. Additional information can be sought later when that prospect is further along in the sales funnel.

Some fields that you can add at later stages in the sales funnel include:

This means that you can’t use the same form for all stages of your sales funnel. There are 3 categories of prospects:

  1. Prospects who’re uncertain
  2. Prospects who’re interested but still need a push to be compelled to buy
  3. Prospects who are already sold

Careful planning can help you get the information you need for each type of prospect. Doing this helps you create repeat customers using a personalization strategy.

Strategically Position the Form

Where the form is placed is also important. The highest level of engagement is usually above the fold on a landing page. Therefore, it’s recommended that forms, call-to-actions, and other important elements be placed above the fold.

This doesn’t mean that they can’t be placed on the landing page more than once. Mail Chimp, for instance, has the call-to-action button that leads to the opt-in-form both above-the-fold and at the end of the page.

Ultimately, you must do A/B testing to determine the best place on the landing page to for the form. Placing it below the fold works better for some businesses than others. Start by placing it above the fold and do variation where it’s placed below the fold. See which performs better.

It’s also important to note that your website conversion form should be attractive and match the design of your landing page. Aesthetics help website visitors develop a perception about your landing page. Beautiful, eye-catching aesthetics help make the right first impression.

The Call-to-Action Must Have an Impact

There must be a call-to-action linked to your form. You may choose to have a call-to-action that directs website visitors to your form or a call-to-action button at the end of your landing page form. Either way, it must be prominent on your page.

The colors used for the call-to-action button should be relevant to the copy. The most popular colors used are orange, red, green and blue. Use a contrasting color that adequately contrasts the landing page colors so that it stands out.

The call-to-action button should also have the right words that tell the user what to expect once the button is clicked. For instance, you can use the words “Download Your Free Copy” if you want the user to get a free copy of your eBook or other content.

Include a Synopsis of Your Privacy Policy

Be real with your prospects. They want to trust you and need to know that the information they provide will be protected.  You can grant this assurance by placing a short statement at the end of your conversion form. Some possible statements include:

It’s undeniable that website conversion forms play an important role in the lead generation process. They must ask for the right information, be appropriately positioned and designed, have a call-to-action that makes an impact, and briefly describe your privacy policy.