The more information you can process, the better decisions you can make. Though collecting the data you need is a thorough process and it may bring more than a headache, we know. But there are 5 easy tweaks you can apply to your forms to optimize them and get those answers rolling.
Why Aren’t You Getting Enough Submissions?
First things first. Why are you having trouble collecting your form answers? Well, there might be three primary reasons for this:
A. You’re asking for too much information
B. You’re not asking accurately
C. Your form has not enough exposure
What Can You Do to Solve it?
It will all depend on the kind of form you’re dealing with and the who is the target audience. The scenario when building a form for your company’s intranet or a 360 degree feedback form will be considerably different than for a customer satisfaction survey, a quiz or a market research.
But as a general approach, you can address the 3 cases above mentioned with these 5 tips that will help you receive more submissions:
1. Keep Forms Short & Relevant
Like in every relationship, you shouldn’t expect to get all at once. 3 to 5 fields is proven to be the optimum number of fields in terms of form conversion rate when having a contact form or a lead generation form.
Ask only what you need. If the name is not relevant, don’t ask for it. If the phone number is not relevant, don’t ask for it. People are reluctant to share their personal details unless it is completely necessary.
Keep in mind that, in the cases of lead or contact generation for example, once you have a name and a contact input you can always follow up later on to “fill in the blanks” with the rest of the information you are needing.
2. Make Long Forms Look Shorter
Many times you’ll need to ask a variety of questions, especially when carrying out market research or customer satisfaction surveys. In these cases, when you cannot reduce the number of fields to a mere 3 to 5, it’s a good idea to use some techniques that will allow your form to look shorter and will make the user experience more enjoyable.
- Use rules: they will allow you to keep visible only the parts of the form that are relevant to your respondents, based on their previous answers.
- Use multi-page forms: dividing your form into different pages (maybe grouping questions by topics) gives the impression of a shorter form. Showing the form in steps or with a progress bar that shows the percentage of the form answered adds a visual help. Keep respondents motivated by reaching small goals and knowing how much is left until the end.
- Let them save their progress and resume it later: this way, your visitors can drop your forms whenever they want and they can continue with their submission later on.
When creating long forms, it’s always advisable to test your form with someone who has not been involved in its creation, to receive genuine feedback about the filling experience.
Keeping your questions clear, concise and straightforward will help increase the number of submissions drastically.
3. Be Mobile Friendly
Most of internet traffic is driven by mobile devices and this tendency is still growing. Hence having your forms ready for that scenario is a key element. Of course, 123FormBuilder forms are already mobile responsive and optimized, but there’s still some aspects that rely on you. What are those?
How are smartphones screens and keyboards? Small, and they can be annoying when typing long answers. Therefore, make sure you use clickable fields on your form, like single & multiple choice fields, likert scales, dropdown menus, date picker, etc. so that mobile respondents do not fill discouraged to give their opinion by being forced to type a never-ending answer.
Of course, you should leave a space for additional comments when needed, but when you can replace fill-in questions by tap questions, it will help you grow your submissions number.
In terms of appearance, test your form in your own mobile phone and adjust the layout to your convenience in the editor if you feel it is needed. You may try applying additional tweaks like resizing and renaming the Submit button and even changing its colour. You can be creative in the Themes section.
4. Share Your Form
The more exposure your form gets, the more the chances to grow its answers. You have a variety of options to get your form published: embed it on your website, publish it on facebook, twitter and make sure you share the link with the appropriate audience.
If you’re doing a survey, sharing the link via email to your dedicated email lists can be a smart move. You can also publish it in dedicated blogs and debate groups, if that’s the case. It all depends on your form content and, once again, your target audience.
5. Offer a (non-Material) Incentive
Of course, you can raffle off a plane ticket amongst respondents or offer a big discount on your service, and we all know that’s gonna work . But chances are none of us own an airline and that giving away goodies can lower down the quality of your answers, since some people will be responding just for the sake of the reward.
While material incentives can be appropriate sometimes, that’s not what I’m talking about. Instead, when possible, show your visitors the clear value of their answers. “By answering this survey you’re contributing to save the whales of the bay”. Done. It’s a moral and self-conscious reward which most of the times will be more powerful and satisfying than a material one.
That’s it for now. We hope with these tips help you get the results you’re looking for. Feel free to share your comments and ask your questions below!