15 Web Form Fails: CEO Marketing Tips
Web forms are the communication gateway between you and your customer. Effective web forms attract orders, leads, and inquiries; bad forms send business to your competitors. Avoid these web form fails and your business will be on your way to more conversions.
- Requiring too much information. A web form is an invitation, not an interrogation.
- Requesting too much information. For optional form fields, when in doubt, leave them out.
- Unclear, overly subtle labeling of required fields. A required field should be as obvious to users as the nose on their face.
- Poor positioning. Users won't scroll down to find your form or play Where's Waldo on a crowded page design.
- Confusing instructions. If a field requires five seconds of thought, it's four too many.
- Hard to find error messages. Users become frustrated when their submissions fail and they can't figure out why.
- Unclear expectations. Users should know exactly what will happen next when they submit the form.
- Using submit. "Submit" buttons are a turnoff. Better is to describe the activity, e.g., "Sign Up Now."
- Itty bitty buttons. If people need a magnifying glass to "Sign Up Now," any submissions will be a matter of blind luck.
- No privacy message. Users don't want their information sold or shared -- you must reassure them.
- Confusing error messages. Making errors on a web form is frustrating enough. When the instructions for fixing them are incomprehensible, users tend to throw chairs through their computer monitors.
- Unstated password requirements. If you have specific password requirements, it's only logical to advise users in advance rather than slap their wrists after the fact.
- No motivation. Please: Give me one good reason to request a quote or download your PDF.
- No confirmation. Upon submission, it's only common courtesy (and common sense) to let the user know you've received the request.
- No testing. The best way to nip form problems in the bud is to try them before taking them live. An obvious step that many firms inexplicably skip.