One of the most popular requests we get is to look at how the number of questions asked in a form affects whether or not people fill it in. Common wisdom is that the fewer questions asked on your form, the better.
We analyzed data from 1,500 forms over the last 3 months and calculated the conversion rate as the number of submissions per unique visitor to that page. Most of these forms are landing page forms, so the fact that a visitor is on the page is already an indication of a fairly high level of interest.
As you’d expect, the less fields asked, the less friction for submission. There’s as much as 16 percentage points of variation between using 2 fields and 15 fields. But most of the forms seem to settle between 5 and 10 questions in exchange for an average 40% conversion rate.
Of course, not all forms serve the same purpose. Forms that are offering a trial don’t see a signifcant drop in submissions until you get to about 8 fields. Forms where you’re offering a download of some sort can ask around 11 questions before a noticeable drop off. Webinar event registration forms see a significant drop after 5 fields.
You should be matching up the forms on your landing pages to the stage in the buying cycle. Streamline your forms to make them as easy as possible to submit, including using form pre-population and speading out your requests for information using Progressive Profiling. Consider using Eloqua’s Social Sign-on, allowing visitors to access content using their social profile. In the delicate act of balancing information exchange, the most effective way to determine when your form is optimized is to test it like crazy.
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