Online forms are one of the best ways a business can easily collect information about visitors. By simply filling out a form, a business has an idea as to which individuals have potential interest in a product or service and can follow up with them accordingly by phone or through an email marketing campaign.
In order to get a visitor to fill out their information in an online form, there needs to be either potential buying interest or some sort of incentive. This incentive could include exclusive content such as a weekly newsletter or industry report, or maybe a promotion such as a coupon to be used on a later purchase. The types of online forms matter as they can help convert an individual from just a visitor to a potential form customer.
The types of online forms on your site will also impact the conversion rates or the percentage of people that actually take an action to complete the forms. Here are some amazing stats on websites:
– The average website conversion rate is 2.35%
– The best websites have conversion rates of 11% or more
– The average mobile conversion rate is around 1.53%
The better the page and the better the form the higher your conversion rates will be.
Source Startup Bonsai
If your website does not include these types of online forms, it can lead to a decrease in online conversion rate. A conversion rate on a website is determined by the number of interactions or engagements a visitor has with a website. By failing to engage a visitor, your business is missing out on a potential sales opportunity by not having the information they need to follow up with a lead. Instead a visitor might just leave your website for a competitor or similar business, leading to a high bounce rate.
The problems that occur with online forms is the way they are presented on a website. By asking for personal information too quickly or too often, you run the risk of annoying a potential customer before they have developed an interest in what your business offers. Therefore, all online forms should utilize the following guidelines below:
- Keep messaging simple and straightforward
- Only ask for critical information
- Avoid any unnecessary fields
- Include a call to action statement
- Allow data to autofill if possible
- Optimize all forms for use on portable devices
- Place forms on highly visited webpages
- Make sure all forms are highly visible through a clear and legible font and appropriate text size
In this article, we will explain different types of online forms and how to use them appropriately to help meet the goals for your business. Here are 15 examples of online forms:
1. Online Order Forms
Online payment forms should be included on every website that sells a product or service for ease of ordering. These types of forms will boost sales conversions by allowing customers the convenience of purchasing right away through your website. These types of forms usually should include a “call to action” statement in order to drive customers to an online ordering form. Some examples of CTA’s might include “Buy now” or “purchase and save 20% today”.
2. Email Opt In Forms
The email opt-in form is possibly one of the most valuable forms to include on your website, as it allows you to collect contact information for interested sales leads, giving you the ability to stay in touch with them on a regular basis. Your email opt in forms therefore should be simple to fill out by avoiding asking for too much information. You also will want to include a short statement explaining the benefits of signing up for email alerts with your business, such as maybe weekly newsletter content on new products or industry happenings, as well as possibly an incentive tied to signing up for alerts (such as a 20% discount).
3. Lead Generation Contact Forms
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Lead generation forms can help businesses follow up with interested sales leads regarding their products and services. Sometimes known as landing pages, these types of online forms typically appear on a specific page of a website and might be related to a keyword search done through a search engine. The goal of a lead generation form is to capture a visitor’s attention immediately upon arrival of the webpage, so you will want to incentivize them to enter their contact information without thinking about it too much. This can be done by including the following elements on a lead generation form:
- A call to action statement
- Business mission or impact statement
- Promotional incentive
- Access to exclusive products, services or website content
4. Account Signup/Creation Forms
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Account Signup forms allow businesses to collect contact information for visitors on their website. By creating an online account, visitors are offered conveniences such as faster checkout or exclusive content. If you are a membership based organization, account signups are critical for keeping in touch with interested individuals to potentially have them join in the future. In order to drive more online account signups, you should include some sort of incentive for filling out this form. This could include the following:
- Limited access to a website unless an account is created
- Exclusive content delivered to their email for creating an account
- A discount or promotion as an incentive to create an account
- Additional features such as express checkout for creating an account
5. Event Registration Forms
Events are a great way for businesses to bring the community together and serve as an additional source of revenue. The online form for an event registration therefore should be very specific. Within your event registration form you should include time and location, schedule of activities, cost to attend and a signup link. You also will want to ensure at least one source of contact information is collected at registration, in case of any unforeseen delays or changes.
6. Donation Forms
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If you run a nonprofit or member based organization, you might rely on donations to help support your cause or provide necessary resources for day to day operations. An online donation form is an easy ask for visitors to provide this support in a way that is more convenient than a mail in form. Online donation forms should be both simple and secure to ensure visitors’ payment information and identity are fully protected online. You also will want to include a short call to action statement on your donation form stating why you are asking for help, and the impact they will have on your organization or towards supporting your cause. You also will want to customize your donation form, potentially offering specialized incentives for different levels of support.
7. Free Assessment/Demo/Consultation Forms
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Offering free assessments or demos are a great way for customers to test or learn more about a product or service they might be interested in and move them further through the sales process. These forms should be concise and contain minimal fields as a way to entice new visitors to sign up. This will allow your business to showcase the value of your offerings to more individuals, allowing you to generate more leads and increase revenue. These forms should simply ask for a contact’s name, email address or phone number, product or service they are interested in and a section for any additional comments/questions.
8. Customer Feedback Forms
Another type of online form is the Customer feedback form. Customer Feedback forms allow your business to better understand experiences with your product or service firsthand to gauge if there are any potential areas of improvement. Any positive experiences are also great to include in a testimonials or reviews section on your website for new visitors to take a look at. When providing a customer feedback form you will want to include the following details:
- Time of product or service purchase
- Overall experience/ level of satisfaction with the product or service
- How they found your company (online/newspaper/mailer/referral etc)
- Would the recommend your product or service to others
- Any other comments or additional information the business should know about
9. Job Application Forms
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If you want to attract top talent, you will want to make sure your job application form includes the right information. Instead of just including fields for contact information and a resume submission, you might want to include more details regarding employment experience to make it easier to go through all submissions later on. You also will want to include attachment areas for their resume, cover letter or portfolio. Some additional fields to include on a job application form might include an area to submit their linked in profile, so you can take a more personal look into employment history, skills and qualifications and workplace connections.
10. Forms for Online User Technical Support/ IT
If a visitor is having trouble with their online experience when using your website, it can lead to issues with bounce rate or loss of traffic. Therefore, it is important to include a form online that allows for requests for technical feedback or support. Your IT form should include the following information to ensure that visitors get timely feedback to any questions or concerns that they may have:
- Customer name and email address
- Date accessing the website
- Links to specific pages areas they have concerns on
- Estimated response times
11. Contest Registration
Contests are a great way for businesses to improve online visibility and generate excitement for new products and services. Contests can be held whenever a business wants to increase sales leads by offering a form of promotion for a discount or complimentary product or service or access to an upcoming event. A contest form should include fields that will allow a business to follow up with additional business promotional offers by including an email opt-in feature to subscribe to their newsletter or marketing emails. You might also want to make this form sharable on visitors’ social pages to increase brand visibility and word of mouth advertising. A contest form should also include the following fields:
- Customer name
- Email address
- Telephone number
- Email opt in box for newsletter/marketing emails
- Links to share on social media pages
12. Survey Form
Online surveys are a great way to collect information about visitors’ opinions on brand experience and product/service satisfaction. Surveys can also be a great way to gather information on interests of visitors when creating future products or adding new service offerings. An online survey should also include fields to collect customer names and email addresses so the business can follow up on any personal feedback that might need to be addressed. Avoid making surveys too long or you might deter visitors from completing the form.
13. Agreement Form
Agreement forms are an easy way for visitors to complete contracts or approve procedures quickly through an online signature platform. Instead of having to go through the hassle of printing off a form to sign, they can just send off their approval virtually through the inclusion of an online signature field on the agreement form. This allows projects to be completed quickly, which can improve customer satisfaction rates.
14. Consultation or Scheduling Form
Online consultation or scheduling forms are great for service oriented businesses. By allowing visitors to request or schedule services online,visitors can save time by not having to call the business office directly. Online scheduling forms should include access to a full calendar so visitors can select an appointment date and slot. Consultation forms should include fields for visitor contact information as well as an inquiry section where they can discuss personal needs and requirements for service.
15. Complaint Forms
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