How to get more form submissions on your site?

First, your forms should be protected against the nasty bots with Google Recaptcha. For many years I resisted it because I thought it wasn’t user friendly (it still isn’t, but that’s another article) and use honeypots instead, but the bots have become so smart, that it is a lost battle.

Are forms submissions your website goal?

The most important question is, would the user filling in a certain form the whole goal of your site? It might sound stupid, but let me give you an example - I am a freelancer. I rely on future clients browsing my site and contacting me. Thus, them filling in my contact form is one of the goals of my site - aside from calling me, or entering my email in their client.

So I added a contact form on my homepage, in the above-the-fold area. The result? 94% of all form submissions where from my homepage form, not the one in my /contact page.

This is the case for people like me who are in the service industry or freelancers. We can’t have an automatic system that talks to the client and then asks them for a deposit. So if you are in our branch, add the form in your homepage.

Eliminate redundant form fields

Marketing folks get mad at me when I tell them to diminish the amount of fields in their forms. And I understand them - the more you know about a lead, the better chance you have of landing them as a client. But if they don’t fill in the form in the first place, they are lost forever, not even qualifying as a potential customer.

People hate filling in forms, so make it easy for them and only collect the vital information. I only have two fields in my contact forms - email and message.

Many usability researches state that each time form fields were reduced, submissions skyrocketed.

I will give you a cheat sheet of fields needed for most common forms (Don’t add more, or I will know and get angry!)

Build trust

Make sure your site doesn’t sound spammy. After all, the visitor is trusting you with their email, at the very least. Add testimonials, proofread and have a privacy policy. Make sure you tell the user you will never sell their info. Especially in the current climate, people are very sensitive to ignoring their privacy.

Test your forms regularly

There is nothing more annoying to fill in a (usually long form by stupid webmasters) form and a nasty error to appear, clearing all your data. Test your forms each month in the least and make sure you have an automatic error reporting system.

Some webmasters think that testing isn’t needed since visitors will just tell you when the forms fail. No they won’t! People have enough on their plate to worry about your buggy site. They will get mad, never to return.

Provide multiple ways of contact

Don’t just rely on forms. A lot of people hate filling them in (even if they are made well) or if people are disabled they’d prefer talking on the phone instead. Provide a phone number and a text email, although if you worry about bots harvesting your emails, add the email on the form submission fail error. For example “We are sorry, our forms don’t work right now. Please email or call 123-456-7890 instead”