Form Length Isn’t the Only Factor
First things first. While form length is definitely a factor, marketers must realize that a person’s willingness to complete a form isn’t only dependent on the length of the form. There are a number of factors contributing to your landing page’s conversion rate, and form length is only one of them. It’s important to recognize this, because you shouldn’t just assume that adjusting the length of your form will always have a major influence on your page’s conversion rate or the types of leads it generates. Note some of these other major factors that contribute to whether a landing page visitor will complete the form:
- The value of the offer to be redeemed. (Is it valuable enough to the visitor to be worth the form completion?)
- The types of information requested on the form. (Does the form ask for too-sensitive information that dissuades visitors from completing the form?)
- Website credibility and visitors’ perceived sense of privacy/security. (Does the visitor trust the website enough to feel secure in providing their personal information?)
- Marketers must understand that all of the factors above — not just form length — can contribute to landing page friction and, thus, impact conversion. Now that we’ve gotten that understanding out of the way, let’s hone in on form length and how to decide what length is best for you.
Do You Need More New Leads, or More High Quality Leads?
This is the single most important question you need to ask yourself when deciding on form length. In a nutshell, the length of your form inevitably leads to a tradeoff between the quantity and quality of the leads you generate. A shorter form usually means more people will be willing to fill it out, so you’ll generate more leads. But the quality of the leads will be higher when visitors are willing to complete more forms fields and provide you with more information about themselves and what they’re looking for.
Therefore, shorter forms usually result in more overall leads, while longer forms will result in fewer, but higher quality leads. So when deciding on the length of your forms, make sure to involve your sales team in the discussion. Your decision on form length should hinge on whether you need more leads, or whether you need better leads, and input from your sales organization should be critical to that decision-making process.
You might also want to add in a question or two that would allow you to gauge their need for your product, their likelihood to purchase your service, or their fit with your company. For example, HubSpot sells marketing software, and all of the forms on our landing pages include an optional field that asks the visitor to describe their biggest marketing challenge. We use this information to learn more about and qualify our leads before putting them into our sales funnel.
Information gathered in these fields could also serve as helpful data for more advanced lead scoring and lead management processes if that’s something your business would benefit from.
Test to Determine Your Form Field Sweet Spot
Once you’ve fit yourself into one of the two scenarios above — or if you think you might fall somewhere in the middle — the best thing to do to determine your ideal form length is to do some A/B testing.