Web forms aka HTML forms are online data capture pages most businesses use to collect information about their online visitors, customers, and prospects. The data is then used in marketing and sales campaigns.
Targeted marketing and the sharing of information between businesses and customers has never been so customer centric and customised.
The data capture forms are used during product purchases, checkout payments, subscriptions, customer feedback, email and online marketing and now businesses need to comply with specific privacy laws. World wide data protection and how data is captured, stored and shared is a big deal including the EU’s GDPR and compliance is essential but this is a topic in itself covered on our blog.
In this article we share a few tips on what to consider when designing a data capture web form.
Use Web Forms for Leads
Well-designed web forms can be the most effective online lead generation tool. You can turn curious visitors who come to your website into customers based on the information they share in a web form.
Therefore optimize your sign up and data forms specifically for lead generation by making sure they are quick to complete and offer an incentive like a discount off their first purchase or a free item when they make a purchase.
Also consider asking users to fill out the form by linking it to their social media account for fast integration and sharing the experience with their followers.
Keep It Simple
A good tip to keep in mind is the KISS principle. It’s better to ask for less information and go back for more later on that attempt to get it all and risk losing the visitor by overwhelming them with too many fields to complete.
The questions or data fields presented in a web form should correspond with the action the customer is attempting to make.
Only ask for information that you require at that time and follow up later on with more targeted requests relating to the information you already have on them and always offer incentives – remember your business benefits from the information they share.
Your marketing can be more streamlined and cost effective when it’s offerings are directly targeted to prospective customers.
Use A Form Builder
An important step in creating a web form is identifying the best online form builder to use. Web forms are technical and require a lot of coding, so using a form builder can help you get through the process quickly and effectively.
It is always good practice to inform the user of the purpose of the web form. Let them know why they need to provide the data and what will happen to it. Assure them that any information shared will be kept safe and link to your privacy and data protection policies.
Make it Clear
Ensure that all the fields in the form are explained clearly and avoid ambiguous questions that may cause confusion.
Feel free to include some extra words in brackets to help guide the user on what is expected of them. For example, when asking for an address, you can indicate exactly what you need such as street name and house number. That way, the user will always provide the exact information you need.
Make it Versatile
To ensure that you reach as many users as possible, make sure that your web form can be filled out by anyone who visits your website. Make it easy for mobile users to fill out and include different language options for foreign users.
Make your form interactive by offering feedback along the way. Highlight correctly answered fields in green and incorrectly answered fields in red.
Let the user know why their answer is erroneous. Only allow a form to be submitted when all fields have been filled in correctly to avoid multiple failed submissions.
Poorly worded and badly implemented web forms can create a barrier between a business and its customers. To ensure that your web forms help your business expand and develop instead of hurting it make them user-friendly and easy to fill out. Web forms have great potential for e-commerce businesses and when done right, an effective web form can help a business grow from the feedback and data provided by its users.