It's All About the Ingredients

Once upon a time, I attempted to bake chocolate chip cookies from scratch. I failed. Not just a tiny, no-one-will-notice failure. This was big, and gross, and kind of embarrassing. Telling you this now is pretty cathartic, actually.

It’s not hard to mess up chocolate chip cookies, right? When you start baking (or creating contact forms—but who wants to talk about those when there are cookies around?), the outcome is pretty much set. As long as you get the basic ingredients in there—chocolate chips, flour, sugar, butter, eggs—you’re good to go. The same is true for your contact forms. Get the basic ingredients in there, and you’ll probably see some results.

But what happens if you don’t have one of the most important ingredients? Or worse, what happens if you use the wrong ingredient?

In my case, I mistook cornmeal for flour. Yep. The cookies were as disgusting as they sound. Now that I’ve completely mortified myself, let’s talk about something else. How about contact forms and how the wrong ingredients could seriously impede your lead generation efforts?

Ingredient 1: Number of Form Fields

You may want to get all the info immediately on potential leads, but hold back. Studies show conversions could increase by up to 120% with fewer fields. If you do succumb to the desire to pack your forms with several different fields, be ready to see a drastic drop in your conversion rate.

Ingredient 2: Type of Form Fields

Believe it or not, your chances for conversion drop with every form field you require. Asking for a telephone number, even if the entry is optional, could result in a 5% drop. Requiring a street address knocks off another 4%. When you start a relationship with a potential lead, all you really need is a name and an email address. Wait until you’ve gotten to know each other a little bit before you start asking for more.

Ingredient 3: Your Words

What you say and when you say it could make all the difference in your contact forms. Believe it or not, using the word “submit” could be the equivalent of cornmeal in your cookies. Instead, according to HubSpot’s studies, the words “click here” or “go” could get better results.

Test, Test, and Test Again

Just like Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies, perfecting conversion-focused contact forms takes time, dedication, and practice. Even if you think you’re getting some great results from your current contact forms, would it hurt to shake things up a bit? Maybe add some pecans or some peanut butter cups?

Of course, you can’t just change the whole recipe at once. If the cookies suck, you won’t know which part you did wrong. Instead, try one ingredient at a time. If you’re attempting to gather email addresses and phone numbers, see if you get more responses just asking for one or the other. If you require certain fields for submission, see if your numbers jump when you make those fields optional. Tweak your word use, too. Do users respond more when you emphasize the “free” of your offer, or is the knowledge a big winner? Over time, you’ll perfect your own recipe.

Now, Plan Left doesn’t know much about baking cookies—obviously. We can, however, help you create and test your contact forms until you get it just right. If you need some help, we’re always here.

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