How Longer Web Forms Can Create Conversions

James Geiger

Lead Developer

When designing web forms for conversions, customary advice tells you to keep things short and simple. This advice doesn’t come from thin air, of course. It has been supported by multiple case studies, including Expedia. When the travel company shortened its contact form by one field, it earned $12 million in profit.

It’s true that short web forms increase conversions, but it’s not the whole story. What if we told you that longer web forms can also help you with conversions?

Longer Web Forms = Quality Conversions

The quality of the conversions matters more than the quantity, which is why longer web forms can be worth looking into. For as much research that supports shorter web forms, there’s just as much for longer forms. Knowing when to ask for more information can make all the difference in converting high quality leads.

It’s best to design your forms to have more fields if there is specific information to capture. While shorter forms convert more users because they are faster and easier to fill out, longer forms convert more qualified users. This makes sense, considering that people who take the time to fill out the extra fields want you to know their information.

Long vs Short: How to Decide

So, what makes a short form “short” and a long form “long”? There is no distinct word count that you need to stick with. Instead, it’s about collecting the right information.

Start by asking yourself what you really need to facilitate the next conversation. Usually, just three fields are mandatory: name, email and job title. In other words, you can consider a short form as having three fields. In some cases, all a form asks for is an email address.

Anything with more than three fields can be considered a longer form. You might ask for this information because it can help you serve the customer. For example, you may want to add the following fields to your extended form:

  • Phone number

  • City and state

  • Company

  • Job function

  • Salary

  • Time frame

  • No. of employees

In the End, Gather Only What You Need

Web forms are designed to help visitors convert. When designing your forms, consider the journey through the lens of a prospect. What information is necessary for future interactions? How easy is the form to use and the fields to fill out? Is the language natural and easy to understand?

If you find that having a longer web form is best for conversions, don’t hesitate to create one. While you may not receive as many conversions, the ones you do get will be more qualified and interested in your product or service.

 

About the Author: James Geiger

Born and raised at the Jersey Shore, James Geiger is the Lead Developer at SEMGeeks. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from Elon University and an Associates degree in Computer Science from Brookdale Community College. He has 4+ years of web development experience, with a major focus on WordPress and user experience.

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