The Secret to Effective Online Forms Jessica Lunk “You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation. You must have a solid foundation if you’re going to have a strong superstructure.” – Gordon B. HinckleyWhen it comes to converting traffic to leads, there are two keys to success. First, you need to provide a strong incentive for people to sign up, such as great content and a clear value proposition. Second, you need to make it incredibly easy to do so. No matter how great your content or value proposition is, if your signup process sucks so will your results. Thus, you should think of your signup process as a foundation of your conversion funnel. And without the foundation, everything else is just a useless facade.Here’s how to build one. Make It Stand OutTo collect leads, your form has to be noticed. That’s the very foundation of building forms that convert.In practice, that means you should put it in a prominent place that follows the logic of how people flow through the copy of your website. This covers the whole page. Also notice the progress bar, countdown timer and another date option. By the way, this ‘webinar’ runs every 15 minutes. Image Source: neilpatel.com Likewise, you want to have a visible CTA that stands out in terms of color, size and shape. If it’s a button, it should look like a button.Eliminate FrictionNothing kills conversions faster than annoyingly complex signup forms. The more fields you require your subscribers to fill in and the more obstacles you create, the lower the chances they’ll ever complete it. Compare this form. Seven versus 15 fields. Do you really need two email addresses and two phone numbers? The first one also offers support and account creation, all within those seven fields. Lengthy and complex signup forms just scare people away. That’s why you want to make the entire process seamless. Here are some tips.Minimize the number of fields: Only include necessary fields. If you don’t need a particular piece of information or you can get it elsewhere, don’t ask for it. Password and email fields: You can go even further. Instead of asking for a password twice, offer an option to show it. In most cases, you just need the email. You can use sales enrichment tools like DataFinder or ZoomInfo to get additional data.Use progressive signup: If you do require a lot of information, use progressive signup forms. That eliminates the risk of demotivating users to fill loads of information in.Get rid of CAPTCHA: In most cases, you don’t need it. Getting rid of a CAPTCHA can significantly boost your conversion rates.Use Auto-Complete Fields: First, make your forms compatible with autofill. That will improve conversions. Then you want to add drop-down fields for data like ‘country’ and make it seamless to pick an option. Drop downs also keep your database clean with uniform data.Simplify Further: If your customers need to pick a size of the product with multiple options, create buttons so it only takes one click. Design can solve many problems…just be creative.Offer a Helping HandMake sure to guide your subscriber through the signup journey. Explain what’s going on, how many steps are left to take and warn them of mistakes and errors in real-time, not after they submit the form.If you want to go even further, have a live-chat widget available. If your subscribers get lost, you’re losing conversions. Don’t Forget the MicrocopyMicrocopy refers to any text that accompanies the signup form. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about their concerns. Notice the money back guarantee mark, testimonial, ‘no obligation’ and ‘no credit card’ reassurance and prominent customer logos. There are several ways to boost their conversion rates:Reassure them: People are afraid to share their private and financial data. Reassure them you’ll protect the data and won’t abuse their trust. Social proof: Trust marks, media logos, customer testimonials, if placed intelligently, will work well to alleviate any concerns or second thoughts. Urgency: You can add countdown timers or time limits on offers to motivate prospects to complete the form more quickly. Procrastination common, but it’s also a MAJOR conversion rate killer.