Shorter forms have higher conversion rates.
That’s the common knowledge and the accepted canon. The fewer form fields you have, the higher conversion rates you’ll get.
Landing page experts like Tim Ash of SiteTuners, Oli Gardner of Unbounce and others preach this as Gospel Truth.
Fewer form fields generate higher conversion rates, right?
We host marketing webinars each and every week. We host the webinars on our GoToWebinar account. All webinar presenters promote the webinar to their respective email lists. We drive people to the GoToWebinar registration page that we create with our GoToWebinar account.
Generally this form has 7 questions on it:
– First Name
– Last Name
– Phone Number
– Job Title
– Would you like a 15 minute demo of Convirza?
This is a rather intensive and comprehensive webinar registration form. Over the last 4 months and over 30 webinars, this registration page had a conversion rate of 40.59%.
That means that 40.59% of the people that visited this landing page registered for the webinar. That’s a really, really good conversion rate.
Now…here’s where things start to get odd…
At the insistence of some of our webinar partners, we occasionally remove some form fields from the webinar registration page. They’re occasionally concerned that we’re asking too many questions.
We usually remove the demo request question, the job title question and the organization. Here’s the odd thing: the conversion rate for the shorter form–that is, the 4 field form, once those 3 questions are removed–is 26.71%.
That’s a conversion rate that is 34% lower than the long form conversion rate.
What’s up with that?
To recap: the 7 field form has a 34% higher conversion rate than the 4 field form. Seriously, this flys in the face of every bit of landing page research I’ve ever seen.
Why is the 7 field form doing better? Here are some possible reasons:
Obviously there are a lot of factors that converge to produce a conversion rate. Maybe the landing page copy was better on the 7 field form registration pages. Maybe the webinar title or topic was better. Maybe the picture of the presenter was more attractive. There are a lot of factors that influence conversion rate.
I’ve come to believe that the most important factor in determining conversion rate isn’t the landing page itself, or the number of form fields, but rather, the quality of the audience that is pushed to the landing page. For example, audiences generated via social media are less likely to fill out a form than an audience generated via email marketing. In my opinion, audience has more to do with landing page success than the landing page itself.
This one is just a theory. That’s it. A theory not based on anything but my personal experience. But, from that personal experience I can only say that I’m not dissuaded by long forms. If I want to download something, register for a webinar, or sign up for a demo of a product, I’ll do it regardless of the length of the form (within reason, of course). One or two extra questions is not going to dissuade me.
In fact, I sometimes feel more engaged in the process if the form is a bit long.
I don’t know what this means.
I guess the long story short is this: I don’t have a clue why longer forms do better on our webinar registration pages than shorter forms do. I have no clue.
But, the fact is that 7 field forms have a conversion rate of 40.59% and the forms that have 4 fields have a conversion rate of 26.71%