While working on your website’s conversion rate optimization, you have probably tweaked your Call-To-Action buttons, your copy, and your landing pages. But have you considered modifying your intake forms?
Whether you are looking to increase the number of subscribers to your site, or improve your e-commerce sales, your intake form is the bridge that moves visitors into subscribers or customers. If your form is streamlined and laid out logically, your visitors should be able to complete the necessary steps easily. But if you find your conversion rates dropping at this step, it might be time to change up your intake form format.
Why the Single-Page vs. Multi-Page Debate?
There is a debate about which is better, the single-page form or the multi-page form. Those that favor single-page forms do so because they believe less is more. They don’t want to make the customer fill out multiple pages as they could lose them at any point. They simply want to show the customer all the information that is required and let them complete the process. No hoops to jump through. Just fill in the blanks.
Those that favor the multi-page form believe that customers will react better to the intake form if they can move though the process in simple-to-complete stages. Each page would require the customer to complete only a couple parts, making the whole process less daunting.
Which Format Should I Choose?
There is no universal answer to this question. For some businesses, a single-page form will perform better. For others, a multi-form approach is best. It all comes down to the type of business you run and the amount of information you require.
There are advantages and disadvantages associated with each form format. Here is a breakdown to help you decide.
User Friendly – If you want your form to appeal to the largest audience possible, having all the fields on a single page is the way to go. You don’t need to worry about navigational errors or pages not loading properly. Users know exactly what information is required and how far along in the sign-up process they are.
Loading Times – As we mentioned in previous posts, a slow loading website can increase your bounce rates. The same is true for your forms. If you have a multi-page form, you run the risk of slow loading times for each page. A single page form, on the other hand, only has one page to load. This reduces the risk of your customer becoming frustrated and moving on to a different site to complete their purchase or subscription, if a page doesn’t load quickly.
Length – Depending on the nature of your business, you may require differing amounts of information from your customers. If you offer a simple subscription service, a name and email address may be all you need. But if you are selling a product, you may require the customer’s name, address, billing information and shipment information. This many fields on one page can seem overwhelming to some, causing them not to complete the transaction.
Layout – Going hand in hand with length considerations is the single-page form’s layout. If you require lots of information, you are going to need room for all the fields. If you display the fields in a jumbled layout or a layout that requires a lot of scrolling, there is a possibility that the customer may miss entering data into a field. This then may trigger an error message to appear and they cannot proceed with the transaction until the error is fixed. This delay can frustrate some and cause them to abandon the process all together.
Logical Groupings – Multi-page forms allow you to gather information in a logical procession of small steps. You can ask for the customer’s name and contact information on one page, their shipping information on the second page, and payment information on the third page. You are asking for the same information as a single-page form, but by breaking it up it will be less intimidating to complete.Multi-page forms allow you to gather information in a logical procession of small steps. Click To Tweet
Ability to collect more information – By moving a customer through the multi-page process, they become more invested in the process with each step. This means that they might provide additional information to you if you ask for it later in the process. For example, someone might not want to give you an email address or phone number right off the bat, but when they are a few pages into the form, they may give you that information if it stands between them and the end.
Slow Load Times – As mentioned above, delays in page load times are a known reason for increased bounce rates. If you have multiple pages, you run the risk of having slow loading pages on a number of occasions. This puts you at risk of potentially losing customers during any stage of the sign-up process.
Length – It’s recommended to have a progress bar on each page of your multi-page form. This allows the customer to know exactly where they are in the process. While it helps the customer navigate, it can also intimidate. Even if you only ask 1 to 2 questions per page, customers may find the process daunting if they see that have to go though 4 pages or more to reach the end.
The decision to use a single-page form vs. a multi-page form is an individual one. While one format may work for one business, it may not meet the needs of the next business. By knowing the advantages and disadvantages of both options, you can decide which option will work best for you.
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