I was recently asked how many form fields is too many on an opt-in page/form. A similar question is, are there form fields that will cause opt-in form abandonment? To answer that, we need to look at a few different things.
It’s hard to give a global answer for everyone. What I will say is that it’s best to test and see what works for you. But before we move on, let me get everyone on the same page.
An opt-in form is generally a box or area on your website that asks the visitor for their name and email. Generally, this is in exchange for providing them more information, a special offer, a newsletter, etc. With that being said, the easy answer, in most cases, is “less is more.”
Many times, we see only the email address being requested to opt-in to an offer. But in saying that, it brings to light something else other than just the number of fields that could be hindering opt-ins.
Without elaborating too much on each, let’s first list a few of the possible things that can affect whether or not someone does or doesn’t fill in your opt-in form.
- APPEARANCE: Does it stand out on it’s own or blend into the website?
- INSTRUCTIONS: Does the visitor know what they are supposed to fill out?
- BENEFIT: Is the offer worth enough for them to want to enter their details?
- TOO MUCH: Are you asking the visitor to submit a biography?
These are just a few things that could keep someone from filling out your opt-in form. You only have a few moments to make an impression. If you’re asking for a pre-nup on the first date, chances are you’re going to scare someone away; meaning asking for too much information, such as making them feel you could follow up with a phone call, could hinder them from completing the opt in.
At this point, they don’t even know if you have the information they’re really wanting. A good opt-in should have a headline that BRIEFLY explains what to expect, followed by to the point instructions on what to do. Enter your name and email, and click the button that reads “Claim my Free Whatever.” This will make a difference in conversion.
Make sure the form is boxed in and that it’s obvious it is a form to fill-in. Also be sure that the button says EXACTLY what you told them it would say and the button stands out.
Additionally, make sure the page you deliver your promised offer on is what you said it would be. It’s okay to give even a little more that what was promised.
In the case where you are wanting a phone number or more information from them, it’s okay to ask for it on this page. A better option, in my opinion, is to have a follow-up series of emails to the opt-in so that you can get them to consume the free whatever you delivered. This is the ideal way to get them to give you more information.
If you’d like to learn more about the follow up series, see my article titled Missed Lead Follow Up. And don’t forget to test, test and test again. Test your opt-in to see what fields do or don’t get you more opt- ins. Test button colors, button text, headlines, audio vs. no audio, etc.
There are so many things that work or don’t work for each industry. That is the main reason their is no defacto answer for everyone.