You’ve built a great website, you’re committed to telling your brand story and you want to take your lead generation efforts to the next level. While you might be doing everything right from an inbound marketing perspective, you still may not be seeing the results you were hoping for with a sign up form that converts leads. If your sign up forms aren’t getting filled out, the answer might not be changing up your tactics ー it could simply be a matter of redesigning your sign up forms to better convert leads.

If you’re looking for ways to optimize your forms for conversion, consider these five sign up design tips to improve user experience, maximize contact form conversions and create the best sign up forms to convert leads.

Minimize Your Form Fields

If your form is a wall of fields that ask too much information or take too much time to complete, users are unlikely to complete your sign up. The best sign up forms have a minimal number of forms and are simple to fill out. Studies of sign up design show that as the number of fields on a form increases, conversion rates decrease — a reduction from 11 fields to four fields saw as much as a 120% conversion increase.

Your sign up fields need to be specific to your business needs. Regardless of the number of fields, don’t hesitate to ask for the business-critical information you need to drive conversions. While some more personal information, such as phone numbers, might lower your conversion rates in a wider trend sense, you might also find that your individual business sees more qualified leads by including this field. Be sure to test new fields until you identify which ones help you gain the most traffic.

Make Sure Your Form Is Prominently Placed

As the old saying goes, it’s all about location, location, location. When you’re laying out a landing page or other web page containing a form, make sure it’s located in the most visible and convenient location on the page. This sign up design tactic ensures that your web users are able to reach out to you when it’s on their mind based on the individual page’s user experience.

Your website footer is a great place to have a simple sign-up form. Keep customer experience (UX) best practices in mind and don’t add too much bulk to the footer if it’s going to dramatically impact your page length. If you’re following our sign up design tip for a minimalist form with only a few fields, you shouldn’t see much negative impact on UX. By including a form in the footer you’ll always know your website visitors have a way to get in touch with you quickly and easily.

The Best Sign Up Forms Work on All Devices

Did you know that 45% of form data is submitted on a mobile device? The increasingly on-the-go nature of the IoT era reinforces that sign up design must be mobile-friendly to maximize conversions for both B2B and B2C companies.

The top mistake with mobile forms is that fields don’t display properly on vertically-oriented screens. Drop-downs tend to be more mobile friendly than text fields or radio buttons as they’re easier to complete on a touch screen. Use a top-alignment rather than horizontal-alignment to keep all fields visible on a vertical screen, and reduce scroll time and visual appeal with minimum field heights.

Sign Up Design Matters

When it comes to sign up design, there are specific graphic design tactics you can use to make sure your form stands out on the page. Encapsulation ー placing fields and buttons in a colored, outlined “capsule” — helps ensure they stand out from negative space and draw the user’s eye. Buttons are a critical element of any form and need to stand out clearly. If possible, use a contrasting accent color that highlights specific CTAS.

Generally speaking, graphic design decisions make your form stand out from the rest of your page, and your buttons stand out on your form. Provide adequate white space around your form to reduce visual noise. Resist the urge for vibrant colors, bold patterns, loud textures and too many fonts — your form needs to stand out, but also needs to look good on every device and remain consistent with your brand guidelines.

Optimize Your CTAs

A single word on your form can have a massive impact on conversion rates. According to research from Unbounce, using “Submit” on your sign up button can decrease conversion by as much as 3%. More authoritative CTAs like “Download” and “Register” saw poor conversion rates and were considered “demanding” by audiences, while informal CTAs such as “Go” and “Click Here” saw better performance.

While your button text needs to effectively call your user to action, you don’t want to seem demanding. Keep your CTA buttons concise at no more than 3 short words. That said, those words can showcase your brand personality ー “Let’s Chat,” “Work with Us” and “Let’s Get Started” work toward conversation rather than demanding it. Test a few different variations to see what works best for your business.

How to Build a Sign Up Form That Converts Leads

Sign up forms are a critical element of marketing automation to support lead generation and nurture efforts. The best sign up forms are ones that are easy for your users to complete while gathering all of the information your team needs to qualify and convert leads. Testing and optimization are necessary on forms, as with most digital marketing tactics.

Your marketing automation suite should let you build forms that integrate directly with your CRM and email workflows to centralize all of these tactics in a single hub, and give you insight into which variations and which sign up forms are truly performing for your business.

Using sign up forms can be one of the best ways to connect with your customers and to build stronger relationships ー and it all starts with your sign up form.

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Teresa Gordon