Which Online Form Converts Best?

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  • April 6, 2015

Most websites use some type of form, or multiple forms, to capture their visitors’ information (aka a lead). Those of us in sales covet these leads, especially if they’ve reached out to us (aka a first-party-leads)! Marketers are continuously discovering different ways to entice visitors to want to leave us with their information, hence the development of multiple types of forms used: contact, survey, contest, registration… the list goes on. This article shows research about which forms have the highest submissions, or conversion rates.

According to recent research by Formstack, conversion rates for website forms vary widely by the type of form being used. This year’s study also included “Lead Generation” forms (or those gated for content downloads). The analysis was based on 665,000 user account contributions spread over 18,703 accounts and 117,577 form types collected in January 2015. 

The study examined the percentage of all visitors (or conversion rates)  who successfully submitted information for 7 types of forms: event registration, order/payment, contact, survey, donation, contest, and lead generation.

Online Form Conversion Rates

Online Form Conversion Rates. Photo courtesy of Formstack

The study found that Contest Forms have the highest average conversion rate, with 35% of all visitors successfully completing the submission process. Lead Gen Forms were a distant 2nd and Contact Forms had the lowest average conversion rate of 1%.

Surprising to me, as well as the authors, the study showed that form conversions were significantly higher on multi-page (13.85%) than single page (4.53%) online forms. This was attribute to long forms use of page breaks, making them easier to digest; multi-page forms’ regular use of progress bars and bigger fonts and larger head images making forms less intimidating. 

Comparing Online Form Performance 2014/2015

When comparing online form submissions between 2014 and 2015, Contest, Payment/Order and Donation forms increased conversion rates compared to 2014; however, Contact and Survey forms have decreased while Event Registration stayed the same.

Online Form Conv. Rate 2014/2015

Online Form Conv. Rate 2014/2015. Photo courtesy of Formstack

Online Form Button Language

Form button language seems to also make a difference with conversion rates. 

  • “Next” converts at almost twice the rate of “Continue” (43.6% vs. 24.6%)
  • “Submit Registration” has a slightly higher rate than “Register Now” (15.6% vs. 13.3%)
  • Little difference between “Checkout” (10%) and “Place Order” (9.25%).

According to a survey by Hubspot, “Click Here” converted the best, followed by “Go.”

Clicks by Button Text on Online forms

Clicks by Button Text on Online forms.

Language may also influence this outcome. For example, “Send” averaged a 21.1% conversion rate when in German on German web forms, but averaged 7.6% rate in Spanish on Spanish forms.

Online Form Submission Times

The Formstack research was further broken down by peak submission times by form type:

  • Order/Payment forms: Tuesday between 11AM and 12PM (ET);
  • Contact: Tuesday, 12-1PM;
  • Event Registration: Wednesday between 11AM and 12PM;
  • Donation: Wednesday, 2-3PM;
  • Lead Gen: Thursday, 4-5PM;
  • Contest: Thursday, 8-9PM; and
  • Surveys: Friday between 11AM and 12PM.

Religious organizations have the highest average conversion rate of the 11 (20% of forms of all types are submitted); healthcare businesses have the lowest average conversion rate (9%).

It’s important to know which forms appeal to most people. It could mean the difference of hundreds of leads gained or lost. However, it’s important to test your own site to see which best works for you. 

Author LeadCrafters

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