Businesses naturally want to generate leads. And if a customer is already on your website, an online form is one of the best ways to capture them as a lead. Directing the customer to the form is easy enough. But unfortunately, getting the form in front of your contact doesn’t guarantee that they’ll actually fill it out and submit it.
No “magic button” to guarantee form completion exists. However, Oracle Eloqua users have a powerful form design editor at their disposal to make the whole process easier to complete. Today, we’re looking at design principles and how to decrease form abandonment.
Lead Generation from Online Forms
Obviously, online forms exist to generate leads for your business. But a quality lead is more than just a name and email address. A college student working part-time is not a worthwhile lead for a jet engine manufacturer, for example. Gathering valuable leads means collecting enough information to make it obvious whether this lead is worth pursuing.
Here we run into a problem. Marketing experts will tell you, correctly, that gathering as much information as possible on a lead provides a much-needed boost to nurturing and customized marketing. But collecting that information can be a challenge. Forms that get too long and complicated, or that ask for data not readily available, can add friction and lead to the dreaded form abandonment.
What Causes Form Abandonment?
Simply having a form on your website is not a guarantee of lead generation. Customers may start filling out your form but stop halfway through and never finish. Marketing experts tend to agree that form abandonment usually results from one of these issues:
- Long, complicated forms with too many questions
- Forms that load slowly and force users to wait
- Requests for information that is not readily available (i.e., information the customer may have to leave the computer to find)
- Confusing layout or instructions
- Questions with an unclear purpose (i.e., the customer doesn’t know how you will use their data and if they agree)
- Hindered accessibility from poor form design
- Lack of privacy controls
Fortunately, these problems are easily treatable with Eloqua’s form design system.
User-Friendly Online Form Design Strategies
Changing how you develop online forms can make a significant difference in your lead generation numbers. As you revamp your form templates in Eloqua, keep these principles in mind:
- Optimize your form for the correct device. Poorly formatted forms can lead customers to decide this isn’t worth it.
- Test your form ahead of time, repeatedly. Catch any glitches, errors, or loading problems long before a customer ever sees your form.
- Short and sweet. The longer a form is, the more likely the potential lead will lose patience. Only request information that is strictly necessary.
- Limit your form to a single column. This makes the form appear simpler, shorter, and cleaner. This also optimizes your form for mobile devices.
- Give your form and fields clear titles. Customers want to know they’re on the right form, and what information you’re asking them to provide.
- Avoid drop-down menus. Consider radio buttons instead, where all possible answers are visible at once so the customer can more easily decide.
- Start with the easiest information to find. Keep “harder” but necessary questions, like information the customer will have to leave the computer to find, at the bottom. Since the form is mostly complete by now, this makes them more likely to return and finish.
- Be upfront about your privacy approach. Clearly explain how the requested information will be used. Additionally, provide a link to your full privacy statement for details. This should feed into your marketing consent solution like 4Comply.
- Provide an unmistakable CTA. The form won’t do you any good if it’s not submitted!
- Thank the customer. Always say thank you when someone trusts you with their information.
Collect More Quality Leads with Well-Designed Forms
High-quality Eloqua forms do both you and your customers a huge favor: they make lead generation quick and easy. Why wait to improve this? Get in touch with 4Thought Marketing today to improve your Eloqua form design and increase lead generation.