How to Create High-Conversion Multi-Step Forms
If conversion is a recurring problem for you and you have a form or two that you ask end users to fill out, better check if the two are related. More often than not, users abandon a page when they find a step too time-consuming and complicated. This is what pulls down your conversion rates.
This is where multi-step forms come in.
Multi-Step Forms vs Single-Step Forms
What makes a person abandon a page?
Although there’s always a small chance that they had to do something more important or got called away from the screen somehow, most of the time, they abandon a page because:
It looks time-consuming.
It looks complicated.
A lot of cases of page abandonment happens on forms. Obviously, you don’t want your forms to meet either of those criteria.
Multi-step forms make the process less complicated and more bearable by splitting an entire form into smaller, easier-to-digest chunks.
Let’s say your signup process involves a potential user’s personal information, shipping details, and payment details. Instead of having all three spread out from top to bottom on a single page, you can have a single page for each step.
Converting the usual lengthy single-step form into a multi-step form can increase conversions by around 59.2%.
But that doesn’t mean that you need a multi-step form each and every time.
Let’s say all you need are your users’ contact information. In this case, there’s no need to split the form into several pages. A single step is all you need to complete the process.
How to Make Your Multi-Step Form a Conversion Magnet
So you’ve decided that your process requires a multi-step form instead of a single-step one. How can you make sure people don’t abandon it just the same?
Here are a few tips that could help you out:
Show the user’s progress.
Have you heard of the endowed progress effect? This concept states that any representation or semblance of progress motivates a person to complete any task faster. This is a concept that can be effective in multi-step forms.
A simple progress bar on top of each step can show the user how much progress they’ve made and how much further they have to go until they reach the end. You could also make it as simple as a huge sign that says “Step 2 of 3”.
Don’t have too many steps or too many questions.
Yes, each step is now easier to digest. But that shouldn’t be mistaken as a go signal to go crazy. Limit each step to a few fields for them to fill out. Limit the number of steps as well. Having a more than ideal number of steps and questions defeats the purpose of a multi-step form.
How do you know that you have everything you need? Ask yourself – does removing a certain question or step change the entire process? If an item has no such impact, then it probably doesn’t belong there.
Give examples for fields that require a specific format.
There are instances where the blanks require a specific format for the system to accept an answer. In stating birthdays, for example, some forms may require you to write the month in full, while some would require you to write its 2-digit numeric counterpart.
In cases like these, always have an example for the user. You can have a question mark beside the blank that would show the proper format when the user hovers over it, or you can have it fully visible below the blank in italics. This prevents errors that would lengthen the process.
Make the questions straightforward.
For fields that require a user’s name or mobile number, it’s definitely easy enough for people to understand what’s required of them. But for other questions that do not have answers as straightforward as this, make sure that you lay it out in a way that’s not too complicated.
On a feedback form, for example, instead of asking, “Did you enjoy the experience?” you can ask the user to rate the service from 1 to 5 instead, with boxes provided for them to tick off.
Offer added value after the form is completed.
People love getting something extra for doing something. You might say that completing a checkout form on an e-commerce site gives users the satisfaction of knowing that the product they ordered will be on their doorstep soon. But wouldn’t it be a lot better if they got a discount for their next purchase, or perhaps, free extended warranty?
Anything extra that the person completing the form did not pay for does not only give them a bigger motivation to complete the form to the end, it also shows them that you care about their loyalty.
Now, are you ready to get started on those forms? Just keep those steps above in mind and start seeing those conversions soar higher.