Why Multi-Step Forms Can Increase Conversions (Examples & Data)

Last updated on by Instapage in A/B Split Testing, Conversion Optimization

All landing page elements give visitors information as soon as they arrive on the page:

The landing page form, however, doesn’t give visitors anything at first. Instead, it takes something from them — their personal information. This inherent characteristic combined with the length of long forms makes them prone to conversion friction.

It’s easy for visitors to get overwhelmed when they see a long form on a landing page – they get anxious about entering too much data and which causes them to abandon the page. Multi-step forms help eliminate this problem by collecting visitor information without intimidating them.

Today’s post reminds you what multi-step forms are, their benefits, examples, and finally the results of an Instapage A/B test using the functionality.

What are multi-step forms?

A multi-step form is exactly what it sounds like — a long-form broken down into multiple pieces/steps to make an otherwise long form less intimidating for visitors to complete. The additional fields only appear after a visitor has filled in their baseline information, like name and email address.

Which industries can use them?

Conversion optimization dictates that fewer form fields leads to more conversions. However, using multi-step forms instead of one-step or on-page forms has proven to increase conversions.

When Vendio, a website building tool ran an A/B test with an on-page form versus a multi-step form, they saw a 214% increase in leads. Similarly, BrokerNotes, a B2C financial lead gen website used multi-step forms and their conversion rate increased from 11% to 46%.

Uber uses a multi-step form on their sign up landing page:

The first step of the form asks for basic information (name, email address, and city). Step two asks them to select how they would like to partner with Uber, and the last step asks them to agree to the service’s terms and conditions.

The Quick Base free trial landing page features a multi-step form once you click the free trial CTA button:

The first step asks for a business email and password, while the second step asks visitors to enter their company name, phone number, and the number of employees:

Bills.com also uses one on their post-click landing page:

Using multi-step forms on your landing pages helps you collect information from your visitors without raising their anxiety levels. But, that’s not the only benefit they provide.

Benefits of multi-step forms

Multi-step forms increase landing page conversions since they:

  1. Reduce psychological friction without overwhelming visitors
  2. Help you avoid the Goldilocks Syndrome
  3. Help you determine how committed a visitor is to your offer
  4. Kick in the endowed progress effect

1. Reduce psychological friction without overwhelming visitors

Imagine you had to complete this form. Wouldn’t you feel intimidated?

It’s the first thing the visitor sees when they come to the NetSuite Financials’ landing page.

Visitors are bound to experience psychological friction when they see a long form on a landing page. Multi-step forms combat this problem by breaking down the fields into steps, so they don’t have to submit all their information at once.

Doing this helps put people’s mind at ease so they won’t feel overwhelmed.

2. They help you avoid the Goldilocks Syndrome

The Goldilocks Syndrome dictates that when you use forms that are too long, they deter prospects from completing them. Too short and you end up with leads that are more marketing qualified than sales qualified.

When you require more information, multi-step forms strike a better balance because you can leverage more form fields to collect all the lead information at a given funnel stage without scaring off visitors.

3. They help you determine how committed people are

You can determine a visitor’s commitment level when they fill out a multi-step form. Only a visitor who is highly committed to avail your offer will complete all the steps.

4. Multi-step forms kick in the endowed progress effect

The endowed progress effect is a cognitive bias where people become more committed to achieving a goal when they feel they have made progress toward it. When users see they are progressing toward the next step, they are more likely to complete the entire form and convert through the CTA button at the end.

Results of an Instapage multi-step form A/B test

Our Enterprise Demo landing page gets a lot of traffic from PPC ads and all website links for “demo requests.” We decided to A/B test to determine whether an on-page form or a multi-step form produced the best results.

Our process for creating the A/B test was simple:

  1. Use the first step for baseline questions
  2. Keep the high commitment questions (e.g., estimated ad spend, email, phone number) on the succeeding steps.

Here is the original form:

Compared to the first step of the multi-step form:

The second step requested ad spend, first, and last name:

And the third and final step asked for email, phone number, and how Instapage can help:

As you can see, each step asked for more detailed information about the prospect.

The Results

The multi-step variation won with a 21.4% better conversion rate based on 25,500+ visits to each variation. Surprisingly the deviation is very small, however, the non multi-step form (Var 1-1 (data reset) was losing by a small margin. Also, it makes sense that by the time someone is ready to “request demo” they are pretty committed.

Multi-step forms can increase engagement and conversions

If your post-click landing page requests a lot of information from prospects and you want to eliminate conversion friction, using a multi-step form is one of the best ways to increase engagement and conversions.

Setting up multi-step forms comes standard with any Instapage customer plan. What’s even better is that Instapage allows you to create your forms with page-level integrations. That means you can set up all your integrations once, instead of individually with each form. Just follow the steps described in this help center article. For more reasons why Instapage is the market leader for post-click landing pages, check out this ebook.

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