How to Create an Optimized Form - Instapage Guide

How to Create an Optimized Form

Last updated on May 18, 2017

Landing page lead capture forms allow you to collect critical information about your visitors in exchange for something – this could be an ebook, a blog subscription or a free trial depending on the conversion goal of the page.

While lead capture forms help marketers collect important information about prospects, they are also the landing page element that has the highest possibility of giving way to landing page friction.

Friction can be defined as any part of the conversion process that makes a user less likely to convert. On a landing page, an example of friction could be a long form, poor message match, or too much text.

An optimized landing page form ensures that visitors feel at home when submitting their information, making sure you get the lead.

A landing page form must have the following characteristics:

    1. Appropriate length: The length of your form depends on the offer you’re promoting and where your visitor is in the conversion funnel. Don’t create unnecessarily lengthy forms because those just turn visitors off.
    2. Organized: Arrange the form in a proper manner, labelling the fields and using ample white space. Visitors shouldn’t have to work to fill out the form.
    3. Non-invasive: The lead capture form shouldn’t expect visitors to fill out information that’s not necessary for the offer. If the form asks visitors to fill out supplementary information, they should be placed in optional form fields.
    4. Easy to Find: Make your form stand out on the page with the help of contrast, don’t tuck it away behind some other element. You can also create a form headline to make it stand out.
    5. Trustworthy: Visitors don’t fill out those lead capture forms that just want their information and don’t offer them any guarantees, mention your privacy policy link with your form.

Types of Landing Page Forms

There are essentially three types of landing page forms:

    1. On page forms: These forms are visible as soon as you land on the page
    2. Two step opt-in forms: The forms aren’t available as soon as you land on the page, but become visible when the clicks the CTA button.
    3. Multi step opt-in forms: These are similar to two-step opt-in forms, however, where two-step opt-in forms are single forms these are multiple forms that keep on showing as you enter the information.

On Page Forms

These are the most common types of landing page forms, they are immediately visible to the visitor and can be placed above or below the page fold.

The Simply Measured landing page has a above the fold on page form:

Simply measured landing page form example

Two-Step Opt-in Forms

Two-step opt-in forms or double opt-in forms only appear after a visitor clicks the CTA button. When a visitor arrives on a landing page that has a two-step form, they don’t see the form on the page, what they see instead are all the other landing page elements explaining the offer, so they don’t have to think about giving their information before finding everything out about the offer.

A two-step opt-in form makes the form the primary element only when visitors are ready to convert. When the visitor clicks the CTA button, and the form appears in a lightbox, all the visitor’s attention is isolated on the form.

The Instapage webinar landing page uses a two-step opt-in form, the form appears as soon as you click the CTA button:

Instapage Webinar Landing Pages Example

Visitors are much more likely to fill out a two-step form, because they absence of a form on the page helps them learn about the offer in a no-friction environment. A two-step form actually acts like a 2-step verification process because only the visitors committed to fulfilling the conversion goal click the CTA button and then fill out the form that pops up.

Two-step opt-in forms also don’t intimidate visitors as they break down the conversion process into two parts:

  • Information phase: the pre-form phase
  • Commitment phase: the post-form phase

In the information phase, visitors are only concerned about collecting information about the offer and deciding whether or nor they want to click the CTA button and proceed to the second phase. Only committed visitors enter the commitment phase to fill out the form.

Host Analytics also uses a two-step opt-in form:

Host Analytics Landing Page Example

Two step-opt in forms also increase your chances of getting conversions because they use the psychological phenomenon of the Ziegarnik effect to convince visitors to fill them out.

The Ziegarnik effect is a psychological phenomenon that dictates that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better which compels them to finish what they’ve started. So, when visitors click the CTA button on a landing page they’ve essentially started a task, completing the two-step form is what completes their task. When a visitor clicks the CTA button, they then feel compelled to fill out the form and complete the conversion goal.

Multi-Step Forms

Multi-step forms similar to two-step forms don’t appear immediately on the page, the visitor has to click the Call to Action button to prompt the form to appear. The difference between multi-step forms and two-step forms is that the former includes multiple forms while the latter just has one form.

Lead capture forms allow you to gather information from your visitor, making them a vital landing page element. Optimize your lead capture forms by taking care of their length and formatting to help convert more visitors.