Our Sales and Marketing Director, Flo shares her latest experience with an online form. Her frustration tells a common story: why forms are not ideal for converting customers.

You can’t get anything today without filling a form. As soon as you want to download a document, attend an event, subscribe to a simple newsletter or even ask someone for help—you’re forced to fill a form.

Frustration Factor 1. Too much to fill in.

Endless fields can turn your visitor off from visiting their website, attending the event or ever wanting to read a newsletter. I tried signing up for a webinar last week and I was asked to fill out 21 mandatory fields!

Advice: Keep your forms short and you’ll convert better. Read more on the @Marketo Blog.

2. Don’t get too personal.

Users rarely feel comfortable sending off their private info to an unknown receiver. I don’t know what you want to do with my personal data and you can at least warn me that you’re forcing me to subscribe to your newsletter. I wasn’t interested in the company that was hosting the webinar last week, yet they continue to bombard me with product and sales information. It took me 5 minutes to find the link to unsubscribe! Like most people, I’ll fill in fake name, email and more just to go through the steps as fast as possible.

Advice: Would you rather receive false data from a long form or real contacts from a shorter form? Get to the point right away.By removing an unnecessary form field, you’ll increase the likelihood that a visitor will fill out and submit the form,” writes SEO Consultant, Aaron Bradley (@aaranged).

3. Treat me like a human because I am one.

Why is it when I shop at a store, the cashier will usually ask me if I found everything I need and thank me for shopping there, but when I purchase and download a white paper online, I’m rarely thanked and often lost at the end? Companies are quick to bother me with automated links and ads, but rarely consider me a real shopper even when I’m spending real money.

Advice: Please make me feel like a real person too. Make it easy for me to ask you questions and most importantly, value my business. Adding a simple Call Me or Chat button at the end of your form can add the human touch element that’s often missing online.

-Flo

What’s the longest web form you were asked to fill out? Did you?  We’re interested in hearing your frustrating form story. Post your comments below.