One of my new clients has a contact form on her site that asked for very basic info:
- Email Address
She called and asked me to make the form longer – to request more information.
Generally speaking – that’s not a good idea, and here’s why. It boils down to two main reasons:
- Site visitors are in a hurry – they don’t want to mess with filling out a long form.
- Visitors are also protective of their privacy, and they aren’t sure what you’re going to do with all that info!
So be very careful what you ask for in a form – and make sure you really need the information.
For most email lists, for example, asking for a first name and email address is all you need. You’ll get more signups that way.
However – your sign-ups will be less targeted than if you request more complete information, so that’s the “flipside” to consider. Which is more important to you – more, less targeted contacts, or fewer, more-targeted contacts?
Always tell people what they’re going to get when they DO enter data on a form, and if possible give them an incentive for doing so – a discount, free report, etc. It’s also helpful to reassure them that you’ll respect their privacy and not sell or share their info with anyone else.