Where you place your forms, how they’re designed, and the language in your call-to-action all shape your visitor experience. Get these elements right, and you can grow your lists.  

If you want to transform your underperforming lead-generation forms, you’ll need to give both your webpage and the form itself a refresh. Start with these 10 tips to optimize form conversion.

Conversion forms should be above the fold on your landing page. That means visitors shouldn’t have to scroll down the page to see your form. There’s no need to search to find your offer. Doing this removes friction from your lead generation process.

For example, visitors on the landing page below instantly know they’ll need to fill out the free demo form.

Encourage visitors to complete your form by making your headline a call-to-action. This tells your visitors exactly what they will get once they sign up.

For example, the form below starts with the call-to-action, “Start Your Free Trial Now.” This call to action is then repeated in the button at the bottom of the form, reinforcing the message.

If you’re unsure of what to include in your form headline, consider the following.

When it comes to creating your form fields, use the Goldilocks method: Try to find the number that’s just right.

A long form will overwhelm people and dissuade them from filling it out. However, shorter forms can generate a high number of submissions, but your leads may be low quality. You’ll want to find the perfect number of fields to get high-quality leads without scaring prospects away.

The length of your form depends on two factors.

If you’re still wary about your form length, determine which information is a must-have vs. a nice-to-have.

For example, fleet safety software company Nauto built the form below to get sales-qualified leads. Besides the regular form fields, they have required fields for job title, company fleet size, and primary vehicle type.

This compulsory information leads to fewer, but better, leads. Put another way, their sales reps will effectively use their time to close these leads.

You can typically denote required fields with an asterisk (*). Optional fields will not have an asterisk.

For first-time visitors, HubSpot’s conversion forms are long. We get a lot of leads, so we need extra form fields to determine the lead quality. This allows us to correctly rotate the leads to the right reps.

However, we only show these extra fields to first-time visitors. Notice the difference in the form?

The best part? They create a better user experience for visitors because you can generate questions specific to a set of your audience.

Your submit button offers a final chance to convince visitors to fill out those last few fields. To get better conversions from this button, customize the text based on your offer.

Here are some examples.

These calls-to-action are all more enticing than “submit.”

Randomly choosing a CTA color is not ideal. An A/B test can help you make an informed decision.

In your form, you can link to your privacy policy before the submission button while including a snippet. Here’s how this looks on our forms.

Let’s apply these best practices to the form below.

The input field lengths are ideal for both first and last names. However, the email field is not optimized, as most professional emails aren’t that lengthy.

Perhaps you need to gather more user data to find qualified leads. A lengthy, single-page form may scare off potential prospects. You can instead create a form with multiple pages to break up the user experience.

Let’s look at the form below as an example.

The first page asks simply for the visitor’s name. The second page gathers the person’s contact information, and the third gathers information about the person’s business. The final page asks for the size of the company.

Each page of the form asks for more information than the last. However, by creating multiple, easy steps, the visitor isn’t overwhelmed by the amount of information they need to share.

Simply asking for information isn’t enough. Your forms have to create a frictionless user experience to create leads. You’ll also need compelling offers bolstered by top-notch design and the right message.

Becoming a form conversion expert will take time. Remember: Increasing your conversion rate will involve trial and error. Experiment with different messaging and placements to see what works. Make note of the best practices that work specifically for your organization.