Forms have always been one of the main tools for website lead generation. Online you’ll find anything from subscription forms, signup forms, checkout forms, and registration forms. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find a website without some type of form on it.
Maybe your site has a form or you’re thinking of implementing a website form to get more customer information, improve your marketing, and get more leads. Now, apart from the type of form you have to decide on, you’ll also have to give some consideration if you’ll be using a single-step form or a multi-step form.
Depending on your use case, a multi-step form can be better and increase your conversion rate. And it’s increased conversions you want, right? But what is a multi-step form and when should should you use one on your website? Here we’ll give you the answers to these questions.
What Is a Multi-Step Form?
According to HubSpot a multi-step form is a long form that’s broken into multiples pieces. They’re used to make long forms, such as shipping and registration forms less intimidating and daunting. Thus, like the name implies, a multi-step form is form that is completed in multiple steps.
But why split up the form into pieces? Isn’t it more of a hassle? Well, the general idea behind a multi-step form is that the further a website visitor goes down the sales funnel, the more likely they are to complete it, especially when it comes to more valuable information. Essentially, they’re more likely to complete it when they’re already committed and a few steps into the process. In the end, this means a higher conversion rate on your forms.
In fact, it’s proven that multi-step forms result in more conversions compared to single-step forms. In one experiment, for instance, a single-step form experienced a 59.2% increase in conversions after it was converted to a multi-step form. In another, the conversion rate went up by a staggering 743% when it was changed to a multi-step form.
When They Work
Hearing those figures, you probably want to convert all your forms to multi-step forms. But be aware, they only work well under certain circumstances. The conventional wisdom is that, for the best possible conversation rate, your form should have as few fields as possible, and that’s generally true.
The exception to the rule is with longer forms. Long forms that require a lot of information, such as registration forms, order forms, and checkout forms are almost always better served by a multi-step process. In these cases, customers or visitors are more likely to complete longer forms, especially when they have to provide sensitive information.
But why is this? Some reasons are:
- They appear less intimidating at first glance. A visitor much more likely to turn away when faced with a multitude of questions on one page compared to just a few.
- Multi-step forms reduce psychological friction. In other words, they make the information and questions asked easier to digest.
- Progress bars, if available, encourage visitors to complete the form. When a visitor sees their progress, they’re working towards a goal and they are more likely to complete it.
- You can ask sensitive questions at the end of the process, when a visitor is much more committed to finish the process.
Considering this, if you have any long forms on your website where you need a lot of information, you’ll improve your conversion rate by rather using multi-step forms.
You’ll, for instance, notice that you end up with a lot of abandoned carts in your online store. Maybe it’s because your checkout form is too long? In such a case, a multi-step form will surely help to increase conversions and sales. Likewise, you may have a lot of visitors, but few registrations on your site. By changing your registration form to a multi-step form, you can up this number.
When They Don’t
Multi-step forms aren’t the best for every form on your site, though. You wouldn’t expect your visitors to give all their information just to subscribe to your newsletter, right? For these basic functions on your website, short single-step forms are the way to go.
Also, they don’t work well when you don’t display the form’s progress somewhere on the page. It’s therefore important to provide constant feedback to visitors on their progress so that they know how far they are in the process and how long it will take to finish the form.
Try It Out
You can easily try out different versions of your forms on HubSpot. With HubSpot forms you can create a form on a page for each step of the process. In this way, you can test your different forms as either single-step forms of multi-step forms and decide which is best for your particular use case. Isn’t it time you tried?