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Form stress. Photo by Miguel AngelGreat web designers advise clients to reduce the number of fields per form. This reduces the number of abandoned forms.

For client, Yellow Birds Play Academy, to send a CV for a specific vacancy, just name and address are required. There’s a CV upload button, so all contact information on the CV. Why burden applicants with extra form filling, in a candidate driven market?

A Good Form is a Short Form

There’s no doubt, excessive fields increases the number of abandoned forms. So, aside from the extreme CV example, what’s the least required fields you can have on a form?

Research by KO Marketing, back in 2014 found 81% of B2B customers preferred to communicate via email, with the phone being second at 58%. Whilst you may include the phone field, is it wise to make it not required?

Valuing Customer Privacy

Research delivered in 2015 again by KO Marketing included personal information buyers prefer not to release in a form. Phone numbers(58%) were top of the list. 53% preferred not to reveal their address. In contrast, only 16% were uncomfortable giving out their email address.

Give Them What They Want

Prospects are happy to provide a contact number if booking an event or for an expensive purchase. That’s because if something goes wrong, they want to be contacted. However, for introductions to services, given the option not to provide their phone number, submissions increase.

Don’t Insist on Phone Numbers

A huge survey, analyzing 40,000 contact forms by Hubspot, back in 2010 revealed asking for a phone number reduced the number of inquiries by almost a third.

So, when making any web design decisions, use the rich resource of evidence from visitor tracking. Case studies below are from an article by Unbounce co-founder, Oli Gardner, the split testing platform.

Case Study – Expedia

Expedia found 37% visitors were abandoning a form, when asking for a phone number. Using split testing, with an optional phone field, the number of visitors submitting forms doubled from 42.6% to 80%.

With Forms… Less Gets you More

Case Study – Imagescape

imagescapeImagescape reduced the number of fields in their contact form from 11 to 4.

This resulted in a conversion increase from 5.4% to 11.9% .

Optimum Number of Fields

Conversion rates drop rapidly as fields are increased. With just 3 fields: 25%; with 6 or more fields it plummets to 15% conversion rate.

Drop downs? Drop Dead!

Due to touchscreens and laptops, visitors hate drop down menus. Adding drop downs to a form with just 3 fields saw conversion rates drop to 15%.