Disrupting the Web Form - What Your Brand Can Do to Stand Out
As marketers, we need to embrace the fact that across every touchpoint, customers are demanding more control, options, utility, and guidance from brands. Which means we need to take a more critical look at the brand assets our customers are engaging with, and ask ourselves if, in a few years time, will these assets meet evolving customer expectations, or will they be perceived as stodgy remnants of the past?
One asset that I’m pretty sure most marketers would put in the latter camp? The web form. This ubiquitous brand asset and one of the primary tools for lead gen has been around since the early stages of the Internet, yet today the majority of forms customers are exposed to are basically the same as they were 15 or even 20 years ago. That’s not to say that marketers are totally ignoring the form - Google search “designing web forms” and you’ll find a wealth of content illustrating best practices, testing approaches, and effective methods of optimization. And while all these strategies should be in your tool box, marketers should strive for further innovation around the form because the bar is low, customers want more interactive brand experiences, and through form innovation there’s great opportunity for brand differentiation, increased campaign performance, and customer satisfaction.
Additionally, marketers can expect to gain the following benefits if they invest the time and resources to rethink the web form:
- More customer data - Within a more interactive or intimate experience, customers are more likely to provide greater personal data, helping marketers better know, segment, and qualify their customers and prospects.
- Increased business and customer intelligence - Earning more customer data enables marketers to create more relevant, targeted, and personalized marketing and nurturing campaigns.
- Stronger brand loyalty - Brand perception improves when a customer feels they have received guidance, education, and a custom solution in exchange for providing their personal information.
- Higher form completion rates and more leads
Now let’s take a look at some ideas marketers can leverage to disrupt the web form status quo.
The first way to provide a more intimate and memorable user experience is to replace static forms with an interactive and conversational question and answer workflow that ends with the customer receiving an on-the-spot, customized response or solution just for them. Here’s a great example from the insurance industry - the language is simple and straightforward; icons, design, and subtle animation make the brand experience unique and intuitive; and at the end, the customer is provided a custom quick-quote (laid out as a story book to illustrate their life details just shared with the brand). Clear CTAs to apply now or get a more detailed quote offer the customer clear and immediate next steps to progress down the funnel.
Another way marketers can rethink the form is to start the experience by providing the customer with more access, content, and utility up front, all before asking for any personal information. A good method of doing this is the guided tour - a great approach for brands with high purchase consideration, complex product or service offerings, or those in the software industry. Guided tours allow customers to self-service and interact with a brand’s offerings without having to first talk to a rep, or provide any personal information. Tours are the equivalent of free food samples at your local grocery store, and who doesn’t like samples?
Other unique examples of innovative form experiences worth checking out include Lemonade’s quote experience, Turbo Tax, and for fun, this more abstract, but highly interactive and visually appealing quiz.
If you’re a marketer interested in innovating your web forms, or would like an audit of your existing web forms, contact Rise.