Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Many law firms have a number of forms on their websites. These forms may be for new contact inquiries, to request a free white paper, register for an upcoming seminar or schedule an initial consultation. Whatever the reason for the forms, the main goal is to have visitors engage with your firm by completing them. Below, we’ve included some expert tips on maximizing the number of online submissions you receive each month:
Highlight the benefits – If the form is to request a free e-book written by one of the attorneys at your practice, don’t just include the title of the book with the form. Instead, draft a description that is benefit focused. You might consider including questions that you often receive from prospects and explain that these issues are explored in the publication.
Keep the form short – While you may want a great deal of information from website visitors so you can better assess your site’s performance, most people are hesitant to submit personal information to a company that they have yet to do business with. As a general rule of thumb, only ask for the information that will allow you to provide the benefit that you’re offering. If it is a form to sign up for your e-newsletter, the fields may only request a first name, last name and email address (you don’t need a phone number or home address for email messages). The less you ask of visitors, the more likely they are to engage.
Test out the functionality – If you spend a lot of time on the web, you’ve likely encountered forms that are frustrating to complete. This is often the case when there aren’t enough instructions so you enter your phone number with dashes which then leads to an error message or you find it’s difficult to navigate on your iPad or mobile device. If you want visitors to complete your form, you have to make sure that they don’t get frustrated in the process and leave without performing the desired action. You should also try filling out the form incorrectly (leaving our required fields) to ensure the validation works correctly; this will help to identify any issues which may hinder your ability to follow up with website visitors or act on the request.
Lead visitors to the forms – You can’t just place forms throughout your site and assume that all visitors will easily find them. Take time to add links to the forms in appropriate places throughout the site, and work with your website developer to create a prominent call(s) to action that will inspire visitors to perform the action.
Set expectations for visitors – To foster engagement, let visitors know what they can expect once they have taken the time to complete the form. If we revisit our example of a request for an e-book, a simple note that precedes the form might explain that a link to the book will be emailed to the visitor within an hour of their request. By providing visitors with insight into the process or timeline, you can establish a set of expectations and deliver some peace of mind.
Once your forms have been optimized for maximum engagement, it’s absolutely critical that the follow up be fine-tuned as well. You should establish a procedure for all submissions; this should include details on how the data will be stored, how the service and/or product will be delivered and outline the timeline for following up with the interested party.