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What’s The Right Number of Demo Form Fields?

Ranga Kaliyur
July 23, 2024

Hello and welcome to Factors Labs — a segment that reviews actionable insights from our data science team on all things marketing analytics and attribution. We report on patterns that emerge from real data collected across markets, companies, campaigns, events, funnels, and more. 

Last week, we examined how various marketing channels perform at driving form submissions. This week, we crunch data from over 50,000 web sessions to determine the impact of number of form fields on form conversion rate. B2B SaaS websites employ various types of forms — all requiring varying degrees of information before accepting a submission. Some forms require your Email ID alone. Others require a great deal of data including your phone number, industry, company revenue, employee headcount, and more. Is there such a thing as too few form fields? How many form fields is too many? What’s the right number of fields to drive your form submissions? Let’s have a look.

The Demo Request Form is Our Form of Interest

The demo request form is a ubiquitous element of B2B SaaS websites. From early-stage, to mid-market, all the way up to enterprise level firms, demo requests indicate high-intent leads. Visitors who submit a demo request often signal buyer intent as they are explicitly interested in the demonstration of your work. Since these forms are significant (and commonly used) across the industry, the following analysis focuses on the influence of the number of fields in a demo request form on the success rate of form submissions.

Analysis Technique for Nerds

To ensure comprehensive analysis, we consider and control for data collected across a variety of demo request form types. This includes single field email forms, calendar forms, 2-step forms, all the way up to forms with 9 compulsory fields. Here’s how we went about crunching the numbers: After recording over 50,000 web sessions, we parsed out those sessions wherein visitors interacted with a form to a reasonable extent. This includes:

     - Successful form submissions

     - Unsuccessful form submissions (incorrect information)

     - Incessant (rage) clicks in and around the form 

     - Multiple form submits by the same user

     - Signals for plausible form submitting intent

We then determine how the number of form fields affects the success rate of a particular form by dividing the number of successful form submissions by the total number of form interactions captured. Here’s what the data has to say:

What’s the Right Number of Form Fields
to Drive Successful Submissions? 

The results are surprising. Intuitively, one would assume that as the number of compulsory form fields increases, the form submit success rate would decrease. More fields implies more time and effort, and hence, more incomplete form submissions. Our analysis, however, reveals a bell curve distribution:

1 - 3 Compulsory Fields

Forms with between 1 to 3 compulsory fields have a success rate of approximately 41%. This is surprisingly low considering these forms require the least amount of information and effort to complete. What might explain this occurrence? For one, these types of forms may be misconstrued as newsletter or product update subscription forms. Another explanation is that short demo forms are not static and appear across several locations in a website. This means that  visitors who are interested in reading a blog, for example, may not have any interest in attending a demo, and wouldn’t submit a form. We qualify this argument later in this post.

Single-field demo form

4 - 6 Compulsory Fields

Our analysis reveals that demo forms with 4 to 6 compulsory fields actually perform significantly better than forms with any more or any fewer fields. On average, these forms achieve a success rate of 51%. 4 - 6 fields seems to be the sweet spot between establishing the form’s purpose and remaining short enough to avoid being a hassle for visitors.

6-field demo form

7+ Compulsory Fields (& 2-step Forms)

As expected, forms with 7 or more compulsory fields fare relatively poorly — with a success rate of 30.60%. There is certainly an advantage to collecting more information about demo requestors. For one, leads can be accurately qualified before committing to a call. Additionally, the demo can be tailored to the prospect based on their industry, revenue, etc. 

That being said, capturing a lead through a demo form may become unnecessarily difficult if fields are excessively long. The numbers are not drastically different in the case of 2-step forms either (which have a success rate of 35.24%). Hence, unless absolutely essential, our analysis discourages the use of more than 6 compulsory form fields. 

10-field demo form

Static vs Modal — Which Should You Be Using?

Even within the subset of demo request forms, SaaS websites employ a variety of form-fill presentation strategies. Most firms use static forms. In addition to static forms, websites may also use modal forms that appear as a pop-up within a webpage. So how do the two form types perform at securing successful form submissions? Our analysis reveals that on average, Static forms perform far better than Modal

Static Forms results in a 45.53% success rate. Modal forms, on the other hand, result in a significantly lower success rate of 25.96%. Hence, while one might assume that Modal forms may be more engaging to a website visitor, static forms are statistically the most effective approach. 

And there you have it. After analysing several thousand web sessions, we come to the conclusion that static demo request forms with 4 to 6 compulsory fields will result in the highest success rate. This post has covered the optimal length for your website forms. But what about the specific contents of each form field? How does asking for contact information, company details, and buyer intent influence your form submission rate? Join us next week as we identify the ingredients of the perfect form.

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