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Why Your Forms Are Not Converting

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Now is the perfect time to focus on increasing your online engagement by making small changes to your webforms.

Whether by choice or as a result of this year’s pandemic, most campaigns and organizations have begun centering their work online.  As a result of transitioning digitally, we will need to ask our supporters to take more online actions. More online actions inevitably means filling out more forms. 

When we imagine a “form”, it usually takes one of two styles: 

  1. An endless multi-step process where a user is being asked to provide large amounts of data. 
  2. An underwhelming single panel of input fields that can require more than one scroll to complete. 

While both of these options get the job done, they are typically dry and dull. I believe there is another way we can gather this same information and leave our supporters pumped and further committed to our mission. What if we made filling out a form fun? What if we imagined creative ways to make this process as easy as possible for the user? In order to incorporate forms successfully, we should take notes from the corporate sector. 

At every turn, we as consumers are asked to fill out forms, and we happily provide our information. It’s time non-profits begin to incorporate these learnings into their own form building process. It’s imperative that we make our forms more user friendly in order to increase conversion rates on everything from petitions, sign-ups, volunteer, donate, and more. 

How The Corporate Sector Got It Right

Here are two examples that are taken from the corporate sector and how we can use this same process for our work and increase engagement with our supporters and increase conversion rates at the same time. 

The first example is Lemonade Insurance – This process makes buying insurance less intimidating and showcases the personality of the company. I love the idea of using this high-converting form structure to engage volunteers. Let’s take a look at how we can transform this for non-profit organizations.

This multi-step form only asks a single piece of information at each step. This means only collecting the information you need.

Example text:  “Hi! I’m Jennifer. We are so excited that you want to phonebank with us! Ready to go?  

Example text: So great to meet you, Karen. Let’s find some volunteer opportunities near you. What’s your address? 

Example text: What type of volunteer activities are you interested in? 

Everything about this form says “welcome, we would love to have you join us”. Here, the consumer is gently guided through each step. Once completed, you will want to make sure you have a beautiful auto-responder email and are ready to get this excited supporter into your pipeline.

A second example from Nauto could be used for a petition . This is a single view form and as you can see, the entire form and text are above the fold. This is where our most important information for this petition would live. 

We can imagine a short example headline – “Hazard pay for all essential workers.”  

What we like here is that the most important pieces of information are short, easy to skim, and clear. Above the fold, this form is limited to the essential pieces of information, including our customizable petition, which quickly compels a supporter to action.

Below the fold is where we will be able to layout our thoughts in more detail and lead our supporters to the next step of our user journey. 

In our distracted and ever changing online world it’s more important than ever for nonprofits to build community and engagement, including forms. By making simple adjustments to the style and tone on forms we can increase engagements and conversions spurring action and continue to move the needle for change forward. 

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