As a digital marketer, you’re tasked with both growing your audience and collecting first-party data about that audience to market to them more effectively.
However, when it comes to lead capture forms, these goals can be at odds with each other.
Shorter forms allow you to convert more visitors, but they don’t give you the chance to collect the information you need. Meanwhile, long forms allow you to capture more first-party data, but they also cause more visitors to abandon the form before completion.
With multi-step forms, you get the best of both worlds, increasing first-party data capture while minimizing the impact on your conversions.
Check out our quick video to learn about the benefits of multi-step forms, then keep reading to learn how you can increase conversions by implementing these forms on your site.
What are multi-step forms?
While many forms contain all of the form fields in a single part, multi-step forms are forms that break these form fields into several steps. These forms may be embedded on their own page, or they may be contained in a multi-step pop-up or lightbox.
What are the benefits of multi-step forms?
As we mentioned above, multi-step forms allow you to capture additional data from your visitors without having to worry about whether including more form fields will deter visitors from completing the form.
For your site visitors, multi-step forms offer a psychological benefit. A form with several short steps seems less daunting than a single form with an endless number of fields. This can improve the user experience, reduce form abandonment, and result in more conversions.
Advanced form solutions, like Digioh’s multi-step form builder, can also capture data at every step of the process. That way, even if a visitor doesn’t complete the final step, you still have the information submitted from previous steps. With this data, you can invite users to complete their profile on their next visit to your site, or even send a follow-up email nudging them towards action.
Multi-Step Forms vs. Single-Step Forms
Of course, multi-step forms may not always be appropriate. For instance, a checkout process on an eCommerce site may benefit from keeping things simple and putting more fields on a single page.
However, if your goal is to capture leads, increase user registrations, or grow your email list, forms with fewer form fields usually lead to more conversions. With a multi-step form, you can capture the initial signup with the minimum number of fields required, then collect additional information on the next steps.
What's best for you? The only way to know for sure is to test it on your site. Set up an A/B test to experiment with the optimal form configuration for your audience and goals.
3 Multi-Step Form Examples That Increase Conversions
If your online form builder allows you to create forms with multiple pages, make sure you take advantage of it!
Here, we’ll walk through a few types of multi-step forms you can implement to improve engagement, collect more first-party data, and increate conversion rates.
1) Get to Know Them: Let visitors submit their email address first, then ask for additional information afterwards.
When users are visiting your site for the first time, they may hesitate to provide a ton of data right away. After all, you’ve just met!
With a multi-step form, you can invite visitors to sign up for email or SMS updates first. Once you've got that, keep the conversation going by using subsequent form pages to learn more about them. Even if they’re still not ready to tell you more, you’ve gained a connection to them and opened up the possibility of collecting more first-party data over time.
In fact, you can target these visitors on their next visit with a pop-up form that skips the first page and asks them for the data you would have collected on the next pages.
What information you collect in the second step will vary depending on your industry and audience. Here are a few ideas for your forms based on what type of site you have:
- eCommerce: Invite them to create an account by providing a few additional details, ask them about their favorite types of products, or give them the option to add their birthday so you can send them a discount on their special day.
- Media & Publishing: Many publishers offer multiple newsletters for visitors to opt into. Use the first step of your form to collect signups for one newsletter, then invite them to sign up for additional newsletters they might like for a personalized newsletter experience.
- Nonprofit & Advocacy: After you collect the email address, ask visitors what kind of issues they are most interested in, or invite them to provide their location information. You can then use this data to segment subscribers, deliver the most compelling content, and notify them about local events.
- SaaS: Instead of making new leads fill out a long demo request form with many fields, collect the most important information on the first step. Then, ask visitors to optionally provide additional data on the next page.
For SaaS companies with demo request forms, multi-step forms can be particularly powerful, and not just for reducing form abandonment. By embedding a calendar scheduler (such as Calendly or Chili Piper) into a page of your pop-up form that allows leads to set their own meeting time, you can reduce friction in the demo process. We did this on our own site and doubled our demo rate.
2) Get Your Foot in the Door First: Ask for visitor preferences before collecting the email address.
This conversational multi-step form reverses the approach of the first type. Instead of collecting the email or mobile number first and getting additional information second, this multi-step form asks for the profile data first and the email address in the final step.
Asking for less personal information, such as a visitor's interests, gives you a low-hurdle way to engage in a conversation with new visitors. Having already engaged with an easy first step, visitors may be more inclined to complete the form and submit their email address.
In the meantime, use this data to direct them to the most relevant part of your site and personalize their website experience until they do submit their email address. The conversational form example below asks visitors what they need help with, before redirecting them to the right page based on their answer.
Then, once you collect the email, you can combine the initial preference data with their email to identify users and deliver personalized messaging across channels.
3) The Multichannel Experience: Use two-part email/SMS opt-in forms to deepen your connection with visitors.
In this example, the first page collects and submits the email address, then a second page invites the visitor to sign up for SMS updates. You can also flip the order, asking for their mobile number before their email address.
Even if visitors don’t complete the second step, you still get the data collected on the first step, giving you a connection to these visitors and an opportunity to get that second-step information in the future. When these visitors click on a link in your text messages or emails, you can target them on your site with a pop-up inviting them to connect with your brand on an additional channel.
For mobile visitors, you can increase mobile opt-in rates with a mobile-friendly one-tap opt-in button. These buttons populate an opt-in text in your visitors’ native text messaging app. When users hit “send” on that message, they join your SMS list.
To engage your new subscribers right away, it’s important that your form solution integrates with your other marketing platforms to sync new email addresses and mobile numbers in real-time. If you use separate platforms to send emails and text messages, this can be a bit trickier. To make things simple, Digioh integrates with all ESPs, as well as SMS marketing solutions like Attentive and Postscript, to pass this data to your ESP, SMS platform, or both from the same form.
3 More Uses for Pop-Up Forms with Multiple Steps
Of course, you don’t have to limit your multi-page forms to mere data collection.
The beauty of these forms lies in the give-and-take, their ability to add a bit of interactivity to your site with a more conversational experience. When you have a way to build multi-step forms, you have the power to engage your site visitors with interactive polls, quizzes, and surveys.
1) Let visitors make their voice heard with polls.
Your visitors have opinions; let them make those opinions known! By adding polls to your media & publishing site, you can let visitors vote for their favorite restaurant, tell you who they think the best player in the league is, or even sound off on public policy issues.
With a multi-step form, you can create additional form pages to ask more questions, then use your final page to give visitors the results in exchange for their email address. Show current results directly on the poll pop-up once they submit their email, or offer to email visitors the results when the poll is over.
2) Create interactive experiences with quizzes.
Who can resist a quiz? From personality tests to trivia, there are plenty of ways to engage your site visitors with marketing quizzes.
eCommerce merchants in particular use product recommendation quizzes to drive sales with tailored recommendations. These quizzes ask questions over a series of steps, then show a final product idea on the last step based on the previous answers, often in exchange for the visitor providing an email address.
In the sample quiz below, visitors indicate their luggage needs before receiving a personalized recommendation, though in this case, providing the email address is optional.
To build a quiz that provides the most relevant answers, you need a multi-step form builder with complex branching logic, or a dedicated tool for creating quizzes. You'll also need to spend time carefully crafting your strategy, writing questions, and planning out the logic.
It can take a bit of work to build a product quiz, but the uptick in sales will be worth it!
3) Collect feedback with surveys.
Want to know how visitors found your site? Or whether your customer experience experience is up to par? Quick pop-up surveys can help you find out. And with a Digioh multi-step form survey, you can add additional questions to your survey without worrying about whether more questions will harm completion rates.
For instance, if you use How Did You Hear about Us (HDYHAU) Surveys to collect information for marketing attribution, you’ll probably allow visitors to select an “other” option if they don’t see their source on your list. You can add a second page to your survey with a text box that lets them provide a more detailed account of how they ended up on your site.
You can also use multi-step surveys to collect customer feedback. Use the first page of your survey to allow customers to rate their experience, then ask them to provide reasons for their rating on the next page.
Create High-Converting Conversational Forms with Digioh’s Multi-Step Form Builder
Whether you want to capture leads with email signups or provide personalized product recommendations, Digioh’s conversational form builder can help you increase conversions with a more engaging experience. The drag-and-drop form editor makes creating forms easy, while integrations with Klaviyo, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Segment, and other marketing technology make your data available in real-time.
To learn more, reach out to us with any questions!