How Many Form Fields Should There Be On A Law Firm Contact Form?

by | Oct 18, 2017 | Marketing

Law firm website contact forms can make it easy for potential clients to contact you when they’re ready to do so. When these forms are done well, they can help your firm attract more potential clients from the web.

But are your contact forms asking web visitors to do too much? If so, your forms may be turning people away rather than turning them into new business for your firm.

Even if your form is featured on a well-designed landing page, asking web visitors to fill out lots of extra fields in order to contact you can be a roadblock between you and your next qualified potential client.

Here’s what to consider when it comes to adding fields to your law firm website contact form.

Creating law firm website contact forms that convert

In general, if it’s difficult for someone to use your website, they’ll likely leave your site without completing the action you’d like them to take.

That’s true when potential clients encounter complicated or outdated website designs. That’s true when landing pages distract users or don’t have useful content or a clear directive. It’s also true when contact forms require your potential clients to do too much work to get what they need.

An optimal law firm website should provide a top-notch user experience. Is it easy for potential clients to find? Is your website design responsive, intuitive, and otherwise user friendly? Does your site have highly focused content that helps potential clients learn more about their case or problem?

And, when potential clients are ready to contact your firm, how much work do they have to do to reach you?

Fewer form fields can yield better conversions.

You may be tempted to collect as much information as possible on a contact form. In some cases, there may be some extra information that is necessary to collect. But many times, fewer form fields can yield better conversions.

Your web visitors, like you, are probably quite busy. They don’t want to spend a lot of time filling out a contact form to reach you. Even when someone knows they need an attorney, they may not necessarily have the motivation to fill out a lengthy contact form.

For example, it might be nice to have information such as a potential client’s home address, or to add a form field that asks, “Where did you hear about us?”

But is that information necessary?

In most cases, information like that probably isn’t necessary for a potential client to contact you. And, for every additional unnecessary form field that is added, the number of people who contact you may drop. Each unnecessary form field that requires a potential client to do more work can be a barrier to having someone contact you.

Think about how your landing pages and forms work together.

Contact forms should be easy to fill out and simple to use. But, they generally don’t work well by themselves, which is why they should be accompanied by high-quality content that drives users to fill out that form. You may decide to include a form on a targeted landing page.

A good landing page should have a clear directive and encourage a potential client to take a particular action.

Your forms should then make it easy for them to take that action.

For example, a simple form might contain these fields:

  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Email address
  • Message

The landing page where that form is featured should have:

  • A clear directive: Why should this person fill out your form? Are they scheduling a free consultation? Are they requesting some kind of information? It could be something as simple as “Get quick legal help.”
  • No distractions: Keep your potential clients focused on completing one task — in this case, filling out the contact form.
  • Information about what happens once the form is filled out. Who receives it? When should they expect to hear from you?

Add the necessary detail to the landing page to encourage users to fill out the form. Then, make the form as simple as possible to avoid any friction.

To learn more about what makes a good contact form, see our blog post, “How To Create Better Law Firm Website Contact Forms.”

Note: While many attorneys benefit from creating simple contact forms for their law firm websites, we recognize that you may want to create other kinds of forms that might be more complex, such as a detailed client intake questionnaire.

The LawLytics forms builder lets you easily create and manage both simple and complex forms. LawLytics also lets you create dedicated landing pages where your forms are featured to remove distractions and encourage potential clients to reach out to your firm. You can also nest forms on other web pages and within your blog posts.

An example of the cost of adding unnecessary form fields on a website

Expedia made headlines a few years ago when, after removing a single form field, the company increased its profits by $12 million dollars.

While this is an extreme example, it highlights the importance of including what’s absolutely necessary on forms, and minimizing any possibilities for confusion.

Expedia noticed that it had many potential customers who were clicking the “Buy Now” button on its website. However, these individuals never completed their transaction.

This seemed strange. Potential customers who clicked the “Buy Now” button were individuals who were ready to complete a transaction. So, if they weren’t following through, what was happening?

When Expedia did a little digging, the company discovered an oddly simple problem:

Their form fields.

At the time, Expedia had an optional field for “Company” sandwiched between the fields “Name” and “Address.”

That additional field for “Company” confused some customers, who filled out that field with the name of their bank. After entering the bank’s name, these customers then filled out the “Address” field with the bank’s address, rather than their home address.

As a result, when it came time to verify the customer’s credit card, the transaction could not be completed because the address of the cardholder and the address listed on the form were not the same.

When Expedia fixed this problem, its profits increased by $12 million.

(Expedia said later that it had found a number of other issues like this by taking a look at its data — and also by really paying attention to the needs of its customers.)

As I noted, this is an extreme example. But it speaks to the importance of minimizing any sort of user error or frustration that might happen with your form fields. Don’t make your potential clients work any harder than they have to.

Forms that are easy to fill out and easy to submit are a good way to encourage potential clients to contact you.

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