Experts’ Secrets Series: Form Registrations Secrets #4 & 5


A Five-Part Series: What Works and Doesn’t With Registration Forms

By: Deborah O’Malley | August 9, 2018

You recently learned the top three secrets to ensure your forms convert well.

You were told about the importance of:

  1. Breaking Down The Wall
  2. Following The Path
  3. Understanding The Interaction

Now, here’s the final 4th and 5th secrets: Managing Expectations.

Managing Expectations

#4 – Manage Expectations by Answering What’s Next?

When users come to website and hit a sign-up form, most don’t know exactly what to expect. They’re not sure if signing up will take a long time, or will invole divulging personal information, for example.

If you can clarify exactly what you expect from the user — and what you’re offering in return — you’re miles ahead.

One effective tactic can be to nudge your users to convert by answering the question, “what’s next?” within your form, so your visitors know exactly what to expect.

A great ways to address “what’s next” is to preemtively answer these questions within your form:

  • How many steps are there?
  • What information is required?
  • How long will the form take to complete?
  • How will I be contacted?

An example of form that does a good job of addressing these questions can be seen here:

Notice it’s clear how many steps there are, what information is required upfront, and why the user needs to fill out the form. At a quick glance, the user can quickly and simply assess the form requirements.

When designing your forms, answering the question “what’s next?” can help prompt your users to convert.

However, it is important to note that, sometimes, it’s most effective to nudge your users by getting them to opt-in first with a few easy form fields. Then — when they’re more committed to the process — you can present additional form fields. This test provides a good example of a multi-step registration form that worked best when the user didn’t know exactly what to expect next.

For your forms, with your audience, on your website, it’s always best to test whether answering “what’s next” within your form works best, or not.


#5 – Structure Your Form as a Landing Page Within a Landing Page

To work most effectively, your form should be able to stand alone — without any content or context surrounding it.

The reason why is because visitors arrive at your form through different paths and channels, as discussed in this article. It’s dangerous to assume all visitors will come to your form with the same level of understanding and background knowledge.

The safest bet, according to renowned digital marketer, Michael Aagaard, is to structure your form as a landing page within a landing page.

A typical landing page has a pitch, states the benefits of the product or service, and tries to motivate conversions in a clear, compelling way.

Your form should be no different. It itself should clearly direct the user to take action, be clear, and present persuasive, compelling benefits.

These tactics are especially important for lead gen forms, where you’re trying to persuade potential prospects to sign-up for your products or services.

Answering the “what’s next” question and structuring your form as a landing page within a landing page can help manage expectations so prospects have a clear understanding of what’s expected and what they’ll get upon signing up.

And, that is how you get your forms to convert!


The five secrets to ensure your forms converts are:

  1. Break down the wall by understanding your users –> Don’t assume form conversions will just happen. Instead, recognize that users see your form as a wall. Break down the wall by understanding your audience and their needs so you can make the form fill process simple and easy for them.
  2. Understand the interaction –> Determine where users are dropping off within your form, and if there are any areas creating confusion. You need to understand what’s wrong with your form before you can make it better.
  3. Follow the path users took to get to your form –> Understand the path, conditions, and environment in which users arrived at your form; cater your form format and requests to prospects accordingly.
  4. Increase clarity and manage expectations –> Test the effect of answering the question, “what’s next?” so users know what to expect — and what they’ll get from filling out your form.
  5. Structure your form as a landing page within a landing page –> Ensure your form makes sense on its own, without any background or context, and contains a compelling pitch that motivates the conversion.


What Are Your Thoughts?

What have your found works well to improve form conversions? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Hope you’ve found this article useful and can immediately apply it to improve your own marketing performance.

At, our aim is to help inform your digital marketing efforts with valuable and inspiring A/B tests and CRO tips, tricks, articles, and resources that help turn your ideas into profitable ones.


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