2.8 Testing Forms

The majority of landing pages include some kind of form to capture data from your visitors. To make them effective you need to be offering something in exchange for the data. Examples include an ebook, whitepaper or a webinar. But what do you test on the form? What you’re trying to do is balance your need for data with the “size of the prize” (what you’re giving away) to find the optimal point of conversion.

Some things you can test on your forms:

  • The number of fields
  • The relevance of the fields to what you’re giving away
  • The design of the container for the form (e.g. a box that encapsulates it)
  • Required vs. non-required fields
  • The position of the form (on the right or left hand side of the page)
  • Adding directional cues that point to your form
  • The form header (a description of what you’re asking the visitor to do that matches closely what you say in your CTA)
  • The wording of your privacy policy statement

An Example – Privacy Policy Statement

The privacy policy statements you add to your lead generation forms can have a significant impact on how people perceive your trustworthiness, in turn affecting your conversion rates. Michael Aagaard ran some A/B tests on this in order to determine which type of messaging works best.

In the first experiment, the original form (with no privacy statement) was tested against a version that said “100% privacy – we will never spam you” beneath the call-to-action.

Surprisingly, adding the privacy policy with that wording actually decreased signups by 18.70%!

Michael hypothesizes that “although the messaging revolves around assuring prospects that they won’t be spammed – the word spam itself gives rise to anxiety in the mind of prospects. Therefore, the word should be avoided in close proximity to the form.”

He subsequently tested different copy for the privacy statement. This time “We guarantee 100% privacy. Your information will not be shared” was added below the form resulting in a 19.47% increase in signups vs. the control.


Form optimization has a lot to do with building security and trust. For more trust-building techniques, check out the next lesson on social proof.