What Is a Good Conversion Rate?

Written by Sarah Quezada on September 22, 2014

Posted in Lead Generation

There isn’t one.

At least not a one-size-fits all average that can be applied to every company.

Don’t get us wrong. We understand the importance of evaluating and fine-tuning marketing strategies. But measuring performance by a single standard could limit your potential. Your industry, promotional timing, and even form type can impact how willing people are to complete your forms. For example, Formstack’s 2014 Form Conversion Report revealed a 15% average form conversion rate for the nonprofit sector, but just 4% for religious organizations.

So how can you set a benchmark for your own marketing? Formstack can help you plan realistic goals. Just be sure to account for five key factors first:

1. The type of form you present matters.
People tend to anticipate devoting a few minutes to surveys—which average a 21% conversion rate with an impressive 21 fields—but expect a registration form to take seconds. Be sure to name your form appropriately. People will be less likely to abandon it mid-stream if they know what to expect.

2. Form length impacts conversions.
Generally speaking, you can anticipate higher conversion rates for shorter forms (or dynamic forms that use conditional logic), which are less intimidating. That’s not to say longer forms with more fields don’t have their place, but they should be used sparingly and with the expectation that completion rates may be lower.

3. Where your form appears is significant, too.
Customers may be willing to respond on an embedded Facebook contest form, but might be reluctant to complete a contact form on the website. Still share your email address or phone number in case they want to contact you a different way.

4. Rates vary by industry.
In Formstack’s analysis, sports-related forms were the top performers at an average conversion rate of 19%, while those in media and marketing industries fell to 7%. Know your industry and set realistic benchmarks.

5. Timing matters.
While studies indicate midweek through the weekend are the most engaging times for social sites like Facebook and Twitter, that doesn’t always mean it’s best for your audience. If you’re communicating with busy professionals, you might see a spike in conversions before 8 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m. Reaching out to time-strapped healthcare workers? Late night may be when they’re most likely to respond to promotional emails and fill out forms.

Quick tips to improve your form’s conversion rates

Wondering how you can capture more responses? Try these tips, based on our analysis of 450,000+ form users:

  • Keep your forms concise: Removing just one field can improve conversion rates by as much as 26%, according to one study.
  • Offer a clear benefit or value proposition: People are far more likely to complete a form when they know what’s in it for them.
  • Promote via email: 61% of Formstack customers say email marketing drives the most traffic to their forms.
  • Be specific: Make sure your submit button copy is a clear call to action. Just changing “submit form” to “submit registration” can lift conversions by 13%.
  • Use consistent branding: More than 60% of Formstack users say they get more conversions when forms are embedded on the company’s website.

And finally, test your form and then test some more. You can use Formstack’s analytics tools and our newest guide to try different strategies. See what works for your business.

Unless otherwise noted, all stats in this post were pulled from Formstack’s 2014 Form Conversion Report.