3 Form Types that Convert Better with Pre-Populating Fields

Written by Heather Mueller on May 13, 2015

Posted in Form Optimization

If there’s one thing the Form Conversion Report has taught us, it’s this:

The greater the incentive someone has for filling out your form, the higher your conversion rate will be.

Whether it’s a prize to win, an e-book to download, or a ticket to snag, people are much more willing to fill out a form—be it a survey, registration, entry, or order—when there’s something in it for them.

But there is an exception.

If your form has too many fields, even the most motivated users may not make it all the way to the end. Case in point:

  • The average order form contains 22 fields and has a conversion rate of 9%
  • The average registration form contains 15 fields and has a conversion rate of 11%
  • The average lead generation form contains 11 fields and has a conversion rate of 17%

Notice a trend? Fewer fields to fill out = higher conversion rates.

But you need data. There are situations when it would be impossible to register someone without knowing their personal preferences or process an order without billing info and credit card numbers.

Thankfully, there is a solution. It’s called Pre-Populating Fields.

This Formstack feature allows you to add parameters to your form’s URL so some boxes will be filled out already when a user clicks on the link. You can pre-set fields for them or pull from data they previously entered in another form.

Like Social Autofill and Auto-Fill, it’s another way to take some of the work out of your users’ hands.

As you can see from the tutorial, the setup process can take awhile depending on how many fields you want to pre-populate. There are times when it’s definitely worth it. Here are three form types that tend to perform better with pre-populated fields:

1. Order Forms

Do you have customers who repeatedly purchase your products online? Pre-populating fields can help ensure you don’t lose out on future sales. Set your form to pre-fill repeat buyers’ names, contact info, past choices, and billing info. Imagine the moment someone first discovers she no longer has to enter all 16 digits of her credit card yet again. She’ll love you even more.

2. Higher Ed Surveys

Are you frequently surveying the same students, staff, and alumni? You may be surprised at how something as simple as a few pre-populated fields can result in more submissions. Setting your surveys to pre-fill student IDs, names, and emails can also help ensure consistency and accuracy when it comes time to analyze the data.

3. Lead Generation Forms

Collecting a new piece of info with each form can be a great way to fill your database with deeper insights for better lead nurturing. But you don’t want to ask people to start from scratch each time. That’s where pre-populating fields come in. Sure—eight required fields seems like a lot of work for downloading a white paper…unless, of course, they’re already filled in.

Remember: The key to conversions is to keep web forms short, simple, and easy to fill out. Pre-populating fields is a great way to accomplish this goal.