Getting Started with Form A/B Testing

Written by Sarah Quezada on April 16, 2015

Posted in Form Optimization, Lead Generation

You’re sitting in a meeting when someone pipes up: “Hey, I was thinking. That form on the website – it’d be really helpful if we could also know these 16 additional things about our leads. Can you add those to the form? Thanks!”

Sound familiar? Inside you’re shouting, “That’s way too many questions! No one will fill it out!” You could have a company arm wrestling contest to determine who gets to decide the length of your form. Or, you could do something simpler, more accurate, and less likely to reveal if you’ve eaten your spinach: A/B Testing!

Formstack’s recently released feature lets you find out which changes on your form really impact the conversion rate for your audience. The 2015 Form Conversion Report confirmed that conversion rates vary based on industry. But even within your arena, your audience is unique, and A/B testing can help you zero in on what will push the conversion needle with them.

How do you figure out what your audience needs?

#1 Start with data.
Before you start randomly testing every aspect of your form, start with data. Find out what the average conversion rate is for your industry, so you have a benchmark number to compare your rates.

Leverage hacks like Social Autofill, which research has shown can boost conversions 189%. You can use this feature as a variable in an A/B test to see how your own audience responds.

In the example of form length, data shows that after four questions, each additional question can drop your conversion rate by 1% per question. Let that inform your A/B testing strategy, and perhaps start by adding one or two fields before going for the whole kit and caboodle.

#2 Test a single variable at a time.
Formstack gives you the capability to create two unique forms for the same goal. But beware as you redesign your second form, changing up colors and fonts, rearranging questions, adding fields or deleting fields, and tweaking your call to action. If you make all those changes at once, you’ll have no idea which one really affected your conversion rate.

Instead, try one at a time. You’ll be able to see exactly how individual changes influence your customers’ behaviors. Then, once you complete one test, you can try another on the same form. You will ultimately create an optimized form that is mega effective with your specific visitors.

#3 Recognize how many factors influence conversions.
You may add a ton of fields to your form or you may take them away. This change may impact your conversion rate with your audience. However, be careful not to hang all your conversion dreams on form length.

The 2015 Form Conversion Report highlights many different factors that can dramatically impact your forms. For example, there are peak submission times by industry and form type, social media hacks like Facebook Embed and Twitter hashtags, and conversion rate averages by form type. All of these elements (and more!) influence your audience. A/B testing is a great start to find out which ones push your conversion rate higher.

Form A/B Testing
So let’s get started! How exactly does A/B testing work?

#1 Test two variations of the same form.
Inside the Formstack analytics tab, you’ll have the option to click “A/B Test Form.” A pop up guide walks you through designing your two forms with the difference you want to test.

#2  Launch your forms.
With the exact same embed code on your website, Formstack will show unique users one of your two variations. All of this is handled by Formstack, and you don’t need any coding or technical knowledge to make it happen.

#3 Watch real time comparisons.
Keep an eye on your Formstack dashboard to see which variation is converting at a higher rate. You’ll want to let the test run long enough to get a strong sample size.

#4 Select a winner!
When your test ends, compare the conversion rates and see which form succeeded. Now, you can implement the winning form across your site or decide to run a different test!

Gone are the days that your staff team quibbles about what form changes will get the job done. Now, you can simply test the ideas and have data to support your choices.

Our A/B Testing feature is available exclusively to our Platinum plan customers and above. To take advantage of this feature, login or upgrade your account.