I’m sure if you were to speak to a self confessed website guru then they would tell you that you must avoid contact forms that are too long. In theory they are correct, they would argue that a longer form would take more time to fill in. In time this would have a negative impact on conversion rate, as engagement would be lost on the core call to action areas on the website.

The great thing about the web is that more often than not these theories can be proved in most cases.

There was an example online where by a major company had reduced their form length by one field and this produced $12 Million in additional profit.

Keeping this insight in mind, we surely should only ever create and design concise contact forms.

Well this actually isn’t the case. We all want a website that creates a conversion, but its how we qualify what a conversion is which will determine what type of website form is required.

Longer forms can be designed for conversion, this type of conversion is generally a higher quality and more qualified lead.

Gathering user information through a contact form will allow you to obtain higher quality information about your website visitors.

As it happens shorter website contact forms create a larger number of conversions overall but a content driven contact form will provide a higher quality of conversion.

How Short is Short?

After reading through some reputable market research it is suggested that a minimum of 3 fields are necessary. Most commonly we see, name, email, Tel. For any newsletter sign ups this can be as simple as email only. Therefore, we would categorise a small contact form to be anywhere between 1 – 3 fields.

In a marketing experiment the study showed that out of 3 forms, containing 5 fields, 7 fields and 9 fields the shorter of the three provided a higher rate of conversion. The form with the most fields had a 10% conversion rate, 3.4% less than the best performing field. It was noted though that the longer form gained far richer user information than any of the 3 forms.

Plain Old English

When creating any form, the user must always be kept at the centre of everything that we are doing. Despite form length and number of fields is important, ease of use is another key factor. It must be considered how users will use the form, what devices will they be on? And how well does the form perform across multiple devices and browsers.

One trend that is making a significant impact on conversion rates is creating forms that use natural language or plain old English. These forms are sometimes referenced as Language forms or Mad Lib Forms.

For example the form may have fields like this;

Hello my name is ……… Your Name ………

I would like to …. Solicit Your Services ………

Contact me by …. Calling 0115 798 0699

These types of forms have seen an increase in conversion from 25% up to 40% !!! This is a major increase.

These forms are far less invasive, they use natural language and users feel more relaxed to input their information.


Like with any project the first step is to define the function or purpose around creating a form. There could be various reasons for this;

Request A Call Back

Request A Quote

General Enquiry

Sales Enquiry

Complaint Handling

Mailing List Sign Up

When you start to jot them down you will see the list is endless.

If you are looking for a form that is going to generate high conversion of simple user info that then you can

re-market to then a short form will be perfectly adequate.

However, if you know your target market and have the requirement for qualified leads of a higher quality then you should really consider a more content (field driven) website form.

Grey Coffee offers Web Design, Web Development and Conversion Analysis to businesses in Nottingham and all over the UK.

We are happy to talk through any new projects or how we can support your business needs.

If you would like to get in touch with us then email us or call us 0115 798 0699.