Alright, you’ve gotten someone on your website. They like what they’re seeing. They want a loan. They take a look at your online application and — that’s it. They think “Wow. That looks like a ton of work. I wonder what’s up on Facebook?” And away they go.
We’re continuing our three-part series on auto loan landing pages today, and we’re hitting on something almost every loan site screws up: form pages. The forms are way too cluttered! They’re traumatizing to look at and even more painful to fill out. People would rather redeem beer cans for nickels than use these to apply for a loan.
Normally we focus on landing pages, but today we’re opening it up to online forms. Too many companies are killing their completion rates. We can stand by no longer.
The vertical groove
Whether you realize it or not, there is a rhythm internet users get into when filling out form fields. It goes something like this: first name, last name, email, address, city… and so on. When the fields are in a single column, the information just flows out. The users keep going until they’re done. You never want to interrupt this rhythm. But when there are multiple columns, it disrupts their flow. They have to stop, scroll up, think about what to do (ugh!), and start again. So keep it simple, keep it vertical, and don’t make them work anymore than they have to.
Our tests have consistently shown that having a single column of form fields on a longer form increases conversion rates, even without any other changes (when compared to a multi-column newspaper style layout). This makes sense when you think about it, because a multi-column format is confusing.
Who the heck are you?
Brands like Wells Fargo have a big advantage: people know them. Their logo conjures up feelings that have been embedded by millions and millions of dollars in advertising. The logo is like a big stamp on the page that immediately tells people “We’re not some fly-by-night internet scam. You know us. Don’t worry.”
So why not use that asset to your advantage on your form pages? That’s what Wells Fargo did by including it at the top of their auto loan application page. That logo makes people feel better when, while typing in their social security numbers, they look up and think “am I sure I this is safe?”
You, savvy marketer, might not be as lucky as the marketers at Wells Fargo. The people filling out your form might not know much about your company — and that’s OK. You just need to provide some assurance that you won’t use their information to do something unsavory, like buy mail-order pain killers from Mexico.