11 Ways to Optimize Forms and Popups to Collect First-Party Data

11 Ways to Optimize Forms and Popups to Collect First-Party Data
Table of Contents

    Forms and popups are two of the best ways to get website visitors to both identify themselves and tell you their interests. Here is how to optimize forms and popups to collect more first-party data.

    Why Should You Optimize Your Forms to Collect First-Party Data

    The digital marketing/advertising landscape is changing to be more privacy focused. It’s great for consumers, but marketers are having to create new strategies to reach buyers on the internet. The clear answer is a solid first-party data strategy. 40% of marketers are making capturing more first-party data a priority in 2023 and advertising platforms are actively rolling out new first-party data solutions to meet the need.

    You will need quality zero and first-party data to help you reach both current and new customers alike. Where does quality customer data come from? Directly from the customer. You need them to identify themselves on your website and ideally tell you what they’re interested, so you can effectively market to them.

    11 Ways to Optimize Your Forms to Collect First-Party Data

    1. Keep it short, but not too short.

    I think most marketers struggle with how many fields to include on a form. As marketers, we want to ask for as much information as possible without decreasing conversions. Testing will help you find the balance. Use two fields as a starting point. Why two? Drip analyzed 1 million popup views and found that the high converting sweet spot between one and five fields — is two.

    2. Ask for context in simple ways

    Knowing what a website visitor is interested in provides you with the information you need to make your marketing communication relevant. Some companies provide a drop-down of categories as one of their form fields. However, we think the best way to go is radio buttons. You’re getting the information, but it’s less obtrusive on the form. Radio buttons we’ve seen on popups and forms include options such as men’s or women’s, skin care or hair care, furniture or decor. 

    3. Use progressive forms

    Another way to gather additional information from a website visitor is to use progressive or multistep forms. With progressive forms, you can:

    • Ask for an email address on the first form and then ask for context on the second form. 
    • Ask for an email address on the first for and then ask for their phone number for SMS messaging on the second form. 

    Do people really fill out multistep forms? Yes! In Drip’s popup analysis mentioned above, they discovered 76% of people who filled out step one, will complete the second step as well.

    4. Make an offer they can’t refuse.

    Customer data is a value exchange. Your offer needs to be worthy of their email address, name, or phone number. No one (other than your competitors) is going to give up their information for “updates on business”.  Most businesses have success with a free resource or a discount. If your company doesn’t discount, consider giving away free shipping or early access to new products or sales.

    5. Make sure a website visitor can find your email form

    How many times have you gone to a website, been interested in their products, and not been able to find a way to sign up for their email list? It happens more often than you think. Website visitors commonly look in the header or footer of a website for an email form, or they wait for a popup. Make sure your forms are visible, so you don’t miss out on potential customers. 

    6. Time your popups right. 

    If your popup appears before people have had a chance to look around, chances are they are going to close it. If your popup is timed to appear too late, they may have already left your site. Striking the right balance can be tricky — A/B to find what works. 

    7. Trigger on behavior

    The best way to trigger popups may be based on behavior. Trigger your popup to appear after they scroll to a certain point on the page, or when they visit a certain product page, or after they add something to the shopping cart. Triggering popups based on behavior often results in higher quality prospects, as they showed actual interest in your products. 

    8. Have more than one popup

    First-party cookies are a beautiful thing because they allow your website to recognize returning visitors. If a visitor didn’t fill out your form or popup the first time they visited, make them a better offer on their second visit with another popup. Similarly, if they did fill out the popup the first time they visited your website, trigger a popup on their second visit reminding them to use their discount. 

    9. Make sure your popups are optimized for mobile or create a new on entirely

    There is nothing more frustrating than visiting a website and not being able to close a popup. There is nothing else to do but leave or close the window and try again. It’s frustrating. Make sure your popups and forms are optimized for mobile and test them on multiple device sizes. You can also create a separate popup solely for mobile devices with short copy and fewer fields, so website visitors can fill it out or close it without having to scroll. 

    10. Test, test, test

    Like everything in marketing, you should test any optimization changes you make to make sure the changes actually increase your conversion rates and maximize the amount of data you’re collecting. Use a big enough sample for statistical significance. 

    11. Get the people the forms and popups miss.

    What do you do about the website visitors who don’t fill out a form? How do you continue to market to them in a world where retargeting is becoming increasingly difficult? Identity resolution software, like RAEK, identifies who is visiting your website, so you can market to them after they eve your website. It’s a great option to capture first-party data from more of your website visitors. 

    Wrapping It Up

    Whether you use popups, forms, or identity resolution software (hint: you should be using all three), make sure you’ve optimized them to collect more first-party data. You’re going to need first-party data to power your online marketing in the near future. 

    Ready to get started? Click here to start capturing more first-party data for free. 

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    The RAEK Team

    RAEK was built by a group of digital marketers on a mission to help small businesses grow and easily utilize their first-party customer data.