The Art of Webforms:
Pro Tips for Creating One That Converts
Webforms are a standard part of most websites. They allow you to capture leads and requests in a convenient way, which is why they are so popular. I have seen many practice owners treat this in one of two ways: either they don't want to ask for any more than what is absolutely needed, or they want to capture as much information as possible. There's no right answer on how much information you should request from your visitors, but if you're going with the latter option be sure that the form fields move them closer to their goal.
Let's start with the minimalist approach. This would usually ask for just their email address and first name. They can use this email address to create a subscriber list and easily be able to send out relevant information. This is usually used in lead capture situations where your automation or follow up is the main tool to convert these folks into actual patients. In Customer Lifecycle Model this would be stage 1: Lead Generation. The goal is to get them into your funnel or CRM and you work your magic to convert them to a patient. You might provide them with education, some free resources, but follow up is key.
The second option is for the more detailed form is asking them information that will fulfill a request that requires additional information. In the Customer Lifecycle Model, this would land in Stage 5: Conversion. They are ready to buy, schedule, or attend what you are providing but it is up to you to fulfill that request. In this situation let's use intake scheduling as an example. That process requires lots of information.
A lot of people would feel uncomfortable asking for all the information needed for a clinical appointment, but what about some of it? For example, if you're filtering potential patients into available appointment slots you might want to first verify their method of payment is one you accept, or that the issue they are presenting with is one you treat. Providing them with some questions that let you know if you can see them would be a good place to start. This can be as simple as providing a drop down field with all of the possible payment methods you accept and also that people present with that you don't accept. That will allow you to filter those leads into able to schedule vs. unable to schedule.
There is no right way or wrong way to create a webform that works for you. You need to find a balance between your needs and what the people on the other end of it are willing to complete. You may be surprised though that a growing number of people are interested in completing what they can online or on their phone vs. calling. Just keep in mind what your follow up will be like when they submit that form, and you will be better likely to streamline and automate when it makes sense with more information collected in the webform.
The tip on converting will all rely on what you are doing AFTER that form is submitted. That is where you need to look to see how many of the people filling out your webform are actually scheduling. What is your follow-up and is it well thought out?