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Recently, an article emerged stating that all optional fields should be eliminated from lead forms. This, according to the article, is a primary issue impacting conversion. That kind of information can be dangerous for dealers, so I’d like to provide a more holistic view of optional fields in lead forms.
To start with, you don’t have a problem with your lead forms as long as the completion rate is high. Completion rate is a function of how much the shopper wants the information and what they need to do to get it.
Dealerships need to balance their desire for more information with their need to maximize website conversion. Maximizing the creation of sales opportunities is the objective dealers are most focused on. This is why top-rated website providers allow the dealer total control over their lead forms, both what is optional vs. required and which fields are shown or not shown.
Here are a few reasons you might opt for additional information fields:
Whatever your situation is today, reconsideration may be justified in the future. The most powerful variable is how badly the shopper wants the vehicle, the information, and the relationship. Giving the shopper more information, and better navigation to find that information, helps turbocharge their desire and their corresponding willingness to provide additional information.
Understand what works on your own site for your unique store in your unique community. Secondary research can be directional, but it is generally not proof of how you should run your store. When you do use secondary research, be sure you fully understand it and its implications. The article I mentioned in the beginning was based on secondary information. They mistakenly thought because Expedia’s A/B test showed a profit by eliminating the optional “company” field from one of their forms meant that auto dealers should eliminate all optional fields.
An article on the Expedia test shows why the “company” field was a problem:
Clearly, we don’t have these problems with lead forms. We don’t ask for confusing things like “company”. This research cannot be applied to asking shoppers for their address or asking them if they’d like to include any comments.
Be sure you have control over your website and be sure you use that control based on sound research rather than rash predictions from desperate vendors. As a wise man once said, “Beware of false prophets.