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Does Your Contact Form Tell a Story?


Do you remember Mad Libs? Those flip-book style pads where players try to fill in the blanks of a story without knowing what the topic were always a favorite in my family during camping trips and long car rides. That was before everyone had a hand-held computer to keep them occupied 24/7. (I wonder if they make a Mad Lib app. Oh wait- they do.)

There is something addictive about creating a Mad Libs story, which is why they make such a good way to pass the time on the road or by the campfire. It seems that this principle of creating a Fill-In-the-Blank story could be useful when creating a web contact form.

I came across this blog post, Mad Libs Style Form Increases Conversion 25-40%  that illustrates a couple of examples where story-format contact forms replaced a traditional list-style form. As the title states there was a pretty significant increase in use.

The idea of a story-format contact form is neat with benefits for both the company and the customer. It’s like writing the email for a potential client while they fill in the details (less missing info, incomplete sentences, and typos.) And from the customer point of view, it’s like having someone else write the email for you – yet it still feels personal.

I haven’t seen many websites using this idea. Does your websites include a contact form? Does it give you the information you’re actually looking for? Do you see any application here for your agency?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 03/05/2010 8:32 am

    I love this idea, so simple, yet it speaks to the way the human mind works and how we perceive forms. The percentages are shocking too.

    Most importantly, thanks for the app suggestion, my kid will love this.

  2. 03/05/2010 8:53 am

    There’s an app for pretty much everything, right? May this one keep your little one entertained.

    I was thinking about this again this morning…and how we tend to design forms (web & paper) so that the information fits into a certain space. But little attention is paid to how the eye will read it. The result…applications that come back with the same questions missed every time. Frustrating.

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