What is Form Abandonment and What You can do about it

18.06.2016 by Alex H.

Do you know the abandonment rates of your forms? Or let’s start first with the definition of the abandonment rate. Do you know the answer?
Depending on the people you talk to and what tools they might use there are two common definitions:

1) Form Views to Successful Submits

That means if 100 visitors view or open your form and lets say 20 of them have submitted the form successfully you will have abandonment rate of 80% (80 out of 100). Which can also be seen as the opposite of the Conversion Rate.

2) Form Interactions to Successful Submits

Compared the first definition we only take visitors into account that actually has interacted with the form and compare them to the successful submits. So if 100 visitors view the form but only 50 start entering data (interaction) and 20 submitted the form successfully you will have an abandonment rate of 60% (30 out of 50).

So depending on your definition you can have a rate of 80% vs. 60% for the same example.

Some tools use might use the first definition because it sounds much more dramatic and supports the need for an optimization tool. This is understandable but the problem is that they also count visitors that might only take a look at the form or where just curious what happens after the "Next" button. They were not actively abandoning your form.

This is why we at FormRescue work with the second definition where we only count visitors that truly interacted with the form. Visitors who started completing your form also had the intension of finishing it and therefore this friction has to be as low as possible and be measured well.

But regardless of the definition, how do you keep that rate as low as possible?
There are two ways of doing this: avoiding abandonment by optimizing the user experience OR motivate them to come back after abandonment and continue with the form.


The goal of form optimization is to create a form that works best with the visitor in terms of usability and data entered by the visitor.
One of the reasons for form abandonment is a bad user experience, which could be caused by a bad design, validation issues or the technical problems. In the process of optimization the length and the position of the form needs to be tested. Having too many fields will have a negative impact as well as the position of the form on the page itself. Further each field needs to be revised in terms of validation rules, labeling and necessity.


The idea behind remarketing strategies is to convince the visitor to return and to complete the abandoned form.
Besides issues that can be fixed by form optimization there are reasons visitors leave even if you have the perfect form like getting distracted or running out of time. In this case you have a very good chance of winning them back because the visitor mentally already was in a state of submitting his data. Remarketing can be done by banner ads or even better by a personal email send some time after the visitor left.

If you've already done you homework on optimization FormRescue can help you capture partial submission and abandoned forms. Exporting the captured emails onto your email list is an easy way to kick off your remarkting.

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