Nobody likes filling in forms. In fact I would go as far to say I despise any kind of form filling, online or off.  Most of us have a natural aversion to giving away our personal information or contact details, especially if we don’t want to be contacted and we just want to learn more on our own terms.

But the law of the internet holds firm. If you want to receive something, you have to give something back. Just as  Google have to give you their free organic search results in return for your occasional click on a paid listing, you have to  give up your details if you want that report, free trial or access to that members area.

Filling in the blanks…

Online marketers are always looking for ways to increase conversion rates of data capture forms. Opt in data and qualified leads are gold in any online  campaign, so how do you woo your audience into giving up their details? What if your data capture form was more engaging, even entertaining?

Narrative forms, also known as madlibs style forms, are an inventive take on the classic form format, and it looks like Ron Kuti has proved you can increase your data capture rates with this idea, check out the example below from

Narrative forms - increase your conversion rates

(Image from Luke Wroblewski)

Through split testing, the only way to truly find out which of your options are going to work best, Vast noted an increase in conversion rate between 25 and 40% by using narrative forms.  Some additional tweaks have been employed, such as one field for  phone number as opposed to three, but this change shows a major improvement in enticing engagement.

This technique hasn’t worked for everyone, Patrick from Kalzemeus found a deterioration in conversion rate with his take on a  madlib form, but his example could have been improved. But this  goes to show you should always test out goofy ideas like this on your own target audience.

If you want to conduct some A/B testing yourself with madlib forms, grab this code from ELC technologies.