How to Properly Implement Form Abandonment Tracking and Win Users Back

Feb 03, 2024 - Mike Hakob

You’ve invested significant time and money driving traffic to your site; eager visitors arrive clearly interested in your offerings, interact with your content, scroll through pages, and finally reach your conversion-driving web form. This is the moment of truth. However, instead of hitting submit, an alarming percentage of those visitors abandon the form and leave your site altogether, resulting in lost leads and sales disappearing before your eyes.

If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many businesses face the major obstacle of form abandonment, leading to countless lost opportunities. However, the good news is this troubling trend is reversible by implementing proper form abandonment tracking to gain insights into why users are bailing out and optimizing forms to convert more visitors into leads and customers.

In this guide, we’ll explore proven strategies and tools to slash form abandonment rates and recover more leads you’ve already paid to acquire. You’ll discover how to fix the leaks in your funnel by turning more of your hard-won traffic into conversions.

What is Form Abandonment?

Form abandonment is when a user starts filling out a web form but leaves before completing and submitting it. The user “abandons” the form at some point in the process.
Some common examples include:

  • A website visitor puts their name and email in a signup form but doesn’t hit submit.
  • A lead starts filling out a request for a quote form but doesn’t complete all the form fields.

Losing form submissions means losing out on potential business and revenue. Form abandonment tracking can identify where and why users are dropping off so web forms can be optimized to increase conversions.

statistics about form abandonment

Image Source:

What is Form Abandonment Tracking, and why is it Important?

Form abandonment tracking involves using form analytics tools to monitor user interactions with form fields in real time. The tracking provides visibility into the specific points where users commonly abandon forms.

With form analytics, businesses can track steps such as:

  • When users click or tap on a form field
  • User activity within each form field, such as typing or selecting options
  • When users submit the complete form
  • When and where users abandon the form without submitting
  • When users encounter error messages and mistakes
  • Where users hesitate or spend an unusually long time

This data obtained through form abandonment tracking is immensely valuable because it highlights pain points and weaknesses in forms. Companies can zero in on problematic fields that have high form abandonment rates. Knowing where forms fall short allows optimization to remove friction in the user journey.

fact about form abandonment

Image Source:

Why is Reducing Form Abandonment Beneficial for Your Business?

Decreasing form abandonment rates should be a top priority because higher conversion directly translates to more leads and revenue. Optimized forms provide remarkable benefits for business growth.

How Web Forms Strengthen Customer Relationships

Well-designed forms lay the foundation for building loyal customer relationships. By providing a space for feedback or reviews, forms allow businesses to gather insights to improve their products and services.

Making use of submitted data to customize communication makes customers feel valued. For instance, personalized birthday promotions or recommendations based on purchase history demonstrate that the business understands the individual’s preferences and appreciates their business. This thoughtful use of form data helps cultivate loyalty and emotional connections with customers over time.

By capturing key details like names, emails, and interests, businesses can nurture leads with personalized communication that demonstrates value to the users. For instance, when users understand that by providing their information through forms, they will receive benefits, such as personalized website content, they may be more inclined to engage. Therefore, this initial exchange—providing value in return for user data—helps to foster trust between the business and the customer.

facts about form abandonment

Image Source:

How Can Decreasing Form Abandonment Get More Leads?

Converting more form users into contacts allows businesses to identify, track, and nurture promising leads. A decrease in form abandonment rates can substantially expand the number of potential prospects improving the effectiveness of marketing and sales approaches.

  • Captures more contacts: With higher conversion rates, more visitor email addresses and contact details are captured at the top of the funnel.
  • Drives nurturing: Collecting more contacts through forms provides a larger pool to nurture with targeted content that moves leads down the sales funnel.
  • Increased opt-ins: More people completing forms translates to higher opt-ins for email lists, newsletter signups, gated content downloads, etc.

This is why form analytics should be the cornerstone of conversion rate optimization efforts. The resulting high-quality insights can boost form performance.

form abandonment fact

Image Source:

Main Benefits of Form Abandonment Tracking

Form abandonment tracking, when implemented effectively, gives significant insights into user interactions with online forms. Implementing proper form analytics provides valuable benefits that positively impact businesses:

  • Recovering potentially lost leads and revenue – Form abandonment tracking identifies site visitors who previously abandoned forms. Many may still convert if contacted to minimize friction. The form abandonment tracking uncovers more revenue opportunities.
  • Identifying pain points in the user journey – Identifying where users exit forms highlights issues to address; this allows focusing on problem fields and steps, slowing users down.
  • Improving user experience – Form analytics insights pinpoint where forms confuse users or create friction; this enables simplified, user-friendly forms that convert better.

What are the Factors that Cause Form Abandonment?

Many issues can cause users and make them abandon forms before completion. Before diving into the factors, it’s important to take a look at these form abandonment statistics:

  • 29% of online users abandon web forms due to security concerns
  • 27% of online users abandon web forms due to the length of the form
  • 11% of online users abandon web forms due to advertisements or upselling
  • 10% of online users abandon web forms due to the forms being too long

Now that you’re aware of the form abandonment rate, being aware of the top factors causing it allows you to address them proactively:

Users have Concerns about Data Security and Privacy

Forms requiring excessive personal data without explaining its usage create distrust. Naturally, visitors are wary of how their information may be shared or used. Forms lacking visible security measures, such as HTTPS, cause hesitation. Unclear privacy policies or asking for unnecessary data raise red flags leading to form abandonment for 29% of people.

data security fact

Image Source:

Forms are Long and have Poor UX Design

Lengthy, tedious forms overwhelm users. In fact, 27% of people abandon forms due to too many questions or sections. Complex layouts that lack clear direction through the process also contribute to form abandonment rates. Generally, users expect forms to be quick and effortless.

Fields Redirect Users to External Sites, Resulting in No Return

Links to supplementary pages for additional context distract users from not abandoning the form and finishing it. They lose focus and often fail to return. A solid form design minimizes the need for external content before submission.

Unclear Reason for Collecting Information

Without understanding how their data will be used, users hesitate to provide it. Explaining why each field is valuable reduces uncertainty. Demonstrating immediate value gained by submitting also boosts motivation.

Forms are Not Mobile-Friendly

Mobile usage continues to grow, so forms must be optimized for smaller screens. In fact, 10% of form abandonments happen because forms are not responsive. Small text, cluttered layouts, and difficult navigation frustrate mobile users.

ReCAPTCHA Issues and Poor Field Validation

Overly complicated captcha challenges can obstruct form submission. Streamlined options like checkbox captchas minimize friction. Real-time inline validation is also less disruptive than flagging errors after submission.

The Most Common High Abandonment Rate Fields

While all forms are different, some field types tend to have higher form abandonment rates across the board:

Open-Ended Questions

Broad, open-ended questions can overwhelm users looking for quick form completion, contributing to form abandonment. For example, long text boxes requiring lengthy responses deter subscribers. Reduce or replace general questions with more specific prompts when possible.

Email & Phone Fields

Contact information fields frequently stall visitors, resulting in form abandonment. Consider only requesting emails or phones after users see the value, such as providing content samples upfront. Allowing to anonymously explore the form initially can also help.

Name Fields

Requiring full names often stops users, especially if they only want quick access to content. First names or initials may be enough for the business needs. Making name optional dramatically reduces abandonment rates.

What Do People Do After Abandoning Online Forms?

When users abandon a form, what happens next? Form analytics provide some insights:

  • Leave the site – Many users immediately leave the website after abandoning a form. Keeping them engaged is key. Showing value upfront can prevent this.
  • Go back and submit – A portion of users may return to finish the form shortly after abandoning it. Make it easy to pick back up where they left off.
  • Changing Devices – If usability was an issue, especially on mobile devices, users might switch to a desktop to complete the form, thinking it might be easier to navigate.
  • Never return – Unfortunately, many abandoning users are permanently lost. The goal is to keep as many engaged as possible post-abandonment.

What Should You Do to Stop Form Abandonment?

Reducing web form abandonment is crucial l for improving user experience and increasing conversion rates. Here are several effective strategies and tips:

Engage People with a Simple Question

Peak interest by beginning forms with a quick multiple-choice question. Make it intriguing yet related to the offerings. Initial participation makes visitors more likely to complete the entire form. This approach can significantly lower form abandonment rates, as early participation often leads to increased commitment. Additionally, a captivating initial question can create a more positive user experience, further minimizing the risk of form abandonment.

Simplify and Shorten Forms

Remove unnecessary fields and only request essential information. Lengthy forms overwhelm users. Separate long forms into shorter, manageable sections with progress trackers. By dividing long forms into shorter, manageable sections and incorporating progress trackers, the form-filling experience becomes less intimidating. This strategy effectively reduces form abandonment by giving users a clear sense of progress and achievement as they complete each section.

Simplify the Form Design

Use fewer form fields or break them into multiple steps. Grouping related info into sections with clear headers can simplify complex forms. Multi-step forms also make completion feel less daunting to users.

Make Fewer Form Fields or Break Them into Multiple Steps

Lengthy forms with too many fields can be overwhelming and cause form abandonment. Try breaking the content into shorter, more manageable sections using a multi-step or progressive approach. This helps pace the process for users rather than presenting everything all at once.

Each step or section of the form should logically group related questions or fields. Use clear headings to introduce the purpose of each part. Also, utilize progress trackers like step counters, percentage completion bars, or progress indicators to display where users are in the overall process as they complete each section. The visibility into the remaining amount keeps them motivated.

Have Clear Labels and Instructions with an Intuitive Design

Form field labels should be clear and conversational. Make sure to provide instructions under fields to guide users. In addition, use design elements like spacing, colors, and icons to make logical connections.

Make Forms Mobile Friendly

To make forms mobile-friendly, consider the following:

  1. Use responsive design to resize and reflow the form for smaller screens
  2. Increase tap target size on buttons and fields users need to interact with
  3. Eliminate unnecessary clicks that are more tedious on touchscreens
  4. Conduct testing across all major mobile devices to identify and resolve any usability issues.

Add Social Proof to Forms

Social proof works because people are heavily influenced by what others do. When they see high numbers have already engaged, they’re more compelled to participate as well. Form abandonment tracking can provide insights into how social proof elements impact user engagement metrics and form completion rates. Here are some specific ways to add social proof to the web forms:

  1. Display the number of signups or downloads
  2. Use social proof notifications to inform visitors about recent user activity
  3. Include testimonials from other users
  4. Display logos of well-known brands that use the business’s product or service

facts about social proof

Image Source:

Validate User Input in Real Time

Don’t wait until submission to display field validation errors. Provide real-time inline validation that alerts users of any issues as they’re entering data. For example, display a warning if an email is formatted incorrectly. Real-time validation indicates completion progress and allows correcting mistakes immediately, reducing user frustration.

Implement Autofill and Autocomplete Features

Autofill integration with password managers or Google/Apple can prefill names, emails, and other info. Also, use algorithms to autocomplete based on the user’s previous submissions and activity on the site. The less typing needed, the better the experience.

Here are some additional tips:

  1. Make sure the autofill and autocomplete suggestions are relevant to the user’s input
  2. Don’t prefill any form fields that contain sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers
  3. Allow users to disable autofill and autocomplete features if they prefer
  4. Test the autofill and autocomplete features to make sure they are working properly

Avoid Technical Errors Causing Confusion

Nothing is more frustrating than technical glitches causing form abandonment. Thoroughly test forms to identify and eliminate buggy behavior. Timeout errors and error messages without clear resolution create confusion and increase form abandonment rates.

Remind Users of the Value Provided

Recapping the value helps spur disinterested users to follow through. For example, “Submit to unlock our free demo” or “Enter your email for 10% off your first purchase”. Don’t assume users remember initial incentives as they navigate the form. Remind them it’s worth the effort.

Implement Form Analytics Tools

Form analytics provide the crucial visibility needed to track form abandonment rates and identify where users drop off. Without analytics, it’s challenging to pinpoint issues and improve the user experience. The form insights empower crafting targeted optimizations that address weaknesses and friction points uncovered in the data.

Conduct A/B Testing

Compare two versions of the web form to determine which one performs better. Conduct A/B test changes like layout, reducing fields, tweaking copy, or reordering steps. Let data guide form refinements for maximum optimization.

Make Forms More Accessible

Ensure forms include ARIA tags and proper semantics for screen readers. Allow keyboard navigation to complete all actions. Provide text or audio captcha options. Designing inclusive forms enhances the experience for all users.

How to Conduct Form Abandonment Tracking?

The best way to gain comprehensive insights for form abandonment is by utilizing dedicated form analytics tools. Form analytics platforms provide robust tracking and visibility into all user interactions within forms. They capture every lead that comes to your website, field click, data input, and abandonment point for complete visibility into the user journey. This includes tracking the rate of form abandonment, which is crucial for understanding why users disengage. Powerful analytics dashboards centralize key conversion metrics and highlight areas for improvement. Tracking user flows from initial entry to abandonment quickly uncovers friction points and informs strategies to reduce form abandonment.

Here are the key steps to implement effective form analytics tracking:

Identify the Forms to Track

Determine the highest priority forms for conversion. Often, these are lead generation forms or key ecommerce forms. Focus tracking on forms with noticeable abandonment issues or those critical for conversions.

Identify and Set Up Event Tracking

To uncover detailed insights, implement form tracking for the following user actions within forms:

  • Field Clicks – Detect when a user clicks or taps on a specific form field. This reveals which fields users initially attempt to interact with most. A low number of clicks on a field often signals confusion or lack of relevance.
  • Field Interactions – Log all activity within each form field – typing, selecting check boxes, choosing radio options, picking dropdown menu items, etc. Interactions show which fields users are attempting to complete. Low interaction rates suggest difficulty or reluctance to provide certain data.
  • Form Submissions – Record each time a user successfully completes and submits the form. This provides the conversion benchmark to measure against form abandonments. Tracking form submissions and completed fields paints a picture of the ideal converting path.
  • Form Abandonment – The most critical event to track is form abandonment – when a user leaves the form without completing it. Record exactly where in the form the user opts out. Analyzing the abandonment tracking data identifies areas of friction. Combined with field analytics, you’ll gain a comprehensive view of form performance.

With this detailed tracking in place, powerful insights emerge on form engagement, completion rates, and pain points. The visibility enables crafting targeted improvements that streamline forms and prevent form abandonments.

Measures for Form Abandonment

Here are some key metrics to specify in analytics tools to measure form abandonment:

  • Form Abandonment Rate – The percentage of users who start filling out a form but do not complete it.
  • Abandonment point – The specific field or step where a user drops off the form. Shows where friction occurs.
  • Page views to form abandonment – The number of page views a user goes through before abandoning the form. More page views indicate greater engagement before dropping off.
  • Time to abandon the form – The amount of time a user spends in the form before abandoning it. Longer times signal closer to completion.
  • Exit click percentage – The portion of exits via a click as opposed to leaving the page. High exit clicks signal poor internal navigation.
  • Browser/device metrics – Form abandonment rates by browser, OS, and device type help identify platform-specific issues.
  • Form funnel visualization – Visualizing user flows from entry to abandonment quickly highlights pain points.
  • Field completion rate – The percentage of users that complete each individual form field. Pinpoints problematic fields.

Setting up these form abandonment statistics provides the actionable data needed to maximize form conversion rates.


Remember, every completed form represents a step toward business growth. By implementing form abandonment tracking solutions you will minimize abandonment rates and maximize engagement rates. You can turn potential challenges into opportunities for qualifying more leads and fostering business development. With insights from strategic analytics tracking, businesses can transform those abandoned forms into a powerful lead-generation engine.

Follow the strategies outlined to implement analytics tracking and identification of weaknesses. Then, optimize your forms for the highest conversions and make every visitor count. Every completed form represents a step toward business growth.

Mike Hakob

Mike Hakob is a seasoned digital marketing maven with over 15 years of mastery, and the visionary Co-Founder of FormStory. As the driving force behind Andava Digital, he has dedicated his expertise to empowering small to medium-sized businesses, crafting tailor-made websites and pioneering innovative marketing strategies. With a graduate degree in Management of Information Systems, Mike seamlessly blends the realms of technology and marketing, consistently setting new industry benchmarks and championing transformative digital narratives.