Bad Practices on Phone Number Form Fields

Phone number fields, along with birthdate fields, are tricky to get right. There are many phone number formats users can choose from and they’re often unsure which format is valid.

Phone number fields, along with birthdate fields, are tricky to get right. There are many phone number formats users can choose from and they’re often unsure which format is valid. Sometimes they’re even unsure if they should include their country code.

When users are unsure about the proper format, they worry that the form won’t validate their input. A validation error for the wrong phone number format can cause them to abandon the form.

Your users should not wonder which phone number format is valid or get a validation error for the wrong phone number format. If they do, your phone number field has a poor user experience and needs to be redesigned. Avoid the bad practices and follow the best practice if you want to improve your phone number field.

Allowing Any Format

Some think that allowing a phone number in any format is the answer. This would prevent validation errors, but it doesn’t curb user’s uncertainty about which format they should use.

phone_number-any_format
Any uncertainty the user has can decrease your form conversion rate. Users need to be certain about their phone number format otherwise they’re going to worry their input won’t validate.

It’s also not clear to users whether they need to include their country code before their phone number. Users may make the mistake of typing in their country code when it’s not required, resulting in an incorrect phone number.

Showing the Proper Format

Some believe that showing the proper format with an example by the text field will solve the format uncertainty. The user will just look at the example and type their phone number in the proper format.

phone_number-example

Turns out that users notice the example, but most of them don’t follow it. A research study found that “89% of test subjects entered their phone number in a different format than the example provided.“

Providing a formatted example isn’t helpful since most users ignore it. Not only that, but they lead to validation errors when the user’s input isn’t in the proper format. The study found that format validation errors resulted in form abandonment.

Separate Text Fields for Each Number String

Some say splitting each phone number string into separate text fields solves the formatting troubles. For an American number, you would have three text fields. This practice does make the formatting proper and consistent, but only for American users.

phone_number-separate_fields

Users from other countries would not be able to type their input because their phone numbers have different formats and lengths. Creating text fields localized to one country isn’t user-friendly to international users.

Separate text fields also make it difficult for mobile users to type in their input. Usability testing found that many users had a “difficult time navigating between the fields on mobile devices.” This also makes it harder for them to correct their input if they mistype it.

Auto-Formatting with Geolocation and Input Masking

The best practice is one where users don’t even have to think about phone number formatting or country code because it automatically displays it for them.

Auto-formatting the input with geolocation and input masking is the best way to present phone number fields. As users type their phone number, the proper format is displayed without any effort from the user.

phone_number-autoformatting

Users don’t need to type any parenthesis, dashes, slashes, periods, or spaces, just numbers. The field has a numbers only constraint to prevent validation errors if they type other characters.

Geolocating the user’s country allows you to auto-format the phone number of every user no matter where they’re from. This also tells you what their country code is without having them type it in. This means less work for the user and a better conversion rate for you.

The country code should be displayed alongside the phone number so users know they don’t need to type it in. The most intuitive way to do this is to display an icon of the user’s country flag inside the text field next to their input.

It’s possible to allow users to change their country code if they want to enter an international phone number. Clicking the flag icon would display a dropdown menu with other country codes.

Don’t Make Users Think

When users fill out forms they don’t want to think. They want to type away and complete the form as quickly as possible. Allowing users to enter their phone number in any format forces cognitive work on them. Instead, take the load off users by auto-formatting their input for them.

Making this change to your phone number field can prevent form abandonment and increase your conversion rate. Follow the best practice on phone number fields and stop making your users think.

From funnel to flywheel

If you’re like most marketers, you could name the basic parts of the sales funnel in your sleep: Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Decision, and Purchase. Of course, businesses have tweaked the model over the years, adding extra steps and so forth, but the basic premise has remained the same. But there is one problem with the […]

The post From funnel to flywheel appeared first on Marketing Land.

If you’re like most marketers, you could name the basic parts of the sales funnel in your sleep: Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Decision, and Purchase.

Of course, businesses have tweaked the model over the years, adding extra steps and so forth, but the basic premise has remained the same. But there is one problem with the model: it’s the opposite of customer-centric. In fact, in the traditional sales funnel, leads are treated a bit like uniform widgets moving along a conveyor belt, with various things happening to them along the way.

The problem is that if you’re not centered on the customer, your marketing efforts might be going to waste. If we had a nickel for every brilliant content strategy that seemed to explode with engagement while yielding little (if any) measurable return on investment, we’d have more than a piggy-bank full of change.

Centering the customer in your sales model changes that, though, because the customer now drives all content and all marketing efforts, instead of the other way around. In this piece, we’ll explain a new sales model. Maybe by the end you’ll be like us: falling ever-so-slightly out of love with the funnel — and in love with the flywheel.

A what wheel?

Like its predecessor the funnel, a flywheel is not just a metaphor, but also a real-life tool that powers multiple, modern-day inventions. Invented by James Watt of lightbulb fame, the flywheel is a disc or wheel around an axis. It has assorted industrial applications and can be found in car engines, ships, and a lot of other places where energy needs to be generated, amplified, stored, and stabilized.

The flywheel effect, described by Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great, describes a massive, 5,000-pound metal disc mounted horizontally on an axle. He asks the reader to imagine pushing it, so that it turns around that axle. At first, getting it to move at all is extremely difficult. But with each push, it gets fractionally easier and the flywheel begins to pick up speed. Collins writes:

Then, at some point—breakthrough! The momentum of the thing kicks in in your favor, hurling the flywheel forward, turn after turn … whoosh! … its own heavy weight working for you. You’re pushing no harder than during the first rotation, but the flywheel goes faster and faster. Each turn of the flywheel builds upon work done earlier, compounding your investment of effort. A thousand times faster, then ten thousand, then a hundred thousand. The huge heavy disk flies forward, with almost unstoppable momentum. 

It’s a great metaphor for marketing. Because that momentum isn’t the product of any single push. Instead, the energy is cumulative, generated by a lot of little pushes, with the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Ideally, marketing and sales should work the same way. The energy, leads, and revenue created by marketing efforts is not due to any single channel, piece of content, or campaign; it’s a cumulative effect. And once it really gets going, a good marketing campaign keeps spinning. It generates energy.

Putting the customer at the center

Instead of a funnel into which prospective customers are unceremoniously dumped, the flywheel puts the customer at the center of the wheel: the axle.

Hubspot CEO Brian Halligan, for example, sees the customer as the lynchpin, with the flywheel itself divided into three equal segments, each representing stages along the customer journey: attract, engage, and delight. Each area creates energy and passes it along to the next, with the delight phase feeding back into attract.

Other flywheel devotees divide the disc into Marketing, Sales, and Service — again putting the customer in the center position. Each effort feeds into the next, cycling around and around, but always circling the customer.

This may be the most important aspect of the flywheel model — that it centers the customer. The funnel, on the other hand, doesn’t consider how those customers can feed back into the funnel (or the flywheel) to help create additional growth and engagement.

The funnel can’t conceive of customers buying from you more than once, so the momentum you build acquiring customers via the funnel just falls away. Following every quarter, every customer, every conversion — you’re starting all over again.

Learning to fly

The momentum of a flywheel is determined by three primary pieces:

  1. The weight of the wheel

With a physical flywheel, the greater the mass of the flywheel, the greater its momentum and the harder it is to stop. In the customer-focused model, the “weight” looks like an exceptional customer service experience that builds your reputation and brand in ways that create retention, build ambassadors, and deliver value into your marketing and sales segments. The way that you deliver that customer experience will be unique to your business model.

  1. How fast you spin it

The speed in the flywheel model is really about the number of “pushes” you give the wheel. How much content is your marketing team delivering? Which channels are you using to reach prospects? How many leads are coming from the content?

  1. The friction

Reducing flywheel friction is about ensuring customers remain satisfied and keeping your efforts aligned. If poor sales performance is slowing the momentum from marketing — or if poor service is hurting retention of hard-won sales — your flywheel will slow down, and your business will suffer. On the other hand, when everything is aligned, your efforts will feed into each other and keep your flywheel humming along.

Finding alignment and purpose

It’s one thing to draw up a model and another to align cross-organizational efforts in real life. Part of finding alignment is cultural, getting leadership to buy in and coordinating communication among departments. But a huge part of the lift has to be operational — and will be dependent on having technology that enables marketing, sales, and service to coordinate.

At CallTrackingMetrics (CTM), we’ve been thinking this way for some time now — though we only recently discovered the flywheel model. Our call intelligence and management platform brings together all the three segments of the flywheel: marketing, sales, and service.

It tracks call sources, lets agents tag and score calls, helps businesses respond immediately to inquiries, and provides a data-rich environment that can inform stakeholders across organizations about marketing, sales, and service performance. It also helps create reporting to determine returns on investment for content and campaigns, customer feedback, and more. In short, it makes it easier to understand and engage with customers in a meaningful, helpful way.

That engagement matters. A lot. Because, at the end of the day, marketing and sales are all about creating better experiences along your customers’ journeys. And the funnel model has never recognized the important part customer service teams play in generating customer retention, brand building, and developing stronger relationships and alignment between your business and your customers — as well as within the disparate teams in your organization.

In the end, the flywheel ensures that everyone in your business shares the same purpose: keeping the flywheel spinning, in order to create better relationships with and experiences for your customers. However hard it might seem to get it spinning at first, once the flywheel gains momentum and sales start churning, it’s well worth the effort.

The post From funnel to flywheel appeared first on Marketing Land.

Amazon Warehouse Deals: What All Sellers Should Know

Amazon Warehouse is a business of Amazon that sells quality used products and rents out used textbooks.   What are Amazon Warehouse Deals?… > Read More
The post Amazon Warehouse Deals: What All Sellers Should Know appeared first on Retail Perfor…

Amazon Warehouse is a business of Amazon that sells quality used products and rents out used textbooks.   What are Amazon Warehouse Deals?... > Read More

The post Amazon Warehouse Deals: What All Sellers Should Know appeared first on Retail Performance Marketing Blog - CPC Strategy.

[Case Study] Conversion Rate Optimization In Action: Intuit’s Mike Loveridge

Mike Loveridge is the Head of Conversion Rate Optimization at TSheets by QuickBooks, the world’s top-rated time tracking and scheduling software. In January of this year TSheets was acquired by Intuit, the #1 financial services company for helping smal…

Intuit case study: Crazy Egg heatmaps and recordings

Mike Loveridge is the Head of Conversion Rate Optimization at TSheets by QuickBooks, the world’s top-rated time tracking and scheduling software. In January of this year TSheets was acquired by Intuit, the #1 financial services company for helping small businesses scale, offering industry-leading tools like QuickBooks, TurboTax and Mint. The Process When tackling a new conversion rate optimization project, Mike generally takes the following steps: Reviews click data from Google Analytics, and past Optimizely tests, to find out where website visitors might be getting stuck in the funnel and on specific page sections Uses Crazy Egg Recordings and Snapshots to...

The post [Case Study] Conversion Rate Optimization In Action: Intuit’s Mike Loveridge appeared first on The Daily Egg.

How Identity Resolution Enhances a Customer Data Platform

Customer Data Platforms (CDP) are a fascinating piece of technology. They are the latest martech solution promising to consolidate an enterprise’s customer data silo’s so that marketers can engage customers via omni-channel marketing. Their promise of …

Customer Data Platforms (CDP) are a fascinating piece of technology. They are the latest martech solution promising to consolidate an enterprise’s customer data silo’s so that marketers can engage customers via omni-channel marketing. Their promise of always-on, real-time engagement with customers, seems almost unreal. But cloud-enabled, big-data architectures have made real-time data exchanges at scale a reality.

Here’s an illustration. Check out this video of Ms. Tamar Beraia playing Prokofiev’s piano Toccata Op. 11.

Customer ID

CDPs connect data throughout the technology stack, acting as a

The Ultimate Guide to Kickstarter Campaigns

Crowdfunding has become immensely popular in the last decade. Creatives use it to fund their latest films, projects and recordings, while entrepreneurs leverage… > Read More
The post The Ultimate Guide to Kickstarter Campaigns appeared first on Retai…

Crowdfunding has become immensely popular in the last decade. Creatives use it to fund their latest films, projects and recordings, while entrepreneurs leverage... > Read More

The post The Ultimate Guide to Kickstarter Campaigns appeared first on Retail Performance Marketing Blog - CPC Strategy.

How to Boost Your Facebook Relevance Score

The Facebook relevance score is an important indicator of how well your ads fit your target audience when compared to your competitors. Much like… > Read More
The post How to Boost Your Facebook Relevance Score appeared first on Retail Performance Ma…

The Facebook relevance score is an important indicator of how well your ads fit your target audience when compared to your competitors. Much like... > Read More

The post How to Boost Your Facebook Relevance Score appeared first on Retail Performance Marketing Blog - CPC Strategy.

Is it time to graduate to Google Analytics 360?

It’s a common concern for marketers and analysts worldwide: As your business has grown, so have your needs for complete and accurate data that can be integrated with other platforms. It might be time to upgrade to Google Analytics 360. This eBook from InfoTrust will provide you with everything you need to know when considering […]

The post Is it time to graduate to Google Analytics 360? appeared first on Marketing Land.

It’s a common concern for marketers and analysts worldwide: As your business has grown, so have your needs for complete and accurate data that can be integrated with other platforms. It might be time to upgrade to Google Analytics 360.

This eBook from InfoTrust will provide you with everything you need to know when considering and purchasing a Google Analytics 360 license for your organization. It covers:

  • The differences between Google Analytics and Google Analytics 360
  • Identifying if there is a business case for migrating to Google Analytics 360
  • Negotiating the right deal with a Google Analytics 360 Reseller

Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download “Google Analytics 360: A Purchasing Guide.”

The post Is it time to graduate to Google Analytics 360? appeared first on Marketing Land.

Growth Hacking: The 12 Best Techniques to Boost Conversions

What does it mean to hack growth? Growth hacking has become a buzzword in marketing circles, but many still don’t know what growth hacking is or why it works. If you fall into that camp, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Plus, I’m going to eliminate your …

growth-hacking-introduction

What does it mean to hack growth? Growth hacking has become a buzzword in marketing circles, but many still don’t know what growth hacking is or why it works. If you fall into that camp, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Plus, I’m going to eliminate your confusion today. I’m a huge fan of growth hacking and its potential impact on my businesses as well as those of my clients. By hacking growth and taking less-traveled paths, you can find yourself ahead of your competitors. Let’s take a deep dive into growth hacking and figure out how you can use it...

The post Growth Hacking: The 12 Best Techniques to Boost Conversions appeared first on The Daily Egg.

Images and Stories Inspire Us to Travel

Photo courtesy of Tupelo.net When you see an image of a beautiful location or hear a great story about a destination, your natural response is to want to experience it yourself. The first step in that experience is often looking at the pictures of other travelers and reading their thoughts, opinions and narratives of their… Read More

The post Images and Stories Inspire Us to Travel appeared first on Bound.

Photo courtesy of Tupelo.net

When you see an image of a beautiful location or hear a great story about a destination, your natural response is to want to experience it yourself. The first step in that experience is often looking at the pictures of other travelers and reading their thoughts, opinions and narratives of their experiences. We respond strongly to this user generated content because we can relate to the creators and we can relate their experience to what ours could be like.

In our 2018 State of Personalization Report, we identify user generated content as a major driver in online engagement. That’s the difference we see between user generated content and advertiser or marketer generated content. Travelers trust other travelers over advertisers. According to a study by Elon University, 65% of consumers trust word of mouth on the Internet more than content produced by advertisers.

Incorporating user-generated content into your destination’s digital marketing campaigns is a great opportunity to include an undeniable level of authenticity. In the report, we look at how leveraging local audiences to create content creates three benefits:

  • Modern consumers are visual decision makers.
  • Real people don’t feel like an advertising campaign.
  • User generated content establishes credibility.

As part of a bigger initiative to turn all marketing directives from professional photos to user-generated images taken by real visitors, Bound customer, Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau, started their #MyTupelo campaign. While Elvis’ hometown draws crowds from far and wide, many visitors only come for one specific attraction — so the challenge for the marketing team at Tupelo CVB was to increase overnight/weekend stays. Tupelo realized that it could take its marketing goals and initiatives to another level with a strategy that involved leveraging their locals.

“With UGC it’s not just us telling you to use our hashtag; it’s us saying there’s another traveler who stood in the exact same spot you’re standing in right now, and telling their travel story with a level of authenticity we just can’t provide on our own,” said Will Crockett, Online Content Manager at Tupelo CVB.

San Francisco Travel Association launched their “I am San Francisco and You Are Always Welcome” campaign as part of an initiative to let international travelers know that all people are always welcome. The first phase addressed the visitor directly in a dedicated video and #AlwaysWelcome hashtag. Phase two involves a nine-feature campaign leveraging locals with the goal of showcasing San Francisco as a diverse and welcoming destination. Titled “I Am San Francisco,” it’s an online series sharing the stories of both natives of the city and those who came to visit and found a home.

“We wanted to tell stories that are real and authentically San Francisco,” President and CEO of SF Travel Association, Joe D’Alessandro said. “This is what San Francisco is all about–not just acknowledging diversity but celebrating and defending it around the world.”

User generated content is just one of the topics we cover in our annual report. You can download the Free Guide: State of Personalization 2018 Report to learn how destination marketers like you are leveraging:

  • Website personalization benchmark statistics
  • Strategies for implementing personalization
  • 2018 trends in content and personalization
  • Real case studies from successful destinations

Related Posts

The post Images and Stories Inspire Us to Travel appeared first on Bound.