Growth & Marketing

October 25, 2020

November 17, 2021

The state of the ‘Book a demo’ forms: We analyze 100 SaaS companies

Table of contents

Have you ever wondered if your 'Book to demo' form could convert better? Or if there is some good practice that you are not using on them? We have analyzed the forms of 100 SaaS companies and compared the results with different studies on forms conversion, UX and best practices. Do you want to discover what we have found? Keep reading!

One step vs Multi-step forms

When analyzing the number of steps in the forms, we found that the vast majority of companies (84%) have chosen to use a one-step form. Only 16% of companies use multi-step forms: 14% use two-step forms and only 2% of companies use three-step forms. In the sample, we have not found any 'Book a demo' form with more than three steps.

Although UX good practices recommend using as few steps as possible, we found some cases where the use of more than one step is justified. For example, when using:

  • Calendar widgets. Most two-step forms use one to ask the user for data and the other to set the day and time for the demo. A time-saving option for the sales team.
  • Conditional logic. We can use a two-step form to request a corporate email in the first one and check in our CRM if we already have any data from that user. Based on this, in the second step we can show the fields whose information we do not have and even pre-populate those that do so that the user can confirm or update them.
  • Data enrichment. Another option is to connect the first step of the form with a data enrichment service to check what data is available about it. In the second step of the form and again based on it, we can pre populate fields or use conditional logic to display only those fields whose data we do not have.

In both cases, the form must have two steps to query the CRM or to data enrichment service after submitting the first one.

Average number of fields

Although studies conducted by HubSpot show that as the number of form fields increases, conversion rates decrease, the average number of fields is 7.6 in this type of form

Only 16% of the forms have 5 fields or less. Surprisingly, the vast majority of them (77%) display between 6 and 10 fields, and 7% even have more than 11.

Taking this into account, we consider that it could be due to two different causes:

  • The need to properly qualify the users to avoid possible overload of work on the sales team. This ends up becoming an increase in friction in the form, often unnecessary, since some of the data could be obtained in other ways.
  • A lack of knowledge about alternative options such as conditional logic or data enrichment, to avoid asking the user for so much information. Implementing them between steps (or even after the submission) would increase the conversion rate.

Top 10 requested data

There is a solid pattern around the most requested data in ‘Book a demo’ forms. The email is requested in all the forms analyzed, followed by the user's first and last name (94% and 92% respectively), the phone number (83%), and the company name (81%).

To these basic fields are added others requested by approximately half of the companies such as the country (54%), job title (48%), the company size or number of employees (34%), and a free text area to leave a message (42%). It is also relatively common to find a checkbox to subscribe to the newsletter or other commercial communications (28%).

Several of these fields could be omitted from the form simply by asking for a corporate email and using a data enrichment service. Except for the email, the message and the subscription to the newsletter, the rest of the data can be obtained automatically by this type of service and sent directly to our CRM.

Captchas and reCaptchas

Captchas are known as conversion killers in forms. According to a Stanford University study, they actually reduce form conversions by up to 40%. However, there is still a small percentage of ‘Book a demo’ forms that use them (8%).

There are alternative solutions when it comes to avoiding spam bots in our forms that less harm the user experience and, therefore, the conversion rate. For example:

  • Honeypots. It simply requires you to add a hidden field to your form. Humans wouldn't see it so, they wouldn't fill it. But spambots will automatically fill it in. This is an easy way to detect them without interfering with the user experience.
  • JavaScript forms. Most of the spambots aren’t able to process JS. Injecting the form in JavaScript at the moment the page is loading, instead of putting it directly in the HTML code of the page, will help you prevent them.

These options are not exclusive, so you can combine them to prevent spam attacks without the need to include captchas or reCaptchas in the form.

Calendar widgets

Traditionally, sales teams tend to manually coordinate the demo booking process, relying on emails and phone calls to find a time to talk with the user. Different solutions have emerged to deal with the loss of time involved in this process but, surprisingly, their use is still a minority: only 13% of the forms allow users to schedule the meeting.

Offering the possibility to set the day and time of the meeting on the form itself will save your sales team a lot of time. Furthermore, it is no longer necessary to develop it from scratch. There are numerous solutions, such as Calendly or Chili Piper, that can be embedded in the form, without the need to spend coding time on it.

Copywriting style

Deciding between creating a traditional or conversational form can actually have an impact on conversion rates. Although conversational forms have been on the rise in recent years, in the case of 'Book a demo' forms, the 98% still prefer a simple or traditional style.

Simple forms are ‘old, but gold’ in terms of conversion rates. Users are familiar with them and they are easy to fill in, because their labels are straightforward and succinct.

Conversational forms are usually multi-stepped. Each question is presented individually as the user answers it and they would have a “What is your name?” text as a field’s description, instead of simply “Name”. This contributes to the conversational tone but it also entails a bigger effort in reading and a higher overall time when filling in the form.

Labels vs Placeholders

There are many ways to provide hints in forms. A common implementation is by inserting instructions within form fields but, unfortunately and as indicated by the Nielsen Norman Group, testing has shown that placeholders in form fields often hurt usability more than help it.

The best solution is to have clear and visible labels placed outside empty form fields, although in the analyzed sample we have found all kinds of casuistry: 44% use only labels, 18% use both options and 28% use only placeholders, despite being the last recommended option.

We have also found that 10% of forms present the floating-label pattern, a modified approach to placeholders that has been officially embraced by Google's Material Design. In them, labels are placed as placeholders until the user types in. Then, they move to the top of the field, being always visible, solving some of the key problems of placeholders.

Calls to action

Clearly communicate in the CTA button what your users will get after clicking it is one of the key recommendations in all the guides on how to improve its conversion rate. However, we have found that nearly half of the analyzed forms (43%) use 'Submit' as the CTA text.

Although many proposals refer specifically to the demo (26%), a call (4%) or to get in touch with the company or their sales team (18%), we were surprised by the number of generic texts like ‘Submit’ in the calls to action, which were not written specifically for these ‘Book a demo’ forms.


After reviewing the data from the analytics of 100 SaaS 'Book a demo' forms, we consider that there is a lot of room for improvement in the following areas:

  • Reduce the number of steps and fields. Conditional logic and data enrichment considerably reduce the amount of information that we ask the users to qualify them. This will allow us to check the same data without needing to ask for it in the form.
  • Avoid the use of Captchas and reCaptchas. As Stanford University research has shown, they can reduce form conversions up to 40%. Instead, use alternative solutions such as honeypots or JS forms, and even the combination of both of them.
  • Allow users to schedule the meeting. Save your sales team a lot of time by offering the possibility to set the day and time on the form itself. You can simply embed calendar widgets like Calendly or Chili Piper to save coding time too.
  • Use labels instead of placeholders. As the Normal Nielsen group indicates, placeholders make it difficult to remember what information belongs in a field, and to check for and fix errors. The best solution is to have clear labels outside form fields.
  • Test and iterate the copies. from the style of writing the labels to the text of the call to action button. The results vary depending on the sector and the vertical, so the best thing in this case is to try what works best in your specific case.

Not sure where to start? Reaching the maximum conversion rate of our forms is a challenge that depends on many details. The possibility to iterate easily and quickly is the key to achieving it and that is exactly what Arengu allows you to do. 

Haven't you tried it yet? Sign up free or schedule a demo with our team.

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