Many people don't realize that a minor obstacle is just enough to keep a large chunk of your website visitors from becoming new constituents. If you are getting traffic to your website, but notice not many visitors are filling out any of your online forms, you need to read the list below:
Your online forms are to long!
A form that has over 5 fields will lose 50% of potential submission. That means that your contact, mailing list, donations, members, volunteer forms are 50% less likely to generate a new signup. Try to make your forms as short and direct as possible. Do not add fields unless you absolutely have to. Provide the easiest route for them to submit their contact information. Once you've acquired their information, you can then email them a link to your more important forms. Example, if you have a volunteer form and need to add many fields, make it a 2 step process. Have them fill out a very short form first, then e-mail them a thank you letter with a link to the more extensive part of that form. The user might not click on the link to fill out the form right away, but you have their e-mail to constantly remind them.
Nobody can find your forms
Most people have their forms hidden away on back pages where users need to click a link to to access them. What you want to do is put the shortest form on your home page, even if it's your least important form. Remeber what I said above, the goal is to get as many new contacts as possible.
You are using an anti-spam/captcha on your forms
Everybody hates spambots filling out their forms with unsolicited messages and that's why "captcha" was created. It prevents these spambots from generating hundreds and hundreds of form submissions. The good news is the latest "captcha" is nearly impossible for spambots to crack. The bad news is, it's also difficult for humans! The most popular "captcha" system is Google's Re-Captcha. Very easy to implement to your forms, very difficult for spambots to crack. The problem is 80% of human users fail their first attempt and with the drop off rate of 50% every failed attempt, you're looking to lose 65% of your submissions after the 3rd attempt!
Captchas are absolutely needed on forms or else you would be inundated with countless amount of junk form submissions. To prevent spambots while making it easier for your users, we need to find common ground, and that is to set your captcha difficulty level to the easiest. Some spambots will get thru but most of your contacts will also.