I'm designing forms in a PPC / landing page style format where the user has arrived from an ad on a search engine page - this user is very likely to be interested in the product that I'm offering.
The landing page form in question is of multiple pages.
I understand that in general, it is worthwhile to have your 'call to action' above the fold for obvious reasons. My question is: Is there any benefit of having the 'next' button (that takes you to page two of the form) above the fold?
A quick analysis on my part resulted in the following:
The next button above the fold ensures that the user doesn't feel overwhelmed with too many inputs to enter at once, with a clear representation of how much work they have to do to get a result - as soon as the page is loaded.
If the next button was below the fold, there would be no obvious 'click magnets' in the initial view and I risk losing focus to other elements in the design (ex. outbound links in the header or navigation)
The next button above the fold severely limits the amount of content I can have in the form area, because my client's primary customers tend to own computers with a minimum resolution of 1024x768. (This causes another unrelated headache where I end up having too much whitespace on bigger resolutions - thank goodness for CSS media queries!)
Am I missing anything? Are there any studies done on this topic that shows any significant benefit for or against? Am I wasting my time debating about something seemingly so trivial? :)
EDIT: I should have made it clear that the next button is in its traditional position in the form, at the bottom right. In this scenario, keeping the button over the fold forces me to limit the content in the form as opposed to moving the button around.