Lead forms provide an excellent opportunity for reaching new prospects. Unfortunately, they are often an afterthought for many businesses. They confuse visitors or are never seen because they’re tucked away in some distant corner of the website. Instead, you can use the best practices below to get more people to fill out your online lead generation forms.
Traditionally, the contact us page was the only place you would find a form for visitors to send information to or request information from a business. While you definitely want to have one there, your business can benefit from having multiple places where prospective customers can provide their details.
For some businesses, the homepage might be a little too soon to start asking visitors for information. Others, however, can have great success with a quick ask. Service providers, particularly those where a customized quote is common, need more information from potential clients, so a lead generation form will fit well on the homepage. Just be sure you make it easy to find and place it above the fold when possible.
One great example is real estate agents. A “Find out what your home is worth” form works well because it’s logical for visitors to give you specifics. Plus, you’re providing them with useful information in return (this is essential for any lead generation strategy).
Any decent landing page needs a call to action, and that usually means a contact form. If you’re selling directly from a landing page, you’ll need information from the customer in order to complete the transaction.
Even if the point of the landing page is to move the prospect into a nurturing sequence, you should still gather information from them. That way, you can learn how you can best help them and keep in touch.
Driving traffic to your website doesn’t help your business much if you don’t generate leads from it. These lead/contact form best practices will help to ensure that your website generates leads for your business.
It’s tempting to get as much information as possible in a lead generation form. After all, the more you know, the better you can serve your potential client. However, you don’t want a form to feel like an interrogation. Each additional piece of information sets up another obstacle for your visitor.
Savvy internet users are wary of sharing private data (as they should be), so they will hesitate when you start asking for too much information. While this makes sense on the surface, data also backs it up. One study by Unbounce found that limiting your form to just 4 fields can increase conversions by as much as 120% (Source: Unbounce).
Stick with what’s necessary. No more. What do you need to keep in touch with them? To provide them with what they need?
For example, some providers may need to know how large a business is in order to properly serve them. They might tailor their services according to the annual revenue or number of employees.
If you don’t really need that information, leave it off your contact form. You can always ask for more data later.
If you limit how much information you ask for, that will help keep your form short. However, keeping it short may also require some design work. You want to think about how much visual space your form takes up.
You don’t want to overwhelm visitors. A good rule is that it’s probably too long if it goes beyond the length of a page. Even if it doesn’t actually take long to fill out, a form that takes up an entire page or more just feels daunting.
Whenever you can, let visitors choose which is the best way for you to contact them.Some people don’t really like to communicate via email, for example. On the other hand, many people are reluctant to provide a phone number because they don’t want to be harassed by unexpected calls.
If possible, make a phone number optional. It will lead to more people completing your form. However, you should also keep in mind that those who do leave a phone number are likely genuinely interested. Feel free, then, to use your form to help qualify leads.
It’s just a button, right? People know what to do with it. While most of us know how to use buttons and links on the internet, you can make a big difference in conversions by paying attention to this copy.
The first thing you want to do is try to find a substitute for the word “submit.” While it’s a common word for form buttons, it’s actually bad for conversions. Studies show that using it reduces conversion by 3% (Source: Unbounce).
Take this as an opportunity to make your call to action clearer and more effective. The least you can do is use more creative language like “I’m in” or “Send.” An even better option is to use words that describe the value your visitor receives from sending you information.
For example, if your form is to have visitors sign up to receive blog posts, your button could read, “Subscribe me to the blog.” or “Send me the information.”
Here are a few other options that should work better than “submit,” depending on your situation:
• Get coupon
• Send me a quote
• Download free eBook
• I want to know more
• Start the free download
• Add me to the list
• Sign me up for [x]
As we mentioned before, visitors are wary of giving their information to just anyone. One of their major fears is that you will clutter their inbox with unwanted offers. Use disclaimers to let them know that you won’t spam them or (even worse) sell their personal data to 3rd parties. Then make sure you stick to that promise.
No matter what style you end up with, your lead form design should consider the visitor, the offer, and the marketing goal. By thinking about who you want to reach, how you hope to convert them, and why you’re doing it in the first place, you can make sure you get the most out of your forms.
All the elements of your lead and contact forms—from the text and graphics to the size and buttons—should work together to meet your goals.
Ultimately, a lead gen form is much more than just a few boxes and a link. It’s a tool to learn more about your customers, and it’s an avenue to help you provide more value to them. Often, a few minor tweaks in how you use and design forms will go a long way.