Playing an integral part in lead generation, lead forms are essential to get leads into your funnel. Just as content helps to encourage leads to get interested in your offer, lead forms help to encourage leads to opt into your offer by leaving their name, email, and other details.
Despite the importance of lead forms, they are often added at the last minute, with very little thought into how forms will take visitors from browsing to active interest. Done properly, lead forms should make it as easy as possible to attract leads to the lead funnel. They should require minimal effort on the prospect’s part and require as few clicks as possible. Overly complex forms will almost always end up backfiring as prospects choose to not bother completing the form. Likewise, lead forms that make prospects jump through too many hoops will also backfire.
Improving Your Lead Generation Forms
If you have been battling to increase conversion from your lead generation forms, it may be time to take a good, hard look at your forms to see how they can be improved. In this guide, we share some of the ways that you can get more from your lead generation forms for better optimisation and results.
The great thing about lead forms is that they can continually be improved. Making even small changes can end up having a positive impact on your lead generation results. The aim here is not to create and add forms and then forget about them and wait for the leads to come rolling in but rather to consistently look at how your forms can be adapted to bring in leads. To get more from your lead forms, here are some tips to keep in mind.
1. Keep forms simple
As we briefly mentioned above, you want to keep your forms as simple as possible. A common mistake made when planning lead forms is to assume that you need to get every bit of information you can from leads in order to begin your lead nurturing campaigns. Rather than achieving this goal, overly complex forms usually have the opposite effect.
Streamline your form and focus only on the bare essentials – name and email address. You can stick to first name or include name and surname. You will have changes down the line to start getting more information from leads as they progress through the funnel. Initially, all you need is enough information to begin sending out your campaigns. Along with keeping fields down to the basics, make sure that the design and layout are simple, too. Avoid excessive or distracting graphics, keep forms compact and easy to read, and use colours that blend into your branding without flashing lights or overly complex designs.
2. Include optional fields
Another way that you can simplify forms is to include additional fields that are not required to proceed. Optional fields can include city or area, mobile number or anything else that leads are not obligated to complete. For B2B lead nurturing, you could include fields such as business or company name, industry or sector, title or position, and other relevant information that may apply to corporate leads.
Always make sure that you clearly indicate which fields are required and which are optimal. You can use the standard approach of adding an optional label to these fields. This has the same effect of pared-down forms, allowing potential leads to choose how much information they feel comfortable sharing.
3. Try multi-page forms
In some instances that may require more information, you could try multi-page lead forms. These will not be lengthy, hard to read pages. Instead, they will be short-form pages with scrolling functionality and clearly outlined steps for leads to proceed to the next page. Ideally, you want to stick to no more than four or five steps.
The first step could be the basic form with name and email address to get started. The next steps can then be tailored according to your specific goals. For example, if you are offering a free trial, you may have steps requiring an account to be created in order to access free resources. You could also add click boxes or free-form fields for leads to add their goals, requirements or any other question that benefits you and prospective leads. As leads progress through each step, they are shown their progress. This is a type of gamification, which can be extremely useful for lead generation – especially if there is a reward at the end such as a free resource or free trial.
4. Consider landing pages
Landing pages are an effective way to get more from your forms. They work very well for specific offers, with no distraction from the form and offer. Although you can use embedded forms and pop-ups or pop-unders as well or use these for other lead generation campaigns, a dedicated landing page acts as a standalone lead capturing strategy. Pages can be carefully designed to put the focus on the form along with key benefits or selling points.
For best results, keep landing pages as simple as possible. Do not add too much text or any distracting graphics aside from the absolute minimum needed to entice leads. Choose your buttons and CTAs carefully, too. You can use more than one form if your landing page is planned well – focus on above the fold, middle of the fold, and below the fold.
5. Test forms thoroughly
This goes without saying. Testing is by far one of the most crucial steps in any type of digital marketing plan and lead generation is no exception. You’d be surprised how many businesses put a lot of effort into building forms, only to assume that their work is done. Failing to test is every bit as risky as adding a form and failing to update it or make any improvements. In fact, testing is how you find out whether updates or improvements are needed. If you do not test, you will never know whether your forms are converting, let alone working as they should be working.
Forms needed to be tested carefully to check that they are functioning and that they are getting the results you need. Split testing is a good way to see what works well and what works less well. You can test form fields, buttons, CTAs, layout, design, and anything else that enhances or ruins the customer experience.
6. Don’t forget about privacy
Finally, don’t forget to think about privacy. This has become vital – especially in a post (GDPR) General Data Protection Regulation world. Although this regulation originates in the EU, it applies to every business and website that transfers data outside of the EU. Even if you know that your audience is 100% local, privacy and compliance is the only way to ensure peace of mind to leads knowing that their data is protected.
Drive Conversion With Lead Generation Forms
We hope that this guide has helped you get more from your lead forms. The best way to increase conversion is to see forms and various other strategies as part of a bigger picture. Multi-channel lead generation is the most effective way to gain more leads organically and ultimately drive conversion.