We all know that a form on your website can be a red flag to visitors or at best be a barrier to a prospect engaging with your business but as marketers we need them to complete forms so we have leads for the sales team. So the big question is how to improve lead generation without sacrificing lead quality and the data we can gather from our forms. Here are a few tips to optimising your forms and make them a little more visitor friendly.
Spending some time making your form stand out on the page means that if your visitors are busy people then they won’t scroll past it as they browse your website. Make effort when it comes to how the form looks – do some colour research and look into ‘trust’ colours that are visually appealing to your visitors – blues, greens and oranges.
Consider the elements that are involved in building a form – fields, prompts, sample entry data, form field labels etc and design each of these elements to maximise appeal – often forms are built in our marketing software systems and this can be different to our website CMS so may sure that the font matches your website and the experience looks seamless.
Ask the right questions
Form fields are the backbone to your lead capture and there is always a trade off between data gathering and scaring the visitor away with too many questions. As marketers we are tasked by sales to gain qualified leads for them to follow-up but how to qualify someone without bombarding them with questions. This is not a new problem but with advancements in marketing software systems such as Hubspot Smart Forms, you can start progressive profiling with your visitors. If you have mapped out your content strategy correctly then its should take more than one piece of content to take a visitor through to qualified lead and you can use smart forms to hide fields we already have data for and only show those that help qualify our ideal prospects better and improve lead generation.
Consider a 2 stage approach to your form design. Use a short basic information form on the landing page to initially capture basic details such as email address and company name etc then direct the completed entries to an interim page to complete a more detailed questionnaire if they choose to – make sure there is a way to bypass this if the prospect chooses to just get the content they want.
This can be a great way to ask all the questions you really want to ask a visitor to qualify them and really improve lead generation. Not all will take you up on the option but those that are really interested in what your business can offer will tell you more about them. We did this process with a client for a simple brochure request and you can see from the stats below that nearly 50% of those redirected to the interim page, complete the additional form and qualify themselves.
When you get the end of your form building task – don’t get lazy and gloss over the button or call to action step. Most form builders will insert default text such as ‘Submit’ for you but research shows that adding an additional word can increase conversions by over 300%. Now thats a number to take notice of. Be more specific about what will happen when someone clicks the button – are they getting access to an eBook or is registration required for them to proceed to the next stage.
Design is also an important element here – think about those trust colours again but maybe pick a contrasting colour to really make your CTA stand out from the page.
If you really want to improve lead generation over time then make sure you are reviewing your analytics on a regular basis. Split testing or A/B testing can be a great way to test new ideas out and see what works for you. Make sure that you only make 1 change at a time when A/B testing or you’ll never be sure what has caused the change in submission rates – consider form headlines, number of questions, intro text and call to action buttons for your tests.
Another area to focus on is any bottlenecks or abandonment stats you can glean from your analytics – which question is causing people to abandon the form submission and causing the bottleneck – consider a revision.
A great lead generation form isn’t built in a day… but following these conversion rate optimisation tips can help you get there quicker.
After all, most people won’t tell you they don’t like your form; they’ll simply bounce away without a second look. So it’s up to you to put in the work up front to attract and convert valuable visitor if you want to improve lead generation with your forms.