How to improve website lead gen forms

Taking a short break from our 6 B2B SMB problems series, and following on from our posts on getting leadswe take a look at how to build and improve the lead generation forms on your website. We've curated a few articles from some renowned experts in the field and summarized the key points for you.

Let's start by defining what we mean by a lead generation form: This goes beyond your Contact Us form. It's the final destination of your digital advertising or email campaign, for example. Or a "gate" to some value-added content such as an e-book or report.

Your aim here is to gather enough information to pre-qualify your lead, i.e. ensure it's a lead worth pursuing either by Sales or Marketing. But you also need to be careful of not discouraging your suspected customer from giving you that information. 

3 considerations to generate leads

  1. Don't ask for too much information -- people will happily fill in 3 fields 
  2. Make sure prospective customers can see the form -- make it stand out visually and by its position
  3. Make it easy for your suspected customer to click -- the call-to-action (CTA) button should be visible and the text should make them want to click

More great information from our sources

A recent MarketingProfs blog post suggests Six Building Blocks of a High-Converting Lead Generation Form, including how to present your form, (2) which form fields to use and in what order, (1) and creating an effective CTA (3). Click here to read it.

This older post from marketing automation platform Hubspot presents 7 Ways to Optimize Your Conversion Forms to Get Better Leads. Three of them are about the fields (1). One is about the CTA (3). Click here to learn more.

Heatmap software people Crazy Egg have a very nuanced post about The Anatomy of a High Converting Lead Generation Form. Design and placement of the form (2) as well as the CTA (3) are key elements, in their opinion. Click here to get their take.

Custom-landing page software outfit Unbounce gives us some very valuable information in two posts. How To Optimize Contact Forms For Conversions offers a handy infographic from Quicksprout that focuses on the importance of the number of fields (1) and the CTA (3), and gives us the conversion rates of different scenarios. Click here to learn what works best. In 17 Examples of Lead Gen Forms Optimized for Conversion, they give 6 tips for optimizing that include one on CTA text (3) and two on form placement and appearance (2). Click here to see the great examples.

Finally, UX gurus the NN Group discuss CTAs (3) and warn us: Stop Shaming Your Users for Micro Conversions. A growing trend is to "make users feel bad about themselves in order to convince them to accept an offer or sign up for a newsletter". I just came across one trying to get me to sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime that said, "No thanks, I don't want free shipping". Clearly, I was stupid to refuse. I did anyway because I don't want the hassle of cancelling my free trial. Click here to read why shaming is a bad idea.

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