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Are Your Forms Stopping Leads in Their Tracks?

Matt Brady
#Digital Marketing, #Inbound Marketing
Published on February 14, 2014

Don't let your forms scare away potential leads. Use these tips to create forms that users are more likely to fill out.

Have you ever found an interesting ebook or download that was being offered online, but ended up not getting it because the process of signing up for it was too much of a pain? Making sure this doesn’t happen is a dilemma all online marketers struggle with, since when we capture lead information, we want to get as much information as we can, but we don’t want to turn off potential customers or scare them away. It’s a fine line that you have to walk, so here are 5 tips for hitting the sweet spot and crafting forms that potential customers are most likely to fill out:

Keep it short

Registration form comparisonIf you want somebody to fill out all the information in a sign-up form, don’t make it too long. The more people have to type, the less likely they are to finish entering all the information and get to the download they want before they lose interest. Some basic contact information and a question about “how did you hear about us?” should be sufficient.

Don’t ask for unnecessary information

You want to get as much information as possible from your leads, so you know how best to work with them, but querying them for too much personal information is likely to scare them away. Including a question about their industry is probably going to be fine, but if you start asking about their household income, ethnicity, and mother’s maiden name, they’re going to get creeped out and run away as fast as they can.

Required fields should be limited to contact information

If you do include some questions such as industry or how a visitor found you, it’s best to make these fields optional, so they don’t feel like they have to give you any information they don’t want to. Limit required fields to the name and contact information, so the potential lead can keep the information they give you as simple as they wish.

Ask for information related to the content offer

Depending on what you’re offering for filling out the form, you might need different information from the potential lead. If you’re offering a webinar or ebook, you only need a person’s email address, but if they are signing up for a consultation, you’re going to want to ask for their phone number. Similarly, if you’re trying to get additional information (e.g. industry, budget, number of employees, etc.), tailor these questions to the content of your offer.

Use progressive profiling

If the person signing up for your offer is a frequent visitor, you can use progressive profiling to create smart forms which automatically fill in their contact information, allowing you to prompt them for more information. This is a great option for collecting insights and getting more information from your existing leads.

As a component of inbound marketing, forms and landing pages are essential tools for capturing lead information and driving the sales process. Do you have any tips of your own about how to construct forms to best encourage visitors to fill them out? Let us know in the comments below.

(Image credit: http://blog.madisonlogic.com/increase-conversions/)