Why you need a good lead form, and how to build lead forms that people actually fill in.

So, it’s all starting to come together: you’ve been creating and distributing great content. Potential customers are flocking to your website.

This is sensational news, it’s working!

Or is it?

How to convert traffic to leads: lead form best practice.

What about sales? Are your conversions skyrocketing? No? Let me guess: people are spending time on your site, but then they’re off, without even a “hello”.

What a missed opportunity!

How can you convert these visitors into leads?

First you need a lead magnet.

You need a way to get their details, so you can talk with them and nurture them. And, you need their permission to contact them.

The way to do this is to offer them something they want, but can’t have until they give their details and permission.

It’s called a lead magnet. It could be a guide to solving a problem they face, some templates or resources that would make their life better.

The real power is in the lead form.

Many businesses spend too much time worrying about their lead magnet, and not enough time on their lead form.

You see, without the right lead form, you won’t get leads.

It’s quite tricky: best practice for lead forms is a balancing act between asking them for all the information you wish you had about them, and the tiny amount of information they’re willing to give.

Ask for too much, and they won’t fill in the form. You’ll lose them.

Ask for too little, you won’t be able to understand their needs and effectively communicate with them.

What’s more, if you ask for too little, your sales team will waste time following up people who turn out to be unsuitable, instead of nurturing qualified leads.

So, how much information and what type of information will a visitor be prepared to share on a lead form?

How many questions should you ask?

There is a lot of best practice discussion regarding optimal lead form length.

Research from Eloqua, suggests that five to seven fields is best. We have even seen up to 10 fields used successfully, however, in our opinion, the optimal number of fields on a landing page form is between three and five.

That’s not a lot of information. Luckily, there are some situations where you can ask more questions:

1. Swap value for value.

The greater the perceived value of your lead magnet, the more likely visitors will be to provide more information.

2. Get quality not quantity.

While more leads is usually considered better, what you actually want is quality leads. You want to discourage “tyre kickers” – people hunting around with no intention of buying. Asking for more information can narrow down your leads to people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

3. Build trust.

You can ask for more information from someone who’s already familiar with you, such as return visitors to your website, or people who’ve filled in a form before. They trust you, and you know they’re keen.

But how do you do this?

In HubSpot it’s called “Progressive Profiling” and it’s pretty amazing. Infusionsoft offers similar functionality through the use of hidden fields.

Progressive profiling makes lead forms smarter.

HubSpot actually offers both Smart Fields and Progressive Profiling.

Smart Fields adjust the length of the form based on whether a visitor has previously completed one of your forms. They recognise someone who has already filled out one of your forms and will not show questions previously answered.

But even more awesome than Smart Fields is their Progressive Profiling.

Once your visitor has given you basic information and downloaded your lead magnet, you can set up automated communications which sends them relevant offers of more lead magnets on your site.

Each time they return to your site for another awesome lead magnet, the form recognises who the visitor is and what fields they have previously completed. They are automatically presented with different questions.

This keeps the total number of questions on each occasion to minimum, and over time allows you to build up a comprehensive understanding of your lead without intimidating them.

Conclusion: lead form best practice.

There is no set rule to the number of questions asked each time, but generally, the fewer questions the higher the response rate will be. The more questions, the lower the response rate.

Using Smart Fields and Progressive Profiling will let you keep each form short while still obtaining vast amounts of contact information over time.

Want progressive profiling?

If you’d like to find out more about how progressive profiling, smart forms or how content marketing can benefit your business, don’t hesitate to give me a call or schedule a time in my diary to chat. You can find my availability by clicking on the button below.

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Website: Gerald Chait Strategic Marketing

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