With online traffic increasing (and projected to increase through 2020), businesses are working hard to appeal to more online shoppers. But with a renewed focus on digital marketing, we have to remember the basics.

Namely, how are you converting website visitors into customers? Chances are, you’re using lead forms to generate interest in your business. Because these forms capture customer email addresses, they’re an important kicking-off point for lead nurturing.

But lead forms are another piece of the conversion rate puzzle. You could have the greatest landing page in the world, but if you have a subpar lead form, you’ll lose customers.

4 tips to optimize lead forms

If you’re not getting enough leads, your lead form could be at fault. Follow these 4 best practices to whip your lead forms into shape.

1. Promote an insanely high-value offer

Better lead forms start with better offers. If you’re promoting spammy offers like, “Download our case study to see how we won an award,” you aren’t going to see many conversions.

Instead, come out of the gate with very specific value. What will people get from downloading your content? How does it make their lives easier? What problem are you solving?

Focus on customer pain points and create an offer that addresses it. Rely on your customer personas to address the right customer pain points.

If you’re a business coach, that pain point might be that your clients have difficulty finding customers. You can give these clients a free eBook offer that says, “Learn how to get 50% more customers in three months.” That front-loads the value in an irresistible way that clarifies your own value proposition.

If you’re a SaaS brand, the offer could be a freemium model or a 14-day free trial. While many SaaS businesses insist on a demo first, free trials remove friction in the conversion process and could get more users to stick around.

By the way, don’t require a credit card for free trials. If your solution is valuable and helpful, customers will stick around. Nothing eliminates lead form conversions faster than asking for a credit card.

2. Stick to the essentials only

Nobody wants to fill out a lead form with 50 fields. Limit your lead generation forms to a handful of the most essential fields to keep customers around. In practice, this looks like:

  • Getting the most important information first: Ask for an email address before you do anything else. In fact, you should require an email before users click any buttons. This seems like it would cause friction, but it ensures you have a user’s email address if they bounce during the signup process.
  • Using conditional logic: Again, we want to limit the number of form fields here. Don’t ask users questions that don’t apply to them. Use conditional logic to lead people through a quicker, more relevant lead form experience that minimizes bounces.
  • Adding a progress meter: Some businesses can’t just ask for a name and email address. You might need more data for better lead nurturing. If that’s the case, add a progress meter to the lead form. This manages user expectations and keeps them on-site longer.
  • Not asking for phone numbers: Did you know that asking for a phone number leads to a 5% reduction in conversions? The same goes for personal information like an address. Don’t ask for this information from your leads; wait until they’re a customer.
  • Putting the form above the fold: This isn’t a golden rule, but it’s a good idea to put your lead form high enough on the page so users don’t have to scroll. But placing the form on the bottom of the page can boost conversions, too. When in doubt, split test to see which option works for your site.

3. Boost trust

Customers are handing over their information every time they fill a lead form. They need to trust that their personal data is in good hands. But more often than not, spammy lead forms degrade customers’ trust in brands. That’s why it’s important to give every assurance you can with a trustworthy lead form.

Consider adding trust-boosters like:

  • Privacy statements: Link to your privacy policy in gray text below the lead form. It should be small but noticeable. Say something like, “We hate spam. Read our privacy policy for the full details.” Your privacy statement helps users understand how, exactly, you’ll use their data. In a post-GDPR world, this is critical to preserving customer trust.
  • Testimonials and reviews: These are best reserved for longer lead forms that ask for more information. Testimonials and reviews provide much-needed social proof that boosts trust, improving conversion rates for your lead forms.
  • Adding a progress meter: Some businesses can’t just ask for a name and email address. You might need more data for better lead nurturing. If that’s the case, add a progress meter to the lead form. This manages user expectations and keeps them on-site longer.
  • Badges: Does your site use a particular security protocol or software? Add it to your lead form! Users trust badges from reputable companies.

4. Test, test, and test again

This sounds like a simple step, but many businesses deploy lead forms without testing them first. In an ideal world, brands should test each lead form once a week. Your links could break, your site could go down, or a database connection could break—whatever the reason, there’s a good chance your form could stop working and you won’t even realize it.

Always test your lead forms on both desktop and mobile devices. On the back-end, make sure the data is coming through to the right place, in the right format. You don’t want to go through the trouble of collecting leads only to find the data’s corrupted.

Aside from testing the functionality of the form, you should also test its effectiveness. These best practices will get you far, but split testing helps brands fine-tune your lead forms for specific tweaks.

Split testing helps you figure out which elements to include, in what color, and where. For example, you might find in a split test that a red CTA button works better than green—you’ll never know unless you test.

Remember, test one element at a time. Run this like a scientific experiment so you’ll know which changes worked, and which didn’t. Over time, this will help you build more effective lead forms that work for your customers

 

The Bottom Line

Lead nurturing is critical to successful digital marketing. But every touchpoint matters in the customer journey. Optimize every aspect of your site, and especially
your lead forms, to reduce friction and convert more leads.

You’re paying to get customers to your site. Why not get more bang for your buck with conversion-friendly touchpoints? Logical Media Group’s team of experts is here to help. Contact us to get a no-strings-attached brainstorming session for your site now.

Chris O'Neill

Chris O'Neill

CEO at Logical Media Group

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