Lead capture forms are one of the most efficient ways of reaching potential customers who would otherwise be unlikely to make a purchase at first point of contact with a brand.
By continuing to engage with the visitor through various methods, such as Email capture, after the initial interaction, a relationship based on loyalty can be built through trust that leads to prolonged engagement and sales.
But how to design the form itself, where to place it so it isn’t too intrusive or pushy and how to ensure it is visible enough that it is possible for the potential customer to engage with are just some of the considerations that need to be thought carefully about before implementation. For sign-up forms, we also have specific optimization tips you can access here.
Where To Position On A Lead Capture Page
As previously touched upon, the positioning of the form is of huge importance. If the capture page (or landing page) presents the form in a way that makes the visitor feel they are being coerced, the chances are alarm bells will ring and they will either leave the page immediately or be very reluctant to hand out contact information.
Desperate and garish forms appear the same as any form of advertisement on the Internet that takes this course, untrustworthy. Remember, the key is not that you are selling the visitor a product, rather you are trying to build a relationship between them and your brand and are presenting them with content that is both appealing and useful.
On the other hand, there is little point in having a form hidden in the bottom corner, where visitors may not even scroll to. This balance is important and will define the success of your lead generation form.
Best practice tells us that having the form appear above the fold (in sight of the visitor before scrolling) is important and the form can be placed in a subtle, yet visible, way by having it appear next to the most striking aspect of the page’s content. This can be a free offer related to completion of the form, or next to content that is related to the form without being too conspicuous.
Some sites break with he norm and prefer to place the form at the bottom of the page, where scrolling ends. This can be an effective way to draw the visitor in if the content (or offer) is strong enough.
For example, downloading free content which can be “Sold” through the page’s content, with the form (and free download) only coming at the end. As long as there is an opportunity to download the content above the fold, the positioning can work well for generating conversions. Read our guide to conversion rate optimization for more CRO tips.
Lead Generation In Disguise
This method isn’t as underhand as it may sound, in fact, it is how the form appears that is central to the premise. Internet users are well-versed, in this day and age, to the tactics of marketeers. The chances are, visitors will only provide personal information if they know they are getting something out of it. That doesn’t mean, however, you have to present the form in a way that feels like they are giving something of great worth up.
Part of this dynamic will depend on providing your future customers with something worthwhile. After all, if they are unsatisfied with the exchange of personal information for what you are offering, they are unlikely to become a customer for very long. Lead generation forms, however, are not something that visitors relish (are there any forms that people look forward to filling in?) A clever way around this, which in turn makes the experience less laborious for the visitor, is to use clickable images, rather than requiring the typing of the information for each category.
Essentially, what these User Interfaces (UI) provide is a method of providing the same information with the least cognitive effort. The easier the form is to fill in, the more likely it will be completed. The same goes for forms that can skip irrelevant information for specific customers. By asking questions that relate to the individual’s needs at the beginning of the form, the form can forego some of the more intricate questions that are not relevant to the visitor, further increasing the likelihood that the form will be completed.
Email capture remains the main source of lead capture and in some ways it can be the least intrusive as it allows potential customers to skip messages sent to them until they are ready to engage with your brand and what it is you are selling.
No matter how the person is engaging with your content, however, there is still the aspect of trust that must be addressed. With so many data leaks, sinister algorithms and data selling around, ignoring the concerns of your potential customers makes little sense. Far better to address these issues head on and with honesty if it is trust that you are trying to gain, something that is essential to lead capture.
Providing clear and simple privacy policies at the very top of the lead capture form is one of the most effective methods of allaying your customers fears.
To begin with, it makes it look as if you have nothing to hide, no nefarious plan to haunt the visitor for the rest of their days with unsolicited phone calls and a flood of ads that fill their inboxes. Secondly, it provides the visitor with a feeling that they are a partner in the exchange, their information, your content. Thirdly, if the policy makes clear that the customer can stop the Emails and text messages etc, at any time, it engenders a feeling that they have nothing to lose.
One word of caution, there is little point in providing such assurances if you will then send several Emails or generally pester your customer. The point of lead generation is to “Lead” to a trusting and fruitful relationship with the individual. In other words, lead generation is the start of the process, not the end game.
Simple Or Complex Designs?
As with many things regarding lead capture forms, the key to the design of the form itself is balance, in this case whether you will present visitors with a complex form or a simple one. This will depend on what it is you are hoping to get from the relationship. Understanding your goals, therefore, has to come before anything else.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both simple and more information heavy forms. For example, short and simple forms are more instantly appealing to a visitor, partly because it entails less effort on their part to fill it in. This, however, might be a sign of a lack of commitment, on their behalf, to buying a product or service once the form is completed, in turn lowering the conversion rate.
In other words, shorter forms are adept at providing leads, longer forms generate better quality leads.
The lead capture form above requires in depth information, but it is presented in a clear and easy to manage way. This provides the business with all the key information they need for their potential customer, and the visitor a simple method of providing it.
Submitting The Lead Generation Form
One of the most surprising things about E-commerce is how big a difference the small things can make. Quality of content and product are, of course, vital, but simple phrases can be just as important for engaging with visitors, and sometimes simply changing one word can make all the difference.
It should go without saying that the words on the form themselves can have an effect. Pushy slogans or oblique references to privacy policies or products will not inspire interaction with visitors on a grand scale but, arguably, the most important aspect of the lead generation form is the submission button itself.
The most common wording is “Submit” but studies have shown that this performs worse than other phrases. Perhaps it’s the inherent forceful tone but, whatever the reason, the phrases “Go” and “Download” can provide a 3% increase in lead generation.#CTA: the phrases “Go” and “Download” can provide a 3% increase in lead generation compared to the classic “Submit“ wording.Click To Tweet
Be sure that the wording you use on the “Submit” button is as relevant as possible to what it is you are providing. So, for example, if you are providing an Ebook, “Download it now” makes more sense than “Go”. With lead generation forms, in all areas, the more specific, the better.
How To Headline Lead Generation Forms
Whether it’s a print newspaper or a lead generation form, the headline is an essential way of grabbing attention for all the right or wrong reasons. As with other aspects of the lead generation form, you don’t want to be too garish and pushy. Big flashing letters promising the world screams “Used car salesman!” to most people. On the other hand, you do want to make something of an impression.
Another thing to consider is getting all the important aspects of what it is you are providing in as efficiently as possible. In this way it is similar to a newspaper headline, drawing the visitor in then providing the more in depth information (the story in the case of journalism) to encourage them to engage.
The example above is effective because the headline provides the benefit and the subheading a little more information. It should be noted, however, that the form should relate to the tone you wish to set for your brand. For more discreet health benefit services, something a little more subtle might be appropriate. This is exactly the sorts of areas that will need to be decided before the designing of the lead capture page itself.