The Key to a Great Lead Gen Form

Lead Gen CampaignsPart three in our lead gen and technology series looks at the key elements in designing a successful lead generation form.

The main thing to keep in mind is that you only get one chance to make a good impression. In other words, if your form is sloppy, slow, too intrusive or unattractive, people are less likely to submit their data. Lead Gen forms are a vital element in helping you reach your sales potential.

Even small imrpovements on your forms can have a big impact. The online travel brand Expedia was able to increase its profits by $12mm just by removing an optional form field which confused many of its online users. This goes to show that even small changes can have big results.

So, where to start? Needless to say, the customer should always come first. That’s why the most important thing to keep in mind when designing lead generation forms is that the cusomter is king. Anything that makes form completion easier and faster, is a worthwile investment. However, from a technical standpoint, lead gen form design is very complex and should not be underestimated.

Here’s are some important factors to consider:

1. Field Design

The most obvious starting point is to consider what data you want or need. This really depends on your end goal. Do you want to collect a large amount of leads, or are you happy with a smaller amount of leads that may be more likely to convert? Your position regarding quantity vs quality can greatly influence form field design. Shorter forms that ask for the bare minimum (usually a name and preferred method of contact) tend to be more appealing to people because they are fast to complete. However, having fewer fields also reduces your chance to qualify leads. That’s why longer forms usually ask more questions that help to determine how likely you are to serve leads as customers. Finding the perfect balance is a matter of testing, but you should consider each field carefully. Do you have the resources to follow up on a large quantity of leads? Are all the fields necessary to qualify leads for you? Have you included a good Privacy Policy in your form that reassures users that you won’t be sharing or selling their data? All these things can make or break your chance for success.

2. Visual Design and Testing

Another important aspect of your form is to include a clear Call-to-Action (CTA). Studies have shown that online shoppers are less eager to click buttons that say “Submit”, but are more likely to CTAs that say “Go” or “Click here”. The color and font size in your forms also matter – red, blue or green have proven track records. And of course, the overall position of your form matters. In order to get all these elements right, it is essential to test lead gen forms. When you split-test campaigns, it is easier to determine what influences user behavior and how to find the right formula.

3. Real-Time Verification

While fields, CTAs and form design are crucial factors to consider, you also want to make your form more user-friendly by including automatic error-messages that correct incorrect data in real-time. This is not only important because it filters out incorrect data, but also reduces the time that users have to spend on filling in a forms if they have made a mistake. If the lead gen form locates errors in real-time, rather than after clicking the submission button, prospects are more willing to take the time to correct their mistakes. Moreover, this is also a crucial step towards data verification. By cross-referencing, for example, if ZIP codes exist or if IP addresses match ZIP codes, companies can significantly reduce the risk of collecting unusable data.

4. The faster, the better

Another crucial aspect when designing lead gen forms, is the speed of forms. Numerous studies show that slow forms test the patience of users, making them less willing to submit correct data. Moreover, the faster your form, the faster you can follow up on leads.