So forms… pretty boring stuff right?
Believe it or not no, they’re ridiculously important in generating leads for any inbound marketing campaign, but it goes beyond just inbound marketing. Any interaction with your site that can record user’s data is of the utmost importance.
So let’s take a quick look at the whys?
- The entire point of Landing Pages is to get the form filled
- To capture users contact information and addition data
- This helps define your leads in your sales funnel in various campaigns
- The more information the better – contact info, demographic info & behaviour info,
- This allows us to better segment, target, nurture and ultimately market to.
Don’t think of it as a form, it’s a lead capturing form. This is a critical part of your inbound marketing machine. Treat it with the same importance as your CTA’s, Landing Pages and Email. The purpose of all of this is to ensure the form gets filled out. So let’s look at the main points in developing a good form.
The Quick and the Dead
Quick! You have 6 seconds from the time your user visits your site to their decision to leave or to click on some of your content! That’s not long right? You may ask what this has to do with forms? This shows the average attention span of user’s that visit your site, and the same metric can be applied on how a user will go deciding to fill in a form. So on your landing page, don’t over burden it with too much information, keep it short and concise. Don’t make your landing page overwhelming, don’t overdo the graphics or colours. Its purpose is to clearly define the offer and direct the user to the form so they can exchange their information for ours. Remove all unnecessary obstacles such as menu navigation, additional graphics, too much text, even additional calls to action.
Does size matter? Yes, it does
Form length. How do you work out the best length? There has been a ton of research done on this exact question, it comes down to a few factors, but mainly it’s a trade-off. What can we ask for, in return for our offer? Best practices. I like to reduce this down to only what is actually needed in the conversion. Reducing your form to what you actually need. If you only need an email address, then you don’t ask for additional data, unless your offer is worth more value to the user, in which case ask for an addition field that will help you further segment the information. [one-half-first]
We are working on an Awareness form in the awareness stage, top of the funnel form, with an offer to download a travel . We would be happy with their name and email address, as this will give us all we need to sign them up to nurturing email and start tracking them. Now if we asked for additional data, such as; Company information, age, gender, location, subscription to blog or newsletter. We have a greater chance they will hit the back button and leave, as the check list on offer was not really work their time filling out this long form. Look at contact information as our marketing currency, always make sure we are offering enough to warrant the user to part with information. Your forms will change and get longer depending where the user is in the buyer’s journey. Again seek to balance between the information and the offer. Let’s look at a HubSpot form, as they tend to be on point when it comes to marketing. So we can see that Hubspot has gone for 12 fields here. Wow that seems like a lot right? [/one-half-first] [one-half]
[/one-half] No, in this case they have asked for exactly what they need, and believe warrant, for the exchange of their offer. The options for all these drop downs will help to segment this contact information into the correct marketing funnels, to further nurture the lead. This form does suggest that it is further down the buyer’s journey than awareness if we look at the last field. Also I like the second last field, as it asks a great question, which will help place this lead into the correct Buyer Persona, thus allowing Hubspot to really narrow its focus and speak directly to the end user and allow there marketing efforts to be much more effective. The beauty about this is, all this information is so, so, valuable to both your marketing and sales team and greater insight leads to better qualified leads. So what’s the most important information to capture? How you contact the user, this is your main information you need, everything else is additional and expendable.
Making it align across your business
So you have decided to add additional question, so what’s your next step. The best thing to do is speak to your sales and marketing teams, they are the people nurturing and selling to your leads so we need to not only align our efforts but optimize them. Some things to consider are;
- Does the length of your form align with your markets goals?
- Does it align with the markets lead nurturing efforts?
- What information does your marketing team need in order to segment and personalize their marketing efforts?
- What information does Sales need to properly qualify a lead?
- What details do Sales need to properly contact a qualified lead?
- Do Sales need any Pre-Qualifying questions to further pre-qualify these leads
If you take anything away from this, it should be to remember you have limited space as well as limited time (attention span) on your forms. Make sure your getting everything you need, without asking for too much.
Testing is important
This goes without saying. Sometimes a form works great, other times they get no traction. See what works or doesn’t work and refine the form. Also look back to the CTA and landing page, if you have an automated marketing platform you can see where these drops occur, sometimes your CTA and landing page don’t reflect the form or offer well. So as you can see forms are perhaps the most important element in inbound marketing.