The Anatomy of a Perfect Lead Generation Form Backed by Examples

Brian Honigman on Lead generation,


The forms on your website could make or break the conversion funnel you’re trying to setup for your business.

A lead generation form is the place on your website that is the last stop before a visitor converts into a prospect for your business.

This form could help a visitor become a subscriber to your email list, grant access to premium content like a white paper, help a prospect get in touch with your business and more.

Understanding the key elements that make up each aspect of the forms used throughout your website will help your organization stay focused on what drives more qualified leads.

Through consistent testing and analysis, you’ll be able to find a few key insights to inform the lead generation forms used throughout your website.

Remember that there’s no perfect formula for your lead generation form, try multiple approaches to these key elements and see which converts better for you.

Here’s what it takes to build the perfect lead generation form for your business.

1. Include a Concise Call-To-Action

The CTA or call-to-action is the copy featured predominately at the top of a form directing people to make a desired action, as well as at the bottom of your form in the form of a CTA button.

This is a critical part of your lead generation form since it tells a web visitor what you’d like them to do and therefore, is highly influential in leading to their decision to convert or not.

Focus on getting users to perform one action to avoid overcomplicating the process of filling out your form. Simplicity will be a consistent theme through each aspect of the lead generation form, since a singular focus is more likely to spur action from a person as compared to a complicated process.

For example, LinkedIn’s sign-up form features the CTA: “Get started – it’s free.”

Make a note of the simplicity of this CTA, the copy used, the fact that it is bolded and that it is one of the first elements of the form that you can see over the other parts of the form as compared to the Join now CTA button featured at the bottom.

These two CTA’s drive a person to fill out the form by letting them know there’s no cost to them and that they should complete the form now. The color choice of the CTA button is likely purposeful to ensure it stands out and alerts a visitor where to click once they fill out all the fields on the form.

2. Only Include a Few Fields on Your Form

A good rule of thumb for your lead generation forms is to keep the amount of fields limited to two to three fields on your webpage or landing page. Start with a simple form to ensure it is easy for visitors to fill it out completely.

Ask for information in these fields that individuals are typically comfortable with providing like their name, email or phone number.

Definitely experiment with the number of fields that are included on your forms to see what works best to convert the highest number of quality leads possible from your particular audience.

This example from Quirky’s sign-up form shows how few fields the company features to keep it concise and non-invasive, while still effective at driving results for their business.

In addition to featuring very few fields, the company elected to offer social sign up via Facebook as part of the form, which could also help streamline the process for visitors and helping the company collect customer data quickly.

3. Make Use of the Space Around the Form

How the space around the form is used is just as important as the form itself in many ways. Look to include trust elements that build the credibility of your business as it relates to incentivizing someone to complete a form on your website.

There are many different types of elements that can be used around your form, all of which aim to drive more leads for your business via your form. Some common elements to include are copy that highlights the benefits of signing up, an explainer video featuring your offering or a listing of awards your organization has won for its work and expertise to date.

This example from Likeable Media features a very simple form surrounded by a headline about the white paper on the left, a paragraph of copy that explains the value in signing up to access their resource and lastly, bullet points to help quickly summarize the reasons why someone should download this resource.

Use the space around your form in similar capacity to help encourage a visitor to take action, but don’t settle for one grouping of elements on your form and landing page. Experiment with different types of copy, video, images and other elements to see what performs best for your business.

4. Keep the Form Above the Fold

To ensure a visitor sees your form as soon as they land on your website or landing page, keep at least a part of the form and its CTA above the fold.

Above the fold is the part of the webpage a visitor sees when first visiting a website without having to scroll downwards. The fold varies depending on the browser and screen size of your monitor, use this tool to check where a webpage or landing page on your website comes up above or below the fold.

This example from FloridaTix.com, shows where the organization’s sign-up form is on their homepage in relation to where the fold is for most browsers and monitors.

The form to book tickets using the service is featured front and center above the fold with a distinct CTA button at the bottom. Keep the most important aspects of your lead generation form above the fold to ensure you’re giving it the greatest visibility with your web visitors.

5. Set Expectations From the Beginning

It’s essential that your form provide all the necessary information pertaining to the use of a person’s data once it’s collected by your organization. Establish expectations from the very beginning with what a user is to expect from supplying some of their personal information on that form and after signing up.

Include a privacy policy, terms of service or simply some copy to help clarify on your form for a web visitor to better understand what to expect from completing your form and following through to another resource on your website.

For example, this form from the Quicksprout blog featured a quick sentence below the CTA button that says: 100% Privacy. I will never spam you!

Your organization could take it a step further with a link to your full terms of service on your form, but all and all, alerting your audience to how their information will be used with some copy is a helpful way of establishing expectations with your audience quickly.

It’s important to note that an Unbounce study found that using the word spam on your form, as seen above, generated 18.70% less signups as compared to a control form that used different copy. This is just another reminder that all the elements on your forms should be A/B tested to see what works best for your website as opposed to others.

6. Focus on the Design of Your Form

The details regarding the design of your form are also important to encourage ongoing conversions. The colors of different aspects of your form, as well as the placement of certain elements on your form affect how a person responds to it.

This is where A/B testing your forms really comes in handy to see which unique nuances of the design have an impact on conversions or your bounce rate. Color is a visual cue to readers to catch their attention on your form and help them decide where they should be clicking.

This example from ContentVerve illustrates how the color of your CTA button could easily impact whether your form influences people to convert or to bounce, all based on whether your button is green or red.

Images courtesy of Uber, LinkedIn, Quirky, Likeable Media, KISSmetrics, Quicksprout, and ContentVerve.

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Brian Honigman
Content Marketing & Social Media Consultant
http://www.brianhonigman.com/