How to create the perfect lead generation form

Lilach Bullock on Lead generation,


What does the perfect lead generation form look like? If you’ve never lain awake at night pondering this question, you need to reconsider your priorities. If you wanna make it in this game we call digital selling, these are the sorts of things you should agonise over. Not to the extent of it dominating your home life admittedly, but during office hours lead generation should absolutely be on your mind.

The form you use to capture leads is just a small part in the chain, one that also includes the content of the landing page and the marketing automation system it’s linked to. A lead generation form alone can’t send your conversions skyrocketing. For that to happen, every other link in the chain also needs to be on point. But conversely, if that form is a weak link it will ruin all the effort you’ve put into crafting an informative and persuasive landing page, not to mention the money you’ve put into promoting it. Focus on the form and then, when you’re happy with it, zoom out and see how it slots in to the bigger picture.

Lead Generation

Make it clear

A good lead generation form makes it clear exactly what the reader is signing up for. Don’t promise them an e-book and then deliver a two-page PDF. Don’t promise them a free trial and then spam them with a newsletter they didn’t opt in to. Whatever the purpose of your form, that needs to be explicitly clear. This means you need to include a why.

“Sign up to…”

“Join now and…”

Claim your…”

You’re offering an exchange of value here: your permission to contact the individual in future in return for something you’re giving for free. If you want to build up trust with your prospects, you need to be straight with them from the outset about what they’re signing up for.

Ask just enough

A lead generation form is an opportunity to gather valuable information about a prospect, information that will be added to your CRM and put to good use. But you can’t abuse that privilege. If you’re asking for their date of birth, hobbies and mother’s maiden name, you’re going too far. The less fields there are to complete, the likelier that form is to be filled. Ask for the information you need, but don’t push it: your visitors’ time and patience is finite.

Remember mobile

Aside from forgetting about Dre, the worst thing you can do is forget about mobile. It’s not just your landing page that needs to look the part on smaller screens: your form does too and it also needs to work properly. If a visitor has to delete placeholder text before they can fill in the form, or to scroll left and right to reach either side of the form, you’re doing it wrong. You may find that your landing page converts better with a simplified form served to mobile visitors, one that has less options or which uses dropdown lists to speed their selection. Test your form on a variety of mobile devices before you unleash it into the wild.

Nail the CTA

A great call to action is like a great advertising slogan: it’s hard to explain what makes it great, but you know one when you see it. When writing about lead generation forms previously, we cited LinkedIn’s as an example: “Get started – it’s free.” That’s about as clear and concise as it gets. Your CTA doesn’t need to be that brief but it does need to be that punchy, upbeat and motivational. Ask yourself, which of these commands would be more likely to get your attention: “Submit your details below” or “Take the first step”? The latter sounds like an adventure; the former a chore.

Lead Generation CTA

Keep it above the fold

With a lengthy landing page it’s not always easy to fit your lead capture form above the fold. If you can find space for it here, however, you’ll be rewarded with more conversions. If the form won’t fit, aim to include at least part of it so that the visitor is compelled to scroll further. With longer landing pages, you could even use two forms: a condensed version above the fold and an expanded one below.

Start using lead generation software today

Interested in generating leads? Jumplead is a great tool for generating and managing leads with lead forms, landing pages, email nurture and marketing automation. Start generating leads today. Try Jumplead for free

Experiment

Don’t be afraid to experiment with colours, typography, sizing and suchlike – up to a point. It’s unlikely that Comic Sans with red and blue stripes will prove to be a winning formula, but more subtle tweaks may pleasantly surprise you. Even something as simple as switching a form from the left of the screen to the right has been shown to generate 24% more leads. How do you tell if that’s true? Why you...

 Test everything

Lead Generation Testing

“Always test.” “A/B test”. “Don’t put a landing page live without testing it.” The need for testing has been drummed into you enough times over the years, so it doesn’t need reiterating again. Okay, perhaps once more: every time you amend your lead generation form, test it. If you’re not testing it, you’re optimising in the dark. From the number of fields your form has to its colour, size and positioning on the page, the smallest changes can make a significant difference to your conversion rate. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to deduce that a 1% improvement in your conversion rate can substantially boost your revenue over the course of a year.

There’s no such thing as perfect, but don’t let that stop you from trying to make your lead generation forms as close to perfect as possible. Small changes can yield big results.

What does the perfect lead generation form look like? If you’ve never lain awake at night pondering this question, you need to reconsider your priorities. If you wanna make it in this game we call digital selling, these are the sorts of things you should agonise over. Not to the extent of it dominating your home life admittedly, but during office hours lead generation should absolutely be on your mind.

The form you use to capture leads is just a small part in the chain, one that also includes the content of the landing page and the marketing automation system it’s linked to. A lead generation form alone can’t send your conversions skyrocketing. For that to happen, every other link in the chain also needs to be on point. But conversely, if that form is a weak link it will ruin all the effort you’ve put into crafting an informative and persuasive landing page, not to mention the money you’ve put into promoting it. Focus on the form and then, when you’re happy with it, zoom out and see how it slots in to the bigger picture.

Lead Generation

Make it clear

A good lead generation form makes it clear exactly what the reader is signing up for. Don’t promise them an e-book and then deliver a two-page PDF. Don’t promise them a free trial and then spam them with a newsletter they didn’t opt in to. Whatever the purpose of your form, that needs to be explicitly clear. This means you need to include a why.

“Sign up to…”

“Join now and…”

Claim your…”

You’re offering an exchange of value here: your permission to contact the individual in future in return for something you’re giving for free. If you want to build up trust with your prospects, you need to be straight with them from the outset about what they’re signing up for.

Ask just enough

A lead generation form is an opportunity to gather valuable information about a prospect, information that will be added to your CRM and put to good use. But you can’t abuse that privilege. If you’re asking for their date of birth, hobbies and mother’s maiden name, you’re going too far. The less fields there are to complete, the likelier that form is to be filled. Ask for the information you need, but don’t push it: your visitors’ time and patience is finite.

Remember mobile

Aside from forgetting about Dre, the worst thing you can do is forget about mobile. It’s not just your landing page that needs to look the part on smaller screens: your form does too and it also needs to work properly. If a visitor has to delete placeholder text before they can fill in the form, or to scroll left and right to reach either side of the form, you’re doing it wrong. You may find that your landing page converts better with a simplified form served to mobile visitors, one that has less options or which uses dropdown lists to speed their selection. Test your form on a variety of mobile devices before you unleash it into the wild.

Nail the CTA

A great call to action is like a great advertising slogan: it’s hard to explain what makes it great, but you know one when you see it. When writing about lead generation forms previously, we cited LinkedIn’s as an example: “Get started – it’s free.” That’s about as clear and concise as it gets. Your CTA doesn’t need to be that brief but it does need to be that punchy, upbeat and motivational. Ask yourself, which of these commands would be more likely to get your attention: “Submit your details below” or “Take the first step”? The latter sounds like an adventure; the former a chore.

Lead Generation CTA

Keep it above the fold

With a lengthy landing page it’s not always easy to fit your lead capture form above the fold. If you can find space for it here, however, you’ll be rewarded with more conversions. If the form won’t fit, aim to include at least part of it so that the visitor is compelled to scroll further. With longer landing pages, you could even use two forms: a condensed version above the fold and an expanded one below.

Start using lead generation software today

Interested in generating leads? Jumplead is a great tool for generating and managing leads with lead forms, landing pages, email nurture and marketing automation. Start generating leads today. Try Jumplead for free

Experiment

Don’t be afraid to experiment with colours, typography, sizing and suchlike – up to a point. It’s unlikely that Comic Sans with red and blue stripes will prove to be a winning formula, but more subtle tweaks may pleasantly surprise you. Even something as simple as switching a form from the left of the screen to the right has been shown to generate 24% more leads. How do you tell if that’s true? Why you...

 Test everything

Lead Generation Testing

“Always test.” “A/B test”. “Don’t put a landing page live without testing it.” The need for testing has been drummed into you enough times over the years, so it doesn’t need reiterating again. Okay, perhaps once more: every time you amend your lead generation form, test it. If you’re not testing it, you’re optimising in the dark. From the number of fields your form has to its colour, size and positioning on the page, the smallest changes can make a significant difference to your conversion rate. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to deduce that a 1% improvement in your conversion rate can substantially boost your revenue over the course of a year.

There’s no such thing as perfect, but don’t let that stop you from trying to make your lead generation forms as close to perfect as possible. Small changes can yield big results.

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Lilach Bullock
Professional Speaker, Lead Conversion Expert, Social Media Specialist & Occasional Diva. Proud mum
UK https://www.lilachbullock.com/