How to Get Visitors to Fill Out Your Lead Forms

Brian Honigman on Lead generation, Landing pages, Content marketing, How to,


You’ve built the ideal lead form and landing page for your website, but what does it take to actually get visitors to take action and fill out the entire form?

No one enjoys completing a form, since they’re time consuming, disruptive and detail intensive.

Yet one of the most effective ways of learning about an audience, from a company’s standpoint, is having them fill out a form to capture more details like their contact info, name and more.

An estimated 1.95 billion dollars will be spent on digital lead generation advertising in the U.S. in 2017 with the goal of converting more customers and driving sales.

Statista digital lead generation

The best way to succeed with converting visitors into leads is to find a healthy balance between getting enough information from a lead, while making it as painless as possible for them by minimizing friction.

Here’s what it takes to increase the likelihood that visitors will convert by completing the forms you’ve created.

Offer a Valuable Incentive

To entice your audience to fill out your forms entirely, your organization must offer something of either equal or greater value in return for the information they’re providing.

These incentives might be access to a worksheet, white paper, eBook, case study, video, course, free consultation or another type of information valuable to your intended audience.

Most marketers and business owners fall short when it comes to offering a resource to visitors that’s useful and relevant enough to sign up for.

“The biggest mistake I see small companies make regarding their content is that they have no clear understanding of what people might actually want to read, watch, listen to and--this is critical--share,” said author and marketer Ann Handley for Entrepreneur.

To correct this issue, reassess whether the content you’re providing is actually what your audience wants. This requires communicating with current customers by interviewing them to learn about their struggles over the phone, in person or email.

Whether informally talking to an existing customer on the phone or formally sending out a survey to your entire email list, the more context you can collect on their experience the better.

Every resource you’re putting behind a sign-up form should address the leading concerns of your customers as their issues relate to your company’s offerings.

For example, LearnVest offers customers a free financial assessment at the bottom of all their articles on various finance related topics.

Learnvest web form cta

After filling out the form and a brief profile to help LearnVest understand a person’s finances, a phone call with a financial expert is scheduled to provide a lead with advice on how to save for retirement, budget better and more.

The expert financial advice is offered for free which is the undeniable value a person receives by filling out a profile about themselves and their monetary background.

LearnVest’s goal is to convert the person on the consultation call into a paying customer of their service, but the advice provided is free without any commitment.

Explain the Incentive Effectively

In some cases, the resource a company provides is high-quality enough and a match for the intended lead’s interests, but hasn’t been explained accurately on the landing page or elsewhere to inform a visitor as to what they can expect.

Don’t go into too much depth on a landing page or lead form, but do provide the details necessary to understand the full context about the incentive regarding what it is, the benefits of using it and how it can be used.

Lyft benefits on web form

As seen above, Lyft concisely explains the benefits of signing up to become a driver on their platform. The incentive here for signing up is getting paid to drive for the company.

Codeacademy web form showing benefits

With the same goal but different execution, Codecademy included copy and a video to explain the value of signing up to learn how to code at their school directly on their homepage as seen above.

To account for this have a team member that’s not part of the marketing department review the landing page to see if there’s enough context about the offer regarding your incentive.

Review the Length of Your Forms

Time is a scarce commodity for everyone and a lack of it is one of the leading reasons why a person neglects to fill out all the fields on a form.

People want to complete tasks online quickly, but your organization also wants to get as much high quality information from them as possible when converting them to a lead.

Shorter isn’t always better though. It is important to know what your goal is when trying to convert leads before deciding on the length of a particular form.

The length of each form will vary based on if you’re trying to get more leads which would require a short and simple one, whereas a campaign that requires higher quality leads will likely demand a longer form with multiple fields.

For example, Imagescape reduced the number of fields on their contact form from 11 to 4 fields which gained them a 120% increase in conversions.

The right length of a form comes down to testing to see what aligns best with your organization’s unique goals.

Huddle web form example

To balance having a shorter form with a few fields and capturing enough information to ensure the leads are qualified, consider including optional fields when possible.

This way you’re providing the option for visitors to fill out multiple fields helping your company collect more data if they’re up to it. At the same time, you’re providing visitors with the option to skip less important fields to complete the form in lieu of them skipping it altogether.

Use Social Media Lead Ads

Test the use of lead ads across social media as they automatically pre-fill forms with info pulled from a user’s profile when they opt-in.

Social media lead forms

Lead ads should be integrated as a part of your overall lead generation strategy, since they are effective at reaching a large number of new prospects depending on your budget.

The forms on these social ads are effective for many reasons, but the lack of friction around filling them out to download a white paper, attend a webinar or otherwise makes it simple to convert more leads.

Depending on your goals, company offerings and the audience you’re after, test lead ads on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn to see which ad options drive conversions.

Prioritize White Space to Minimize Friction

It’s easy to be distracted by all the elements included on a landing page, increasing the likelihood a form will be abandoned before it’s completed.
Keep the pages that include forms as simple as possible to ensure filling out the form is the singular goal on a visitor’s mind.

A description of the incentive, a CTA, images and other elements are certainly important to include on the page to drive a person to take action, but too often do businesses overdo it.

Kapost lead form example

Including white space on a landing page focuses a person’s attention on the important aspects that lead to a conversion as seen above on this page driving attention to a downloadable guide.

Consider limiting the use of social icons, links to other pages, pop-ups, GIFs and other distracting and unnecessary elements to simplify the path to more conversions.

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

Consistently Test Your Forms

The best way to determine why a form is or isn’t being completed by visitors is to test them by altering elements of the form, as well as the other elements on the page.

Here are a number of A/B tests to consider launching to improve the performance of your forms:

  • Form CTA - The call-to-action (CTA) should be tested in different positions and sizes on the form, highlighted with a variety of colors and the copy should be altered to understand the effectiveness of a few variations.

  • Form Fields - Experiment with the number of fields included on the form to see what’s right for the visitors landing on that particular page. Consider including optional fields to understand their impact on the number of leads converted and lead quality.

  • Images - Alter the images included and their placement on a landing page but keep the number of visual elements to a minimum to reduce distractions.

  • Page Copy - Test different versions of copy for the headline, the copy that describes the incentive behind the form, any customer testimonials and more.

To avoid having your forms be abandoned, incomplete or populated with inaccurate information, continue to test and optimize each form to maintain a regular influx of qualified leads.

What challenges has your organization overcome when it comes to driving conversions across your lead forms? What techniques have worked to drive a steady stream of qualified leads? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Images courtesy of: Statista, Learnvest, Lyft, Codeacademy, Huddle

You’ve built the ideal lead form and landing page for your website, but what does it take to actually get visitors to take action and fill out the entire form?

No one enjoys completing a form, since they’re time consuming, disruptive and detail intensive.

Yet one of the most effective ways of learning about an audience, from a company’s standpoint, is having them fill out a form to capture more details like their contact info, name and more.

An estimated 1.95 billion dollars will be spent on digital lead generation advertising in the U.S. in 2017 with the goal of converting more customers and driving sales.

Statista digital lead generation

The best way to succeed with converting visitors into leads is to find a healthy balance between getting enough information from a lead, while making it as painless as possible for them by minimizing friction.

Here’s what it takes to increase the likelihood that visitors will convert by completing the forms you’ve created.

Offer a Valuable Incentive

To entice your audience to fill out your forms entirely, your organization must offer something of either equal or greater value in return for the information they’re providing.

These incentives might be access to a worksheet, white paper, eBook, case study, video, course, free consultation or another type of information valuable to your intended audience.

Most marketers and business owners fall short when it comes to offering a resource to visitors that’s useful and relevant enough to sign up for.

“The biggest mistake I see small companies make regarding their content is that they have no clear understanding of what people might actually want to read, watch, listen to and--this is critical--share,” said author and marketer Ann Handley for Entrepreneur.

To correct this issue, reassess whether the content you’re providing is actually what your audience wants. This requires communicating with current customers by interviewing them to learn about their struggles over the phone, in person or email.

Whether informally talking to an existing customer on the phone or formally sending out a survey to your entire email list, the more context you can collect on their experience the better.

Every resource you’re putting behind a sign-up form should address the leading concerns of your customers as their issues relate to your company’s offerings.

For example, LearnVest offers customers a free financial assessment at the bottom of all their articles on various finance related topics.

Learnvest web form cta

After filling out the form and a brief profile to help LearnVest understand a person’s finances, a phone call with a financial expert is scheduled to provide a lead with advice on how to save for retirement, budget better and more.

The expert financial advice is offered for free which is the undeniable value a person receives by filling out a profile about themselves and their monetary background.

LearnVest’s goal is to convert the person on the consultation call into a paying customer of their service, but the advice provided is free without any commitment.

Explain the Incentive Effectively

In some cases, the resource a company provides is high-quality enough and a match for the intended lead’s interests, but hasn’t been explained accurately on the landing page or elsewhere to inform a visitor as to what they can expect.

Don’t go into too much depth on a landing page or lead form, but do provide the details necessary to understand the full context about the incentive regarding what it is, the benefits of using it and how it can be used.

Lyft benefits on web form

As seen above, Lyft concisely explains the benefits of signing up to become a driver on their platform. The incentive here for signing up is getting paid to drive for the company.

Codeacademy web form showing benefits

With the same goal but different execution, Codecademy included copy and a video to explain the value of signing up to learn how to code at their school directly on their homepage as seen above.

To account for this have a team member that’s not part of the marketing department review the landing page to see if there’s enough context about the offer regarding your incentive.

Review the Length of Your Forms

Time is a scarce commodity for everyone and a lack of it is one of the leading reasons why a person neglects to fill out all the fields on a form.

People want to complete tasks online quickly, but your organization also wants to get as much high quality information from them as possible when converting them to a lead.

Shorter isn’t always better though. It is important to know what your goal is when trying to convert leads before deciding on the length of a particular form.

The length of each form will vary based on if you’re trying to get more leads which would require a short and simple one, whereas a campaign that requires higher quality leads will likely demand a longer form with multiple fields.

For example, Imagescape reduced the number of fields on their contact form from 11 to 4 fields which gained them a 120% increase in conversions.

The right length of a form comes down to testing to see what aligns best with your organization’s unique goals.

Huddle web form example

To balance having a shorter form with a few fields and capturing enough information to ensure the leads are qualified, consider including optional fields when possible.

This way you’re providing the option for visitors to fill out multiple fields helping your company collect more data if they’re up to it. At the same time, you’re providing visitors with the option to skip less important fields to complete the form in lieu of them skipping it altogether.

Use Social Media Lead Ads

Test the use of lead ads across social media as they automatically pre-fill forms with info pulled from a user’s profile when they opt-in.

Social media lead forms

Lead ads should be integrated as a part of your overall lead generation strategy, since they are effective at reaching a large number of new prospects depending on your budget.

The forms on these social ads are effective for many reasons, but the lack of friction around filling them out to download a white paper, attend a webinar or otherwise makes it simple to convert more leads.

Depending on your goals, company offerings and the audience you’re after, test lead ads on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn to see which ad options drive conversions.

Prioritize White Space to Minimize Friction

It’s easy to be distracted by all the elements included on a landing page, increasing the likelihood a form will be abandoned before it’s completed.
Keep the pages that include forms as simple as possible to ensure filling out the form is the singular goal on a visitor’s mind.

A description of the incentive, a CTA, images and other elements are certainly important to include on the page to drive a person to take action, but too often do businesses overdo it.

Kapost lead form example

Including white space on a landing page focuses a person’s attention on the important aspects that lead to a conversion as seen above on this page driving attention to a downloadable guide.

Consider limiting the use of social icons, links to other pages, pop-ups, GIFs and other distracting and unnecessary elements to simplify the path to more conversions.

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

Consistently Test Your Forms

The best way to determine why a form is or isn’t being completed by visitors is to test them by altering elements of the form, as well as the other elements on the page.

Here are a number of A/B tests to consider launching to improve the performance of your forms:

  • Form CTA - The call-to-action (CTA) should be tested in different positions and sizes on the form, highlighted with a variety of colors and the copy should be altered to understand the effectiveness of a few variations.

  • Form Fields - Experiment with the number of fields included on the form to see what’s right for the visitors landing on that particular page. Consider including optional fields to understand their impact on the number of leads converted and lead quality.

  • Images - Alter the images included and their placement on a landing page but keep the number of visual elements to a minimum to reduce distractions.

  • Page Copy - Test different versions of copy for the headline, the copy that describes the incentive behind the form, any customer testimonials and more.

To avoid having your forms be abandoned, incomplete or populated with inaccurate information, continue to test and optimize each form to maintain a regular influx of qualified leads.

What challenges has your organization overcome when it comes to driving conversions across your lead forms? What techniques have worked to drive a steady stream of qualified leads? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Images courtesy of: Statista, Learnvest, Lyft, Codeacademy, Huddle

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