Lead generation forms that really work

Lilach Bullock on Lead generation,


The first step to a successful content marketing campaign is obvious. Without quality content, you won’t attract new leads.

However, the final stage in content marketing is often overlooked: Well-designed lead generation forms can be the difference between converting potential leads and losing them forever.

Before completing a form, a user is just a visitor. After completing a form, a user becomes a lead. Here’s how to generate more leads by creating better, higher-converting forms:

Content marketing

The most common content marketing strategy involves providing users with access to premium material (eBooks, webinars) in return for their contact details. You both benefit: The lead gets access to fantastic content, and you get their details.



In order to be effective, it’s important that you don’t hide all content behind a form. Aim to entice leads with quality free blogs and videos, but make it clear to users that if they want access to more in-depth material, they’ll have to complete a short, user-friendly form.

This is where too many content marketing strategies stumble. Let’s face it: Filling out forms is boring. That’s why the golden rule of drafting successful lead generation forms is:

Make the process as simple as possible

Lead Generation - Keep it Simple!

The more simple and user-friendly your form, the better. Always ask yourself if the user experience could be streamlined. Could you get away with asking fewer questions?



The size of your form will depend on your organisation’s goals and strategies. It’s important to note, however, that high converting forms are usually short and to the point. Three to five fields is the industry norm. If your form includes six or more fields, consider making certain questions optional.



When drafting a form ask yourself: What information do you need? We suggest you restrict yourself to asking only for a user’s name and business email address, at least initially.



Never give a potential lead a reason to leave your site without leaving his or her details. Ask a question prematurely, and you risk losing a lead forever.



For example, a common mistake is asking for a phone number at the first point of contact. Studies have recorded that 5% fewer users complete a form requesting a phone number. Aim to get a user’s number later in the process, when they’ve progressed a little further along the sales funnel.

Your goal at this stage is simply to acquire a lead’s contact details. Don’t worry if the information seems sketchy, this is where progressive profiling comes in.

Progressive profiling

The more information you have on a lead, the more accurately you can target them. Requesting too much information too quickly is likely to put users off, however.



Progressive profiling allows you to gather information in stages. Used effectively, progressive profiling will give you greater insight into your leads. For example, a user who may be reluctant to answer six questions in one session may be happy to answer sixteen questions across four sessions.



As your picture of a lead improves, you can ask prospects more targeted questions, gradually building a more detailed profile of who they are. This information will help you tailor personalised content around a lead’s interests, making purchases more likely.

Open text fields

Avoid open text fields where possible – not only are they more likely to encourage users to bounce (asking someone to type out their job title when pushed for time might cause them to click away from your site altogether), their results are easier to categorise.

We recommend that you use dropdowns or picklists instead. Not only will they make your data cleaner (guaranteeing that every answer is relevant), they will also speed up the form filling process.

Call to Action

Lead Generation CTA

A well-structured form isn’t enough. You need to remind your lead why they began completing your form in the first place.

As with all marketing, a strong call to action is key. Not only should the landing page feature a call to action, make sure the form’s headline and ‘send’ button are on-message as well. The call to action needs to be clear and simple - focus on getting users to perform a single action.



Try out various call to actions in different positions and sizes. In particular, the headline is a chance to remind the user of why they began completing the form: ‘Complete this form and we’ll send you 20 ways to boost your business via Instagram!’.



The ‘send’ button is your final call to action. The send button is your last opportunity to tempt users over the line. Buttons reading “Sign up now” are guaranteed a higher conversion rate than those that simply read ‘send’.



Avoid Captchas



It’s vital to keep the conversion process as smooth as possible. For this reason, we recommend that you avoid using Captchas.

Captchas are an effective anti-spam measure, but visitors are likely to see them as a nuisance.

 They can be difficult to solve, and after failing once or twice, users may simply leave your site, losing you valuable leads in the process.



Unless you’re at a heightened risk of hacking, we advise that you find a more user-friendly alternative. Ask users to complete simple maths questions or enter the name of your business.

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

Ensure the form is visible



Yeah, it sounds obvious, but a surprising number of lead generation forms are only accessible when the user scrolls down, or clicks a link.



The best place for a form is in the upper right-hand corner. It’s important that the form remains visible when the user scrolls down the page.



Be careful not to make your landing page too busy. Avoid using too many social media icons, page links and images. Used intelligently, white space can focus a user’s attention on the form.



Also, don’t underestimate the importance of good design when putting together the form itself. Research by Hubspot found that changing the submit button colour from green to red increased conversions by 21%. Play around with designs – monitor results to determine what works and what needs improvement.



Integrate users’ social media accounts

Lead Generation

An effective way of increasing the number (and the quality) of conversions is to allow visitors to autofill forms via a social media account. Jumplead employs this feature.

Make it easy to correct errors

You can still lose leads even when a form has been completed. Think carefully about how you ask users to correct mistakes. Where possible, errors should be clearly highlighted. It’s frustrating to have a form rejected, and not know how to put it right. 



It’s important that the form doesn’t reset all fields; rather than start again from scratch, a user may simply decide not to bother.

Finally, test and tweak

You won’t get it exactly right first time, but then no one does. Ask yourself: How many users are abandoning forms? How many users are providing you with inaccurate data? 


As with every aspect of your marketing strategy, you need to constantly monitor and refine your forms. With tests and revisions, your forms are guaranteed to grow stronger and more effective – helping you generate new leads and new conversions. 


The first step to a successful content marketing campaign is obvious. Without quality content, you won’t attract new leads.

However, the final stage in content marketing is often overlooked: Well-designed lead generation forms can be the difference between converting potential leads and losing them forever.

Before completing a form, a user is just a visitor. After completing a form, a user becomes a lead. Here’s how to generate more leads by creating better, higher-converting forms:

Content marketing

The most common content marketing strategy involves providing users with access to premium material (eBooks, webinars) in return for their contact details. You both benefit: The lead gets access to fantastic content, and you get their details.



In order to be effective, it’s important that you don’t hide all content behind a form. Aim to entice leads with quality free blogs and videos, but make it clear to users that if they want access to more in-depth material, they’ll have to complete a short, user-friendly form.

This is where too many content marketing strategies stumble. Let’s face it: Filling out forms is boring. That’s why the golden rule of drafting successful lead generation forms is:

Make the process as simple as possible

Lead Generation - Keep it Simple!

The more simple and user-friendly your form, the better. Always ask yourself if the user experience could be streamlined. Could you get away with asking fewer questions?



The size of your form will depend on your organisation’s goals and strategies. It’s important to note, however, that high converting forms are usually short and to the point. Three to five fields is the industry norm. If your form includes six or more fields, consider making certain questions optional.



When drafting a form ask yourself: What information do you need? We suggest you restrict yourself to asking only for a user’s name and business email address, at least initially.



Never give a potential lead a reason to leave your site without leaving his or her details. Ask a question prematurely, and you risk losing a lead forever.



For example, a common mistake is asking for a phone number at the first point of contact. Studies have recorded that 5% fewer users complete a form requesting a phone number. Aim to get a user’s number later in the process, when they’ve progressed a little further along the sales funnel.

Your goal at this stage is simply to acquire a lead’s contact details. Don’t worry if the information seems sketchy, this is where progressive profiling comes in.

Progressive profiling

The more information you have on a lead, the more accurately you can target them. Requesting too much information too quickly is likely to put users off, however.



Progressive profiling allows you to gather information in stages. Used effectively, progressive profiling will give you greater insight into your leads. For example, a user who may be reluctant to answer six questions in one session may be happy to answer sixteen questions across four sessions.



As your picture of a lead improves, you can ask prospects more targeted questions, gradually building a more detailed profile of who they are. This information will help you tailor personalised content around a lead’s interests, making purchases more likely.

Open text fields

Avoid open text fields where possible – not only are they more likely to encourage users to bounce (asking someone to type out their job title when pushed for time might cause them to click away from your site altogether), their results are easier to categorise.

We recommend that you use dropdowns or picklists instead. Not only will they make your data cleaner (guaranteeing that every answer is relevant), they will also speed up the form filling process.

Call to Action

Lead Generation CTA

A well-structured form isn’t enough. You need to remind your lead why they began completing your form in the first place.

As with all marketing, a strong call to action is key. Not only should the landing page feature a call to action, make sure the form’s headline and ‘send’ button are on-message as well. The call to action needs to be clear and simple - focus on getting users to perform a single action.



Try out various call to actions in different positions and sizes. In particular, the headline is a chance to remind the user of why they began completing the form: ‘Complete this form and we’ll send you 20 ways to boost your business via Instagram!’.



The ‘send’ button is your final call to action. The send button is your last opportunity to tempt users over the line. Buttons reading “Sign up now” are guaranteed a higher conversion rate than those that simply read ‘send’.



Avoid Captchas



It’s vital to keep the conversion process as smooth as possible. For this reason, we recommend that you avoid using Captchas.

Captchas are an effective anti-spam measure, but visitors are likely to see them as a nuisance.

 They can be difficult to solve, and after failing once or twice, users may simply leave your site, losing you valuable leads in the process.



Unless you’re at a heightened risk of hacking, we advise that you find a more user-friendly alternative. Ask users to complete simple maths questions or enter the name of your business.

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

Ensure the form is visible



Yeah, it sounds obvious, but a surprising number of lead generation forms are only accessible when the user scrolls down, or clicks a link.



The best place for a form is in the upper right-hand corner. It’s important that the form remains visible when the user scrolls down the page.



Be careful not to make your landing page too busy. Avoid using too many social media icons, page links and images. Used intelligently, white space can focus a user’s attention on the form.



Also, don’t underestimate the importance of good design when putting together the form itself. Research by Hubspot found that changing the submit button colour from green to red increased conversions by 21%. Play around with designs – monitor results to determine what works and what needs improvement.



Integrate users’ social media accounts

Lead Generation

An effective way of increasing the number (and the quality) of conversions is to allow visitors to autofill forms via a social media account. Jumplead employs this feature.

Make it easy to correct errors

You can still lose leads even when a form has been completed. Think carefully about how you ask users to correct mistakes. Where possible, errors should be clearly highlighted. It’s frustrating to have a form rejected, and not know how to put it right. 



It’s important that the form doesn’t reset all fields; rather than start again from scratch, a user may simply decide not to bother.

Finally, test and tweak

You won’t get it exactly right first time, but then no one does. Ask yourself: How many users are abandoning forms? How many users are providing you with inaccurate data? 


As with every aspect of your marketing strategy, you need to constantly monitor and refine your forms. With tests and revisions, your forms are guaranteed to grow stronger and more effective – helping you generate new leads and new conversions. 


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