Once you’ve been noticed, you want to get your potential date’s “number” so you can start a conversation — and on your landing pages, your goal is similarly to capture your prospects’ contact information so you can stay in touch.
Lead capture forms are the avenue for gaining that critical piece of information, such as your prospects’ name and email address so that you can add them to your email list and continue marketing to them.
There’s an art and a science behind optimizing the way you use forms to increase your chances of prospects filling them out. Here are five strategies to keep in mind:
1. OFFER SOMETHING VALUABLE
Most people aren’t going to provide their name and email address for no reason. One of the most common approaches to lead capture forms involves offering something highly valuable for free. By doing this, you’re providing your new leads something in exchange for them providing you their contact information.
Your valuable free offer could be a downloadable piece of content, such as an ebook, or it could be a discount on a future purchase, a free trial, or any other offer that your leads would find enticing.
This offer also serves the purpose of qualifying your leads. In fact, those who accept your free value offer tend to move from opt-in to purchase much more quickly than those who have not. Through this simple exchange, your prospects get high quality content and you get new, more qualified leads — it’s a win/win.
2. ENGAGE WITH LIGHTBOXES BASED ON VISITOR ACTIONS
You’ve probably had the experience of scrolling through a page on a website, perhaps reading the content or just perusing to get a feel for the product or service, when a pop-up form, also called a lightbox, grabs your attention.
Many websites employ lightboxes to grab your attention; rather than simply placing the form in a static location on the page, pop ups are front and center.
Lightboxes can be triggered by a specific user action which you, as the form builder, can set. For example, you could set the form to pop up based on the amount of time a visitor has spent on the page. To set the ideal timing for your page, you can determine how long it takes to consume the first section of your content. This way, you’ll know they have an interest in your topic and are likely to fill out the form.
Another trigger is “exit intent,” which is when the mouse heads up toward the “back” or “close” button. As a sort of last-ditch effort to get visitors to give you another chance to win their favor and hopefully their business, you can set a pop up to appear just as they are about to leave.
Any combination of these (and other) triggers is possible, allowing you to be sure that visitors see what you’re offering. Either way, lightboxes bring your forms to your visitors, rather than your visitors having to find your forms.
3. AVOID FORM ABANDONMENT
We’ve all done it. We began filling out a form online and then we got a text message that stole our attention, clicked back to a previous page, or we just simply changed our mind. Whatever the case may be, form abandonment happens often, and an incomplete form means a lost lead.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of form abandonment. One step is to make sure that your form has an appropriate amount of fields given your objective. For example, too many fields can discourage visitors from filling them out entirely, but too few may not give you enough information to properly segment your list or ensure that they are a good fit for your product or service.
One solution is to build multi-step forms, wherein each step saves your leads’ responses and directs them to another form that asks for more information. Make sure that the first form asks for the essentials: full name and email address. Once they click “submit,” you’re free to start asking more in-depth questions on subsequent forms if need be. That way, if they stop at form two or three, you still have their information as a lead.
4. DESIGN FORMS THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR BRANDING
Your forms should be eye catching in order to increase the odds of being filled out, but that doesn’t mean they should stand out in a dramatic way. They should be designed consistently with your branding on the rest of your landing page — using the same fonts, colors, and tone of voice.
If your form, especially if it’s a pop up form, doesn’t match the landing page or your other branding, it can be an immediate turn off or be mistaken as an unrelated distraction.
5. MAKE YOUR CTA RELEVANT AND CRYSTAL CLEAR
Similar to ensuring your form matches the branding on your page, make sure that what you’re offering is in keeping with the content of the page. For example, if someone is on your page for your fitness program, the offer could be a free trial of a fitness class or a free download about at-home workouts — not about your nutrition classes or other offerings. By doing this, you’ll be more likely to gain their interest and more targeted in your messaging.
When it comes to the actual CTA button your visitors click after filling out your form fields, use clear and active language that reiterates what they’re going to receive when they click on it. For example, rather than simply saying “Submit” or “Enter,” your button could say “Get my free download!” or “I’m ready for my free trial!”
On every lead generation form, your goal is to craft a powerful offer and compelling CTA so that it’ll be 100% clear what you want your visitors to do and what they will get in return for doing it. Doing so will build trust with your page visitors and increase their chances of completing your form and becoming a new lead in your pipeline.