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Best practices for lead generation form

20 Best Practices to Boost Your Lead Capture Forms

Key Takeaways

  • Since customers are typically opposed to forms, the best ones are visually appealing, concise, and easy to complete.
  • Best practices vary across industries but providing valuable incentives and personalising your forms are great ways to increase completion rates.
  • Consent checkboxes, games, and conversational layouts are all effective ways of encouraging users to complete your forms.

As the bat­tle for cus­tomer atten­tion and loy­al­ty rages on, one cru­cial tool that can tip the scales in your favour is a well-designed lead cap­ture form. A great lead cap­ture form gets leads into your fun­nel so you can nur­ture them into pay­ing cus­tomers (typ­i­cal­ly on autopilot).

With many vari­ables to con­sid­er, you might won­der which prac­tices offer the most sig­nif­i­cant advan­tage. If you want to trans­form the way you cap­ture leads for the bet­ter, you’ll need to know the best strate­gies and prac­tices for cre­at­ing the ulti­mate lead-cap­ture forms.

What Is A Lead Capture Form?

A lead cap­ture form is a tool busi­ness­es use to col­lect con­tact infor­ma­tion from web­site vis­i­tors. Typ­i­cal­ly found on web­sites and land­ing pages, this form cap­tures a vis­i­tor’s name, email address, and oth­er rel­e­vant information.

This infor­ma­tion is then stored and used to nur­ture them into a pay­ing customer.

What Should a Lead Capture Form Include?

Although they come in a vari­ety of designs, styles and for­mats, effec­tive lead cap­ture forms should always include the following:

  • Infor­ma­tion about how a vis­i­tor’s con­tact details will be stored, accessed, and used
  • Form fields (or sim­i­lar) to col­lect vis­i­tor information
  • Options for a vis­i­tor to opt-in to receive future mar­ket­ing or pro­mo­tion­al com­mu­ni­ca­tions from a business
  • A clear call to action (CTA) for the vis­i­tor to sub­mit their information
  • A fol­low-up sys­tem (usu­al­ly auto­mat­ed) that’s trig­gered when the form is submitted

How Do You Create a Lead Capture Form?

To cre­ate a lead cap­ture form that sup­ports your lead gen­er­a­tion efforts, fol­low these four steps:

Step 1: Plan

The plan­ning stage is where you’ll deter­mine your goals and the pur­pose of your lead cap­ture form. Think about the infor­ma­tion you want to col­lect and the type of form that will help you do so. With a clear plan in place, cap­tur­ing leads and achiev­ing your busi­ness objec­tives will be a lot easier.

Step 2: Design

With form-build­ing tools offered by plat­forms like Hub­Spot or Pop­ups­mart and online tem­plates, you have plen­ty of options for cre­at­ing a lead cap­ture form. What­ev­er you choose, keep these things in mind:

What will your form look like?

Ele­ments such as colours, fonts and but­tons influ­ence how poten­tial cus­tomers inter­act with your lead cap­ture form, so choose your ele­ments wise­ly. For exam­ple, your lead cap­ture form should­n’t fade into the back­ground; it should be strik­ing, with plen­ty of white space to increase visibility.

You might want to con­sult a web design­er about your forms, as they’ll know about effec­tive colour the­o­ry and oth­er design ele­ments that appeal to users.

Where will you place it?

Con­sid­er whether your lead cap­ture form needs its own ded­i­cat­ed land­ing page or whether you’d pre­fer to make use of a pop-up win­dow or sticky bar. The key is to ensure that your form is vis­i­ble and that it enhances user experience.

Plac­ing your form above the fold or direct­ly under a head­line is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed. Though, some­times a below-the-fold approach is more suit­able (such as when a vis­i­tor needs more infor­ma­tion about your busi­ness or offer before sign­ing up).

Step 3: Test and Launch

To get a feel for what your audi­ence responds to, use A/B test­ing on your head­lines, CTAs and offers. It’s also a good idea to test vast­ly dif­fer­ent form designs. As the shift towards more uncon­ven­tion­al forms gains momen­tum, you might find that your audi­ence responds pos­i­tive­ly to them as well.

Step 4: Optimise

Once you’ve gath­ered enough data, use ana­lyt­ics tools to track the per­for­mance of your forms. Con­sid­er things such as the num­ber of com­ple­tions, com­ple­tion times, and key drop-off points. You’ll want to con­tin­ue to opti­mise your forms to max­imise con­ver­sions and keep up with chang­ing trends.

Top 20 Best Practices for Using Lead Capture Forms

We’ve round­ed up 20 of the best lead cap­ture form prac­tices to enhance your lead gen­er­a­tion efforts. Let’s dive in.

1. Make your forms easier

Con­sumers hate forms and are already wary of shar­ing their per­son­al infor­ma­tion. So, com­pli­cat­ing your forms only results in form aban­don­ment. That’s why it’s always a good idea to keep things sim­ple and arrange form fields from eas­i­est to hard­est. This reduces cog­ni­tive load, which in turn, increas­es conversions.

2. Make some fields optional

A good lead cap­ture form strikes a bal­ance between the infor­ma­tion you need and ease of com­ple­tion. Wher­ev­er pos­si­ble, only ask for essen­tial infor­ma­tion and make some form fields option­al to reduce form abandonment.

3. Use multiple forms

Increase your lead gen­er­a­tion rates by mak­ing use of mul­ti­ple forms. Instead of giv­ing vis­i­tors a long form to com­plete, make ini­tial sign-ups quick and pain­less. Then, get them to fill out more infor­ma­tion at a lat­er stage.

4. Personalise your forms

For bet­ter engage­ment and com­ple­tion rates, per­son­alise your lead cap­ture forms. By switch­ing up your offers to cater to vis­i­tors’ inter­ests, char­ac­ter­is­tics or where they are on the cus­tomer jour­ney, you’re like­ly to see more conversions.

5. Use multi-step forms

Some­times, you may need to col­lect more than a name and email address. In such cas­es, con­sid­er break­ing your form up into mul­ti­ple steps and offer­ing an incen­tive at every step. With 87% high­er con­ver­sion rates, mul­ti-step forms are very effective.

6. Add progress bars to your forms

Adding a progress bar to a mul­ti-step lead cap­ture form shows a vis­i­tor how much they’ve filled out and how much fur­ther they need to go. Not only is this less over­whelm­ing than a lengthy form, but it also moti­vates vis­i­tors to com­plete it because of a psy­cho­log­i­cal phe­nom­e­non known as loss aversion.

7. Use smart forms

Smart forms use con­di­tion­al log­ic to hide or dis­play cer­tain ques­tions or fields to vis­i­tors. Based on their answers, poten­tial leads are shown rel­e­vant ques­tions or fields that allow you to under­stand and seg­ment them better.

Aside from more detailed data col­lec­tion, the ben­e­fit of smart forms is that it reduces the cog­ni­tive load in users when they can avoid unnec­es­sary fields, mak­ing them more like­ly to com­plete them.

8. Make your forms mobile friendly

With mobile use tak­ing over, it’s nev­er been more impor­tant to ensure that all web­site ele­ments are opti­mised for mobile users. For high­er con­ver­sion rates, focus on craft­ing lead cap­ture forms that are easy to view and fill out on mobile devices.

9. Craft compelling CTAs

Your CTA is what com­pels a vis­i­tor to fill out your form, so it should be well-writ­ten. Choose action words and pow­er phras­es like “get start­ed” or “down­load free” instead of words like “sub­mit” or “sub­scribe”, which have been proven to reduce conversions.

10. Keep up with changing consumer needs

As con­sumer needs evolve, you’ll need to keep up with them to cre­ate effec­tive lead gen­er­a­tion strate­gies and lead cap­ture forms. So, don’t get com­pla­cent; eval­u­ate and improve your tac­tics often.

11. Use standalone lead capture pages

While you could use pop-ups or incor­po­rate lead cap­ture forms direct­ly into your web­site’s pages, ded­i­cat­ed land­ing pages offer bet­ter con­ver­sion rates. In fact, pop-ups have a 3% con­ver­sion rate, where­as land­ing pages have con­ver­sion rates of up to 23%.

12. Use event-triggered forms

Event-trig­gered lead cap­ture forms are a great way to enhance cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. These forms are designed to pop up at spe­cif­ic times, such as when a vis­i­tor nav­i­gates to a cer­tain page or when they’ve been on a page for a cer­tain amount of time.

13. Use value-first wording

A prospec­tive cus­tomer should be able to pic­ture the ben­e­fit of com­plet­ing your form. So, use val­ue-first word­ing to boost con­ver­sions. For exam­ple, instead of “Free 12-page e‑book on lead gen­er­a­tion”, go for “Gen­er­ate thou­sands of qual­i­ty leads with this free 12-page e‑book.”

14. Use videos to increase conversions

Videos are an engag­ing way to get impor­tant infor­ma­tion across. If you want to boost engage­ment and con­ver­sions, add a short explain­er video to your lead cap­ture page.

15. Make your forms conversational

Lever­age the pow­er of con­ver­sa­tion­al mar­ket­ing by cre­at­ing a con­ver­sa­tion­al form. Much like an actu­al face-to-face con­ver­sa­tion, this type of form asks a vis­i­tor one ques­tion at a time. As this approach feels more nat­ur­al, vis­i­tors are more like­ly to com­plete the form.

16. Make your forms more secure

To increase the like­li­hood of vis­i­tors com­plet­ing your form, assure them that their infor­ma­tion will be kept secure. One way to do this is to use CAPTCHA to keep your forms safe and spam-free.

17. Make your forms look less like forms

Forms that don’t look like forms tend to per­form bet­ter. So, exper­i­ment with smart inter­ac­tive forms, large click­able images, progress bars, tog­gle slid­ers and oth­er ele­ments that aren’t typ­i­cal­ly asso­ci­at­ed with forms to cap­ture more leads

18. Try gamification

Gam­i­fi­ca­tion is anoth­er great way to increase lead cap­ture form con­ver­sions. By adding lucky wheels, slots, scratch cards and oth­er gam­ing ele­ments to your lead cap­ture forms, vis­i­tors are more like­ly to play — and give up their con­tact infor­ma­tion to claim a prize.

19. Include your privacy policy

A pri­va­cy pol­i­cy makes sense for legal rea­sons. But beyond that, adding one to your form helps you estab­lish trust with poten­tial leads. It can be as sim­ple as adding “we won’t spam you” or “we respect your pri­va­cy” to your form. For even more cred­i­bil­i­ty, con­sid­er adding social proof to your forms.

20. Include a consent checkbox

It’s impor­tant to give poten­tial cus­tomers a chance to con­sent to receiv­ing pro­mo­tion­al and mar­ket­ing mes­sages from you. Not only does this make you com­pli­ant with most pri­va­cy laws, but it also assures cus­tomers that you won’t abuse their per­son­al information.

How Do You Capture Leads Quickly?

Now that we’ve explored how to cre­ate a great lead cap­ture form, you’re well on your way to being able to cap­ture leads quick­ly. For this to hap­pen, your traf­fic gen­er­a­tion and lead cap­ture efforts must be in sync.

This means 1) hav­ing a great under­stand­ing of your audi­ence and how to attract them and 2) cre­at­ing a fric­tion­less lead cap­ture process. Essen­tial­ly, you’ll need to:

Clarify your lead generation goals

Con­sid­er your indus­try and the type of leads you want to gen­er­ate. If you’re build­ing a mail­ing list, you may not need more than a prospec­t’s name and email address. If you’re sell­ing high­ly per­son­alised prod­ucts, how­ev­er, you may need more infor­ma­tion to qual­i­fy your leads.

Understand your audience

The next step is deter­min­ing your ide­al cus­tomer’s needs and pain points. What can you offer them? More impor­tant­ly, how can you present your val­ue propo­si­tion in a per­sua­sive way? Use ana­lyt­ics tools like Google Ana­lyt­ics to analyse his­tor­i­cal sales data and con­duct con­sumer research to iden­ti­fy the key char­ac­ter­is­tics of your most prof­itable segments.

Create irresistible offers

Once you under­stand what your audi­ence needs, you can craft irre­sistible offers. Irre­sistible offers include high-val­ue lead mag­nets, free tri­als, dis­counts, give­aways, or any oth­er valu­able resources that your audi­ence would hap­pi­ly exchange their con­tact details for.

Leverage your top channels

When you’ve fleshed out the fin­er details of what appeals to your audi­ence, you need to fig­ure out where to reach them. The goal is to craft the right cam­paigns for the right chan­nels and then direct that traf­fic to well-designed land­ing pages for the lead cap­ture process to begin.

Create a frictionless lead capture process

Dri­ving traf­fic to your web­site and land­ing pages is only half the bat­tle. Craft­ing a great user expe­ri­ence and cre­at­ing as lit­tle fric­tion as pos­si­ble dur­ing the lead cap­ture process is what will con­vert traf­fic into promis­ing leads.

Here are the key things to focus on, as dis­cussed in pre­vi­ous sections:

  • Excel­lent web­site design
  • Com­pelling copy
  • Clear CTAs
  • Effec­tive lead cap­ture forms

Final Thoughts

A great lead cap­ture form is an essen­tial part of any suc­cess­ful mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. For an edge over the com­pe­ti­tion, keep your lead cap­ture forms in peak con­di­tion by reg­u­lar­ly analysing and opti­mis­ing them. Over­all, focus­ing on the qual­i­ty of your lead cap­ture forms and the effec­tive­ness of your fol­low-up efforts will help you max­imise your returns and grow your business.

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