Web Forms Part 2: “Gimme Stuff, But I’m Not Your Sales Lead”
Today’s post is Part 2 of 5 articles on how to generate more sales leads with website forms. But first let’s talk about sales lead form abandonment when you feel “entitled” to your visitors’ personal information.
Everyone knows that info on the internet wants to be free, right? I mean, you know that when you go searching for something, the best solution is to find something free with no strings attached.
That’s a “deal.” You feel pretty smart about yourself when that happens, don’t you? (And to up the odds, check out this Google Cheat Sheet for better searches.)
Next best is getting info you need “now” and not “2 minutes from now after I fill out a lengthy web form.”
So why is it any different when you invite visitors to your website?You have a lot of considerations when setting up website forms:
- How much personal info should you ask for beyond name and email address?
- How many qualifying questions should you ask? (Too many and visitors will abandon the form; too few and you won’t gain actionable insight)
- Should web form fields be “required?”
I’m a big believer in simplicity and common sense. Therefore, there is no canned answer to these questions (you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?)
However, when you apply common sense to what you’re doing, it’s fairly easy to do the right thing.
For example, there’s typically a correlation between offering exclusive downloadable content (like a special report or webinar invitation)–info that genuinely helps people like no other competitor of yours ever has or ever will–and requesting more contact details (such as company name and phone number) plus a few qualifying questions.
On the other hand, if someone wants to sign up for your email newsletter, do you really need more than their first name and an email address? (Sorry, but your free newsletter is just not that valuable for new subscribers to hand over their private info.)
After the subscriber joins your list, she gets to know you better, becomes more comfortable with you and your message, and your trust factor grows. Once you’ve “proven” yourself to be a provider of valuable information that can’t be gotten anywhere else but from you, it’s appropriate to ask for a more detailed profile. Now you have a bonafied sales lead.
How do you come up with this kind of compelling content to offer on the flip side of your web forms? Check out our “done for you” drip marketing letter blueprints to see how we do it and what we recommend. The blueprints contain 17-25 “how-to” pages and includes up to 8 drip marketing messages that can be copied, tweaked and pasted into your marketing automation software.
BTW, one of my favorite books on website usability–the study of how people behave online and specifically how they behave on your website–is an oldie, but goodie called “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug. Definitely one for the “put yourself in your customers’ shoes” section of your library. Usability is a big consideration for every web page, but especially on web forms, IMHO.
Next time I’ll discuss how to act on sales leads you collect from your web forms. Read Part 1 of the series on using web forms for lead generation.