Growth Hacker 9 minutes
Lead Generation Forms: What You Should and Should NOT Include in 20...
By Tom Shelly October 24, 2019read more
In order to nudge a prospect into your sales funnel and convert them into a lead, you will inevitably reach a point when you need to collect their information.
The question is, What’s the best way to do that? And the answer is surprisingly simple: lead generation forms.
Think of a lead generation form as a digital questionnaire that ask the prospect to submit their information to your company.
They come in all styles and sizes, from a simple email collection box to multi-paged, super-detailed documents that may as well be from the U.S. Census Office.
Not all lead generation forms are created equal—not by a long shot. In order to maximize the number of leads generated, you’ll need to implement high-converting forms that capture a good percentage of the prospects who see it.
We’re going to show you our top 10 best converting lead generation forms. But before we do, let’s quickly run through what works best and why.
Imagine you find a stranger on your doorstep who wants you to sign a neighbourhood petition. Their goal is to collect your contact information—the more the better, but ultimately, they need your email address.
Let’s be generous and say that you do support their petition. Which introduction is more appealing and which would lead you to shut the door in their face?
Hello! I’m collecting signatures for a neighbourhood petition…
The answer seems pretty obvious, right? Simpler, shorter forms generate a much higher conversion rate than longer, more detailed ones. And yet, you’d be shocked how many lead generation forms bombard casual website visitors with option B.
Remember what they say when writing essays in middle school: KISS. Keep It Simple, Silly!
Next to simply not knowing any better, one of the top reasons why businesses ask for a ton of information on their lead generation forms is because they think that they need it.
For example, you may think, “But I need their first name so that I can customize their emails. After all, emails with first names convert X% greater than those without.” Or, you may worry, “Without knowing more about their business, I can’t accurately score the lead!”
Which are both excellent points! However, you don’t necessarily need to ask for this information to acquire it. Enter: data-enrichment tools.
Data enrichment tools take what little information you have and crawl different online databases to fill in the gaps. With more information you can be more effective at:
And, you can also enjoy the added benefit of a better brand image, since leads will feel as though your conversations with them are custom-tailored to their needs.
It’s important to remember to follow best practices when using data enrichment! Especially with the introduction of GDPR, the rules are more stringent on what information you can acquire and store regarding a lead. However, if you choose your tools carefully and always respect your prospects, you won’t run into many challenges here!
At this point, you may see the value in using data enrichment to keep your lead generation forms short without missing out on any essential data about your leads. But how do you actually enrich the data?
There are three primary methods: manual, real-time, and post-submission.
Manual data enrichment, or “brute force” data enrichment, means that somebody must take the time to do research on every lead that comes through. They may run the email through LinkedIn, browse social media profiles, scour Google—whatever methods they choose—and meticulously add information about each lead to a spreadsheet by hand.
Advantages: You can get more creative and make leaps that our machine learning and AI tools haven’t learned yet. For example, if an email address is email@example.com, you may know to look for Bob Smith and Robert Smith.
Disadvantages: It’s easy to miss important information about a lead. Enriching a lead manually is also very time-consuming, which increases costs.
Real-time data enrichment means that a lead’s data is being verified and enhanced as they use the lead generation form. To do real-time data enrichment, you would use a data enrichment specialist’s forms to collect your data. For example, Lusha is actively developing forms you can plug directly into your website to collect and enhance data on the spot.
Advantages: You can verify the information immediately.
Disadvantages: Some users may prefer to use their current CRM’s forms. Additionally, switching to a new form provider will require the user to manually change all of the forms on their website, which can be a tedious process.
Post-submission data enrichment means that a lead’s data is sent from a form to a CRM, and then inside of the CRM, an application will enhance the data. For example, Lusha for Salesforce will automatically enrich the data collected through the CRM.
Advantages: You can keep using your favorite CRM and explicitly define the criteria for the enrichment records.
Disadvantages: You can’t verify information in real-time, and you’ll need to make sure that the CRM you use integrates with the data enrichment tool that you would like to use.
When you visit Slack’s homepage, this is the hero image at the very top, smack-dab in the middle of the page. It has a simple CTA (“try it for free”) and only one data field (“your work email”). From there, you’re taken to a new page and asked for additional information.
This is called a multi-step lead generation form, and they’re proven to be significantly more effective than single-step forms if you need to ask more than three questions. Prospects prefer them because they appear to be more organized and less overwhelming—and businesses who implement them have seen up to a 300% increase in conversions!
If you need to collect more than three answer fields of information from your prospect, definitely implement a multi-step form.
Dropbox isn’t playing around. When you visit the homepage, they immediately go for the close, no beating around the bush: “Sign up.” Interestingly, the form is positioned on the right-hand side of the page, which is a natural place for a western reader’s eye to travel.
Typically, similar companies would put a short CTA and then take you to a separate sign-up page. But because Dropbox is such a recognized name within their specific niche, they can get away with going straight for the big win.
If most of your website visitors land on your homepage already determined to create an account, consider putting your full sign-up form above the fold.
If you click on the simple “Sign Up” CTA on toggl’s homepage, you are taken to this lead generation form. Immediately, you’re greeted by an adorable claymation-style creature who happily presses the toggl logo (or power button) over and over again—which is perfect for their audience, who are mostly millennials faced with many distractions.
Toggl clearly knows exactly who their most qualified leads are and have adjusted their branding to cater to their aesthetic preferences and divided attention. It’s worth noting that, interestingly, the entire form does not fit above the fold, which is unusual. However, because of the animation, the visitor is inclined to scroll down to view the whole image anyway.
If you have a very defined, specific audience, consider making your forms a unique branded experience. That way, you capture the eye of your intended customers (and filter out unqualified leads).
For the relatively new and exclusive “Host an Experience” program, Airbnb wants to collect a lot of information from prospective hosts—there’s no way around it. The truth is, they need far too many questions answered to get away with using a simple multi-step form. So, instead of giving prospects what looks like a college application, Airbnb uses a Typeform-style form.
Typeform makes multi-step questionnaires that only reveal one question at a time to minimize overwhelm. It’s a smooth, aesthetically pleasing process that assures the prospect that, yes, this is an organized process. Airbnb also integrates pictures and explanations to break up the questions and keep users engaged.
If you need to collect a lot of data from your leads upfront—more than just a simple mutli-step form can accommodate—consider using a Typeform-style form in order to make the experience less overwhelming.
When you visit Netflix’s homepage, they cut right to the chase. Since you already know what Netflix is (who doesn’t?), they only need to sell you on their pricing. So, instead of pushing the benefits of their streaming service, there is a bar that represents how long your 30-day free trial would last and when your first bill would arrive, making your experience personalized and tangible.
While most companies get to pricing at the end of their form flow, Netflix immediately guides the prospect through a multi-step questionnaire on its own landing page, which includes an easy-to-read chart to explain their pricing tiers.
If you have a well-known offering that’s already at the top of your niche, consider putting your pricing first. Your prospects already know what you can do for them—all that’s left to do is sell them on the price.
If you visit Lucy & Yak’s website and move your cursor towards the back or exit button, you are presented with a lightbox pop-up inviting you to “Join the Comfort Movement.”
Despite many people’s gut feelings towards pop-ups, you see them so often for one reason: they’re effective. Since Lucy & Yak is trying to catch you on your way out the door, they cleverly keep their ask to a minimum with only one simple field.
Exit-intent lightboxes can be used in combination with any of the other forms here. If you’re seeing a higher-than-average bounce rate on your page (people leaving your pages or forms incompleted), consider implementing this “last chance” strategy.
Mailchimp is known for their impressive, industry standard-setting branding guidelines—and of course Freddie, their iconic monkey mascot. Naturally, their current homepage puts their personality front and center with a quirky animation and interesting color choice.
If you opt to “Pick a Plan,” you’re taken to a tiered pricing chart, and then a sign-up sheet. The sign-up sheet itself is notably plain—no frills at all, aside from a winking Freddie. The whole experience is extremely appealing because, at every step of the way, it’s clear that Mailchimp knows exactly who they are and what they’re trying to accomplish.
If you offer a free version of your service, consider designing two form flows: one for free users and one for paid. That way, each form can cut to the chase more quickly—paid users get to see a tiered pricing chart immediately, while free users get to dive right in.
Since AND CO is a relatively new company to the invoicing and expense-tracking space, you probably haven’t heard of them before. To counteract this, they put a lot of social proof front and center. If you click the “Start Now” CTA on AND CO’s homepage, you’re directed to an incredibly simple sign-up landing page. The only branding is in the short testimonial and social proof on the right hand side.
To keep your attention on the social proof, AND CO makes the rest of the sign-up process as easy as possible—if f you don’t want to just give your email address, you can sign in through Google, Facebook, or Fiverr with a single click.
If you’re a relatively new company within a niche, consider adding social proof to your forms. Even just a few positive reviews can go a long way!
Optimizely needs eight fields worth of information from their prospects, which definitely puts it on the longer end of the spectrum. However, by dividing the questions into two-columns (and making it resemble a short notecard), the eye is tricked into thinking there are fewer questions.
Additionally, when the black and white pop-up appears, the homepage is faded to the point that it’s nearly invisible, focusing the prospect entirely on the form.
If you need to collect more than four fields-worth of data but don’t quite need enough information to justify a full-blown multi-step process, consider a two-columned form. Just bear in mind that it should all be above the fold.
Grammarly’s homepage has it all—social proof, a clear CTA, tight headlines, and—most clever of all—an animated demo of their software in action. An animation on the homepage shows users exactly what they can expect from the software, demonstrating how intuitive and easy to use it is.
If you click the free trial, you’re taken to a clean multi-step form that tracks your progress along the bottom. Here, you’re reminded again that the account is free, given several other sign-up options through Facebook and Google, and presented with one field at a time.
If you’re offering software that looks impressive in action—or that’s difficult to explain—consider adding an animated demo to your form. For a prospect, checking out a short animation is a lot less daunting than settling in to watch a full demo video.
By optimizing your lead generation forms, you can increase conversions by a significant percentage. Since shorter forms convert at a much higher rate, collect the bare minimum and then fill out the rest of the lead’s profile using data enrichment tools. Get started by browsing some data enrichment tools to see if real-time or post-submission enrichment is best for you!