A simple element of inbound marketing is lead capture or registration forms, which should be lovingly positioned on that carefully crafted landing page of yours. You've done the hard graft of developing some valued content, the campaign is waiting on the grid, and all you need now is the mechanism to capture all those juicy leads!
Well, we all know a poorly thought out landing page can significantly reduce your lead conversion ratio, and that also applies to each landing page registration form.
Thought needs to be put into what you want to achieve - if you are looking for more sales leads then your form needs to be as simple as possible, or if it’s detail you're after then some more in-depth questions are needed. Short or long, there are key things that affect the willingness of your prospects to fill out a form, such as:
Value - Is what you're offering good enough to exchange contact details for?
What information you're asking for - Is it too personal or sensitive, would they see it as reasonable?
How much they trust you - Does your site seem credible? Do they know you already?
In summary, if you are focused on filling the top of your sales funnel, and if you feel that you have earned the right, then you can ask for more detailed information from your contact audience.
BUT HOW DO YOU DEVELOP THESE CONDUITS OF POTENTIAL LEADS?
Well, the simple ones are easy right? Err not quite. How many of us have abandoned even the most simplest of forms because we cannot be bothered to fill in email addresses, or don’t really want to give away our telephone numbers for fear of that sales call you know is coming?
Regardless of the length of the form, the goal should be to keep it simple by auto-populating and standardising certain fields (such as address, county, or job title).
For example, the consequences of not providing a drop down list of job titles to choose from can cause variations of the same titles in your results, leading to data management headaches for you later on.
Auto population is a no brainer, if you have the right systems and can pull through the contact data onto your form as part of a targeted campaign then do it!
So, what about the in-depth information you may want to capture? Well… how about using an online survey tool? Before the shrieks of derision hit the net, just read on and hear me out.
I can understand your reluctance to use the free survey stuff that’s around which is plastered with the vendors branding, but there are other options.
Just imagine an information capture form that is totally branded not only for your organisation, but also specific to the branding of the content or event that you are promoting. Throw in some carefully crafted questions that are branched and/or hidden dependent on certain responses and then suddenly you are into the detailed profiling and information capture that sales people dream of.
How about this for a nice one… if your target audience is spread out across the world then you can simply set your form up to render in the necessary languages, store the results for these different languages together, and then view your results in the original language of the survey.
Another thing to get the juices going is… answers can be scored and different auto responder emails triggered based on the score achieved, allowing you to immediately take action on the outcome of any question within your form.
So, if you have earned the right and data capture is part of the plan, then have a think about the functionality you’d have at your fingertips if you were to use a survey tool to develop your data capture form.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO DEPLOY EITHER THE SIMPLE OR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION CAPTURE FORM?
We have already talked about where you are in the sales process, but more fundamentally you need to have all this worked out as part of your sales and marketing strategy. We see so many companies focus on tactical activities that they forget to look at the bigger picture.
If for instance your strategy is to develop awareness, be that for your brand or a specific product or service, then it’s probably appropriate not to have any information capture forms at all because, if everything of any value is hidden behind a form then people are not going to want to engage.
Look at your strategy, work out a plan across all the different channels, and make sure you’re not turning valuable people off from engaging with you, there must be a balance.
FINALLY, WHERE DO YOU USE THESE SOURCES OF VITAL INFORMATION?
To build up knowledge and create a Campaign management plan, data capture forms can be used on your website, on specific landing pages, within email campaigns where the form can be pre-populated with information from the campaign database, and on the appropriate social media channels for your target market. Having a newsletter sign-up form integrated onto your Facebook page is a simple example of this.
Also think about getting people into the digital world using quick response codes… you can deploy mobile friendly surveys and information capture forms simply by including a QR code on any of your printed collateral.
At the end of the day, it’s down to the strategy and where you are most likely to get the maximum exposure to your particular target market.
We can help you formulate a robust inbound marketing strategy and work out a plan across all the different channels to make sure you’re not turning valuable people off from engaging with you!