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The 10 Best Ways to Optimize Your Lead Capture Forms

2020 May 14 16:00 GMT-06:00

Why the Lead Capture form is essential to your business

The lead capture form is essential to any B2B’s lead generation efforts. They serve an important purpose: to invite your site visitors to provide their information in exchange for a helpful piece of content, a quote, a free demo, or free trial.

While they appear simplistic and unassuming, lead forms provide a gateway for organizations to know the type of individuals who visit their site. Without them, businesses can’t generate any leads, and they can’t build up their email list.

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What is the Lead Capture form?

A lead capture form can be deceptive. Sometimes, they don’t even look like forms at all.


                                            (Source: Venture Harbour)

However, lead forms mark the difference between capitalizing on your hard-earned website traffic or letting it go to waste. Therefore, it’s so important your business makes these forms work. It is easy to see why many organizations its influence on their site visitors, which can mess with their chances of having healthy lead conversion rates.

When your lead capture forms are successful at getting others to submit pieces of their information, you can nurture them through the sales funnel and build long-term relationships with them that can lead to sales down the line. The more you interact with your prospects, the more brand loyalty your business can inspire.

Your lead form goal should be to create a smooth process for visitors to want to fill the form fields they see and submit their information.

If your business has been struggling to generate new leads through lead forms, you may or may not know the reason(s) behind your low conversion rates. Perhaps your forms have a high abandonment rate, or you are not providing a good enough incentive to get others to complete the form fields.

Regardless of your case, we are breaking down the top 5 form field elements and sharing some best practices to help you get your lead capture forms in top shape.

Top 5 Lead Capture Form Elements and 10 Best Practices to Know

The lead capture form, along with the lead magnet (if applicable), is the focus of a landing page. Businesses offer a lead magnet only to incentivize users to complete the form fields they see in exchange for the content.

Because the formatting and the design of your lead form have a direct impact on the form’s conversion rate, it's critical to approach these wisely. Let’s take a look:

The lead form’s position on a landing page

Since the lead capture form is where visitors input their data, you want to ensure anyone can easily find it within the landing page. This means it should be visible; users should not have to scroll down a web page to find it.

There are two places you can position the form:

  1. At the bottom of the landing page

This approach places the lead magnet as the focus of the landing page and offers it a center stage so that users can evaluate whether the content is worth a download.

If the user decides so, they can scroll down the web page where they will see the lead form. Once there, they can input their information, click the CTA button, and collect their content.


                                                       (Source: Foundr)

         2. Next to or under the lead magnet

Another approach is placing the lead capture form next to or underneath the lead magnet. This makes sure a user’s attention is split between the content offered and the form. The user is then wholly aware of what’s being offered in exchange for their personal information.

An image of your content offer provides a nice visual touch that can persuade users to complete the form fields.


                                                  (Source: Venture Harbour)

The length of a lead form

When designing your lead capture forms, consider their length.

Shorter forms are likely to convince your site’s visitors to fill them out. The downside is that your business may not collect enough information to evaluate the quality of a lead.

On the other hand, longer forms tend to dissuade users from completing each form field, resulting in high form abandonment. However, forms with more fields will give your organization more in-depth information about a prospect. This is useful when adopting a lead scoring strategy.

The key to this predicament is to find a balance that works for you. This means conducting split tests between collecting enough quality information from prospects and asking for too much information that they aren’t willing to give or to spend the time giving. By testing a minimum of two different versions of the same lead form, you can decide which brings in higher conversions.

There are two viable alternatives to the length of your lead forms:

  1. Stick to 4-5 form fields

The consensus is that lead forms that are too long aren’t a good thing. Decreasing the number of form fields from 11 to 4 has proven to generate 120% more conversions.

Furthermore, a 2019 HubSpot survey determined that the average number of form fields that yielded the most conversion was 5. It’s safe to say a suitable parameter is 4-5 form fields. With form field split testing, you can make sure you have the right combination for you.


                                                            (Source: LinkedIn)

      2. Use multi-step forms

Multi-step forms allow organizations to capture higher quality leads while making it easy for users to supply their information.

They do this by using multiple pages so that each page has 1-2 mandatory form fields. On average, multi-step forms have a higher conversion rate at 13.85%, while single-page forms have a 4.53% conversion rate.

When executed well, multi-step forms help make the process of filling out form fields seamless and manageable.


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Number of form fields and information requested

The number of form fields on your form directly determines the length of the form itself.

A common pitfall is to ask for too much information or to ask for the wrong kind of information. The last thing you want is to come off as intrusive with the data you’re asking them to provide.

As a business, your goal should be to balance collecting enough information to follow up with a lead and to determine if they fit within any of your buyer personas.

The basic information you will want to ask is their name and email address. Having their name will help you personalize any communication with them, which is a positive step toward nurturing a mutually beneficial relationship.

To help you make the most of your form fields, you can:

  1. Ask information based on the stages of the client buying process

Ideally, all your lead capture forms speak to your target audience. Whether it’s their design, the lead magnet offered, or another incentive given like a free trial, you want users to be happy providing their information to you.

The point is to get the landing page’s message to resonate with them so that they’re willing to complete the form.

One way to achieve this is by asking 1-2 open-ended questions near the end of your lead form. These questions can vary in the different stages of the client buying process.

Awareness: During this stage, prospects know they have a problem, but they don’t quite know how to solve it.

In your lead forms, you can ask visitors these questions to identify their challenges and how your business can help them.

  • What are the common problems you face on [topic]?
  • What areas of your business would you like to improve?

Consideration: In this stage, users know what their pain points are, and they’re looking for viable solutions.

Questions you can ask in your lead forms include:

  • Have you tried to resolve [a problem] in the past? How?
  • How do you decide what the right solution for you is?

Decision: During this stage, prospects are aware of their problem, know of viable solutions, and are ready to pick one that’s right for them.

Consider asking this question?

  • What criteria do you use to make decisions on [topic]?

                                                         (Source: HubSpot)

The last form field poses a question that corresponds to the awareness stage of the client buying process.

    2. Don’t include too many required fields

A lead capture form with more than two fields will likely have at least one required form field.

While required fields let others know the information is important, too many of these aggressive and a lot of work to fill out. It could also come off as an invasion of privacy.

Reducing the number of these in your forms to only what is necessary will eliminate friction for your visitors. For most B2B companies, requiring first name, email address, and job title should give you enough information to identify if a prospect is a quality lead.


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Your CTA and form submission button

A call-to-action (CTA) is a phrase or a button that tells your landing page visitors what to do. You will often see buttons with “Sign me up!” or “Enter here”.

To make the most of these elements, take note of the following tips.

  1. Every CTA should be action- and benefit-oriented

Think of a CTA as a bridge that can convert a website visitor into a lead.

In marketing, CTAs are used to drive traffic to websites and boost sales. That is why they’re always action- and benefit-oriented. This means that effective CTAs allude to an action and reflect a benefit the user will receive once they submit their information.

CTAs should be short, compelling, and able to tell the reader what you want them to do in 2-3 words.

By split testing varying CTAs, you will identify those that encourage users to complete and submit your lead capture form.

Examples of effective CTAs include:

  • Start Quote,
  • Download Now,
  • Start viewing and
  • Claim your Free Trial.

Call-to-actions like “Click here” and “Go” tend to generate the most leads. with 30% and 25%, respectively.


                                                (Source: CrazyEgg)

     2. Keep your submission button consistent

The color of your submission button should have at least some of the following characteristics:

  • Be consistent with your CTA
  • Match your brand colors
  • Stand out from the rest of your landing page.

In short, you want these elements to create a visual balance of color.

Your submission button should also look clickable. This means:

  • Clean and contrasting background and text color (the same can be said about your form - it shouldn’t blend in with your landing page)
  • Be surrounded by white text
  • A CTA inside the button

The CTA inside the submission button helps to sell the benefits that come after completing the lead form.


                                                (Source: Team Tree House)

Privacy Policy notification

On the Internet, security is a top priority. The personal information your leads provide on lead capture forms is no exception.

The privacy policy notification is a message, often at the end of a landing page, that informs visitors that your business won’t sell or share their personal information. This is important for helping users feel at ease.

There are two ways you can include a privacy policy notification on your landing page.

  1.  Include a privacy message near the end of your lead capture form

This message doesn’t have to be elaborate; it just has to make it clear that their personal information won’t be used for spammy emails or be shared with anyone else.


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    2. Link to your privacy policy

By linking your business’s privacy policy within your lead form, you provide users with direct access to it. Placing your brand logo and an authority endorsement like a guarantee seal or a third-party security certification helps make your landing page look more credible.


                                                            (Source: HubSpot)

Start converting

Lead capture forms are a useful tool to help your website generate more leads from the traffic it receives.

By following the tips outlined above, you will be well on your way to creating effective lead forms that convert visitors into leads.

Above all, make sure your forms resonate with your target audience and provide users with the confidence that they will receive an excellent benefit from taking the time to provide you with their information.


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Islin Munisteri

Written by Islin Munisteri