Part four in our series on effective lead generation walks you through how to create a form that converts leads, getting you the information you need without driving prospects away.

Welcome to the last installment of our series on effective lead generation and nurturing. Now that you know how to:

  1. Create and package a valuable offer
  2. Add calls-to-action that work
  3. Design a landing page that converts

So, what’s next? The final step in the lead generation process, and one that’s too often overlooked and undervalued, is designing a form that gets you the information you need.

It’s all in your form

When prospects get to your landing page, they’ve indicated that they’re interested in your offer. Ideally, what they find on your landing page has reaffirmed their interest. Now it’s time for them to provide you with what you’re looking for in return for the value you’re offering them: their contact information.

The information you glean from your prospects will feed into your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or other lead management database. This means that you should essentially be retrofitting your form based on your email segmentation criteria. In other words, you want to get just the right information from your prospects that will allow you to tailor your lead nurturing to best suit their needs and interests.

An effective form strikes the delicate balance between acquiring all the necessary information and keeping the willingness and attention of your visitors. Click To Tweet

Your head might be filling with visions of long and comprehensive questionnaires — not so fast. If you make your form too long or involved, prospects will abandon it out of impatience and frustration, or feel that you are exploiting them for more time or information than they’re willing to provide. An effective form strikes the delicate balance between acquiring all the necessary information and keeping the willingness and attention of your visitors.

3 characteristics of forms that convert leads

For this last and crucial step in your lead generation strategy, it’s all about capturing leads.  So, what makes for an effective form?

1. Find the length that works for you.

Conventional wisdom would have you believe that the shorter your form the more leads you’ll get, whereas the longer the form, the better quality (though fewer) leads you’ll get. But that’s a bit of a simplistic and defeatist way of looking at it.

We think you can have your cake and eat it, too. The key is to design your form with your email segmentation criteria in mind.

Ask as few questions beyond the basics as possible to get you precisely the information you need. Your goal is richness of information, as opposed to lengthy, detailed questions. For more, check out HubSpot’s guide to creating a form.

2. Don’t frighten them away.

It may seem counterintuitive, but you should avoid using the word “submit” on your form. Nobody likes the idea of “submitting” their information.

Instead, use a phrase that demonstrates that your prospect is about to get something that they want by supplying their information. For example, “Get it free,” or, “Download now,” emphasizes what the prospect will receive, rather than what they will be giving.

3. Protect their privacy.

In the current climate, we’re all thinking more and more about how our data gets collected and shared. Make sure your prospects know that you’ll be a good steward of the information they provide you.

Add a privacy message or link to your privacy policy, indicating that their email or contact information won’t be shared or sold.

Creating forms that convert leads is the final step — though one of the most crucial — in effectively turning website visitors into prospects. If you can manage to create a valuable offer, entice visitors with a call-to-action, convince them to convert on a landing page, then present a form that encourages them to complete it (rather than drives them away), then you’ve done your job as a marketer.

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