It wasn’t very long ago that salespeople used pen and paper to note down the sales enquiries, scribbling down the details of prospective buyers. After a while, computers took over and digital notepads replaced paper, which were finally replaced by web forms. To state the obvious, this means that businesses don’t need to note down the information anymore – it’s captured automatically, and organized for later use.
Talking specifically about online lead generation, this information is used to contact the prospects with an intent to convert them into buyers. In this article, we will see how form design can help fire up your lead generation – because design matters – I have seen the form design alone increase conversions by over 20%.
A form is the heart of lead generation
You rip the form from your page and your lead generation stops working. You can live without sub headlines and testimonials, but you can’t without a form. Actually you can, but you won’t generate any leads. In the last few years there have been significant improvements in web forms, helping designers and marketers come up with clever ways to generate leads with delicious design and compelling content.
Don’t think of form as a supporting element on your web page. It should be fully capable of standing alone, i.e. selling the offer even if you take away all the other page elements. You can also call it a mini landing page. Forms can come in different shapes and sizes. Here’s the most widely recognized structure of a lead generation form:
Web Form Design Ideas
First things first, by design I don’t mean look and feel alone. Design is the essence of things. It’s what makes something work. And to make the form work, you need to optimize it for conversion. Conversion happens when someone fills up the form and submits it. This post is dedicated to that – generating more leads with tweaks to form design. Below is the list of simple, but often ignored ideas which will fire up your lead generation.
- Abandon the impotent form
This is the first point, because none of the points below would work, if this isn’t set right. No matter how good your form looks, how intuitive it is, or how well-written the copy is, it won’t work without an offer. People don’t want to fill form, they want to claim an offer – it’s as simple as that. The offer could be to learn more about your product (inquiry), an e-book (resources), a consultation or a free trial to name a few.
Filling up form is a pain and you need to override that pain with the pleasure of claiming the offer. There are way too many offer-less forms on the web, and they do nothing for conversion. Kill the impotent form.
- Conversation for conversion
Design your form like a logical conversation. If you are a salesperson, how will to talk to your prospect? You won’t ask for a phone number before asking their name. Keep your form fields in a logical order of a natural conversation.
Our brain is in auto-pilot mode while doing most of our day to day activities – when we drive, clean our room or when we are fill up a form. The natural, conventional conversation helps your visitors fill the form without even realizing the effort.
- Be creative with the header
There are more ways to utilize the form header than writing the same old headline and sub-headline. Think of creative ways to make the form compelling. Check out this form header used in a webinar landing page:
See how the speaker’s information on the form header attracts attention, while giving credibility to the form. A visitor quickly connects with the speaker, which increases the chances of form fill.
- Eliminate the unnecessary
Don’t crowd your form with unnecessary details. The more fields you have, lesser are the chances of conversion. With every field you add, probability of conversion drops. Make sure that you only keep the fields that you really need.
All of your efforts have you focused on generating quality leads for your business as cheaply as possible. The added challenge is that consumers are smarter and more resistant to old lead generation methods. Even new ones get stale quickly, so you need to constantly be at the front of the pack. There is a lot of information out there, but it’s still difficult to distill it all into a strong lead generation strategy.