Building a Winning Lead Capture Form

A winning lead capture form is the first step to getting a lead because it will make prospects want to give you their information. Here’s how you can craft yours.

Why Is a Lead Capture Form Important?

Lead capture forms are an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to building trust and relationships with your customers. A lead capture form is a call to action, prompting visitors to give you their contact information to receive a benefit, stay connected, or learn more about what you do.

You can use a lead capture form in many different scenarios, including:

  • Getting more subscribers to your newsletter
  • Booking sales appointments
  • Keeping readers informed about promotions or new products and services

In every case, a lead capture form can help increase your revenue by building your list and giving you direct communication with interested customers. Here are ten ways to create your winning lead capture form:

1. Choose the Best Position on Your Landing Page

Make the purpose of your landing page clear by placing your form above the fold (making it visible without scrolling). There isn’t a single position that always works best. The ideal placements of your form will depend on the offer you are making and the design of your page.

Here are some placements to consider:

Next to the Offer

If your landing page opens with an eye-catching offer, putting the form right next to it tells potential customers exactly what to do next.

At the Bottom of the Landing Page

If a visitor continues to scroll down the page and review your offer in more detail, you don’t want them to have to go back up to the top of the page to complete the form. At the very least, include the form at the top and the bottom of your page.

Within the Landing Page

If it’s a longer landing page, make the form available in at least three positions (top, bottom, middle). A general recommendation is to have a call-to-action (CTA), in this case, your form, every 350 words or so.

This facilitates the process for the visitor, who can browse through as much of the page as interests them and easily give you their contact info when they are ready to take action.

Create a Pop-Up Form

If you don’t like how your form looks on your landing page, you can include a CTA button that triggers a pop-up form for visitors to complete. For example, if you offer a discount for signing up, the button next to your offer might say, “Get 10% off.” When clicked, a pop-up form would collect the customer’s contact details.

2. Keep It Simple

If your form is too long or confusing, you will lose potential leads. Make sure each step in the process makes sense and is easy to do.

A successful lead-capture form uses an uncomplicated layout that visitors can complete effortlessly. Ensure there is zero confusion about what information is required. Use basic language and as few steps as possible. Make the submit button clear but unobtrusive.

3. Make Sure Each Field Is Essential

Determining the length of your form is a careful balance between the quality and quantity of your leads. Shorter forms are more inviting than longer ones because there are fewer steps involved in filling them out. Generally, short forms bring in more leads.

At the same time, if you only ask for first name and email address, you may be missing a crucial opportunity to prequalify your leads. Longer forms give you a chance to qualify your leads, so the ones you do get are better quality. However, too many questions will cause you to lose good potential customers because they don’t want to fill out your form.

If you have a strong offer and need to prequalify your prospects, you can use a progressive lead capture form that asks a few questions, then takes the prospect to a second page where they answer a few more questions. This avoids the immediate feeling of overwhelm that turns some people away from longer forms.

Avoid asking anything too personal unless it is directly relevant to the product or service offered. For example, a financial advisor may be able to ask financial questions, but most of the time, those would be too personal.

Regardless of the length of the form you choose, you’ll get better results if you stick to questions that are essential and relevant to your business. For example, if you have a car dealership, you may want to give prospects a time range of how quickly they plan to buy a car. This is a relevant bit of information that will help you organize your leads and develop a follow-through strategy.

4. Give Something Away as an Incentive for Signing Up

A qualified lead is valuable to your business. Even if they are not ready to buy immediately, having the ability to keep your brand name and offers in front of them keeps you top of mind. It’s worth offering something of value to motivate prospects to complete your form.

Your offer can be a free eBook (e.g., 8 Things You Must Know Before Your Buy Your Next Car), discount code, consultation, membership, promotional product, or coupon for your product or service. You do not need to break the bank with your offer — just give prospects something they value enough to fill out your form and permit you to market to them.

5. Keep Your Copy Clear and Short

People tend to scan websites and landing pages. Keep any description of your offer short, and to the point, so visitors can understand what you are offering in a few seconds.

You can dive into more depth below the initial form at the top of the page because some people do prefer to have more information. Even so, use relevant headings that clearly indicate the information in each section. Short and obvious copy increases your chances of winning a lead.

Make sure your copy is easy to see with vibrant contrast against the background or any images you use on your landing page. Making your message highly visible is as important as what you say.

6. Place Testimonials or Awards Near Your Form

A few testimonials or badges that show how your business has been recognized reassure visitors and reinforce your trustworthiness. Having them near your lead capture form can be comforting for visitors who respond to social proof.

If you have multiple forms on a single landing page, you can see if the social proof works better below the top form or near one in the middle of the page. There is no hard and fast rule about where to place them.

7. Include Your Privacy Policy

You probably have a Privacy Policy page on your website because they are required by law for most businesses. However, all you need on your form is a short and friendly sentence reassuring visitors that you will not resell their information. For example, you could mention something like:

  • We keep your information private
  • Your information is safe with us and will not be shared
  • We are committed to your privacy
  • We will never resell or share your information

Follow the sentence with a link to your privacy policy. “You can read more in our Privacy Policy.” Customers want to know how they can trust you with their data and that they’re being protected against misuse or abuse.

8. Customize the Text in Your Submission Button

If someone walked up to you and said, “Submit,” how would you respond? If you’re like most people, you’d be taken aback or get your hackles up. It may not surprise you to learn that many customized CTAs test better than “Submit.”

The best practice is customizing the text on your submit button to match your offer. Keep it short and sweet but targeted and relevant. Some examples might include:

  • Get Your Discount
  • Claim Your Discount
  • Get Your Free Copy
  • Talk With an Expert
  • Free Download
  • Join Now
  • Download Now
  • Watch Now
  • Register
  • Claim Your Gift
  • Continue

Use active, action-oriented language in your button CTA.

9. A/B Test Your Form

A/B testing is a powerful optimization tool that compares two similar versions to isolate specific elements and improve your conversion rate. You can A/B test almost any element on your site, including lead capture forms.

By A/B testing different variations of your form, you will find out which ones work best for your target audience. The best practice is to isolate one factor at a time and test each individually. For example, you may test any of the following elements, one at a time:

  • Headline
  • Offer
  • Length of form
  • Content on form
  • Placement on page
  • Font
  • Colors
  • Button CTA
  • Privacy notice

This may seem like a tedious step, but don’t skip it! A simple adjustment to your form can have a dramatic impact on your conversion rates. It’s worth taking the time to test and determine what your audience responds to best.

10. Email Subscribers After They Submit Your Form

Have you ever submitted a form and then wondered if it worked? Linking your winning lead-capture form with an autoresponder delivers an immediate message into your subscriber’s inbox. This reassures them they were successful and also begins the email marketing relationship.

If it makes sense, you can deliver the offer in the first email. You can also follow up with relevant and helpful information about your business and products. This prospect has shown interest, so gently guide them through the next step.

However, you don’t want your first email to be sales-heavy. Keep it friendly by delivering on your promise and making them feel good about their choice.

Leads Now, Customers Later

No matter how a customer finds your website, you want to make the most of their visit. If they are early in the shopping process, you can lose them to a competitor if they browse your website and then forget all about you.

A lead capture form makes the most of every website visitor who finds you. It sets up a sales and marketing funnel that allows you to stay in front of prospects during their research and decision process.

If you have any questions about how to drive more visitors to your website or create a winning lead capture form for your business, J&L Marketing is here to help.

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