Lead Generation 101: How to Properly Use Forms to Get Prospect Data for Follow-Up

Lead Capture Cartoon

Too many online marketers assume that their dynamic content will keep users engaged enough that they’ll make the move to contact, comment, or buy. But it’s up to you, dear seller, to initiate contact for lead generation. Using forms with sensitivity to user needs and objections will land you rich prospect data. Here’s how you can properly use forms to get prospect data for follow-up.

Whatever Doesn’t Work: Get It Right Before You Launch

First and foremost, your form has to function on every platform, every time. It also has to be secure, and your customers need to be aware of how secure it is. A security seal from a reputable company like McAfee or Verisign helps build user confidence, as does the application of Captcha codes. You can use Autocomplete to speed user progress, but beware of auto-suggest on mobile devices, as an intelligent device can quickly become quite the opposite when it offers auto-correct on email addresses.

Don’t Make Them Go Hunting

Your lead form has to be prominent. Hiding it in the margins of the page will result in frustration for both users and sellers. Visibly display the form once a user has spent a set amount of time on the site, as a popup, or have forms appear at the end of articles inviting users who “want more content like this” to subscribe. Basing visibility on users’ behavior works: be conspicuous, make it simple yet rich enough in data that you’ll be able to target your response, and always provide an alternative to simply saying “no” with a toll-free number, “like” option on Facebook, or other social media share prompt gabapentin generic. Forms in and of themselves can be foregrounded as a kind of call to action. If your end goal is to funnel leads into your customer relationship management (CRM) system, inviting people to fill out a form in order to receive a discount, get a free quote, or enter a contest becomes the central ask of the page. Bundling forms with enticing offers does two things: it incentivizes the form completion, and, by dint of having engaged users in an offline conversation, boosts conversion rates. You want to be in their inbox, knocking, in an active sales role rather than waiting for them to come to you.

Navigate Objections With Clear Communication

You are walking a tightrope between gathering useful information and seeming too acquisitive. Users are beginning to understand that if they are getting something for nothing (i.e. information or apps), then the data they give is a form of payment. They may be cheap with data until trust has been built, and you have shown your site and services to be indispensible. Grade your forms accordingly—the less information you demand up-front, the more likely people will be willing to offer it. Being perfectly clear about what happens when a user submits a form is also critical. A button that says “Click Here to Contact Us” is more trustworthy than one that says “Submit User Data.” Use friendly language and make your buttons look like buttons, placed where users expect to find them. If you are asking for data that may not seem strictly necessary to users, add a line explaining why you want it. For instance, if you are asking for birthdate, add a line telling users that your company sends out special offers for customers on their birthdays.

Reap What You Sow: Get Ready to Respond

Of course, once you have that precious form data, ensure that you have a solid offline team to respond personally and at lightning speed to the contact request. Your analytic data will tell you about user behavior (how often they have visited your site, duration of stay, etc.). Your responses should be tailored according to the quality of the prospect. Keep to these guidelines to build and make use of online forms that drive your business. Ensure that you have functionality and security, communicate clearly to users how to use forms and why you are gathering information, and make sure that forms are easily accessible, if not outright in-your-face. Finally, make sure that you are ready for the flow of information once you launch your forms, with a team of responders and a system to grade users into categories for customized responses. If you’d like to learn more about lead generation with a free consultation, fill out the form on this page to contact us today.

Nathan Prescott

Author Nathan Prescott

Technologist, Search Experience Optimizer, Internet Marketer and Conversion Ninja with experience in Finance, Consulting and Media Buying.

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