Cut Your Lead Forms in Half (and Double Conversions) with Interactive Content
August 20, 2015 | Elizabeth Wellington
Imagine you stumble upon a new vendor’s website with an extensive resource gallery. Impressed with what you see, you click on the latest ebook offering. To get the ebook, you have to fill out a lead form on a landing page — no big deal. But you realize there are nine required fields, some of which are loaded with drop down menus.
Are you still interested? It depends how badly you want that content. At this point, you may be second guessing your choice.
As a marketer, you are the brains behind the landing page. You balance the need for rich data and quality prospects with high numbers and low cost per lead.
Walking this line is never easy. Keep reading to find out how you can use interactive content to offer shorter lead forms, increasing your conversion rates while gathering all the prospect data your heart desires.
Advantages of Shorter Lead Forms
As you may have guessed, shorter lead forms improve conversions. They minimize effort on the part of visitors who just want whatever’s on the other side of the form, and they maximize the likelihood your visitor will convert in the short time they spend on a landing page.
Here’s why short lead forms do the trick:
Long lead forms cause high bounce rates.
Image Credit: Hubspot
Short lead forms stay above the fold of your website, eliminating the need to scroll.
With users often leaving web pages between 10-20 seconds of first entering your site, it’s vital that visitors see your lead form immediately. Unbounce offers 6 takeaways for maximizing visitor-to-lead conversion on forms, and keeping the lead form “up and to the right” is a key point.
Additional fields leave room for confusion.
Longer lead forms can result in funky, fake data.
With a form that’s nine fields long, visitors might resort to “555-555-5555” and “Jane Doe” just to get through the form. Visitors are also less likely to provide real data for more sensitive information — check out Marketing Sherpa’s graph on the most and least accurate areas for form-submitted information:
Shorter lead forms decrease cost per lead.
Boosting conversion rates with a shorter lead form will yield a corresponding decrease in cost per lead. These companies saw big gains when shortening their lead forms:
- Expedia ditched that confusing form field labeled “business,” and they brought home 12 million dollars! (Yes, you read that correctly.)
- When Marketo utilized a five-field form versus a nine-field form, they decreased their cost per lead by $10 and increased conversion rates by 3.4%.
- Neil Patel boosted his lead conversion by 26% when he deleted one form field from his landing page.
These statistics point to the benefits of embracing short lead forms as a way to grow your prospect pool and lower your cost per lead.
The Problem: Lack of Data
But here’s the issue: with a short lead form, you limit what you can learn about your prospects. Are they genuine leads? Who is this visitor, really?
Longer forms may entail a higher cost per lead due to lower conversions, but they can also attract a group of prospects that’s more serious about your service or product.
Sarah Goliger described the challenge of quality versus quantity leads as early as 2011:
A shorter form usually means more people will be willing to fill it out, so you’ll generate more leads. But the quality of the leads will be higher when visitors are willing to complete more form fields and provide you with more information about themselves and what they’re looking for.
How do you balance the need for high volume and strong leads? Marketers have come up with a couple of workarounds. You could ask for important information after prospects fill out the lead form, collecting more data in another stage of the journey. Or you could follow Marketo’s lead, filling in the holes by purchasing data on prospects. Both of these marketing hacks offer improvements – but there’s a better way.
The Solution: Interactive Feedback
Here’s where interactive content, paired with a short lead form, yields the most (and best) visitor data.
Creating interactive content allows you to camouflage qualifying questions within a format designed to engage, entertain, and educate. At long last, your marketing team is no longer dependent on a lead form to secure the bulk of your data or isolate quality leads. Interactive white papers, quizzes, and assessments can do both — and without dramatically affecting your cost per lead.
With B2B marketers seeing 40-45% opt-in rates on interactive content, infusing questions into a fun experience will heighten your chances of a connection. Just ask Infinio.
Instead of bulking up their lead form, they offered immediate value to prospects in the form of an interactive white paper that also captured heavy-hitting data, enabling their sales team to bring it home. This interactive experience included nine questions alongside information their visitors were looking for, making it a fun and informative experience for the user (while sending important info to Infinio’s marketing database).
Dynamic content also beats long forms because it builds on a brand’s identity, utilizing images and two-way communication to personalize rather than sterilize a first interaction. Participants who stick around to engage with your content are not drop-by visitors, but rather individuals who are investing time on your site – and offer the highest quality lead. With a 15% rate of social sharing for interactive content, you can expect not just one lead from each gamified interaction, but an amplified effect.
SkilledUp built a quiz about Microsoft Excel that resonated with their brand and the interests of their audience. It gave their marketing team information about the knowledge-base of their leads in an entertaining format. SkilledUp asked for an email address before offering the results of the quiz.
Photo Credit: Econsultancy
Note that they didn’t demand an email submission, but rather asked for it in a friendly way, making the value exchange crystal clear. With interactive content, you can try a range of lead techniques to figure out what works best for your company — you don’t have to force the connection, it happens naturally.
Integrating interactive content into your marketing programs allows you to listen for answers without pushing away opportunities to connect with a broader audience. It optimizes and balances short lead forms — contributing to lower cost per lead, higher conversion rates, and excellent data to support all your marketing and sales activities.
And now that you’ve learned all about how your prospects fill out lead forms, how do you compare?
Take our quiz to find out your Marketing Name!
No more please.
They’re all the same.
Not in marketing
All things content
Lead or demand gen
Events and webinars
Design and creative
I wanted the content, but please don’t email me!
I was interested in the content and am considering purchasing
I wanted the content, and I think I’m pretty funny.
You’ve either just started in marketing and don’t know that entering a lead form = emails galore, or you’ve been in marketing for a while and know the frustrations of an incomplete form or bad data! Either way, you’re honest and have respect for a lead form. Keep it up!
You’re the George Clooney of the bunch! You respect the lead form and know its implications, but you also have a sense of humor around the topic. You want to access the content on the other side of the form, but don’t want to be contacted – and you may want to give your fellow marketers a laugh along the way.
You’ve been in marketing for a while and know how this works: Prospect fills out a lead form, prospect gets emailed. You already have so many messages piling up in your inbox, you just can’t take any more — so you choose to fly under the radar to get the content you want.