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9 Lead Form Optimization Tactics to Increase Conversions

a magnifying glass is on a tablet that says " pick a penguin " with the logo and signup form for tumblr on it

Did you create a landing page dedicated to attracting prospects to sign up as leads? To make the most of this landing page, you must employ lead form optimization best practices.

What is lead form optimization?

Lead form optimization is structuring an online form to get more qualified prospects to fill it out. Aside from compelling copies and an intuitive web design, knowing your buyer personas can help optimize your lead forms.

How to optimize a lead generation form: 9 techniques

Every lead form is unique, so a template for all your web forms may not do the trick to optimize all of them. You may need additional fields when a visitor wants to download your whitepaper compared to a form that encourages site visitors to sign up for your newsletter.

That said, here are lead form best practices you can employ to increase conversions:

1. Put your forms above the fold

Did you scroll through to the bottom of all the web pages you’ve visited? Chances are, you didn’t. And so will your visitors.

Make sure your lead form is the first thing visitors will see on your landing page by placing it above the fold. This spot has the highest engagement on any page, so take advantage of it. It also helps interested prospects to easily spot the form, making it easier for them to sign up as a lead.

form above the fold example

2. Have the right form length and fields for your audience

When creating your forms, find the right number of fields your prospects should fill out. Note that short forms can generate many leads, but they may not be the audience you’re trying to attract. Long forms, on the other hand, may turn off prospects from filling them out, but only highly interested prospects sign up, and you weed out unqualified leads.

So how do you make sure your forms have just the right number of fields? Factors like where they are in the sales funnel and your form’s intent affect how to optimize a lead generation form’s length.

How far down they are in the buyer’s funnel

If your prospects are almost ready to purchase and are signing up for your free trial, it makes sense to add more required fields. They’re highly interested in trying your product, so they’re more willing to provide additional information like their company size, position at the organization, and industry.

The additional information you collect can help you to refine your personas and learn more about your prospects in the future. Do you attract leads from a certain industry or companies of a particular size? You can optimize your marketing strategies to make them more effective for your audience.

Your lead form’s intent

Are you growing your newsletter’s subscriber list? You’ll want a short form that only requires their first name, last name, and email to make signing up easy.

If you’re looking for sales-qualified leads for your sales reps to nurture, add a little friction in your form by requiring a few more fields. Only prospects willing to speak to your sales team will have the patience to fill them out.

3. Identify the required fields in your forms

Email addresses, names, and companies are typically the required fields that leads should provide before they can proceed with signing up. You can include optional fields in your forms, whether short or long, giving your leads the freedom to provide the information they’re comfortable sharing.

Make sure you determine the required fields that will help you nurture them, such as contact details like email and phone numbers. Do you need more information, like the industry they’re in or their position at the company, to personalize your messages? Indicate which fields are required by adding an asterisk to the field name.

example of required fields in a form

4. Use compelling call-to-actions (CTAs)

An effective CTA catches site visitors’ attention and convinces them to take action. Here are a few tips to make your CTA compelling:

  • Make sure your page is well-designed and displays correctly, even on mobile
  • Communicate your products’ benefits and how they can address your prospects’ needs in your copies
  • Let your CTA button stand out by using a color that draws attention
  • Instead of using generic CTA terms like “Submit,” use buzzwords like “Start My Free Trial”
CTA example

5. Captivate your visitors with your copy

Welcome visitors to your lead form with a strong headline. Write copy that conveys the benefits your prospects will enjoy when they fill out your form.

Are you running a limited-time offer, like a discount? Emphasize the urgency and savings they’ll enjoy. Personalize your copy, if applicable. After all, 77% of consumers choose, recommend, and pay more for a brand that offers a personalized experience.

Our partners at WebFX offer professional copywriting services so that you can increase site traffic and engagement. More importantly, your lead forms’ copy will be optimized to convert more visitors into leads and customers.

6. Employ an intuitive form layout

Make your form user-friendly and easy to fill out. Here are some lead form optimization techniques to make it intuitive:

  • Add labels on each field
  • Have only one question per row
  • Make sure the field’s size matches the answer’s length
  • Don’t be afraid of using enough white space

7. Perform A/B tests on your forms

If you want to find out if your copy, form, and CTA effectively convert qualified leads, perform A/B tests. Change various elements, but don’t test more than one element simultaneously. 

For example, if you want to know the more effective CTA button color, change only to one color and leave the current (or control) one. Make sure they have the same CTA copy. You can test the copy at another time.

Consider testing the following:

  • Your required form fields
  • Number of questions
  • CTA button color
  • CTA button copy
  • Form layout
  • Form’s headline

8. Earn your prospects’ trust by including your privacy policy

In the U.S. and other markets, businesses must provide a link to their privacy policy when collecting personal information. Your transparency can help you earn your visitors’ trust and result in more conversions.

Include a snippet from your privacy policy, like “No credit card required.” Ensure your CTA is more prominent than your link to your privacy policy, so your site visitors aren’t distracted from submitting their information.

privacy policy link example

9. Consider using multi-page forms

Are you asking for more information from your leads? Consider using a form with multiple pages. This layout makes your form look simple and easy to fill out.

Because using multi-page forms adds more steps, break up the pages according to phases. For example, let’s say aside from their name and contact information, you also need information about their organization and their preferred schedule for a demo. You can dedicate the first page to their contact details, the second to their organization, and the third to booking a demo appointment.

10. Maximize the data you collect with your forms.

Yes, the 9 other tactics are focused on getting more people to fill out your web forms. However, you’re leaving a lot of good information on the table if you’re only focused on the data someone entered into your form.

Tools like Google Analytics, Nutshell Forms and MarketingCloudFX give you the data to know exactly how someone came to your site and filled out that form? Why is that important to know? If you’re spending any budget on marketing, don’t you want to know what marketing investments are actually bringing you a positive return on your investment?

These tools can help determine what campaigns or initiatives are driving leads, sales qualified leads, closed leads and, with the help of a CRM, revenue. Connecting your closed-won lead and revenue data to the marketing campaigns driving the leads can help you refocus your marketing efforts and budgets. Ultimately, an optimized web form with the right analytics tools can help you get more ROI from your marketing efforts.

Nutshell can help you with your lead form optimization efforts

Generate more qualified leads with your lead forms with the help of Nutshell, which powers $600 million of sales per year. Customize forms with Nutshell’s user-friendly form builder and automatically create contacts from your new leads.

In addition, our partner, WebFX, is equipped with a team of digital marketing experts with over 25+ years of experience in 154 industries. They can help your team with lead form best practices so that you can attract and nurture qualified leads.

Try Nutshell for free for 14 days to see how it can help your team.

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