It may seem to some like a trivial detail in the overall scheme of your marketing campaign but B2B marketers ignore the landing page form at their peril! The wrong landing page can significantly reduce your lead conversion ratio. B2B Marketers should have a good hard think about what goes into each form field and test how it effects your conversion rate.
Hubspot recently wrote a great blog about form length, and how it's only one of many factors that effect your landing page's conversion rate. They make the point that other things effect the willingness of your prospect to fill out a form, like:
- Value of the offer. Is it worth it? Is it juicy enough to exchange contact details for?
- What information you're asking for. Is it too personal or sensitive?
- How much they trust you. Does your site seem credible?
How long or short your form is also dependant on your lead goal - is it focused on top of the funnel (sheer quantity) or more in the middle of the funnel (where quality starts to become more and more important?) Standard practice dictates that short forms should be used where quantity is the focus, and longer forms can be used where quality is the focus but only when you have earned the right to ask more for more detailed information. This "right" is earned with content that is seen as having higher value by the buyer.
Make your forms as short as possible by not asking more than you need to in order to contact them (name, email, and maybe phone number). Just get the basics - and remember that some pieces of information can be gathered without asking prospects (for example, you can head to their company's website). Don't ask any qualifying questions, as it might put them off completing the form (besides, you can always ask them later on in the sales process). More questions usually mean a lower conversion rate. If you nurture your leads well enough, you can direct them to landing pages with juicier content (and longer forms) to get a complete idea of who they are and how you can help them.
More Quality Leads
If the issue is not the amount of leads, but the amount of time sales spends on trying to separate good from bad leads, then you're better off adding lead-qualifying questions to your form. People who aren't really interested in your offer won't convert, which is a good thing for your sales team. The logic behind it is if they're really interested, they will stick around (at least long enough to fill out the form) and be willing to give you more information. You can use these form fields to segment your leads according to buyer personas. Think about how the data will be used - which questions can you ask prospects that will indicate how likely they are to become a customer and what kind of solutions they'd benefit most from?
Auto-Populate Form Fields
Steven Woods describes in his book, Digital Body Language, how the goal should be to reduce, simplify, or auto-populate fields to increase the rate at which prospects fill out forms. That means standardising certain questions (like address, state, or job title for example) to help you segment and de-dupe your leads later in the sales process.
For example, because you don't provide a drop-down list of job titles to choose from, a VP of marketing from one company can fill it in as "VP Marketing" while another puts it in as "Vice President, Marketing", and so on, causing data management headaches for you later on.
Research revealed that an astounding 33% of B2B marketers don't measure ROI. Obviously, that's no good if you want to keep on top of your marketing strategy. You should be testing the effectiveness of your entire site, but one thing you can't ignore is testing your landing pages.
For a quantity-focused lead strategy, A/B test a long form against a short form. If there's no change, it may mean there's another factor (like copy, layout, or the offer itself) that's stopping people from filling it in. For a quality-focused lead strategy, A/B test different types of fields that indicate lead quality. Talk to your sales team about ideas for questions to ask.
If you would like to learn more about generating quality leads, check out our blog on 12 Online Lead Generation Mistakes to Avoid, or download our free eBook: