Striking the Ideal Balance Between Short Lead Forms & Rich Marketing Data

Ah, marketing data. The stuff that excellent content, targeted marketing, and effective lead nurturing and customer relationship building are made of! The flip side of gathering lots of marketing data through your lead forms is that every time you tack on another field or two of information, your conversion rates take a dip. Read on to see how to develop the perfect lead capture forms and then improve those leads with data enrichment.

The Ideal Size & Shape of a Lead Capture Form

Studies show that there's a significant drop-off in converted lead gen forms after three fields and again after seven fields. But three fields just isn't a lot of information for marketers and sales folks to work with.

Marketers are hard-pressed to get a handle on what high-quality leads look like with no more than a name, email, and company or job title. Sales people are pretty crippled by that, as well, because they often have to cold call folks that they know next to nothing about.

Seven fields are better, but again, isn't really rich enough to be truly helpful when it comes to nurturing B2B leads across excruciatingly long sales cycles -- often spanning months or longer. But with data enrichment, there really is no need to ask more than three questions. Why risk more dropouts than you have to?

Other Factors That Impact the Effectiveness of Lead Capture Forms

Of course, there are other factors that determine how effective lead forms are at driving conversions. Marketers often overlook these, focused solely on those all-important fields filled with data. Whether you opt for three fields or seven, pay close attention to:

• Making it clear what's in it for them. From the moment a potential lead enters your landing page, you have six seconds or less to prove you've got something worth giving up their goodies for. If they can't tell immediately what's in it for them, forget getting even three fields filled out.
• Make the payoff worthwhile. Even knowing what you've got behind Door Number One won't help if you're promising the marketing equivalent of a wet sock. It's got to be something valuable. Don't just promise an e-book. That could mean three pages of information so basic and trivial that most freshmen in the subject would know it. Promise a 155-page e-book written by an industry thought leader! (Then deliver.)
• Keep your lead gen form above the fold. When you drop it down lower on the page, you lose more folks before they even realize there's a form there promising something. Data enrichment can't help you unless the lead at least finds your form and fills out some of the fields.
• Use your negative space/white space effectively. Do not create jam-packed lead forms that are so busy no one knows what's going on. Lean, mean, and clean -- that's the name of the game in lead gen forms.

Use Data Enrichment to Supplement Short Lead Forms

Data enrichment Take a little data from your lead gen form, enrich it with other data sources from around the Web, and like magic, you'll have instant access to the data you need for lead nurturing and sales conversion.

How can you ask a measly three fields of information and still manage to get enough data to nurture the lead and convert the sale? That's easy! With data enrichment, you can ask just a couple of questions and fill in the data with enrichment data from other sources across the Web. To learn more about how ReachForce SmartForms can help you optimize lead generation and improve your impact on revenue, sign up for a free trial and get a demo today.

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