I had a client today ask me about the best practices for forms on landing pages. Well, the most direct path is not always the easiest or the best!
It's nearly always best to use the shortest possible form — Name, Email, and perhaps Phone Number.
Then, clients say: "Yes, but we need to know what zip code they are in to assign them to a salesperson." Or, "Yes, but we need to know their technical requirements."
You can still get all that information. Just don't kill your conversion rates by asking for it all at once.
It's like trying to climb a mountain. You could try to go straight up. That would be the most direct path — Unless you ran into a steep cliff and fell off!
Or, you could climb up using switchbacks to zig-zag your way. Less direct, but much more likely to get you to the top.
How to Use Multi-Step Conversion Forms
Don't fall into the trap of thinking you have to get all the information you want at once. Try this instead:
- Use the simplest possible form for the first conversion. Get the prospect's name and email address.
- Send them an email with a link to a valuable piece of content. In the email and in your content, have a call-to-action that encourages them to take the next step.
- The next step link goes to another form that requires they enter a bit more information, but also promises more value.
- Then, send another email that delivers the value and has another call-to-action.
When you have a valuable product that solves a problem for your prospects, they'll gladly take the next step. If you don't have a valuable product, stop spending money on marketing and invest instead in making your product better!
Plus, this way, you have their name and email. You can keep checking with them until you find a fit or determine there isn't a fit. If you ask for too much information up front, they may never give you anything, and there's nothing you can do.
There's yet another advantage. Have you ever entered bogus information on a web form? I know I have. When you ask for too much, too soon, you encourage people to lie. But, that's not the end of the story. People at your company will assume the bogus data is valid and assign the new hot lead to a busy salesperson. The salesperson ends up wasting time chasing down a High School student who's just trying to write a term paper!
It helps if you have the right marketing platform to make the multi-step process easier to implement. Contact Me, if you want to know more.
Please leave a comment if you use multi-step forms. What have you found that works?
Image Credit: tylerkaraszewski
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