Website traffic is a major asset to any small business and companies that want to succeed need to focus on turning the traffic into conversions (aka actual business). But how do you transform website visitors into paying customers? It all depends on lead capture.
What do we mean by lead capture? Specifically, the strategy and execution behind a website’s lead capture forms determine how likely visitors are to convert. Here’s how to create a website that captures qualified leads and gets more sales in the door.
Lead capture forms prompt website visitors to enter their contact details in exchange for information or resources. These forms push potential customers down the sales funnel, enabling sales and marketing to contact them with additional offers and information.
Without lead capture forms, potential customers will be visiting your site and bouncing (leaving without taking any action). This means you’ll miss opportunities to connect with interested individuals that could have made a purchase. Lead capture forms need to be strategic and goal-oriented, with all the right pieces included.
Elements that comprise a good lead capture form include:
- A well-designed landing page that positions the form above the fold
- Succinct, informative, actionable copy in an engaging form
- Form fields that allow website visitors to share their contact info with your business
- A CTA button
Lead capture forms exist on a website, but traffic can come from a variety of sources, such as emails, social media posts, referral links, and more.
Where you put lead capture forms depends on your offerings and long-term goals. Let’s take a look at the most strategic areas to place lead capture forms, and what goals they correlate with.
It’s normal to put a lead capture form on your website, but you’ll want to make sure it’s strategic. An easy and effective way to capture leads on your homepage is to ask people to sign up or subscribe to your newsletter by sharing their email address. A popup form is also a quick way to capture an email in exchange for a discount, free shipping, trial period, or other free gift.
A dedicated landing page is the most common place to capture leads. Landing page lead capture forms work well when you want to offer downloadable assets or resources, such as an ebook or template, in exchange for contact information.
Unlike a popup form, a landing page is longer and includes more details about the offer. Well-designed landing pages have images, graphics, and buttons that encourage people to sign up.
Customers who land on your FAQ pages are seeking answers to common questions. This means they're interested in your product or service, but need help. It also means they’re a great candidate for a direct phone call. A lead capture form on this page might ask for a phone number or email to connect the visitor to sales or support team members.
A blog post is a strategic way to direct website visitors toward a specific topic. For example, a blog post about “tips for finding a wedding florist” might have a lead capture form that asks for a person’s email in exchange for a customer story that shows how the company brought a customer's dream wedding to life through floral design.
While not specifically a lead capture form, a live chat feature on your website is a quick way to make connections with potential customers and answer questions. A live chat can ask for a customer’s email or direct them toward more resources that push them down the lead funnel.
After you’ve decided where you want to host your lead capture form, it’s important to understand what information you want to capture. This is determined by how you plan to contact them and what stage they are in the sales funnel.
Aim to ask for all the contact fields you need without making your form too long. Here’s a rule of thumb: Ask for everything you need to both qualify the lead and contact them in your desired format. Anything that doesn’t fit this requirement can be left off the form.
Too many form fields can dissuade a person from filling out the form; plus, you can always gather more information later. Aside from a person’s name, consider these form fields:
An email is a great way to drive potential leads down the sales funnel, especially if they’ve landed on your site for the first time. Emails can be used to send digital resources, deliver newsletters, share announcements, and incorporate a lead into current and future digital marketing campaigns.
A phone number can be a valuable piece of contact information, but it can also push people away from filling out your form. Only include a phone number field on your lead capture form if you state exactly why you’ll be calling them, or if they’re specifically interested in speaking with someone based on their previous website activity.
B2B companies often ask for this information, as it allows them to qualify leads and see which sales department to direct them too. Unless you’re selling to stakeholders at another business, skip this information.
Social media is an increasingly popular way to connect with customers. Small businesses can follow and engage with customers to build meaningful relationships, which helps you stand out from other services in your field. However, don’t ask for this information unless you have a plan in place for engagement.
Once you’ve created a lead capture form based on the strategies above, know that it doesn’t have to be set in stone. Marketing is about testing, and it's important that you’re measuring the effectiveness of your lead capture strategy.
An A/B test, where you’ll have two different variations of the same webpage, can help you refine your page so that it maximizes lead capture. You’ll also want to set goals for the page beforehand. That way, you can determine what makes it effective and how it fits into your long-term marketing and growth plans.
Lastly, remember that capturing leads isn’t going to drive sales by itself. Nurture your leads and learn about their needs so you can continue delivering products and services they can’t resist.
You can quickly build engaging lead capture forms that automatically sync to your CRM with Salesforce.
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