For demand generation, the goal is to get someone to willingly give up information so you can sell them your product or services. You know, “generate demand”. But to do that, you need to have a place for them to give that information up. The functionality and sophistication of forms and landing pages has evolved a lot recently, but prospects are also more resistant to filling them out than ever. Here are some tricks to get the lead:
- Don’t buy into “we can’t ask for more than email”. Get any information you need to route a lead and determine the quality. If you ask for just email, yes, you might get more form fills, but if you can’t route them or see what they’re worth, what’s the point? Instead, create content that is compelling enough to get a prospect to want to exchange that needed data. For most companies, the minimum is name, corporate email and company name. Job function if you want to personalize follow up to their role. Geo if you route leads that way. And even more if you need it.
- But if the content isn’t worth filling out a form, it doesn’t mean you can’t use it – post it ungated. Things like sales sheets and product specs shouldn’t be gated because they are sales focused. Educational things like whitepapers, ROI calculators, case studies and demos should be. If you’re not sure where a particular asset falls, test it. If you put an asset behind a form and see a lot of visits and few conversions, your content isn’t worth the ask.
- If you truly need information like size of company, industry or specifics like employee size or technology stack to route a lead, consider using one of the many data providers to append those fields. Appending has the benefit of a form with fewer fields and you get more reliable data than self-reported. And as for asking for things like budget, decision time frame, etc., it’s unlikely anyone will accurately provide that, so don’t even ask.
- Once you know what fields you need, program your form appropriately. That means route leads to your CRM or marketing automation and making sure they’re being followed up. If you have Salesforce, set up a campaign by source that includes the program cost and tracks leads all the way through your pipeline. That sets up a perfect ROI report. It’s also smart to add some functionality to ensure leads are being touched by sales. Consider email notifiers if you think it would help sales keep track of new leads or reporting that notifies you if a lead hasn’t had a mouse click within a week or two of being routed.
- Think about the asset delivery. You can either post the link to your content on a thank you page that pops up after the form fill or if you want to validate the email address, send the link to the asset via email on an autoresponder.
- Now test your form. Does it work? Do you get the asset? Does your lead go into the proper campaign? Does it work on your phone? Your computer? All browsers? Once you have it working, test it again regularly. Landing pages love to break.
- Know that the look/feel/graphics of your page have much lower impact on form success than offer and the data you’re asking the prospect to provide. In my opinion, the only purpose of a landing page is to not lose the interest of the person who made it that far. However, marketing automation plays nicely with websites these days – so if your branding team has standards on how landing pages should look, just set up the form and let them embed it in their web page.
- A note on your contact us form. Most companies get handful of qualified late funnel leads from these, so you definitely need one. But as a catchall, submissions need to be monitored to sort out the sales inquiries from job seekers, vendors or current customers with customer service issues. If you can, program notifications to go to the right person – applications go to recruiting, marketing offers go to marketing, etc. With some review and noodling, you should be able to create an automated process for most responses.
- And once you’ve got your pages up, running and tested, don’t forget to review analytics. Are you meeting your objectives? Any red flags – like lots of uncompleted forms? Or clicks and no conversion? Anything stand out? Regular review means you can fix any issues.
Need some ideas? Check out my blog on chatbots as another way to gather leads. Or contact me!