Lead generation forms are a tricky thing, you want to create something that gives you the information you need to close a sale, without asking so many questions that no one wants to fill out the form. Its a touch dance to play, but ultimately there is a unique strategy that will work for you and your website.
Remember, when building out a form for lead generation, especially when its first contact, you aren’t trying to make the sale before contacting the potential customer. Let the customer fill out just the bare essential information that you need, and nothing more. Once you have that point of contact and they have taken the time to contact you, you know they are sold at least enough to do that, so maybe 1 more form after a nice greeting from you is not something they’d be apposed to.
We talk a lot in this episode about Matt C’s form on his website. It is clean and simple, but still has some sort of filtering to avoid getting requests from people he cannot help thus wasting their time and his.
If you click around through Matt also utilizes a great technique in forms which is hidden fields. Hidden fields are great because they allow you to show and hide only the fields necessary for a particular type of visitor. In Matt’s form, he has different fields depending on what the subject matter is that the user wants to contact him about. This way the user only sees fields relevant to their own request.
Sometimes you need a form that requires a person to really think about their answers, and that is okay. However for a lead generation or even user sign up, you want to have an experience that is as stress free and as thought-free as possible. For example text input fields answering a question might require more thought than radio buttons which have pre-determined answers. However too many options can become worse, so make sure to stick to 3-4.
And always remember when it comes to adding new form fields, if it can wait for the next interaction with a potential customer, wait. You don’t need to ask them everything “on the first date”, once you have built the relationship up you can start asking for more information that they may not feel comfortable asking
Form accessibility is another huge factor in building out forms that anyone can fill out, reducing reasons for potential customers to walk away before contacting you. Are your forms accessible? Try doing things like using Rachel Carden’s WA11y plugin and other browser extensions to make sure your forms are accessible to screen readers, those without keyboards, those without mice, etc. Its really fascinating to see how your form could be more accessible… something we need to run through here on The WP Crowd for sure!