Think about your own inbox…I’ll bet it’s bursting at the seams with every type of email imaginable.
From those you want to hear from, and those you haven’t got around to pressing the unsubscribe button yet.
You’re not alone, as this is the same story for most of us.
However, this tells us a couple of things.
Even though we may ‘think’ we’re actively trying to stop handing out our valuable data to anyone who asks…
We still do.
So, what are the main reasons for us to do it?
Or, more specifically, what elements will get people to enter their details on a form?
What elements will get people to enter their details on a form?
Well, we’ve found at LeadsHook, the most important factors that influence form submissions are not even on the form. Instead, the off-form factors are where to concentrate your efforts instead.
Because simply put…The wrong audience to the world’s best funnel or the best offer won’t convert.
Basically, you need to know what is the state of mind of the person who ends up on the form or nodes where you’re asking for their info.
- Do they believe they will get the promised benefit?
- Do they trust this page yet?
- Can they get this benefit from somewhere else?
- How is this different from everything they’ve seen?
- Why should they act now?
Given these concerns, the old adage of Direct Response applies….
- List (Your audience)
So your inspection system for what works for your specific data capture form and what doesn’t needs an order of priority. In this post, we’re going to share with you just that.
We’ll be sharing the top 14 best practices for creating high-conversion lead capture forms in order of their importance and impact.
Let’s get started!
What is a lead capture form?
A lead capture form is a web form that aims to collect contact information from visitors (usually in exchange for something of value like an eBook or newsletter subscription).
In this way, a lead capture form converts a random visitor into a lead. Web owners or businesses typically use the collected information for marketing and sales purposes.
How to make a lead capture form?
Just pop a search into Google “How to make a lead capture form?” and you’ll be met with countless, software and platforms and plug-ins that offer lead capture forms.
But in our opinion, your leads want more…So offering a simple form just asking for their name or even offering a free download is now pretty basic.
Even the well-known Quizzes and Surveys are old and new and really just a novelty…
Yes, they may entertain for a few seconds, but when it comes to serious Lead Generation, and you have to offer REAL value for the leads, such as reports, real-time calculations, and product recommendations.
As well as gaining valuable data and insights, which you can then use to optimize your whole funnel after. For advanced marketers, there is software that takes lead capture forms to a different level.
But before we deep dive into that…
Whatever Lead generation software you’re planning to use, you should follow these best practices.
14 Best Practices for a High-Conversion Lead Capture Form
Now, without further ado, let’s dive into the promised list of best practices for lead capture forms!
1. Bring the Right Audience to the Page
We said earlier, and we’ll say it again – you could have the world’s best funnel or the best offer. But it wouldn’t get you any customers or a stable business if you’re presenting your offer to the wrong crowd.
So, first things first, you need to know who you are sending to the page.
For example, if someone’s interested in buying a house and you direct them to a page that sells solar panel installation services, there’s almost zero chance they’ll take any action on this page.
No matter how good the copy or UX is. No matter how big of a discount you’re offering. It simply won’t work because the person is not interested.
So the first thing is to define the audience that you’re going to send to the page. Define their interests, pain points, needs, persona, and other necessary details.
Then design and structure the lead capture page exclusively and specifically for this target audience (with respect to both on-page and off-page factors) — And then, most importantly, work out a way to bring the intended audience to the page you build.
How can you do that? Experiment with different marketing channels:
- Paid advertising
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Content marketing
These are the channels or methods that can help you ‘bring’ the target audience to your form.
But before you ‘bring’ them, you need to ‘find’ them. And there are really just two ways to find people who would love to buy from you:
- Market Research
- Reverse Market Research
While both are okay to adapt, reverse market research works faster to identify the characteristics and demographics of your target audience — and what’s the most efficient way to bridge the gap between yourself and these individuals.
2. Create an Emotion-triggering Hook
The ‘title’ is the most powerful text on lead capture forms. That’s because it serves as a ‘hook’.
It’s the first thing that anyone who lands on the form will read. And hence, it’s your opportunity to put forward an arresting appeal and trigger an emotion or two.
For example, if you’re selling solar panel installation services, your target audience is most likely interested in:
- Saving money
- Helping the environment
If you direct them to your lead capture form with just this line: Get Solar Panel Installation Services. They won’t really follow you.
They’d stare at their screen blankly, unaffected by your words, and will have to make the decision on their own (whether to fill out the form or not) – because your words did not push them enough or help them take the necessary step. They might even scroll past your form. Or worse, hop off to your competitor.
Instead, if you were to say:
- Join the fight against climate change by powering your home with solar energy. OR
- Reduce your energy bills by X% with solar energy OR
- Upgrade your home’s value & energy efficiency with solar panels…
Your target audience will most likely stop scrolling and fill out the form.
Because you’re highlighting and voicing out their wants. You’re making a promise. That’s all they want at this stage – a surety that, yes, they’ll get what they’re looking for.
So, make sure you pay ample attention to the title of your lead capture form and come up with a unique and compelling hook.
Bear in mind, when we say ‘unique’, we’re referring to your USP. Take one of our own Leads Capture forms at LeadsHook.
“Where Are Your Biggest Lead Gen Wins Hiding in 2023?”
For any self-respecting marketer, they would love to know how they can optimize their funnel.
Especially if they get a personalized free report that gives them actionable steps to stop their funnel leaking.
Obviously, your competitors will also have a form with a well-thought-out hook. So, you want to highlight the unique benefit that you’re offering to your audience. You want them to know why you are a better option than the others.
On that note, we’ve done a more detailed post that lists some of the most powerful appeals and wants of audiences.
It’ll help you come up with a hook strategically and systematically. Check it out here: What should marketing be about?
3. Capitalize on Social Proof
Another way to win your web visitor’s trust and have them fill out a data capture form until the end is to incorporate social proof.
Embed customer testimonials, endorsements, ratings, or the count of people/businesses that you’ve helped to date right beside the submit button. It’s also a good idea to place the social proof at the top of the page (header part) if you have a standalone signup page.
Here’s a lead capture form example that demonstrates how to do this:
And another example from LeadsHoookthat showcases the number of users we have served, adding proof that we are not playing about when it comes to Lead Gen.
We also recommend placing security icons or certification symbols if you’re in the security industry.
For example, if you offer home security solutions in the UK, you can place the SSAIB accreditation symbol at the top of your contact form.
4. Incorporate an Irresistible Offer
Incorporate a value element in your form and tell them what their future could look like if they avail of the ‘free value’ you’re offering (in exchange for filling out the form).
For example, if there’s a form offering a free book that outlines 7 steps to a 7-figure business, you’ll happily fill out the form and download the free resource.
Why? Because the form sketched a picture (you = rich) and made a promise. It helped you visualize the possibility and made you leap for it.
So, a good way to get more conversions is to offer some sort of instant value. It serves as a huge motivator and eliminates second thoughts and hesitation.
Now, note that this ‘value’ element should be something they can truly instantly use. Or perhaps, something that serves as a ‘fuel’ for their next step in building a relationship with you.
For example, you can offer:
- Discount Coupons
- Access to exclusive discounts or top products via newsletters
- Free trial
- Free Consultation
- Weekly or monthly tips/case studies or other types of informative content
- Free eBook
- Entry to giveaways or lucky draws
If your business model does not permit offering a free promising resource, consider offering your audience some fun or instant calculations. This is a surefire way to embed your business’s name in their memory.
For example, say you have an insurance company. You can offer a free calculator that allows your web visitor to calculate their monthly installments for a certain plan.
Similarly, if you run a lifestyle blog, you can offer a fun quiz that gives outfit recommendations based on users’ answers.
Both of these will not only engage the visitor for sure but also help them build a mental association with you. They’re likely to come back for more. On your end, it will help you collect some useful information about the lead.
5. Create tension
As a marketer, it’s not your job to provide the solution to the problem to your audience. Rather, your job is to excite your target audience enough to make them take the next step – pushing them closer to the solution they seek.
In a lead capture form, you can do this by using suspenseful language and deploying psychological triggers – particularly when it comes to the title of the lead capture form, the phrasing of form questions, and the sequence of questions.
Here’s an example: imagine you’re selling a book on how to get rich, and you want your web visitors to fill out a lead capture form on your landing page, so you can get their data, nurture them via email, and eventually sell the book to them.
Now, study these titles, check how each of these leverages the power of a specific psychological trigger, and effectively push the target audience towards the next step (i.e., filling out the form):
|Lead Capture Form Titles
|What your reader is feeling…
|Take This Quiz to Determine Your True Earning Potential
|This is just for me, it’s gotta be something…
|Sign Up for this Webinar – Author Shares How Millionaires Manage their Funds
|FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
|If I don’t do this – I’ll never learn how to manage funds properly, I’ll never be able to save and get rich!
|Unleash Financial Freedom: Discover the Proven Strategies to Make Money Quickly
|This is it. This is the solution I’ve been looking for.
|Top 5% of earners in the US are attending this webinar…
|Successful people are doing it – it must be working!
|Secure Your Spot Now: Only Two Seats Remaining for this Exclusive Webinar!
|I need to save the seat, let me just sign up first.
Another tip here is to create a knowledge gap. Pose a question or statement in your form that hints at valuable information that they might be missing out on. This triggers curiosity and motivates them to seek answers.
To make it more effective, sketch a picture of how easy their life would be if they take the step that you’re asking them to OR how bad things could be if they don’t avail of your offer.
Remember, your copy should convey a sense of excitement, urgency, and possibility without leading people astray. You make one false or ‘trapping’ claim and the audience will lose trust on you there and then.
6. Opt for a shorter length form (ask the right questions)
Is there a fixed number of questions to ask your web visitors? Is there a specific count beyond which they lose interest or get bored?
The key is to ask necessary questions only, and hence, keep the length of your data capture form ‘optimally short’.
Some of our best-performing forms comprise only 3-4 input fields, while some had as many as 18 steps!
It all comes down to what questions you’re asking the visitor, how connected they are feeling with you, and how good you are at personalizing the entire questionnaire.
At LeadsHook, we offer some easy-to-implement strategies to ensure your web visitor feels extremely connected throughout the form-filling process. Irrespective of the length.
We use strategically-designed interactive quizzes to achieve this.
This is exactly how we were able to generate 2155 leads from 4479 visitors (yes, that’s a 48% conversion rate) with an 18-STEP LONG lead capture form that we mentioned earlier.
Read more about this lead capture form and its extraordinary results here: Is this a cure for invisible marketing messages?
Note that you do not need to ask for any personal details that are not required for qualifying a lead. For example, if you plan to nurture the lead via email only, there is no point in asking for their phone number. It might make them skeptical and quit the form altogether.
7. Create a multi-step or chatbot-style form for 3+ questions.
If you have a data capture form that comprises more than three questions, go for a multi-step form.
Or opt for a chatbot-style questionnaire, which is very easily done inside LeadsHook.
Well, that’s because a multi-step or chatbot-style lead capture form reduces the psychological friction that a static lengthy form may cause.
Imagine you’ve discovered a great tool. But you have to fill out this form before you can actually explore it:
Draining. Isn’t it?
If this were a multi-step form, you would have answered all the questions in a few seconds without even realizing it. That’s the beauty of multi-step forms – quick, easy, and smooth.
The psyche here is very similar to getting stuck in traffic. You wouldn’t mind a 20-minute drive, but a 5-minute traffic jam is likely to get on your nerves – because everything is at a halt!
Scientifically, this is also known as deflecting the Goldilocks Syndrome (GS). The GS basically refers to a syndrome wherein there is a tendency to prefer things that are neither extreme nor mild but rather just right. It implies a desire for balance and an aversion to extremes.
So, yep. A conversational form or a multi-step is favorable theoretically and psychologically!
8. Go by Granular Personalization
Granular personalization basically refers to the art of making marketing so specific that it feels like it was tailor-made for each individual customer based on their unique preferences, behaviors, and needs.
A live example of this is Netflix. The recommendations you receive on Netflix are not solely based on your preferred genre or ratings. Instead, Netflix tracks the user’s viewing history, watch duration, location, device, and even time of the day to suggest content that aligns with the user’s specific interests and viewing habits.
For instance, if a user watches a lot of romantic comedies, Netflix’s algorithm might suggest similar titles or even specific actors or directors that the user has shown a preference for in the past.
We, at LeadsHook, help lead generators implement the same. Any quiz that you design using LeadsHook allows you to collect highly specific data points about your web visitors. You can use this data to personalize their customer journey and naturally propel them forward in the engagement funnel.
Here are some LeadsHook features that make granular personalization possible for you:
- Dynamic Content: You can customize the copy of each question in the quiz as per the user’s input. For example, if you ask for their location in the first question, your second question could be: How much do you get billed for electricity in [user’s answer to question 1]?
We also use conditional logic to make this possible – but that’s a separate section in our list of lead capture form best practices. So, read ahead!
9. Make the Web Visitor Feel Safe
In our previous tip for crafting a high conversion lead capture form, we recommended collecting specific data points, i.e., track each bit of user’s activity and record the data they share with you.
Now if your potential customer would be reading this guide, they’d be terrified.
They might not visit your website again, creeped out by how vigilantly you’re watching and tracking them (kinda Joe Goldberg vibes🤷)
And this is no joke. According to research by KPMG;
- 68% of users are concerned about the level of data collected by businesses.
- 40% of users do not trust that the data-collecting companies will use their data ethically.
- 30% are not willing to share their data for any reason.
This means there’s a high chance your web visitor will LEAVE if your website doesn’t hush away their data security concerns.
So to keep your forms from scaring away potential quality leads, make sure you make them feel safe enough. You can do this by:
- Incorporating a captcha form
- Displaying skimmable privacy policies
- Making your forms GDPR compliant
You can even incorporate a small pop-up or notification that informs them how you’ll be using the collected data.
10. Use Conditional Logic
Conditional logic refers to rules or conditions set up to determine what content or actions should be displayed or executed based on certain criteria.
For example, you can set up conditional logic that shows different content or offers based on user characteristics, such as their location, device, or previous interactions with your brand. It can be used to control the flow of a campaign or trigger different actions based on user behavior.
The concept might sound similar to dynamic content. But notice that dynamic content only changes the visual content (i.e., words on your lead capture form).
Conditional logic has the ability to change the questions, options, or input fields that the viewer sees.
For example, let’s say you have a lead capture form where you ask about how much the user gets billed for electricity in their respective city.
Your first question asks for the user’s city of residence. Next, you ask them to pick one option that’s closest to their usual electricity bill; each option is a range of dollar amounts (e.g. $100-$200).
Now the billing ranges for each city will differ, so you will set up your lead capture form such that it displays relevant ranges for each city. In this case, you’ll be using conditional logic – not dynamic content.
In this way, you can display the best lead capture form fields – that are highly relevant to the current visitor. It’s next-level personalization!
Moreover, you can also use conditional logic for lead capture form tracking.
For example, say you offer a 3-day free trial of your SaaS product to a first-time visitor. They fill out your free lead capture form and enjoy your product for three days.
After a few days, they return…in hopes of reusing the 3-day free trial.
If you are using conditional logic within your lead capture forms, you’ll be able to direct them to the pricing page – so they can purchase if they really wish to use your product.
But if you’re not using it, your 3-day free trial might play an uno-reverse on you. Instead of generating leads, it might be the reason you never secure any paying customers! 😐
💡Pro Tip: When signing up the visitor for their free trial, incorporate questions that help you understand whether the visitor can afford your product or not. If they can, suggest relevant pricing plans when they revisit. And if they cannot, offer them discount coupons.
11. Auto Send Personalized Emails to Leads (next step)
One more way to maximize the chances of conversions is to send a personalized email as soon as a visitor fills out and submits a form. It directs the lead to the next logical step.
Ideally, the email you send should:
- Deliver the promised value, such as eBook OR
- Offer a solution for the prospect’s problem. Say if they’ve filled out your contact form and requested a discovery call, you can send them a list of available time slots. OR
- Confirm that you’ve received the email. Simply restate their problem and inform them when you’ll get back to them with the solution they need.
The point here is to acknowledge the web visitor and keep them engaged.
We also recommend integrating lead capture forms with your CRMs. It helps automatically store lead data. You can further automate the process and send notifications to relevant sales representatives, so they can quickly get in touch with leads and nurture them further.
To make this possible, you’ll need to set up an auto-email for your sales team as well.
Note that an effective post-submission nurture sequence should comprise multiple touches across different channels.
So, along with sending an instant acknowledgment email, it is also a good idea to visit their LinkedIn profile or connect on social media. You can also opt for a phone call within 24 hours. This is recommended for high-quality leads only.
12. Use an action-provoking copy & design for your CTA button
According to a study, CTA buttons with the word submit on them perform significantly less than others. Quite surprisingly, it is also the most commonly used text for CTA buttons.
So, what’s the message to receive here?
❌ Do not use generic and boring words.
✅ Use emotive, powerful, and action-inspiring words.
For example, Click Here and Enter is a far better choice than Submit. Here are some more alternatives:
- Start My Free Trial
- Send My Book
- Download Now
- Reserve My Seat
- Choose Now
- Get Started
- Get My Free Report
- Take this Course
- Help Me Figure This Out
Note that the text of your CTA button should align with the ‘value’ you’re offering. Say if you’re offering an eBook, using ‘send my book’ makes sense. In this case, you cannot use the text ‘free trial’.
Apart from the copy, it’s also essential to pay attention to the font, color, and shape of the CTA button. On that note, we recommend reading this post: Best Practices for Crazy Effective CTA Buttons.
And if you’re looking for the best lead capture form design, browse the lead capture form examples listed below!
Note: If you’ve no idea how to effectively structure a lead capture form, consider using a free lead capture form template. All of these templates are designed by lead generation experts!
13. Always A/B test forms
Lastly, the best way to create a high-conversion lead capture form is to learn what your audience likes best.
You can learn that by conducting A/B testing or split testing.
Deploy two versions of the same lead capture forms to your online visitors and check out which of the two receives a better response. Also, it’s best to change only one variable at a time to get the best results.
For example, if you’re not sure whether a multi-step form would work better on a specific landing page or a chatbot-style form – create both versions and conduct an A/B test on your audience. Check the response rate and decide accordingly.
You can even use A/B testing to determine your:
- Lead capture form best fields
- Best CTA button design and copy
- Best position
- Best follow-up emails or post-form submission sequence
So, whenever in doubt, always A/B test your form.
14. Position the form for maximum impact.
There’s no one perfect position for a data capture form. The ideal position depends on the layout of the page and its content.
But by the rule of thumb, you should aim for an ‘above the fold’ position. Meaning your web visitors should be able to see it without scrolling.
Some of the best-performing positions for lead capture forms are as follows:
1. As a chatbot:
This works best for home pages or any other pages where the visitor may have to make a buying decision.
Allow the user to click on a chatbot icon (placed on top of the page), and you can then direct them to standalone chatbot pages.
2. Beside the page:
When placing a lead capture form beside the page, try placing it on the left side. That’s because people naturally read from left to right, and studies prove 80% of web users spend time viewing the left side of the page. Just make sure it doesn’t overshadow your value-providing content.
3. Beside the picture of the offer:
This works best when you’re offering lead magnets like a report, eBook, templates, product samples, trials, or anything that the web visitor can use immediately.
4. Within the page:
This works best for blog posts or lengthy landing pages (i.e., pages with 1000+ words). Position at least 2-3 lead capture forms at appropriate intervals, preferably as button-enabled forms. These could be overlay pop-ups or independent lead capture pages.
Here’s an example:
Once you click the blue text, it takes you to this form:
Do not overdo it, especially when opting for static forms embedded within the content. It may appear too pushy and annoy the visitor!
Top 3 Lead Capture Form Examples
Now, let us share some of the best lead capture forms out there…
1. LeadsHook – Best Lead Generation Software
What’s so good about this LeadsHook?
Although we have talked about all types of Lead Capture forms, LeadsHook does this with a twist.
They are Decision Trees.
Although, at first glance, they look like a simple quiz or survey.
Far from it.
Decision Trees specialized by both extracting actionable data and information while giving value the lead actually will find useful.
With its ready-to-use templates and intuitive drag-and-drop features making it easy to create engaging forms. Once you’ve created your form, embed it on your landing page or any other high-traffic page and watch the quality and volume of your leads rise.
Other ways LeadsHook separates itself from others in the lead form software is:
✅ Mimics the flow of a conversation and creates a feeling of timelessness. User fills out the form before they even know it!
✅ Qualifies leads through an automated ‘personalized’ conversation and saves time for your sales team.
✅ Helps the user with decision-making, instantly creating feelings of gratification. Users now know they can count on you for sincere advice.
Best Practices in Action: 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9
(Click here to browse unfiltered results of chatbot-style lead capture forms)
2. BrokerNotes – Leading Broker Comparison Platform
What’s so good about this lead capture form?
✅ Features toggle sliders, minimal text, and action-provoking CTAs. Its genius UI eliminates the feel of a traditional form completely.
✅ Reduces psychological stress with large clickable images. The user doesn’t have to type or think much to answer the question.
✅ Displays relevant questions using conditional logic and personalizes the experience to an admirable extent.
Best Practices in Action: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
3. Brian Tracy – Renowned Personal & Professional Development Expert
What’s so good about this lead capture form?
✅ Wins users’ trust by mentioning the number of downloads.
✅ Emphasizes the user’s pain point with the headline and presents a visual form of the solution (picture of the eBook). It makes the solution appear within reach of the audience and motivates them to share their email address.
✅ Action-provoking copy and design for the CTA button. Makes the best of color psychology too.
Best Practices in Action: 1, 2, 6, 7, 9
You’re almost there…
Congratulations! If you’ve read this far, you’ve completed a mini-course on how to create a high-conversion lead capture form.
Now, it’s time to implement what you’ve learned so far. And that begins with picking a feature-packed lead capture software like LeadsHook.
I know, I know. The question might be looming over your head; there are a hundred different lead capture form builders out there; why trust LeadsHook?
Well, that’s because along with all the necessary features to implement the best practices listed above, we also offer….
🎁 A growing library of training and courses on how to master lead generation…
🎁 A 24/7 live support from lead generation EXPERTS themselves…
🎁 Free lead capture form templates, hacks, and suggestions specific to your business…
🎁 Advanced features like exportable micro-segmentation, dynamic lead magnets, human-like interactions, and much more…
And hey, know that we’re NOT here to win over our competitors by offering free stuff. Rather we’re trying to win YOU with quality results – results that return the value of each minute you spend with us on lead generation campaigns.
Ready to give us a try?
Click the button below, and you’ll be directed to your very first step getting a high-conversion lead capture form for your own business.