Saturday, June 13, 2009

You had me at 'Submit'

If there is one area of focus that will almost always get you a quick win, it’s forms.

Most B2B forms exist for 2 reasons:

1. They feed new leads into the database
2. They gather additional information about existing leads

Hard to imagine a more powerful (and inexpensive) marketing tool. Yet the typical form drop-off rate is well over 70%, maybe higher. That leaves lots of room for improvement and measurable results.

Quick Win #1: Shorten your form – now shorten it again
A good rule of thumb is to limit the # of initial fields to only those most people won’t fib about.

According to Marketing Sherpa, your best 3 ‘truth fields’ are:

· Name
· Email Address
· Industry

And if Industry isn’t important to your segmentation strategy, remove it and only have 2 initial fields. Remember, we’re just trying to get a conversation going – tough to do without an email address.
Quick Win #2: Tell them what you already know about themNever ask for information you already have. Leverage Eloqua’s form field pre-population feature as much as possible. In one recent test, 76% of all form submissions came from pre-populated forms.

Quick Win #3: Make it a Fair ExchangeI wrote about this in a recent blog. The concept is this: # of form fields = value of asset. Asking for 15 fields for a General Industry White Paper isn’t a fair exchange.

Quick Win #4: Get rid of the RESET buttonAccording to some reports, as many as 22% are still using this legacy button. Get rid of it and you should see a definite lift in form submissions.

Quick Win #5: Try making all fields optionalYea, I know this is a scary one but in one study, registration form submissions increased 15.38% when prospects were told registration was not required.

If you’re looking to make an immediate impact on ROI, I can’t think of a faster, easier and more cost-effective area of focus than your forms.

BTW: Don’t forget to benchmark your current form drop-off rates so you can track your success.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about Form Optimization Best Practices

Steve Kellogg
-Demand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
-Eloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant
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