We’ve all been there, staring at a form on a landing page, hoping the download we’re about to register for is worth being added to yet another e-mail list. More than the e-mail list, we wonder if we really want to receive a phone call in the next five minutes asking us to demo software or sign up for a webinar. Your readers (and my readers) ask themselves the same thing when faced with our website forms. It’s up to us to make the offer compelling enough they’ll want to leave their contact information and the form easy enough to complete they won’t think too long before filling it out.
Make sure your readers know what they are getting
If you intend to send weekly digests of your blog posts to their inbox, tell your readers. Don’t use vague wording like “occasional” or “regular”. Those words mean different frequency to different readers. If you are concerned a weekly digest is too much, then maybe you should rethink the offer. If your reader is downloading an e-book or guide, are you automatically adding them to your general e-mail list? If not, make that known (and stick to your promise). We’re all more likely to agree to something if know the ramifications.
Know what you need to know
We would all LOVE to know a company’s sales volume, number of employees and the phone number to the decision maker. Most of us aren’t going to get that information from a web form, at least not the first time they submit a form on our website. What else do you need to know other than name and e-mail address? When readers download our Non Profit Case Study, we ask if they are a non profit. The question relates to the download, it’s a simple radio button response and it gives us additional information about the people coming to our website. Can you justify asking for the information?
Be creative in your approach
One of our non profit clients had regular updates on an important project. A couple of times a month we use social media to invite our followers to sign up for those specific updates. We’re careful to only send the updates requested to that list and we’re monitoring them for interest in particular parts of the project. Your followers may not want to receive information about every piece of your company or non profit, but given the option to hear about the piece in which they are most interested, gives you a chance to keep reaching out.
Grab their attention
We are right now testing slide in and pop up e-mail list registration boxes for our blog content. Many blogs have reported higher opt-in rates with these tactics, however, we also risk alienating our readers by interrupting them (and isn’t interrupting what we’re trying to avoid with inbound marketing?). As you create your forms, consider the call to action button at the bottom of the form. What does it say? Download? Buy Now? Contact Us? Make it relevant and strong. Test the wording to see what works best.
Make it as easy as possible
Depending on the software you are using to create your forms, you may be able to autopopulate the information you already know and ask for information you do not already have. Because we are HubSpot partners, we know their software offers these options. Your B2B email marketing services like iContact or MailChimp may offer these options with their forms as well. If you are using another inbound marketing platform or landing pages service, you may already have access to these services as well. By autopopulating what you already know, you’re limiting the amount of information a person has to enter and limiting the opportunities for them to say “nah, this isn’t worth it.”
Forms may be your most valuable inbound marketing tool for your B2B website or your non profit website. Used well they add value to your company by supplying your marketing and sales teams with valuable information about your prospects. Try new things, test it out and don’t be afraid to change what isn’t working.