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The Lead Capture Form: A Living Fossil?

There’s something about a form that feels awfully tedious, clumsy, and just plain antiquated.

In fact, the very word “form” conjures up images of applying for a job, doing my taxes, or sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office as I write an essay about my pre-existing conditions and the things I’m allergic to.

It’s 2019, shouldn’t we have eliminated the form by now? Isn’t there a better way of doing things?

As it turns out, the lead capture form remains the most effective method of gathering information for lead generation. Trust me, I didn’t believe it either until I saw the statistics.

2019 Lead Capture Statistics

#1: 74% of marketers use web forms for lead generation.

Web forms are by far the most popular method of gathering information for lead generation purposes. Forms are simple, straightforward, and easy to set up. For these reasons, the majority of marketers use web forms.

Right behind web forms, in second and third place, we have live chat and quizzes/surveys, respectively. Live chat allows marketers to interact directly with visitors when they hit the site, which reduces bounce rates.

Quizzes/surveys act as a trojan horse for lead generation, using gamification to encourage the audience to provide information about themselves. Examples include personality quizzes, polls, and more.

Of the 37% of marketers that use lead capture tools other than web forms, only 17% use chatbots. Chatbots still remain relatively experimental and aren’t as effective as a live representative.

#2: 49.7% of marketers say forms are their highest converting lead generation tool.

Nearly half of all marketers cite forms as their most effective tool for generating leads that convert. One of the possible reasons for this could be that those who take the time to fill out a form are more likely to make a purchase.

Another possibility could be that people feel more comfortable putting personal information in an official-looking form than in a quiz or chat window. Whatever the reason may be, forms seem to be working well for marketers.

#3: The average length of a web form is 5 fields.

Studies show that the more information you ask for, the less likely it is that your reader will fill out the form. However, with lead generation, the more information you have, the better you can nurture that prospect. Therefore, it’s a delicate balancing act between asking for too much information and not enough.

Take into account what information you’d like to have and what’s absolutely necessary for your lead generation efforts. If you only need a name and an email address to continue the funnel, don’t ask for anything more. On the other hand, if you need detailed information to screen and filter prospects, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

The key is to keep the form as short as possible without sacrificing the quality of your leads.

#4: Multi-step forms have a 86% higher conversion rate.

Although just 39% of marketers use multi-step forms, those that do experience 86% higher conversion rates than those that don’t.

The reasoning behind this phenomenon lies in psychology: the more steps you take, the more committed you become toward finishing.

When dealing with large forms, it’s best to split them up into multiple, bite-sized steps that don’t overwhelm the prospect. As they continue to enter information and click “next,” they become more invested in filling out the form and have a lower chance of abandoning the process.

Being presented with a large amount of questions at once can overwhelm the prospect and cause them to bounce rather quickly.

#5: Only 50% of marketers use lead magnets.

For myself and the team at Sales Buddy, this is a pretty disheartening statistic. Lead magnets are extremely useful tools that greatly increase the chances of getting a viable lead.

By offering something in return for a prospect’s information, you create a sense of reciprocity. A prospect  may not be willing to freely give out their information, but they would in return for an instructional guide that helps them do their job better.

Examples of lead magnets include eBooks, guides, checklists, webinars, podcasts, and more.

#6: eBooks are the most popular type of lead magnet.

Out of all the examples listed above, eBooks remain the most popular and most effective—but webinars, checklists, and free tools aren’t far behind.

eBooks are great for marketers because they don’t require too much extra work to create. Don’t be afraid to use existing articles and other content that you’ve created in an eBook. Just by compiling this content together in one convenient place, you can provide a lot of value to your audience.

Conclusion

Love ’em or hate ’em, lead capture forms are here to stay. Despite the increasing popularity of live chat and quizzes/surveys, forms represent the most effective and efficient way of gathering information from potential prospects.

Forms, of course, are just one small slice of the larger lead generation pie and can’t stand alone. They need to be integrated into a bigger strategy that utilizes content marketing.

At Sales Buddy, we specialize in generating hot B2B leads for small-to-medium sized businesses. And we use high-quality content, marketing automation, and distribution across our exclusive B2B network and social media accounts to do just that.

To learn more about how Sales Buddy can get more B2B leads for your business, go ahead and schedule a quick chat with Corey.

About the Author Michael Edgar

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