Improve Conversion Rates By Optimizing Lead Generation Forms

May 18, 2022
Contributor: Maria Carolina Lopez

Take your conversion rate to the next level by following these three steps.

It’s not enough to have perfected the messaging and design elements of your landing page — you also need to consider if your lead generation forms are fully optimized. If there’s a huge difference between page visitors and conversions, your lead generation forms need to be better optimized to support your marketing strategies.

Optimizing lead generation forms is a great way for software marketers to improve the conversion rate on their website. How you craft your lead generation forms is key to moving B2B leads through the buyers’ journey, whether they are downloading content or scheduling a demo.

Here are three steps B2B software marketers can take to optimize lead generation forms and increase your conversion rate.

1. Ensure the lead generation form messaging is convincing

Website visitors are more likely to fill out a form if the messaging is clear and consistent. Your lead generation form should say exactly what a B2B lead will receive by providing their information. 

The best way to craft a convincing lead generation form is by including a strong value proposition that states how your product will benefit the website visitor, and what distinguishes it from your competition, in order to improve your conversion rate. A value proposition is a sum of value (or benefits) that a buyer will receive from your goods and services upon doing business with you. A compelling value proposition not only reinforces the importance and ROI of your product, but it also convinces a B2B lead to fill out the form and take the next step in the buyer’s journey. 

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2. Think hard about lead generation form fields

High-converting lead generation forms rely heavily on how the form fields are structured. How long your lead gen form is and how it is displayed could be what encourages or discourages a website visitor from filling it out.

We recommend that B2B marketers and content marketing automation teams consider the following when building B2B lead generation form fields for the best conversion rate:

  • Form length: Having too many form fields can negatively impact your conversion rate. Some website visitors may feel as though it’s not worth the effort if your form is too long. We recommend that you have three to five fields on your lead gen forms for high conversion.
  • Information to collect: You’ll also want to consider the information that’s most important to collect. This depends on the objective of the lead gen form itself; for example, if a website visitor is downloading a piece of content or signing up for a free trial. Depending on what the visitor is getting, you may want to collect more detailed information or just the basics.
  • Display privacy policy (when needed): Privacy regulations vary depending on where your target audience is located, which means, in some cases, your company’s privacy policy needs to be included in the lead gen form. You should make it clear what website visitors are consenting to at the end of your form.
  • Remove Captcha: We recommend removing the CAPTCHA from your lead gen forms as they add friction and reduce the number of leads captured. Getting rid of CAPTCHA might mean sifting through more spam, but it will increase your conversion rate.

See below for an example of a non-optimized form compared to an optimized form to get ideas for your B2B lead generation strategy, put together by the conversion rate specialists at Gartner Digital Markets.

Form examples

3. Choose the right CTAs for the lead generation form

Every lead generation form should include an enticing call-to-action (CTA) that says something other than “Submit.” We also recommend choosing a high-contrast, attention-grabbing color for your form’s CTA. 

This is the final step a website visitor takes; it should stand out and indicate exactly what they should expect to receive after filling out the form. For example, are they downloading a white paper or are they registering for a webinar? Depending on the action you want a B2B lead to take as part of your lead generation strategy, the CTA messaging should be customized accordingly.

Use one of these compelling CTAs on your forms:

  • Get a demo
  • Try it for free
  • Download the ebook
  • Get the guide
  • Save your spot
  • Receive a discount
  • Access the recording

It’s important that your lead gen form CTA is action-oriented like the examples above. 

The action you want a website visitor to take should be based on the ideal content type and marketing channel. The ideal marketing channels are the websites that your target buyers spend the most time on when completing buying tasks, from identifying a problem and researching the solutions to reading software reviews. When crafting the CTA messaging, think about the landing page it’s on and how the CTA action fits into the overall buying journey for that B2B lead. 

If you’re not sure which CTA will work best, take this as an opportunity to try out A/B testing. A/B tests are designed to let marketers know what messaging, content, offers, and visual elements contribute to a lift in conversions. We recommend keeping A/B tests small and manageable. 

With CTAs, for example, you can A/B test the design and copy for a period of time on your landing page to see which one will improve your conversion rate the most. Make sure to mark your calendar and compare the results once the A/B testing is complete to see which changes made an impact on your conversion rate and lead generation strategy. 

Start generating more leads today

By optimizing your lead generation forms, you’ll see a greater number of website visitors convert into more leads. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to optimizing your lead generation strategy, these steps are a great starting point for any business looking to improve their conversion rates. Implementing these small changes to your forms, like reducing the number of form fields and creating more compelling CTAs, will help improve conversion rates on your website and eventually generate more revenue for your business.

Maria Carolina Lopez

Maria Carolina Lopez is the Senior Manager of Marketing Services at Gartner Digital Markets. She specializes in conversion rate optimization, has experience in both web design and digital marketing, and has worked with companies of all sizes, from startups to large enterprises. Outside of work, Maria likes to rollerblade with her husband and dog or visit her family in Colombia. Connect with Maria Carolina on LinkedIn.

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