There is much debate going on about when ┬? and whether ┬? to require contact information before allowing visitors to download information, request a demo, or take your software for a trial run.
In a perfect world, your website would be so fantastic, so perfectly aligned to your prospects┬? needs, you wouldn┬?t need a contact form. People would either buy immediately or keep coming back to your website on their own.
That┬?s a nice dream, but in the real world, most software marketers must do what they can to get visitors┬? contact information in order to follow-up. Your success in getting this information is a balancing act between what you offer and what you ask ┬? and how you go about asking it.
Even the smallest things can make a big difference. If you want to see how one software company achieved a 24% increase in website visitors signing up to download a product demo, read Simple Changes Drive More Prospects Through the Pipeline.
Website conversion forms are continuously tested and studied by smart marketers and other experts. While it┬?s always important to test a variety of form factors, we┬?ve found there are a few ┬?rules┬? that can substantially increase your success at gaining your prospects┬? cooperation.
Use these rules to guide you as you design ┬? or improve ┬? your web conversion forms.
- Use forms selectively ┬? only when you have something of value to offer and only when you don┬?t care if you reduce the number of people who see it. Do NOT require visitors to fill out a form before they can access basic product information or to download a product spec sheet.
- Ask only for information you really, really, really need. Really. Of course your sales people would like to know the phone number, company, title, geographic location and budget of every visitor; but it┬?s not going to happen. Generally speaking, every single field on your web conversion form reduces the number of people who will fill it out.
- Explain yourself. If you absolutely MUST ask for more than name and an email address, let your visitors know why and make sure it┬?s clear what you┬?re requesting. For example, does ┬?name┬? mean the visitor┬?s name (first, last, first and last?) or the company name?
- Remind them what they┬?re going to get. Let┬?s say I click on your ┬?free trial┬? button and it takes me to a web form. The phone rings, I answer and 20 minutes pass before I find myself back at your web form. If your prospects are anything like me, they┬?ll need to be reminded of why they were there in the first place.
- Give them a way to contact you. Maybe the prospect just doesn┬?t want to fill out the form but would happily send an email or make a phone call to get whatever it is you┬?re offering.
- Put a real call to action on the action button. Many forms use the word ┬?Submit┬?, but that┬?s boring. Use something more active such as ┬?Give me my report┬? or ┬?Start my trial now┬?.
- Test everything.
Other factors also play a role in how well your web conversion form works. Layout, and colors, style and size of the type, and use of images all contribute. But those are subjects for a different article.
For now, review the list above to evaluate your existing conversion forms and as a guide when you create new forms. You┬?ll find your conversion rate may just go up.
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