The 1-2-3 Guide to Nurturing Leads with Online Forms

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Online forms can sometimes become a forgotten factor in the sales process. However, marketers and consumers may be surprised at how well they can streamline and manage leads.

As customers spend more time interacting with brands online, there needs to be a way to effectively initiate conversation. Online forms act as the first impression of your business communication. When users fill out forms, they are granting you permission to engage them.

One of the concerns sales and marketing teams face is knowing what exactly qualifies as a lead. Online forms can work to answer specific questions that can provide the right information to make the decision simple in learning what turns a contact into a paying customer.

In the online marketing world, the importance of forms cannot be overlooked. Here are some ways you can use them to generate and handle leads.

Know Your Forms

A myriad of ingredients go into creating a successful business and promoting it online. Forms play into several parts of a website, including interactions, feedback, research, checkout, and more. There are many types of forms you can use to drive your marketing efforts.

Contact – This is a very simple type of form that acts as the initial point of engagement. It is typically very short with minimal fields. Name, email address, phone number, and a message are about all it requires, in some cases, less. Contact forms act as an extension of your email without the possibility of incurring spam. In turn, it is much easier for the user to get their name in your database rather than looking up your contact information.

You can easily also add a signature touch with your brand’s graphics or headlines to attract visitors. Remember, the initial contact form is like a first impression.

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Lead Generation / Subscription – Building a list of email addresses is an essential part of generating leads. Whereas a contact form is meant to answer individual questions or concerns of the user, lead generation forms give you permission to send a frequency of emails regarding updates or changes to your business.

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While short and simple, these forms can be used on your landing pages or social media. When asking for the user’s permission to send them updates, it is wise to offer incentives. This way, everyone has something to gain.

While short and simple, these forms can be used on your landing pages or social media. When asking for the user’s permission to send them updates, it is wise to offer incentives. This way, everyone has something to gain.

Of late, newsletter subscription forms are popping up all over the place with irritating predictability, especially on blogs. The most irksome ones for readers are those that force them to click on copy like “No, I DON”T want to make money!” instead of a polite “No, thanks” in order to make them go away.

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Don’t take your visitors for granted or be a pseudo-psychiatrist by trying to manipulate people’s cognitive biases – it will backfire on you. Here’s a “nice” way of getting website visitors to part with their email IDs:

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Survey – Market research is the building blocks of business. A survey is a great way to gauge your audience before even getting your business off the ground.

Surveys also work to gather measurable feedback to learn exactly how your product or service is valued amongst the public so you can make necessary adjustments. The process of running a business should always be improving and optimizing.

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Order – To make online sales, you need to have proper framework in place for customers to create orders.

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An order form should make the buying process simple and be paired with payment options such as Google Wallet, Apple Pay, or PayPal.

Building a web form is not as simple as it looks. Luckily, there are tools available to make the process easy while streamlining your sales cycle. 123ContactForm offers a simplified solution to create forms for organizations of all sizes. With a large database of useful guides for inspiration, you can bring your marketing efforts to the next level for years to come.

Make Forms Engaging

Getting users to commit to your business can be a daunting task. To increase the likelihood of gaining a valuable lead, online forms need to be engaging so the user will be more inclined to complete it.

  1. Keep it simple – More than likely, the first glance at a long list of questions to fill out will not be appealing to the user. When designing the form, do your best to only include questions that are absolutely necessary. The less fields, the better.
  2. Be visual – The need for visual appeal is at an all-time high. Research indicates that 93% of communication that takes place is completely visual. Creating a captivating online form can be the difference maker that will demand attention at first look. When creating a form, it never hurts to use graphics.
  3. Connect the form to social media – Have you noticed how a lot of online forms these days have an option to sign in with Facebook? This is a great way to get people to connect with your business with a single click. Now, they will not have to spend time manually filling in their information and you will get access to a good deal of valuable information. Win-win.

Keep Information Flowing

Making contact, generating leads, and making sales are great. However, the process is not over. There are still forms that need to be created to nurture current leads and maintain buyers. There is valuable data to be collected and relationships to be managed.

Follow up – Once a user fills out a form on your website for anything such as contact, newsletters, or orders, be sure you have triggered emails set to go out. These emails can do a great deal to further interactions down the sales funnel.

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Follow-ups should point users in the direction of your social media pages, landing pages, or any other way to connect with your brand for further engagement.

Pass information to the right people – Collecting the data is one thing. Now it needs to be sent to the right people to take proper action. Set up data reports for each employee and link it to form responses. For example, if someone fills out a contact form with a question in regards to a certain product, trigger these responses to forward directly to the customer service department.

Integrate with the CRM – Luckily, many web form builders can easily link user information with your CRM. When a form is completed, this data is automatically added so you have the most current information for all contacts, leads, and customers.

Final Thoughts

Turning contacts into leads, and then leads into customers is what keeps the wheels of business turning. Although it may not seem like the most interesting part of your sales cycle, quality online forms can be a game-changer in generating and nurturing leads.

They are simple to set up and easy to test. Don’t waste any more time in creating forms to spark serious business growth!

Rohan Ayyar devises integrated digital marketing campaigns at E2M, India’s leading provider of SEO and paid search marketing services. He dabbles in data-driven content strategy, web & mobile analytics, and conversion optimization for startups. Catch up with Rohan on Twitter @searchrook.

Comments

  1. “Yes! Online forms are not given their due credit. We spend so much time focusing on an attention-grabbing CTA and the best-looking landing pages that we forget about the form itself!

    Especially in terms of targeted content, the forms help us know where potential customers are in the buyer’s journey and therefore allow us to communicate better, as you point out, but also to create better content.

    Great post! Look forward to seeing more from you, Rohan!”

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