Creating Lead Gen Forms That Drive Results was originally published on Forbes.com.
Using lead generation forms, or lead gen forms, in your paid social advertising is a great way to capture potential new customers who are interested in learning more about your business, your products or your services. Think of a lead gen form as yet one more way for a customer to reach out and contact you or at least show interest in what you have to offer.
Instead of calling, leaving a voicemail message or writing a letter to a non-descript email address, consumers input basic yet important information into a short form and click a button — either to contact you, download a white paper, sign up for a webinar, register for a free trial service or other such offering. Once this is done, it is then up to your team to follow up.
But creating a lead gen form that drives results takes a bit of planning. Here are three things to keep in mind when putting together your next lead gen form.
Use Compelling Creative and Copy
Both the copy and the creative must be engaging enough to draw the attention of your intended audience or it may get overlooked. Remember, you are asking people to fill out a form with their contact information in exchange for something (that white paper, free trial or for more information). Scroll-stopping creative with on-brand copy and a call to action need to be clear so that the reader understands what you are offering for the small ask of inputting their contact details. Be sure to keep the ad in the established tone of voice for your brand but also let it stand out from your competitors.
Keep It Short
Many lead gen forms are filled out on a smartphone, so asking the user to do so with lengthy, custom questions can be a deterrent to completing the process. On social media platforms such as LinkedIn, pertinent information like name, phone number, email address and other data will automatically populate from the user’s profile into the lead gen form if they are required, making it shorter and easier for the end user. If you only need their essential information to move forward with contacting the customer, then requiring basic questions is best.
However, there may be times when more details are necessary — for example, asking more questions to ensure that the person from your team who reaches out to the customer is the right one for that specific customer’s needs. If you need to acquire more information, custom questions can be used, but it is recommended that they are limited to as few questions as possible in a multiple-choice dropdown format. Remember, someone from your team will be reaching out to the customer, so additional information can be retrieved from that conversation.
Include an End Screen CTA
Some marketers believe that utilizing a lead gen form within social media advertising can harm referral traffic to your website. Recently, I’ve seen more success in terms of gaining new potential clients with on-social lead gen advertising than driving people to a website to fill out information, mostly due to the convenience that lead generation forms provide to the consumer. If you are coveting a customer, it is important, in my opinion, to engage them where they are spending time and then utilize other tactics, such as email marketing, blogs and social posts, to draw them to your website.
However, if this is a serious concern, it is one that can be alleviated with a strong call-to-action after the form has been submitted — something that you should do whether you are worried about driving traffic to the website from the campaign or not. The “thank you” page that users see after they have submitted a form should invite them to visit your website or landing page, where maybe you offer them something special such as a coupon, additional white papers, the chance to learn more about the company, other comparable products or even ask for a referral by including a shareable link. They are interested in what you have to offer. But after the form fill, it is up to you to get them to the website and keep them there.
If you are utilizing a CRM, you can integrate it with your lead gen form campaign, as long as the platform supports your particular CRM. Facebook and LinkedIn both provide a list of CRMs that they support. By connecting your CRM, you will automatically be notified when a lead comes in. However, if you do not use a CRM, it will take a bit of manual work to check for leads by visiting the advertising sections of the social platform and manually downloading any leads. Just remember to do this daily and often to ensure that a lead does not sit growing cold.
Creating a lead gen form that drives results takes a little time and effort. Set the goals you want to hit for your lead gen form, be specific in your audience targeting and do not be afraid to tweak the form or the messaging if it is not driving the results you want for your business.