Website forms are essential for your inbound marketing strategy. Used strategically, they can turn a regular site visitor into a lead you can nurture and eventually convert to a customer. And if you’re one of the 63 percent of businesses that report generating traffic and leads as their biggest marketing challenge, you’d be hard-pressed to find any reason why you shouldn’t be using forms on your site.
Like any good marketing tactic, web forms have to be done right if they’re going to get you results. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about the three most common types of website forms you should be using, including where they belong on your site and how to make sure they’re effective.
Types of Website Forms
Among today’s businesses, 74 percent are utilizing web forms for lead generation, and nearly half cite them as being their top-performing lead generation tool. Not too shabby for something that’s super easy to set up and keep active on your site.
There are three primary kinds of website forms, and each type serves the same purpose – to help you generate leads. However, they do so in different ways.
- Embedded forms – These are static forms that have a permanent place somewhere on your website, generally in a footer or sidebar.
- Value proposition forms – These are forms that offer distinct and defined value in exchange for a user’s contact information, such as forms that precede gated assets.
- Pop-up forms – These forms “pop up” somewhere on your page at a predetermined time and location and are designed to catch a user’s eye at an opportune moment.
Forms can be useful at all stages of the buyer’s journey, and certainly, all of them offer utility for lead generation. But different types of forms are more useful at certain times than others and can offer additional benefits. For example, while an embedded form can capture attention at the awareness, consideration, and decision stages, pop-up forms tend to have the most impact at the decision stage, when users have interacted with your site already and have decided they like what they see.
Where Forms Should Exist on Your Site
Just as important as including a form in the first place is making sure that you put it in the right spot.
Research on consumer behavior tells us that people have pretty distinct ways of reading and engaging with web pages. To get the most out of your forms, you want to be sure that you’re placing them somewhere the eye is likely to travel — and one that makes sense with your user’s current level of engagement.
It might seem like placing your form “above the fold” is the best way to garner attention, but users who have just made their way to your page might not be ready to give up their contact info. That’s why you’ll usually see embedded forms in the footer or in a sidebar since both placements suggest there’s already been some page interaction.
Value proposition forms and pop-ups don’t have such hard and fast rules, but in all cases, figure you’ll want to play around with placement to see where your forms have the most impact.
How to Make Sure Forms Are Effective
Last but not least, let’s talk about what makes a great website form.
The basic element, of course, is copy. It should be well-written and concise, and very clear in its purpose (i.e., don’t say you’re collecting info for one thing and then use the data for something else).
You’re rarely going to get something for nothing. Make sure you’re offering something of value in return for a user’s contact information. Examples include:
From there, deliver on your offer. Again, you never want to be misleading in your purpose since doing so will hurt your brand integrity and create a poor impression with a new lead that may be hard to overcome. And while you’re at it, acknowledge your new lead by sending them a welcome email. Welcome emails have an average open rate of 82 percent, so take advantage by including conversion-driven content.
Finally, if the form isn’t for your email newsletter, include a way for users to opt-in to your emails while providing their info for another purpose. Opt-ins are a crucial email marketing technique, and web forms are a fantastic place to stick ‘em, so put a box at the bottom of the form that users can check off if they want to hear from you more regularly.
Forms make it easier for you to collect leads and make it easier for prospects to signal to you that they’re interested in further engagement. Use them wisely, and you should have no trouble adding more fuel to your lead generation efforts.
Best Email Marketing Practices to Generate Leads
Have you implemented email marketing in your digital strategy? If you answered no, now is the time to do so.
There are many new and innovative ways to market to your target audience, however, email marketing remains one of the most reliable and effective ways to generate leads. With the right strategy in place, you will be able to convert prospects into paying customers who truly value your brand.
In this guide, our expert digital team at Bold x Collective discusses everything you need to know about email marketing, as well as some of the best practices that will help your business generate leads!
To preface, you always need to ensure that you do not buy into email lists. Doing so will result in prospects moving your content into the trash or ending up in their spam folders.
This also eliminates prospects’ free will of being able to opt in to emails. This starts the brand-to-customer relationship on a bad note and will result in a higher rate of opt-outs for emails. And not to mention… it is illegal!
Once you have a curated list of prospects that were gained organically through website traffic and membership sign up’s, you can move on to the next step of optimizing your email list by lead scoring. This tactic will filter which prospects are opening your emails, and which ones are worth putting more effort into.
By putting together this new refined list of prospects, your brand will be able to obtain higher conversion rates and a greater return on investment as your efforts are being focused on where it matters most.
Now that you’ve organized an optimized list of prospects, it’s time to create the actual email. There are many tactics you can use when drafting an email, but these are some of my favorites that will really allow your email to stand out in your prospect’s inbox.
- Name the offer in the subject line, in a fun, intriguing way that will make your viewer interested!
- Keep the main message and call to action above the fold.
- Include a personalized touch by adding your name and having a sign-off; viewers love it.
- Have a clean and concise email – no one likes too much content at one time!
First off, having your offer, promotion or main announcement in the subject line is more likely to grab the attention of the reader as it gets straight to the point and gives them an immediate reason to look for more details. For example, when the subject line states “25% off the ENTIRE site”.
This line introduces an incentive that will be received if you choose to purchase with them, ultimately decreasing their opportunity cost. This will create the feeling of “FOMO”. Fear of missing out and entice readers to browse your website and shop.
Along with this strategy, it is also beneficial to keep the main message of the email and call to action so that readers can see it at first glance. This means the information they first receive upon viewing the email and upon opening it without having to scroll down.
Not everyone opens every email they get and will often only view the text that shows above the fold. If that text is intriguing enough, they will seek to learn more. So now you have your readers’ attention, the contents of the email above the fold are what is going to keep their attention and be the driving source of whether they become paying customers.
This study was done on users’ scrolling and attention spans tell them that nearly 57% of users’ page-viewing time is above the fold (information that is visible without scrolling).
Therefore, they can use this information to their advantage by making sure the most important details are included above this fold.
Now that you’ve figured out where to put the most relevant information, let’s get into elements to include in your email content that makes it effective. My personal recommendation would be to include personalized touches such as a personalized greeting and signature sign-off.
A greeting with the contact’s name helps to grab their attention right away as they are being addressed personally. In addition to a personalized greeting, having a signature sign-off that shows the reader that there is a real person on the other end, adds to the level of authenticity that it comes across.
The more of a connection the customer creates with the brand, the more purchasing power they will have. How do they create a connection? With authenticity!
My last tip, a very simple one, but crucial… is to keep your email clean and concise. No one wants to spend longer than they must, to read an email.
It’s important to keep things looking visually appealing, straight to the point, and summarized in an intriguing and digestible way.
By doing this, you are allowing prospects to gather just what they need to move forward with the buying process. So don’t overthink it, quality is always better than quantity!
To start your journey with email marketing, here are some of their favorite email marketing apps at Bold x Collective:
- Active campaign
And while you’re at it, check out Bold x Collective’s blog on how you can get email marketing started for your business! Need some extra guidance and assistance with your email marketing channels? Contact their team to receive a complimentary consultation!
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