Your website is a tool for generating business. You might have a beautiful website with all the bells and whistles, but your lead generation efforts can fall short simply because of the length and quality of your lead capture forms. If a form is too short, you may end up with too many low-quality leads to sift through. On the other hand, if a form is too long, your visitors may not have the desire to complete it, especially if you request a lot of personal information.
There are advantages to forms of each length but finding the one that works best for your business and website may require a bit of trial and error.
Short Form Advantages
- Requires minimal time and effort from the user to complete
- Very little personal information is requested
- More total leads are generated
- Can be placed anywhere on your website
A short form will generate more leads because a user can quickly enter information without disclosing much about themselves. However, these leads can often be considered lower quality. There is not enough information to qualify leads and separate the good from the bad. You may have to follow-up with quite a few bad leads before finding the good, but if you take the time to do this, the rewards are worth the effort.
Long Form Advantages
- The number of quality leads versus poor leads will drastically increase
- You have much more information to qualify leads right from the start
- Visitors who put in the effort to complete the form are very interested in what you are offering
Anyone who takes the time to complete a long form, or even a full application, is most likely sold on what you are offering. These are high-quality leads that have a strong chance of converting into sales. Unfortunately, the number of leads you generate will be substantially lower than if you were to use a shorter form. You may be missing out on many potential leads who are interested in your products or services that simply do not want to disclose too much personal information right off the bat. Others many not want to take the time to fill out such a lengthy form while still shopping around. Long forms can also be a hassle to fill out from a mobile device.
So Which Is Best?
Long Form – Low lead volume, high quality leads.
Short Form – High lead volume, both low and high quality leads.
Having a short form will almost always result in more quality leads. It will require more work on your end to sort, qualify, and contact those leads but the results will be worth the extra time. You may want to add additional questions to make this a little easier but be careful with the questions you ask and how many you add. If you can work without the question, or it doesn’t help you operate more efficiently, it may be best not to add it.
You may also want to consider forms with steps if you need more information. A form with a lengthy list of questions all on one page can turn users away. Multiple steps with only one or two questions per step are less intimidating. A progress bar can let users know they aren’t going to encounter an endless number of steps as well. Also consider using buttons or drop-down lists that make it easy for a user to simply click on an answer and progress to the next question. Avoid free-text fields that require additional work from the user and that may not give you the answers you need. Small changes like these can drastically improve the number and quality of leads.
Lead capture forms on your website are one of the most crucial elements of your site. Avoid lengthy forms and applications and stick to shorter more concise forms to see the increase in quality leads you are looking for.