17 Examples of Lead Gen Forms Optimized for Conversion

By , June 23rd, 2013 in Conversion | 34 comments
17 Examples of Lead Gen Forms Optimized for Conversion
Don’t keep your leads locked out with poorly optimized forms (Image source)

What Are Lead Gen Forms Optimized For?

Collecting leads & obtaining online conversions.

When you are pumping time and resources into designing your site, you should pay extra attention to the form – it’s a hot spot for turning visitors into leads for your business. And don’t take my word for it; Expedia gained $12 million in profit by removing just one redundant field from a form.

This post was inspired by a previous Unbounce post, How To Optimize Contact Forms For Conversions [Infographic]. Further down, I’ll give you 17 live form examples, each with a short critique, but for now, let’s cover how to best optimize your contact form.

Is Your Landing Page Form a Vampire or a Locomotive?

Since not all forms are created equal, practice makes perfect when it comes to their optimization. The great part about web forms is that you can break them into chunks, and set analytics goals step by step, which does a lot to shorten the process of A/B testing your page. This way, you can get a clear view on visitors’ behavior and map those choke points that crush conversions.

For example, let’s say your form page has a high bounce rate and subsequently you notice that just 1/3 of the unique visitors are actually filling in the form. This would mean that your form is a landing page vampire, with a high level of abandonment making your entire landing page perform poorly. The solution is either to remove the form from your landing page and place it on a subsequent one, or to draw conclusions over analytics and optimize the form to encourage fill-ins (find some quick’n’dirty tips below).

On the other hand, there are so many scenarios where a form is the locomotive of the landing page, carrying high conversions on its own.

What Does A Form Conversion Mean?

The first answer is obvious: the moment when a visitor hits the ‘send’ button. However, after a couple of years spent knees-deep in form tweaking, my conclusion is that real and actionable conversions come if you fulfill two conditions: overcoming psychological obstacles + screening out the tire kickers. In other words, a pro conversion is all about getting a lead that has a genuine interest in your business and your product offering. As Mona Elesseily said, “collecting information from prospects with your form is a negotiation, a process of easing into a relationship – and not a sudden event.”

Takeaways to rock your visitor-to-lead form conversions:

  1. Minimize friction. It’s a good idea to use fewer form fields – the general rule of thumb sweet spot is between 3 and 5 fields. Also, cut down required fields. If you are unwilling to sacrifice data precision over conversions, consider dividing your form into several steps.
  2. A good privacy policy is golden. People are reluctant to give away personal information, so you need to reassure them that their details are safe in your hands. The best way is to link your privacy policy within the form, either below the most sensitive field (usually field asking for a phone number or email), or as a footnote.
  3. Ensure you have a strong Call-to-action. This refers to both your design and your copy. “Never Submit” says the Unbounce team. As you can see in the infographic, the most compelling text formulas for the button would be “Click Here”, “Go”, “Download” and “Register”. Don’t be afraid to super size the button, and give it an attention-grabbing, positive color (orange, green, blue).
  4. Use smart CAPTCHA, or no CAPTCHA at all. To avoid the risk of scaring off visitors, make sure that your “human verification” code only shows up when there is some sign of abuse over the form (such as multiple submissions from the same IP in the same day).
  5. Place the form above the fold. It’s been reported that the best converting spot lies in the upper right hand corner of the page, as people tend to look over there first. The rule of thumb is to make the form visible at first glance without scrolling.
  6. Last but not least, you should also take care of the surrounding space on the page that contains the form. Give the form some room to “breathe”, and use directional cues to highlight it. It’s a good idea to include trust seals on the page, and powerful elements that reinforce the statement of benefit (what you will get from filling in the form). Generally, the page should pass the blink test, which is roughly 6 seconds from the moment the visitor enters it. Minimize friction by avoiding dissonant colors, text cluttering, navigation that distracts attention, and parasite calls-to-action that overlap with the form’s main goal: submission.

And since the aim of this article is to show, not tell, I’ve chosen a handful of live form examples to analyze and critique so you can learn. Voilá!

**Disclaimer: Although the entire pages are showcased below, my concise analysis refers only to the form (not the page in its entirety).

Bizness Apps

BiznessApps form optimization
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A neat form with a classical look, placed right between strong landing page elements: trust seals and an informative video. It uses the required condition wisely, just for the email field. Could have been more explicit in scope, however.

Broadcast2World

Broadcast2World form optimization
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Nice colors, strong call-to-action button and good directional cues. What is there not to love?

Text Link Ads

TextLinkAds Long Field Optimization
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The first form aims two actions at the same time, create an account and request a proposal, which can be overwhelming, same as the great number of required fields.

text link ads form optimization
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In this second form field, the cascade of forms close to each other are quite a turnoff for the time crunched visitor.

ClickWorkforce

ClickWorkforce form optimization
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Here is an example of wise usage of the sidebar space. A trust seal and alternative contact methods are what encourages me to stay. The good parts about the form itself are that it has an informative headline and links to a privacy policy. Two drawbacks: the “Submit” text on the button, and the two-column layout which slows down reading.

Oracle

Oracle Form Optimization
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This form really scares me. Ten required fields, including a Phone one? And not asking at least what time people would prefer to be contacted? This is simply a no-no.

W3Markup

W3Markup Form Optimization
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Real time price calculations are a big plus for this form. I also like the simplicity of the fields, and the fancy sliders – they make a good match for the target public.

SiteMover

SiteMover Form Optimization
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Here is one inviting form. Catchy headline, explicit description and fields that take less than 2 minutes to fill in – good layout!

Brain2020

Brain2020 form optimization
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This example illustrates what I call the Chuck Norris of web forms. Big bold title and button, simple fields and a background that screams “give me all your attention!” This little fellow might just be a hero of conversions.

Spredfast

Spredfast form optimization
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Clear statement of benefit, but too much wording here. I would use a “Download Now” text for the button and balance the white space surrounding the form – it would be more inviting if the fields themselves were placed towards the top of the page rather than the bottom.

Servint

Servint Form Optimization
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Nice slim form – even too slim maybe, as the absence of a “required” validation upon the email field puts it at risk of receiving invalid submissions.

U Test

U Test Form Optimization
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This page does a great job in encouraging visitors to download the material. With so strong statements of benefit, I would definitely be willing to spend a little time in filling in the form.

Passive Club

Passive Club Form Optimization
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The rules of thumb for popup lightboxes such as this one are to leave a clear exit button (so that people don’t force a way out) and to explain why it’s necessary to fill in the subscription form. This form does both beautifully.

The Next Web

The Next Web Form Optimization
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Can you locate the subscription form in the picture? Yes, it’s below the “Stay smart” slogan. It’s a relevant example of non-intrusive form that serves its purpose well and manages to be an aesthetical pleasure too.

DesignM

DesignM Form Optimization
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Minimalist design puts an extra weight on every form element. In this case, the “submit” text is quite disorienting; a “subscribe” one would serve its purpose better.

Web Traffic ROI

WebTrafficROI Form Optimization
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Nice and effective form, with just one exemption: the extra link, which makes you wonder if filling in the form would be the best way to grab the e-book. I love the download counter, a very engaging feature.

Big Idea Mastermind

Big Idea Mastermind Form Optimization
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Another hero of conversions, here is a spectacularly designed form with just one field that does it all, plus engaging colors and contrasts – highly converting combo.


How about you? Do you have some web form stories to tell? We’d love to hear them in the comments section below!

– Laura Moisei


About The Author

Photo of Laura Moisei

Laura has a bachelor degree in Communication and spends most of the time pursuing her passion for writing and photography. She is the Brand Manager of 123ContactForm, an online form builder that helps users create beautiful forms for any web page.
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Comments

  1. Duran Drake says:

    Hey Laura,
    This is tremendous Stuff about Landing page and conversion currently we are above to face the some problem of converting our visits into leads and we also thought of some changes in Contact Us form in our Website to expect more about Leads and traffics. I will implement your suggestion about “Use smart CAPTCHA, or no CAPTCHA at all” beacuse I think filling captcha might be a boring stuff for the visitor and that may lose interest to visitors so i wont be keeping Captcha in my websites CONTACT US form and see the results.

    • Laura says:

      Hi Duran,
      There is a really interesting discussion here on how to attract more traffic to your form, and in step 2, how to convert visitors into leads. It’s a very smart move to A/B test your forms with and without CAPTCHA and see what happens. I mostly recommend removing CAPTCHA from lengthier forms, however it can be a breath of fresh air for contact forms too. Good luck and keep us updated!

      • Duran Drake says:

        Surely Laura,
        I will be soon replying you about the changes and traffic flow of my website and once again thanks a zillion for your prompt reply greetings,

    • Duran, I agree with you. Using CAPTCHA is good to stop spam but hard for users and it may put them off. Our contact form doesn’t use CAPTCHA but uses real SPAM patterns and user behavior to verify and stop spam. Ex:
      - Users can not enter and submit form less than 10 seconds.
      - Users can not fill all fields without clicking on the fields or type “Tab”
      - Users can not submit form without click on Send button or type “Enter”
      - And many other spam patterns…

      It will bring customers more convenient and increase the conversion rates.
      http://bettercontactform.com

  2. Hey Laura,
    This is a great post. I liked the Next Web conversion page. Its simple and most effective according to me. One of my landing page has made me more than 10,000$ within a month. Some of your split testing techniques have helped me a lot to increase the sales as well.

  3. Hi Laura,
    don’t take me wrong, I loved the article, just found the title a little misleading, as some of the forms are far from being optimized.

    PS: about Captchas, I find honeypots are far better: invisible to normal users, if well implemented are really effective in form spam fight.
    PPS: I will adopt the “Chuck Norris Form” terminology!

    • Laura says:

      Federico, glad you enjoyed the article after all and thank you for the feedback! In fact the initial title I thought about for the post was around “X-Raying Web Forms for Conversions” – hope you can see through the lines to that one.
      Regarding honeypots, they are indeed great anti-bot measures. However, they are more exposed to breach than CAPTCHAs – just think if a human investigates the code and sees the “trap” fields, it would be easy for him to write a script that purposely avoids filling in the decisive fields. It clearly should be investigated, though!

  4. bilal says:

    nice site realy nice :)

  5. Randomloop says:

    The title caught my eye, and the tips are for the most part good, but a little too embellished.

    1. Quality leads are key. If your vampire form only preys on crappy leads, then by all means, keep it up.
    2. Strong Call To Action is a wimp against Strong Intent. If you aren’t building intent, you are building sh*t.
    3. Above the fold is a fallacy. If you have motivating content, you’d know this. If you don’t, then you blame things on being “below the fold.”
    4. Breathe? really? if you believe that negative/positive space has any bearing on consumer action, I would say that you’re funny. haha funny.

    • Laura says:

      Thanks for dropping by! Let’s discuss a bit over the aspects you pointed out.

      1. True story, we should nurture quality over quantity, but then again, keep an eye on the friction elements on the page that could scare away relevant potentials.
      2. I’m only discussing forms here – building landing pages is a way more extended theory (Unbounce has it all). CTA serves as a bridge for confirming intent. It’s about the best achievement speaking of a form’s worth.
      3. In this matter, I use the “blink test” to confirm I’m on the right track. If I can spot the form in a blink’s time, then the placement is good, and I know my visitors won’t bounce away.
      4. This is a principle of good UX design actually, and I advocate it since tests have shown it’s influencing visitor behavior.

      I’d be happy to have a more in-depth talk if you’d like. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter: @Laura_Moi_
      Cheers!

  6. Kim Matheson says:

    Hi Laura great post. We have just gone through the same experience we had a really bad landing page with so much information on it any whoever landed there would be lost. We took on some great tips we found from hubspot, got a page redesign and just testing now. I think the key is the (kiss rule).
    1. Content and offfers.
    2. Calls to action.
    3. (Kiss) landing page.
    4. Optin forms.
    Regards Kim

  7. Bill says:

    Good post!!
    Our site has a inquiry page already. However it’s not good enough, seen from the feedback ratio previously.
    http://www.nbhuntop.com/feedback.html
    The structure is not so good, and in fact is not attractive.
    Thus we are aiming to create a conversion form added in the sidebar. Currently we use the contact “bar” of Manycontact.
    We just wanna our own work, so that we can use them more freely.
    All suggestions will be highly appreciated.

    • Laura says:

      Hi Bill,

      Your website looks great, I really love the classical design equilibrium it exhibits. Regarding the inquiry form, there are a few things I’d suggest testing:
      - a one-column alignment instead of two for the first part. Two parallel columns get hard to follow.
      - an address field like this one here (http://screencast.com/t/yqDawgC9) instead of the separate fields for City, Country and Postal code. It’s beneficial in establishing an information hierarchy.
      - an engaging copy instead of “Content” and “Submit”, to look less generic and more inviting.
      Hope it helps! Thanks a bunch for dropping by!

  8. My favorite lead generation forms from above is the one by Oracle. I have a pretty simple lead generation form also, but I know that Oracle list is probably more highly converting from mine because they ask for alot of information, as I just ask for name and email address. Nevertheless it works for me, but if I ran an offline consulting business, Oracle’s lead gen page is one that I would model mine after. Great post.

    • Laura says:

      Hi Randall,
      Asking for a lot of info qualifies your leads better, but kinda limits conversions. I suggest you test with more structures until you find your perfect one. A tool for building web forms would help you out. Cheers!

  9. Max says:

    Great post, much thanks! You definitely caught my eye with that Expedia number – that’s pretty crazy. I recently read an article about changing the word “your” to “my” in calls to action having serious impacts as well. For example, “Create Your Account” vs. “Create My Account” (using “my” in the study increased conversion rates hugely). I can’t recall where I found the study, but small changes can have big impacts!

    • Laura says:

      Indeed Max, they do! And it’s quite rewarding to see such results after fine tuning your design and copy this way.

  10. [...] к буржуям плотнее: http://unbounce.com/conversion-rate-optimization/optimize-lead-gen-forms/ — хорошая статья про лендинги в целом и хорошие [...]

  11. Duran Drake says:

    Hey Laura,
    After Removing CAPTCHAs i came under conclusion that a 2% of the visitors growth is noticed in our website and i will also going to implement some User Interface and User Experience Design with a period and i would be very happy to inform you the results too . Well its all amazing .

  12. [...] 17 Examples of Lead Gen Forms Optimized for Conversion [...]

  13. piyush001 says:

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  14. piyush001 says:

    Thank you for sharing those tips and advices. As a small online business owner, I have a problem with visitors. I have a nice visitor / buyer rate but I don’t have enough visitors. Maybe in time, I ‘d be able to increase my visitor count.

  15. Nargesh Raj says:

    I m following these seance long time. Thanks & keep update !!

  16. Lovenish says:

    Thank you for sharing those tips and advices. Thanks & keep update !!

  17. […] Soprattutto quando fai aspettare e chiedi informazioni inutili in fase di compilazione dei moduli. Lo sai, ad esempio, che può essere una buona idea limitare i form field? […]

  18. […] When creating your lead generation forms, here are some important tips to help you optimize your conversion rate: […]

  19. Dmitry says:

    Try this robochat http://www.miginia.com
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  20. […] When creating your lead generation forms, here are some important tips to help you optimize your conversion rate: […]

  21. rebecca says:

    Unbounce: you wrote: “If you are unwilling to sacrifice data precision over conversions, consider dividing your form into several steps.” how do we do that in unbounce?
    Also:
    You mentioned capchas and my website needs them due to sma issues, so far I cannot find another landing page provider that has both besides http://convrrt.com/
    Please help

  22. Alex says:

    Hey Rebecca – great question. Here’s a great support article we have on how to setup a multi-step form in Unbounce.

    With capchas, you can integrate a feature like this using 123-Contact Form. Should do the trick for your needs!

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