5 Ways to Get Your Client To Say “Yes” to Conversion Forms

By , August 18th, 2011 in Lead Gen | 21 comments
Get your clients to say YES to using conversion forms – Image source

With 78% of marketers placing high quality lead generation as their top priority, (ref: 2011 B2B Marketing Trends Pg 11), a well placed conversion form within a website can be one of the most valuable parts of an organization’s online presence.

And yet, I would argue that a large percentage of marketing departments will spend their budget dollars on attracting traffic to their website, without ever giving a visitor the opportunity to convert into a lead.

This could be for a number of reasons:

  • They don’t clearly understand what a conversion form is.
  • When they envision a conversion form, they picture that dreadful squeeze page they’ve seen in the past
  • They’re concerned that it may de-value their brand
  • They perceive a conversion form as being too pushy
  • They’re concerned that a visitor may think they’re signing up for spam

So, how do you get the “ok” from your client or decision maker to use conversion forms on their corporate website?

Here are a few ways I’ve found helpful:


Realization

Many businesses may not realize that they already have some type of a conversion point present on their site (contact me, email link, etc). I know that this is not a true conversion form, but by explaining to them that a conversion is simply when a desired goal is completed, such as email sign up, newsletter sign up, etc, you will help them connect the dots, ease their worries, and warm them up to the idea.


Education

Educate them through examples

Folks fear what they don’t understand. If an organization is accustomed to doing things a certain way, it’s absolutely natural for them to offer some resistance. By providing education on how a successful conversion form should perform, and showing examples of proper conversion forms as well as poor ones, this will help address their concerns.


Case Studies

Provide your client or decision maker with several case studies on how conversion forms have lead to an increase in lead generation and sales. An excellent resource for finding case studies can be Unbounce, HubSpot, or Social Media Examiner.


Integration

Show how it integrates with their existing efforts

Demonstrate how conversion forms can be part of their overall strategy, and how they can achieve an organization’s business objectives. For example, show them how a conversion form fits in with an inbound marketing strategy, landing page, or blog. Present them with examples of subtle, yet successful conversion methods and landing pages of similar industry websites.


Time

Don't rush them into it

Understand that it may take time to get the green light. A good brand takes years to develop, so if a decision maker or client feels that a decision that may impact their brand, time is needed for them to think it through and warm up to the idea. Never try to rush them into it.


How have you convinced your clients to use conversion forms? Did they show any initial resistance?

– Dave Gallant

This is a guest post, entered in the 2011 Unbounce Conversion Fest Blogging Contest. All opinions are those of the author.

Dave Gallant is a Social Strategist and Trainer who is passionate about helping organizations build sustainable communities and engage clients in new ways. He specializes in "moving the needle" for clients online, leveraging his years experience as solutions consultant and program administrator for a Fortune 500 web company.

Comments

  1. Oli Gardner says:

    If you’re happy and you know it… say “YES” in the comments – with a smart commentary on the blog post for good measure…

  2. Kiril says:

    I’m not really sure that the problem you decided to describe actually exists. The form is just the function which enables the lead generation online. And I can’t imagine any sensible person to not understand that or moreover use reasons you mentioned above.

    Form might devalue the brand? There is no way anybody with stable mental health can ever say that.

    On the other hand, you are right about strengthening the importance of the web form but in this case you need to talk about minimising friction, eliminating anxiety and the general conversion rate increase as the result of the form optimisation rather than trying to justify a complete non-sense statements.

    • Dave Gallant says:

      @Kiril – This absolutely does occurs and exists today. I’ve recently dealt with this very situation again with a client. Not all are clients are as tech savvy as we make think.

      I’ve applied these “non – sense statments” to get clients buy – in. But at the same token, you are absolutely in your right to express your opinion. :)

      Thanks for the comment.

  3. Yomar Lopez says:

    As absurd as it may sound, there are folks that think all they have to do is build a nice web site with a brand people trust and the phones will start ringing off the hook. I’ve had clients who did not get a single lead from their web sites until I stepped in.. So it’s not unrealistic or uncommon to see conversion take a back seat.

    In such cases, educating and creating the urgency is the way to go.. But I agree that you have to dig deeper to see why the conversion systems are not in place. I’ve found that often the web site is outsourced or the people that take ownership do not share in the same vision.

    Again, that’s not always the case but it’s certainly not non-sense. 8)

    • Dave Gallant says:

      Hey Yomar,

      One reason I’ve found that conversion systems are not in place is simply because the client does not understand the value of them.

      Thanks for the comment!

      • Yomar Lopez says:

        Underestimating or being dismissive about the value of something is VERY common in B2B as a whole, especially with things that are not quite pervasive yet. If you look at landing pages, SEO, conversion forms, and a whole slew of strategic initiatives, you’ll find that many may very well be aware of these things but do not really understand them completely.

        The challenge here is being able to separate people from all the stuff vying for their attention long enough to really share the benefits, not mere features, of what we offer. Really, it’s not a matter of “yes” or “no”.. When a client says “no”, they’re really saying…

        * I got more important things to do right now.
        * I’m too busy right now.
        * What’s in it for me?
        * Hmmm.. What’s the ROI? Nevermind.
        * I tried that once and it failed.

        …Or maybe they’re just not managing money wisely so they can’t reinvest in the things that WILL make them more profitable.

        On the matter of “trying it once”, you have to be ready for pushback that results from other service providers using the same language but executing in completely different ways. This is the risk of jargon: it comes with connotations and assumptions that can make or break things for us.

        In short, I’d say getting clients to say “yes” to conversion forms starts like most other negotiation and priming: getting them to see it from a different angle. After all, how we deliver the goods is what differentiates us, yes?

  4. very true.. all this things are necessary specially educating the client in easy terms that they can understand, some of them still think is all about meta tags and design…

    • Dave Gallant says:

      Thanks for the comment!

    • Yomar Lopez says:

      Absolutely!

      It’s very easy to get stuck in the activities and technical skills involved in this sort of offering. You see, you’ll often get pushback from the DIYers that feel all they need to do is attend a workshop, read some books, and/or study under a so-called “guru” to pick up what we’ve spent years perfecting.

      There’s something to be said about experience. I also like to discern activity from behavior. We’re offering things like conversion forms because they’ll save time and money.. And lead to money that can be reinvested.

      Sadly, folks will always be frugal when it is least appropriate. What do you think?

  5. Naomi Niles says:

    I’ve dealt with this issue several times. It happens more often than you’d think, even in “lead gen” efforts. It’s all a part of “if we build it, they will come” mentality that still exists.

    Have you ever got the deer-in-headlights look when you ask how they expect to be contacted by prospects? Like, “oh! ummm…”.

    What I get out of this is that it’s just as important to focus on conversions as it is branding. And the conversion process shouldn’t be added on as an afterthought.

    Thanks for sharing, Dave!

    • Yomar Lopez says:

      Stole the thoughts right out of my noggin, Naomi!

      Again, great take-away here: the balance between branding and conversions, because some treat them as mutually exclusive.

      LOL.. I’ve SO gotten that “deer-in-headlights” look myself. I think sometimes the little techie or designer in us has us get all excited about the visuals.. Or just hte fact that we CREATED something – and it looks professional!

      It’s easy to lose sight of the practical aspects of what we do when we’re stuck on the WOW factor, right?

      Maybe we have too many Harry Potter fans. They think folks will just apperate on their web site and say, “COOL – this is just the wand I wanted!”

      OR something like that…

      So, Dave, if this Social Flow thing consumes too much of my time, I’m hopping on a plane to have a stern talking with you. That MBlast thing was addicting enough, though the novelty kind of wore off for me. Social tool and analytics overload, mayhaps?

      If you had to choose your TOP 5 productivity tools, what would they be? How about the stuff specific to online business cultivation and content curation/marketing?

      • Dave Gallant says:

        @Yomar

        I feel a blog post coming on! -> “If you had to choose your TOP 5 productivity tools, what would they be? How about the stuff specific to online business cultivation and content curation/marketing?”

        Let me put something together in a post. I need to write a few before the week is over, I’ll make one of them about this. :)

    • Dave Gallant says:

      Hi Naomi,

      Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you’ve gotten something out of the post!

    • In most cases, that is one of the first questions I ask a client as we evaluate their current web site and lead gen efforts. Most business owners still believe the “Contact Us” link is a sufficient way to capture a qualified lead. “I don’t want to be too pushy,” they say. I often respond, “You don’t want to be broke, either.” – not really, I just think that.
      It’s fun to hear the elation when you review analytics goals that show the success of a good lead-capture form. “I cannot believe how many more people are responding.” I think…”I told you so,” and smile.
      Great article, Dave, by the way!

      • Dave says:

        Best line ever! -> “I don’t want to be too pushy,” they say. I often respond, “You don’t want to be broke, either.”

        Actually, a very recent client of mine had the very same concern (about being pushy) . The irony is that when conversion forms are coupled with a good content marketing/inbound marketing strategy, it is the opposite of pushy. It’s permission based marketing instead of interuption marketing.

        Thanks for the comment James!

  6. Great article! Its true that the conversion piece is forgotten alot. What I would love to hear is a clear definition of a Conversion Form. How do I know I’m looking at a good one and what is it?

  7. Keri says:

    Dave,

    I agree that many do not understand they need to have a Conversion Plan. I’ve actually come across people who don’t even think they should have a website!

    Laurinda made a good point above – Seeing examples of good conversion forms/pages is a good way step toward education and understanding.

    I’d consider myself in the demographic of “still gaining understanding.”

    Thanks for providing a clear, concise look at the reasons why!

    ~Keri

    • Dave says:

      @Laurinda @Keri:

      In my opinion, a good conversion form converts!! Sounds simple enough eh? LOL! :)

      But seriously, I find some of the best examples of conversion forms can be found on this site (of course) and HubSpot (except HubSpot’s are quite lengthy.

      • Keri says:

        I agree, this site does offer a vast resource!

        I’ve stumbled around, and need to delve a bit more.

        Are there others out there who have utilized Unbounce and are willing to share here?

  8. Yomar Lopez says:

    Dave, I have a question that was inspired by your opening…

    You mentioned that most companies focus on building traffic over conversions. I agree. It’s mostly a numbers game for the traditional sales and marketing people out there. BUT…

    I wonder how you suggest promoting a conversion page to potential leads? Do you prefer organic or more direct methods? A mixture of both?

    I can’t wait to read your thoughts on this. After all, a wonderful conversion page doesn’t mean much if people can’t find it. Click-through rates are important since we don’t often have the opportunity to hold hands through the conversion process. Haha.. That’d make life easier, eh? 8)

  9. [...] Dave Gallant@DaveRGallant5 Ways to Get Your Client To Say “Yes” to Conversion Forms [...]

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