Measuring Form Threshold on Lead Gen Landing Pages

By | Google+ , September 7th, 2009 in Lead Gen | 5 comments
Get in the habit of measuring things. You never know when they'll turn out to be bigger than you thought...

Get in the habit of measuring things. You never know when they'll turn out to be bigger than you thought...

The quest for lead generation is a simple fact of marketing life. Companies require personal data to fill their sales funnels and maintain momentum, and the data that they seek varies from the simple to the extreme.

Informational requirements vary greatly depending on the campaign and the product or service being sold. But more than anything it’s influenced by the need (or greed) of the departments in your company.

Form Threshold Defined

Landing Page form threshold is the minimum agreed upon set of information requirements that still produce an acceptable conversion rate.

The design of a lead-gen form on a landing page always starts in the same place (simplicity), and grows according to the same law of information desire.

The following fictional dialog may sound familiar:

Marketing Director:
We need to capture 5,000 new leads to target our latest Christmas 2-for-1 promotion.

Designer:
What fields do we need on the landing page?

Email Marketer:
Let’s go with First Name and Email. Keep it simple. All I need is the email for destination, and the first name to personalize the communication.

Sales Manager:
Well, we need the phone number for the inside sales team, and I’d love to know who they work for.

Product Manager:
Let’s get their cell number too!

Marketing Director:
You know what, if we can capture what city they are from we can send them specific geo-targeted promotions later on.

IT Guy:
Our tracking doesn’t coever every base right now, so can we ask them how they heard about us?

And so on…

We’ve all been in those meetings right? And you typically have to defend your stance of minimalist design for the sake of user experience, or you have to put your foot down to get that all important extra field added to benefit your team and your work goals.

And so, we went from this to THIS…

* These fields are totally not required dude…

















Which form should you use and why? Neither… yet.

Different people will have different opinions here. The User Experience expert will fight hard for the minimalist form and the sales manager will fight for more information and rightly so. But sometimes those extra form fields are perfectly valid. So how do you decide which one to go with?

It’s all about balance. Your goal here is to balance conversions with the quality/quantity of the information gathered.

Building the perfect lead-gen form in 3 easy steps

If you want to create the best possible lead-gen landing page form, then follow these 3 steps to remove the subjective debate from your decision making and company meetings.

Step 1 – Prioritize the form fields

Ok, so now you have 7 fields instead of 2. Vote collectively on how important they are and assign a prioritized order to each “extraneous” field. You will now create 6 variations of your lead gen form: 2 fields, 3 fields, 4 fields, 5 fields, 6 fields and 7 fields, using your priority scale to dictate which field gets added to yoru primary form to create each extra variation.

Step 2 – Set up an A|B|C|D|E|F split test

So you have 6 forms, magically inserted into your overly complex testing tool (such as Google Website Optimizer) and you’re ready to go. At this point everyone from the original meeting is now sweating bullets, worried that it’ll be their extra form field that makes the conversion rate plummet. Now we get to sit back and watch the numbers to see how the conversion rate changes according to form length.

Step 3 – Analyze the results and choose a winner based on real data

Now comes the fun (or embarrassing) part. You have your manila folder full of reports and you’re sitting round the boardroom table ready to present. The shortest form comes back with a higher conversion rate as expected, progressing downward to the longest form. One surprise exception is that adding the “how did you hear about us?” had no discernible effect on conversion, so it might be worth adding that into the best performing short form and re-testing. And yes, a Multi-Variate Test (MVT) would be ideal here, to really identify the best possible combination of fields.

Now you have to look at the conversion numbers and agree on a threshold of acceptable conversion. Once you have this, you can argue back and forth about how much conversion % you are willing to sacrifice to introduce the most important extra fields.

At the end of this process you will know 2 things:

  1. Which form has the best conversion rate.
  2. Which form produces the perfect blend of conversion and information capture.

So go out there and design and test your way to the perfect lead gen landing page form.

Happy lead capturing…

Oli Gardner


What Next?

Follow Unbounce on Twitter | Download the Free “101 Landing Page Optimization Tips” White Paper

About The Author

Photo of Oli Gardner

Co-Founder of Unbounce. Oli has seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet. He is an opinionated writer and international speaker on Conversion Centered Design. You should follow Oli on Twitter
» More blog posts by

Comments

  1. Jeff Wyatt says:

    Good stuff Oli!

    What do you recommend if your site doesn’t get enough traffic to get meaningful results in a reasonable amount of time?

    For example, if I only had enough traffic to decide between 3 options, what do you think I should do?

    Thanks!

    -Jeff (completely SOAKed)

  2. Oli Gardner says:

    Good question Jeff.
    Any testing is tough when you have limited traffic, and if that’s the case then A|Z split testing is the best option (vs MVT which requires a lot more traffic to be a valid method).

    A few pointers:

    You can learn from experience that your site doesn’t get much traffic, and as such you should limit your split test to only 2 or 3 versions.

    The length of your landing page campaign is also relevant. If you are doing something that is short-term (a thanksgiving contest for example), then you would want to monitor the split carefully and make a decision about which becomes your champion page rather quickly.

    Knowing in advance that you should only use 2 or 3 options, you might want to just try the shortest and longest form versions, and see how different the conversion rate is.

    Then use this as influencing data for the next time you build one. In other words, develop a set of internal best practices based on your campaigns as you progress. This way you can bring valuable arguments to the next meeting on the subject and find the optimum form threshold over several campaigns rather than one.

  3. There are actually plenty of details like that to take into consideration. That may be a great point to convey up. I offer the ideas above as basic inspiration however clearly there are questions just like the one you deliver up where a very powerful factor will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged around issues like that, but I’m positive that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Each girls and boys feel the impact of just a moment’s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.

  4. Very useful information on landing page lead generation, I like this post. Thanks for you hard work.

  5. [...] действий с формой вам потребуется максимально сократить число полей, которые должны заполнить посетители. Если вам очень [...]

x
Get actionable optimization tips delivered straight to your inbox.

You'll learn:

  • What it takes to build successful marketing campaigns
  • Why your landing page design and copy might be working against you
  • How to increase conversions while delighting leads and customers