web formsCongratulations! You’ve succeeded in attracting a new prospect to your blog article via a search engine, and moving them through their buying cycle with even more relevant content for them to download. Up until now, that visitor is still a stranger. Now it’s time for them to convert. The key to unlocking lead generation power is your web form.

Forms are essential to convert anonymous website visitors into inbound leads. Forms live on your landing pages where visitors can subscribe to your site, request a demonstration or download an offer. Without the web form, there is no way to capture the contact information, or any other qualifying data your sales people need.

Here are some tips for building great landing page forms:

The Right Form Length

There is no magic answer for how many fields your form should contain but the best balance would be to collect only the information you really need.

Shorter forms with fewer required fields typically convert more leads, but these leads may be less qualified. This is because each new field you add to a form creates friction, more work for the visitor. Longer forms might turn off some visitors, but those who do submit longer forms will likely be better qualified leads.

It may be prudent to capture less information from a visitor up front, then enroll them in a lead nurturing program, sending a few automated emails at strategic intervals with additional offers to gradually request additional information to complete their contact profile over time.

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Make the Form Appear Shorter

Sometimes people won’t fill out a form just because it simply “looks” long and time consuming. If your form requires a lot of fields, try making the form look shorter by adjusting the styling.

For example, reduce the spacing in between fields or align the titles to the left of each field instead of above it so that the form appears shorter. If the form covers less space on the page, it may seem as if you’re asking for less.

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To Submit or Not to Submit

That is the question most of your visitors are asking. One of the best ways to increase form conversion rates is to simply NOT use default word on your button: “SUBMIT.”

If you think about it, no one wants to “submit” to anything. Instead, turn the statement into a benefit t that relates to the value they are getting in return. For example, if the form is to download a brochure kit, the submit button should say, “Get Your Brochure Kit.” Other examples include “Download whitepaper,” “Get your free eBook,” or “Join our Newsletter.”

Be sure to make the button big, bold and colorful. Make sure it looks like a button (usually beveled and appears “clickable”).

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Web forms provide the means for visitors to your website to convert from strangers into leads. Forms are a core tactic of every inbound marketing strategy. The best way to determine what works best is simply to test different variations. Small tweaks can impact conversion rates without affecting the design of your site.