Most companies have pretty standard lead forms on their website and almost all of them are poorly made.  Name, Phone, Email, Subject (what the hell does this even mean?), and Description – those are the standard fields I see most.  Their call to action button, the time honored (and completely thoughtless), Submit.  Imagine your sales teams answering the phone and asking those exact same questions or your marketing team writing copy in the same way.  Here’s the copy they might use for an advertisement:

Give us your information using this form.  Yes, even Subject is important – that’s why we marked it Required.  Our team may or may not see this information depending on what happens after you click ‘Submit’.  Timeline for help, TBD.  

Awful right?  Then why is that standard lead form acceptable?  Even small tweaks and changes can result in a massive improvement in the number of leads coming in.  For example, before someone fills out their private information, they want to know what to expect.  In other words, are you going to call them, email them, how long will it take for you to get back (ballpark timelines are much better than no timeline)?  Always set up expectations.  

For best results, ask how people want to be contacted on your website lead forms. Just use a dropdown with ‘Email’ or ‘Phone’. Demographically younger people often prefer initially working through email. If they choose ‘Email’, your first email should come as quick as possible after you have already looked at their website. That way you can personalize your message and include a few companies you work with in their industry or near their location.

That first interaction will show these potential clients that you care about them. 1) You asked them how they prefer to be contacted, you didn’t force them. 2) You actually listened (this is incredibly important – just because you have a phone number, doesn’t mean you have to use it. LISTEN to what they want). 3) You have personalized your first interaction with them. Within your first email, ask if they would have 5-10 minutes to jump on a call and provide specific dates and times.  It should go without saying that if they asked to be contacted by phone, you should call them instead.  By following these steps, you will set yourself apart from your competitors.

A Couple of Other Lead Form Tips

Get rid of Subject, Description, and Submit.  Use fields that actually are important.  For example, use ‘How can we help?’ or if they are signing up for a demo, ‘What date works best to see a demo?’   Instead of Submit, use a good call to action like ‘Get Help Now’ or ‘Sign Up Now’ or even something as mundane as ‘Contact [Company Name], anything is better than Submit.  Show your urgency to help them.  Filling out personal data is a commitment to knowing you are going to be sold on something, honor that commitment by showing you understand and care.

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