Gathering the contact information of visitors to your business website is a great way to build a list of potential leads. Once they indicate their interest in the value you offer through your content, products or services in this way, you can begin to reach out and nurture that connection, drawing them further into your sales and marketing funnel toward conversion.
But first, a user has to find your site, heed your call to action to fill out a form and give you their email address. What is the best way to persuade visitors to your website to provide their contact info? Below, 13 members of Forbes Agency Council share smart ways to do just that.
1. Follow These Five Steps
First, use a strong headline that clearly states the benefit of filling out the form. Next, keep the form short and easy to complete. Third, offer an incentive for filling out the form, such as a discount or free shipping. Fourth, make it clear that your website is secure and that personal information will be protected. Finally, use strong call-to-action buttons and text to encourage visitors to submit the form. – Denny Smolinski, beBOLD Digital
2. Incentivize With A Promo Code Or Discount
Show of hands for those who visit a site when making a purchase decision and are motivated to share an email address to get that 10% off? If you’re a consumer packaged goods company, consider welcoming a new visitor with a one-time promotional code, or if offering a service or software, incentivize visitors with a discount for the first month. Be up front about specifics of the offer to establish trust from the get-go. – Carm Lyman, Lyman Agency
3. Focus On SEO And Limit Required Fields
If you show up on the first page of Google results for the user’s keyword search, you are more likely to get contacted by them. Requiring certain fields, such as name and email address, within the contact form is important, but required fields also follow the law of diminishing returns, so keep them limited! – Nicholas Kraus, Kraus Marketing
4. Include A Call To Action And An Easy Form
Include a call to action message and a corresponding form or field that is easy to populate. It is the old adage about asking for the sale: If you do not ask, you will not get it. Make sure this message compels the viewer to contact you in a pleasant manner. Of equal importance is ensuring your CTAs work and doing usability testing before your website goes live. – George Arabian, NVISION
5. Appeal To The Visitor’s Self-Interest
The first and only rule is to appeal to the visitor’s self-interest. While they might be interested in downloading a special report or completing a quiz in order to receive a score and related tips, it’s not uncommon for some to use a fake email or one they never check. Instead, invite them to submit info for an award or a speaker nomination, to register for an event or to receive a mailed package. – Marie Swift, Impact Communications, Inc.
6. Use A Lead Generation Pop-Up
Typical form fills leave some prospects worried their information may be stored somewhere insecure. An alternative “contact us” solution can make them feel safer—for example, a lead generation pop-up that follows their navigation without feeling invasive or disturbing their browsing experience. This feature also allows visitors to directly submit their info without leaving your site. – Tom Hileman, Hileman Group
7. Provide Something Of Value In Exchange
Visitors need to see they will be provided with something of value in exchange. After years of abuse, consumers now simply assume they will be sent weekly (or even daily) advertisements poorly disguised as content. Instead, offer up advice, access to new experiences, insider information—anything with actual utility that is additive to their customer experience. – Marc Paulenich, Hart
8. Place A Contest CTA On Social Media
A creative way to drive contacts to your website is through a contest. Add a call to action on social media and ask your followers to visit your website for a chance to win a prize. Add the option to tag a friend or share the post to broaden the scope of the contest and generate more traffic. Point your followers to the #LinkInBio on your social pages so they know exactly where to go. – Durée Ross, Durée & Company, Inc.
9. Capture A Qualified Audience
Stop gating all that content and capture a qualified audience. Simple navigational links within your optimized content and nonintrusive forms at the bottom are enough to win. Cut out all the gymnastics of forcing gated assets, silly follow-up cold calls and all your hopes that they don’t just opt out the second they get the answer they need. – Bryan Scanlon, Look Left Marketing
10. Provide An Irresistible Offer And High-Value Content
View things from your customers’ perspective. Most people who visit a new website don’t go with the intention to buy or get in touch right away. To convince them they need to, the website usually needs to provide one of the following three things at least: an appealing offer that’s hard to resist, high-value content that users want to see more of and/or intriguing and interesting content. – Yan Zhang, XYZ Advantage
11. Reduce Friction Around Engaging With A Form
We find putting multiple calls to action throughout the site, as well as lowering the amount of friction around engaging with a form, to be helpful. We recently removed 50% of the cells on our form, and that has doubled submissions. – Kristen Brown, Hoot Design Company
12. Create Targeted, Diversified And Engaging Content
Website content should be targeted, diversified and engaging enough that those who land on your website have far greater retention than they would elsewhere. The greatest indicator of quality website content is a visitor’s willingness to opt in to notifications and provide contact information. Content is the deciding factor for high lead generation and retention. – Kathleen Lucente, Red Fan Communications
13. Make It Simple And Easy
A landing page that converts is crucial. That means ensuring the best user experience you can with elements that may be taken for granted: relevant content displayed in a “digestible” way (bullet point versus long paragraphs, for instance), mobile load time (aim to keep it under three seconds) and CTAs (clear calls to action help guide your user as to what steps they should take). Make it simple and easy. – Frank Rojas, Qode Media Inc.