What else can I test … to improve my lead generation rate?
At our web clinics and optimization training workshops, two of the most frequent questions are: “What else can I test?” and “Do you have a good example?” To answer these queries with practical test ideas and examples, we’re pleased to present our new “What else can I test?” column.
As I wrote in a previous post, optimizing for lead generation is a more complex task than meets the eye. However, one area where you can run tests quickly and easily is with short lead capture forms (see example at right: short form embedded in product page).
3 ways to optimize your lead generation forms
1. Location. If you’re still using the right- or left-hand columns for your forms, it’s time to test the main content area in the center of the page. Because sidebars are mainly used for either navigation, supporting elements or ads, visitors have learned to ignore or gloss over them.
[Example above right shows a form in center of page, end of content; click to enlarge.]
2. Headline and call to action. These two elements together can make a significant improvement to your site’s lead generation rate. However, it’s critical that they communicate value and that there is continuity between them.
Both the headline and call to action can be used to re-state, clarify or quantify the value proposition or emphasize a specific benefit. Continuity refers to how well the page uses the call to action to confirm or reaffirm the promise of the headline and the supporting content elements in between.
What you’ll want to test with these elements can vary widely. But if your page doesn’t have continuity between the headline and call to action, your first test should be changing them so they’re more closely aligned. They don’t need to match word-for-word, but should be clearly and intuitively connected.
[Example above right shows a form headline and call to action with continuity; click to enlarge.]
3. Form design. Some of the best lead capture forms are those that don’t even look like a form. Forms can create a lot of friction for prospects, whether it’s due to the length or the questions and required fields, or just the look and feel. As a result, form design is an area where you have latitude to alter several factors at once.
So where should you start? The more the form can be associated with the surrounding content of the page, the better. You don’t want it to be totally obscured, but to look and feel like a natural extension of the content, leading prospects to take that next step — sign up for access, request or download more information, and so on.
Test removing borders and boxes around the forms, or squares or dark colors that set it off from the content. In the example image, you’ll see that the short lead capture form is embedded in the content to connect with the prospect’s thought process.
[Example above right shows a form integrated with content; click to enlarge.]
Let me know if you decide to test any of these variations with your short lead capture forms, and look for the next column, where I’ll be looking at test ideas for ecommerce shopping carts.
Not sure what you should test next? Want to share your testing ideas, questions or feedback on this topic? Use the comments section below or tweet me at: @anagabydiaz