Justin from Ion interactive has written a great post entitled ‘Lift in lead-gen search marketing‘. He talks about how targeting your audience effectively, being specific with your offer and asking for a fair amount of form filling effort can lead to higher conversion rates – making the most of your marketing budget.
My two favourite quotes are:
“By being discriminating in your search marketing, you can reduce top-line spend and improve conversion quantity and quality. This increase in quality can impact your close rate (the percentage of converted respondents who turn into customers) and your average sale value”
“your requirements must be proportional to their desire to get the banana. If the form has thirty fields in it and they’re going to get brochureware in return, odds are you’re looking at a bushel full of abandonments.”
So firstly, as opposed to a ‘throw as much mud at it, and some of it will stick’ approach, target specifically, so you have a small number of highly qualified leads that you can nurture into sales. In this way, you don’t waste admin and customer service costs on people who aren’t particularly interested, and you have more time to spend developing a relationship and increasing lifetime spend with the people who are.
Secondly, he emphasises that you need to make it as easy as possible for your users to interact. There are a lot of people who can’t be bothered filling in forms at all, so if you keep it as concise as possible you’ll get more leads. You may think you need to qualify your leads by making people answer all your questions, but If someone’s ready to buy, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to do your work for you. It’s likely you have a competitor who is offering an easier way.
Someone once said to me that “we’re offering a valuable e-book for free, so people should put some effort in to fill out all their details”. Well the reality is, there is a huge amount of free stuff on the Internet, and your competitors are probably already offering free resources without making users jump through hoops to get it. It’s a case of you needing to be greatful that someone’s taken the time to fill out your registration form to get your info/free trial/brochure or whatever it is you’re offering, and not the other way around.