Lead Capture Forms: Guide, Best Practices And Examples

April 21, 2021 11 min read Written by: Kinga Edwards
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All your efforts are geared towards driving traffic to your landing page. You’ve done a good job and the number of visitors is still on the rise. However, you have one problem – your lead capture form doesn't seem to be working quite as it should.

Don't worry! You're right where you need to be in order to learn how to create a lead capture form that will convert visitors into leads.

Many factors influence the quality of a good lead form. The overall design, length, and copy all contribute to its success. To attract a client's interest and get the information you need, you must pay attention to every detail.

Let's check out what we can do to improve your lead form.

Lead capture forms in a nutshell

What is a lead capture form?

A lead capture form is a questionnaire on a website used to obtain information such as email addresses of potential clients, and send them to a CRM system where they can be used further by sales and marketing departments. Having such details about clients means you can much more easily guide them along your marketing funnel right to purchasing.

What are the most common types of lead capture forms?

  • Contact forms
  • Registration forms (webinars are the most popular gated content on registration forms, followed by whitepapers and ebooks, free trials, and one-on-one product demos),
  • Newsletter signups forms

What is a lead capture page?

A lead capture page is a type of landing page on which the main element is a well-optimized form that gathers contact information about visitors. Capturing data through a landing page is an effective way to build a valuable database of contacts.

A lead capture page needs to consist of elements that encourage visitors to leave information about themselves. You must earn their trust, and the reward for leaving contact must be valuable enough to motivate them to stay in touch. That is why the link between a reward and what you’re asking for needs to be well balanced.

What does that mean? Your lead capture form shouldn’t ask for irrelevant information, but only what is necessary. Otherwise, people will believe that the “reward” is not worthwhile relative to what they have to give in return. It would be best if you keep in mind that people are getting a little hyper-sensitive about their data now, as personal information is being utilized at every step of their digital way.

Why are lead capture forms so effective?

Maybe you’re still wondering why a lead capture form can be so helpful. Investing more time and effort into improving your form will definitely pay off. Here’s why:

  • Simplifies the opt-in process. Sending your visitors to a landing page with offer information and a lead capture form keeps them on the right track – they will know exactly what they need to do in order to take advantage of your offer.
  • Helps with gathering valuable data. You get information about your potential clients that you can use in other marketing campaigns.
  • Boosts your email list numbers. By making the signup process straightforward and easy, you are more likely to increase both your conversion and sales.

If you want to create a landing page even faster and simpler, you can use a landing page builder that enables you to easily make a lead capture page along with a form. However, it's not enough to just add a lead capture form to the site to get people to fill it out. It needs to be examined from every angle. How to optimize your online lead generator?

6 best practices to create a lead capture form that actually converts

1. Form fields types

Let's start from the bottom of the design process. To get to know what fields your lead capture form should contain, you need to find the answer the following questions:

  • What is the main purpose of your lead capture form?
  • What do you want to learn about your potential clients?
  • What information should you ask for?
  • What information will help you reach your target audience faster and more accurately?

The most critical question is what can help direct your leads into your sales funnel and convert them into clients. If your main purpose is to obtain as high-quality leads as possible, you should include questions that will identify your leads – how likely is someone to become your customer?

If you're oriented towards B2B sales, you can include such fields as company, its size, website, and role there, etc. For B2C sales, it's important to avoid asking consumers for too much information. People who feel you are asking for too much are more likely to stop filling out forms altogether.

Example: Remember that it's best to gather just basic information about your client (as CloudTalk does) at the beginning rather than trying to capture too much immediately. Build a good foundation first, then ask for more details later.

2. Perfect length

Once you know what information you want, you need to analyze the numbers. Is your lead capture form the right length? How many fields does a form have to contain for you to receive a complete score? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer that always works. WPForms research says that the fewer, the better. Removing just one form field can increase form conversions by 26%.

However, you should note that even if longer forms don’t gather as many leads as shorter ones, they’re more likely to provide you with higher quality leads. Shorter forms usually result in more people filling them out completely, but longer ones can give you much more specific information about a particular lead.

Example: HubSpot requires a lot of details about users who want to download their reports. They know that their research value is high, so they know they can afford to extract such information. In return, they obtain quality leads who have the potential to become customers.

It would help if you judged for yourself what information is sufficient and choose just what is essential. Remember that visitors fill in your form because of what they can get in return. If the “reward” is worth it, they will probably spend more time filling it in.

3. Front row seat

Once the form is ready, you need to find the right place for it on your lead capture page. It needs to be easy to find, and visitors shouldn't have to scroll down the whole page to see it. The positioning of a lead capture form is a key factor that impacts the success of a campaign.

These are the options you can choose from:

  • Above the fold: When you have a short post-click landing page, this will probably be the best option for you. If the value of your offer is easy to understand, the form can be placed at the top of the page.
  • Beyond the fold: If you offer something that needs a lot of explanation, you should provide the details first then include the lead capture form. However, take into account that some readers might not reach the bottom of the page. The form will go to waste if your landing page content doesn't motivate visitors to scroll down.
  • Pop-up: You can also place the form on a pop-up, then it will be impossible to miss. You need to be careful about how fast it appears, though. Too soon, right after the page is loaded, may scare off visitors. Even though users do not welcome them too willingly, well-optimized pop-ups can still work well.

Example: On Cali Tiger‘s page, the form is placed as a pop-up that appears as soon as you open the page. There's a psychological incentive (an offer you don’t want to refuse) that works here - the potential customer still doesn't see the offer, yet 50% off prompts them to leave their email address if they decide to buy something.

4. Submission button appearance

Your lead capture form's final element is a CTA button that users must press to complete the form and get what you have offered them. It turns out that the button copy also matters and might be a deciding factor for whether a potential lead finishes filling out the form or not. That is why you should analyze it as well. Here are some tips you can follow to make sure that your submission button doesn't distract visitors from completing the form:

  • Personalize the copy: Don’t use generic words such as "Submit", “Buy”, or “Download”. Personalized CTAs convert 42% more visitors into leads than non targeted ones. The audience should feel as though the message is addressed directly to them.
  • Capture attention: Give the button contrast that will stand out from the rest of the page and its background. Keep the colors minimal, as with fewer colors you can create a cleaner look that will not distract your visitors.

Example: Kontentino does it well. The CTA button has a personalized message, and you know exactly what you get in return for leaving your email address. The color of the button contrasts with the background, and the lead capture form is kept short. 

5. Adjust for all devices

An issue that cannot be overlooked. Your lead capture form should be optimized for all devices – users should have no problem completing fields on mobile or desktop.

Among all devices, mobile phones have the lowest form conversion rate. Make sure this is not a problem for your users. Before publishing your page with a ready form, ensure that everything works as it should, if the fields display correctly, and whether or not the submission button is easily accessible.

This is much easier when you use a landing page creator. You can choose from a wide range of landing page templates, and then your page containing the form will automatically adjust to mobiles.

6. Integrate with a CRM system

The last best practice for creating an effective lead capture form is integration. If you use an external CRM system, you can link it with your form. Information about your leads will be automatically delivered to your database, so you won’t have to copy it from one place to another manually. You should take advantage of this solution because it may significantly streamline your workflow.

Ready to convert: what’s next?

Your lead capture form is done! You should take just one more step before publishing it. Remember that a lead capture form, just like every other element of a landing page, needs to be tested. Have you thought about adding an extra field but you didn't know what to do? Run an A/B test and see which version of the lead form performs better. A/B tests, analyzing form data, and checking the user experience all correlate with higher form conversion rates.

There is no one right way to create a lead form that will convert. You should still be alert to what is happening on your lead capture page. One time something will work and the next time it won't. Even so, these rules will allow you to recognize specific patterns and adjust your form accordingly.

Your lead capture form is now ready to go live!

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