Lead capture has been around for a while. As a matter of fact, it’s how many businesses manage to GET business. Consumers visit your website, they fill out a form looking for information, you collect that information and then you call them. Simple, right? Ehh… not as much as you’d think.
The concept, in and of itself, is crazy simple. In theory, it should be pretty damn easy to capture so many leads. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Although it might have been pretty easy a decade ago, consumers have become more apprehensive about relinquishing their information. The assumption is that they (the consumer) is going to enter their information into a form (with the intention of getting information) and they’re going to be bombarded with phone calls, e-mails, texts, direct mail and so on. Although this isn’t the case for all businesses, some have and will bombard prospects with these offers — and it’s super annoying.
That being said, fewer and fewer consumers are filling out static lead forms.
Now, when I say static lead forms, I mean the short forms that have about 4-5 spaces for your contact information (name, phone number, email, address, etc.) and maybe a comments section to ask a quick question or provide feedback. The forms don’t normally take up a ton of space on a page (so they’re not ostentatious), but they offer nothing of tangible value to the consumer either.
In most cases, consumers are filling out their information so that they can get additional information (from the business) later on. While there’s nothing particularly wrong with this scenario, the additional information the consumer requests ends up turning into a sales pitch. Even if a consumer is receiving the information they requested, they might not want to be sold to just yet – especially if they’re still in the research phase.
Static lead gen forms are still around, but they’re quickly dying off to make way for more evolved methods of digital lead generation. Lead generation forms (or platforms rather) are becoming sleeker and more advanced to accommodate consumer wants and needs — giving consumers a reason to give that business their information. Here’s how digital lead capture is evolving:
Lead Gen Forms are Becoming “Interactive” and “Engaging”
Static lead forms are just that: they’re static. They’re not appealing; and frankly, they’re kinda boring. If it looks boring (or worse, doesn’t look legitimate), the likelihood of consumers filling out their information is slim. Not only do consumers wanna think something cool or fun is coming their way (and if everything is bright and shiny, it might just be), they wanna make sure their information isn’t being sold to 3rd parties or being used illegally. They want to know the information is going to who they say it’s going to.
One of the biggest things that’s happening to lead forms is that they’re becoming sleeker, more interactive and more engaging.
Instead of a form that asks for simple contact information, more questions are being asked — and to prevent boredom, these questions are being presented in unique ways.
Many businesses have begun using drop-down menus, multiple choice, and even actual text fills to ensure the consumer is consistently paying attention to them. Additionally, lead forms are becoming highly customizable, and businesses are now able to ask questions that would be of interest to a consumer. Instead of feeling like application, this newly evolved format feels like filling out a profile — one that can be sent to a salesperson who would help them rather than sell to them.
Consumers Are Being Provided with REAL Value
If you go back by as little as five years, you’ll likely remember that most form fills were simply ways for you to request more information. You’d put in your contact information, maybe some preference information, you’d hit submit and wait for someone to contact you. Sometimes you’d be signed up for a monthly newsletter or something similar — but really, nothing of significance.
Fast forward those five years, and we’re now finding that along with static forms going away, filling out lead forms has become more of an exchange. Instead of getting a response like “Thank you for submitting your form. Someone will reach out shortly,” consumers are instantly treated to product/service offers, discounts, and in many cases as of late, assessment results!
One of the newer things that website visitors are looking forward to is taking quizzes and filling out assessments.
A good example of this would be a “What type of automobile is right for you?” assessment. This is a type of assessment that we could see ourselves providing to our automotive clients for the purpose of generating new car sales leads. In this assessment, a consumer answers some questions about their buying/driving preferences. Once they submit their answers, their results are immediately generated for them. To do this, of course, they need to provide their contact information. If the consumer is curious enough (and we’re hoping they are), they’ll put in their email, and they’ll get their results.
Instead of a give and take type of scenario, lead forms have become more interactive; prompting an equal exchange between the consumer and business.
If a consumer fills out the “What automobile is right for you?” assessment and says they have a large family, they might get a voucher to test drive a specific minivan. Or, better yet, they might get an instant offer of $500 off a family vehicle. When it comes to providing value to consumers, the possibilities are practically endless.
With technology improving as quickly as it is, many lead form providers can automatically take the information that consumers enter into a lead form and convert it into an offer that’s highly relevant to the consumer. Lead forms are no longer what they used to be. They’ve evolved into something far greater than what many marketers could have ever imagined. As lead capture technology continue to improve and evolve, brands need to evolve their lead capture process too!