Are You Getting Your Website Lead Capture Forms Right?

Generating traffic and leads is consistently at the top of marketing priority lists, but still remains the number one challenge according to 61% of marketers surveyed by HubSpot.

Bar chart shows that generating traffic and leads is the number one challenge identified by marketers surveyed by HubSpot.

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If you feel like you’re working hard to generate new leads for your business but not getting the results you expected, it’s probably time to look at your current tactics and identify where there might be gaps.

The best place to start is with your lead capture forms — the most-used and arguably the most important way companies keep their pipelines full.

This article will cover everything you need to know about getting your lead capture forms right so that your website earns a reliable, constant stream of new potential leads for your business.

Quick Takeaways

  • Lead capture forms are used more than any other lead capture method.
  • Effective positioning options for lead capture forms on websites include: next to your main offer, as the sole/main page content, as a pop-up, or at the bottom of the page.
  • Forms should be as short as possible while including all necessary fields for effectively qualifying and following up with leads.
  • Actionable, engaging CTA text earns higher conversions than a simple “submit.”
  • A/B testing can help you optimize lead capture forms for your unique business, audiences, and campaigns.

What are lead capture forms?

Lead capture forms on websites are used to collect information from potential customers in exchange for something of value to them — for example, a newsletter subscription or access to a gated content asset.

They’re the most commonly-used method for capturing leads, used by double the amount of companies that use other tactics like chatbots, live chat, and quizzes/surveys.

Bar chart showing that lead capture forms are used by double the amount of companies that use other tactics like chatbots, live chat, or quizzes/surveys.

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Lead capture forms work because they fit seamlessly into one of the first steps buyers take when they’re interested in a particular vendor — visiting their website. Typically, forms are used in conjunction with unique landing pages geared toward specific audiences or offerings.

Given how central lead capture forms are to digital marketing strategies, getting them right (or wrong) could be what makes or breaks your lead-gen results over time. Let’s explore 5 ways you can optimize your forms to boost ROI and fill your pipeline with high-quality leads.

5 Ways to Get Lead Capture Forms Right

Make it Prominent on Your Website

The position of lead capture forms on websites matters. The general rule is that it needs to be prominent — placed somewhere your visitors will be sure to see it and compelled to complete it. There are lots of options, including:

Beside Your Main Offer

Many sites position lead capture forms next to the main offer on your landing page. That way visitors can see your offer and page design clearly, while the lead capture form remains visible the entire time they’re there.

Here’s an example from Litmus:

As the Main Attraction

Some businesses keep their lead capture forms short, simple, and straight to the point — they make them the main attraction on their landing page. This usually works best when visitors get to your site from another CTA button click (like on a SERP or your home page) so they already know what they’re signing up for.

Here’s an example from Slack:

Lead capture form as the sole offer and content on Slack’s landing page.

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At the Bottom of Your Page

Lead capture forms at the bottom of your page are good at getting your visitor’s attention after they’ve read the page’s content. This positioning is best used on non-landing page locations on your website, like a blog article. HubSpot does this well, as shown in the example below. You can see the form is included both in-text and in their chatbot on the bottom left of the page.

HubSpot lead capture form included at the bottom of a blog article and in their page’s chatbot.

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Lead Capture Form Pop-Up

Pop-ups get a bad rap, but the truth is that they do grab attention. When they’re implemented well, they can be helpful for buyers, guiding them toward the next step in their journey rather than interrupting their browsing.

Our recommendation is to use either an exit pop-up before a user leaves your site, or a pop-up that appears after clicking a CTA button (like the example below from Optimizely).

Example of a pop-up lead capture form from Optimizely.

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Keep Your Form Short But Intentional

Shorter is better in general when it comes to lead capture form length because you want it to be as easy as possible for people to fill it out. But there also needs to be a balance — after all, you need to capture the information needed to follow up effectively. Think about your need-to-know data points (things like name, email, company name, etc.) and separate them from the things you can find out later or research yourself.

That said, if there’s an extra data point that’s critical to a particular campaign or your ability to qualify leads (perhaps location or company size), include them so the entire buyer journey stays seamless.

Add an Engaging CTA Button

A simple “submit” may not get the conversion rate you expect. In fact, HubSpot research found that more actionable words like “Click Here” and “Go” earned significantly better results. Make your CTA buttons clear, actionable, and specific to your offer to generate more leads.

Bar chart from HubSpot research shows that “submit” text on a CTA button earns lower results than more actionable alternatives.

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A/B Test Your Lead Capture Forms

Every business is different, and sometimes it takes a little experimentation to get things right. Be sure to A/B test your forms to find the right form length, form fields, content offers, and landing page positions that work best with your audience.

Making the Most of Lead Capture Forms

If there’s one takeaway from this guide, it’s that there are best practices when it comes to lead capture forms, but no one-size-fits-all way to implement them. Stick to what’s proven to work while also taking the approaches most suited to your campaigns, audiences, and organization.

That means knowing your audience and using data from your larger prospecting strategy to inform lead generation approaches. If you’re looking for support in building out a prospecting strategy that delivers results, RevBoss can help.

Our outbound email software and lead generation services are custom-built for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations. 

Schedule a call with us and find out how we can help you win more clients.