Friday, February 20, 2009

Landing Pages & Forms

Much has been written about form design, i.e. the type, size and detail of the fields you use in your landing page forms. I could talk for hours on the topic (I'll spare you), but I will say that a landing page for an initial prospect touch I believe should be as simple as possible, with minimum data collection requirements to encourage the prospect to engage. Frequently I limit 1st touch landing pages to require only first name, last name and email address, with a 2nd email field to verify. That's it.

If I regard this first step as the beginning of a relationship w/the prospect and an ongoing value exchange (and I do), I realize the need to build trust, provide information and offers the prospect needs/wants and to gradually ask for more personal information as the relationship matures.

Take a look at this 1st touch form (company name blocked out - click image for detail)

13 required fields for a case study! Plus requiring the prospect's telephone number. Would you fill out that many fields the first time you come in contact with a new company? Would you provide your actual telephone number? I wouldn't. There's zero trust built up and they haven't earned that much data about me until I find out more about what they offer me. I'll bet their page abandonment metrics are off the charts.

Remember to view your engagement with a prospect as a value exchange, as a direct relationship between their needs and wants and your ability to satisfy those needs and wants. Understand the value of your offer and what you feel is the right amount of data to 'charge' the prospect (relative to where they are in the funnel) in order to download the asset. Understand who the prospect is and what they're seeking, map the value you'll provide to them as they go through the funnel and then relate that to asking for pieces of personal and buying data as you build up that relationship and gain their trust.

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