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Best practices for using lead capture forms

Build Your Business
Best practices for using lead capture forms
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Read time: 5min

Growing your email list from scratch can be challenging. But, having a strong audience of leads is essential for any knowledge entrepreneur, so it’s well worth the effort. 

Business owners invest time building a following on social media and driving traffic to their website. Then, the next step is to capture the visitors’ contact information. That unlocks new opt-in marketing channels like email or direct mail.

Using forms to collect this information is pretty straightforward. But, you have a lot of options when creating and using forms to capture lead data. In this blog post, we’ll cover how to use lead capture forms and the best practices.

What is a lead capture form? 

A lead capture form is a form that asks website visitors to share their information and indicate interest in your messages or product. This converts them into a lead - someone who may become a customer. 

Here’s an example from Kajabi Hero and bookkeeping business coach Katie Ferro

lead capture form on yellow background for a lead magnet called Starting a Biz Checklist

This form asks for the visitor’s information. When someone fills out this form, it indicates they have an interest or need for information that’s relevant to what the business offers. So, this person now joins the business’ audience of potential customers.

How can you use forms to generate leads?

Technically, all you need is a form on your website to generate leads from your website traffic. Many people include a form to subscribe to their email newsletter.

But, many business owners have better results by offering a lead magnet. This is something the visitor gets in exchange for sharing their personal and contact information. 

Here are some lead magnet possibilities:

  • Introductory call
  • eBook, guide, or report
  • Case study
  • Infographic
  • Webinar
  • Mini course
  • Checklist
  • Worksheet 
  • Quiz

Kajabi Hero Alana Dawn Chernecki of Brillante Beginnings offered a homeschool planning kit as a lead magnet. She reported a 46% form conversion rate - meaning 46% of the people who visited this page filled out the form. 

form for a Free Homeschool Planner Toolkit lead magnet from Brillante Beginnings

So if you don’t already have a lead magnet, you may see a good return on the time spent creating one and the landing page, form, and automations associated with it. But until you get that in place, at least make sure you have a form for visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter. 

What are the best practices for lead capture forms? 

Much has been studied about the design of web forms to improve conversion. But, most knowledge commerce entrepreneurs are not coding and designing the form interface. Since you’re likely using a form builder, here are some tips that you can implement.

Use double opt-in

Watch Kajabi VP of Product Jeremy Saenz walk through double-opt in:

A double opt-in is a two step process to join the email list. This is a best practice because:

  • It can help improve email deliverability
  • It can indicate higher lead quality 
  • It is an aspect of privacy data regulation compliance
  • It can improve the chances that your emails go to the primary inbox instead of the Promotions folder

One 2020 study with over one million form submissions found that having a double opt-in checkbox increased conversion rate by 14%.

When a website visitor submits a Kajabi form using double opt-in, Kajabi automatically sends a confirmation email to the address submitted on the form. This email will prompt your form submitter to confirm their intention to subscribe and receive your sales and marketing emails before triggering any emails you may have set up with your form.

For more information, check out how to set up a Kajabi form with double opt-in.

Intentionally arrange information

You’ll want to set up the form in a way that makes it conducive for visitors to fill it out. 

recommends using labels to title the fields instead of longer text. So, that could look like labelling a field “Top fitness goal” instead of asking, “What is your top priority when it comes to fitness?” 

The order in which you place your fields can impact conversion too. Hubspot recommends arranging the fields from easiest to hardest. If someone sees the first field and gets surprised or feels overwhelmed at the ask, they may abandon the form.

Choose compelling button text

Set the tone by choosing engaging text for the submission button. Instead of something generic like “submit” or “subscribe”, use something that references the benefit of filling out the form. A creative call to action can make a stronger impression or build excitement.

Here’s one example from Kajabi Hero Mor Sagmon

Form with an offer for free business guides from Mor Sagmon

This makes it super clear what the visitor will get in exchange for becoming a lead - free guides. 

Include a privacy and anti-spam promise

Given the rise of both anti-email spam and consumer privacy laws around the world, many forms include a promise that the business will not sell the user’s information or spam the email address. This can be reassuring because it shows the business owner respects their visitors’ information. 

Here’s an example from Kajabi Hero and college admissions coach Denise Thomas of Get Ahead of the Class:

screenshot of a form that says "get your checklist" and includes a promise not to spam or sell the email address

But, users have different definitions of “spam”. Consider how frequently you email your leads each week or month before making a promise that you won’t spam. If you heavily rely on email as a channel, you may not technically be spamming the leads, but that’s often subjective based on the recipient. 

What should you ask on a lead capture form?

At a minimum, you should ask for the essential information that you need to stay in contact with the customer. This would include name and email address.

But, you’ll also likely want to ask for information that can help you market more effectively. Think of the primary way that you segment your audience and add a relevant question or two. 

Kajabi Hero Upright Health has a great example of this on their opt-in form. It asks for the name, email, and biggest concern (relating to health). By providing three options, the user will self-categorize their segment. 

opt-in form from Upright Health asking for name, email, and biggest concern

If someone is willing to fill out your lead capture form, they are likely willing to give you the additional information that helps you provide more relevant communications. 

What should you avoid asking on a form?

There are some pieces of information that are better left off. In general, avoid asking for information that people would rather keep private than hand over in exchange for your offering. These include:

  • Phone number: one survey found that 58% of customers do not want to give their phone number in forms 
  • Address: that same survey found that over half of people do not want to share their address
  • Revenue: this may be something that leads want to or must keep confidential 

Of course, there may be a situation where it makes sense to ask for this information. But remember, once you have someone’s contact information, you can always ask them for more in the future. The goal of a lead capture form is to get the initial buy-in from the visitor.

Keep the number of fields to a minimum

Another important tip is to not ask for too much information from your leads.  You must strike a balance between your need for customer information and reducing friction to encourage form submissions.

Having some customer information that will allow you to segment and target more effectively is important. But, the more fields you include, the lower the conversion rate the form is likely to achieve. 

JotForm shares this chart of conversion rate by the length of the form. 

Chart showing the correlation between the number of fields on a form and lower conversion rate

But, sometimes it makes sense to use a longer form. If your aim is to attract quality leads rather than quantity, you may want to use additional fields. This can weed out people who are not really serious about your offering. 

Kajabi Hero Mike Blissett has a lead capture form for his coaching program. He uses eight fields. Six of them gather rich data like the client’s goals and motivations.

lead capture form for speaking coach with 8 fields and green button that says send

Because of the nature of the offering (individualized coaching) and the finite spots available in the coach’s calendar, it might make sense to use a longer form. The benefit of gaining richer lead information can be worth the trade off of fewer form submissions. 

How do you know if your lead capture form is performing well? 

After creating a lead capture form, next, you’ll want to understand its performance. 

There have been numerous surveys on website form conversion rates. These range across industries and have different samples and sample sizes. Here are some benchmarks to provide a reference point. 

Unbounce reports that in a survey spanning 10 industries and over 74 million submissions, the median lead generation conversion rate was 4.05%. Here’s a further breakdown by industry:

screenshot of the Unbounce report showing average lead generation conversion rates by industry

Formstack also reported the mean conversion rate by industry. They also reported the average lead generation form submission rate was 11% from their sample. 

screenshot of the formstack conversion rate report showing the average conversion rate by sector

A study from GatedContent looked at the form conversion rate by day of the week. They found that Thursdays saw an average conversion rate of 15%, other weekdays had a conversion rate of 13.2%, and weekends had a conversion rate of 8%. 

Using forms on Kajabi

Kajabi makes it easy to use lead capture forms and implement these form best practices.

Kajabi even has automations stemming from form submissions. These include granting or revoking offers, subscribing to email sequences, registering for events, tagging contacts, or sharing coupons. These make forms a really powerful tool to help you manage business administration tasks in the background.

In addition to form capability, Kajabi includes other tools you need to start and grow your knowledge commerce business: a website builder and themes, course hosting, product generator, analytics, payment processing, and email marketing. The best part? No coding required!

Ready to check out how Kajabi can help you? Start your 14 day free trial now. 

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