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Like many other features of a business website, forms have a variety of purposes that can be vital for your marketing strategy. Many businesses don’t use forms at all, or under-use them, out of fear that they appear intrusive. But using forms correctly can help you interact and engage with your customers in a way that makes them feel as if they chose to have that interaction – this feeling of consent is very important for conversions. Here’s how to use forms to capture qualified leads and start turning readers into buyers.

Connect Forms to Your Funnel

When developing your form strategy, it is best to connect the form to each stage of your funnel. For example, the very beginning of your funnel is simply to attract attention. The content you offer here, such as advice on your blog, should be free and accessible to anyone without giving up any information. But once you move on to the second part of your funnel, where you are offering more valuable content or solutions to serious leads, it’s time to start asking for things such as their name and email address.

This should always be presented as something that is intended to help the reader. For example, asking for an email address so you can send a free eBook. The farther along your customer goes in the funnel, the more information you should be collecting. This helps you understand your target audience very well – you’ll not only know exactly who makes it all the way through the funnel, but you’ll also know what type of buyer is more likely to bail out of the purchasing process, and at what step.

Placement of Your Form

If you truly want visitors to fill out a form, don’t hide it at the bottom of a page. It’s tempting to make it appear as though you are interested in giving them content first, but the truth is that about 38% of readers never scroll down on a blog page, according to a study performed by Slate. Keep your form high enough so that readers can see it “above the fold”, and draw attention to the form with big, colorful buttons. The call to action should be very clear – readers should always know exactly what they’ll get out of filling out the form, and exactly what you’ll be doing with their information.

Always Be Testing

If you choose to include forms in your website marketing strategy, you should always be tweaking and testing your forms. Be sure to check that your forms work on mobile devices, especially if your forms were included in an email. Nearly 50% of all emails are opened on a mobile device these days, and if your form isn’t mobile compatible, you can bet that your readers won’t come back to fill it out.

You should also run A/B tests to determine what type of form, what placement, and what call to action, earns the most conversion rates. Test the length of the form, the order of the questions, the graphic design, and any other features – but be sure to test just one at a time.

Follow Up with Forms

If your form collects contact information for your readers, be sure you are following up within a day to avoid a lead going cold. And be absolutely sure that filling out a form results in the speedy delivery of the promised attractor. By giving you their contact information, a reader is entering a contract with you that acts as a “lite” version of a sale. If you don’t follow through here, they won’t trust you enough to buy your product or service.

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