How to Create a Lead Capture Form That Converts

Let me ask you a question:

Did you remember a time when you filled out a lead capture form and thought of it as a great experience?

I ask because lead capture forms are important in your lead generation strategy. Yet, too many forms are not optimized for conversions. Meaning, they fail to convince people to subscribe, download, or take a desired action.

In this article, we’re going to explore strategies that will increase your lead form conversions. That way, you’ll be able to capture the majority of people who land on your page.

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But first, let’s have a brief review of what a lead capture form is.

What Is a Lead Capture Form?

A lead capture form is a form that asks visitors to enter their email address and other information. By gathering people’s contact information, business owners can nurture leads into customers.

Most lead capture forms offer a lead magnet incentive in exchange. You’ve probably seen it before —  a free ebook, white paper, or tool from a company.

Here’s an example of a lead capture form from Single Grain:

This form appeared as a pop-up as I clicked on the Free Consultation button on the top navigation. (Note: lead forms can be found on landing pages, pop-ups, website side bars, and top and bottom navigation.)

“But how do people arrive on my lead form?” You might ask. They can land on your form in many different ways.

For instance, if you create a giveaway campaign and share it on Facebook, then people reach it from Facebook. Or if you add the campaign link to your blog post and someone reads your blog, then they arrive at your lead form from that post.

A lot of times, people come across your business for the first time through your lead form. That is why it’s important to optimize it from the beginning.

9 Tips to Create a Lead Capture Form That Converts

Implement these tips to make sure that your forms succeed in capturing leads.

1. Start with an amazing lead magnet.

A lead magnet is a resource that you offer in exchange for a prospect’s contact information. It can be anything —  an ebook, course, training, tool, audit, templates, and more.

When planning your lead magnet, you want to make sure that:

  • It’s irresistible
  • Your prospects find it valuable

Does the lead magnet solve a real problem in your target market? Will it provide a quick win? (For example, a template that helps B2B bloggers plan their content.) Is it easy to digest?

2. Include the two most important fields.

The best lead forms fulfill their purpose because they keep it simple. 👌

Don’t ask too much information especially if you’re generating top-of-the-funnel leads. These are people who have met you for the first time.

Reduce friction by sticking with the 2 basic fields:

  • Name
  • Email address

Basecamp, a project management company, doesn’t overcomplicate things:

You can see that Basecamp only asks for their prospect’s name and email. (They even go the extra mile by adding a link below the form that takes a prospect to their support section in case they need help.)

Bottom line: Fewer forms require less work. If your goal is to generate as many leads as possible, use this piece of advice.

3. Use an asterisk for required fields.

Wilco, what about the quality of my leads? How can I ensure qualified leads?

If you prioritize lead quality over quantity, mark those required fields with an asterisk (*). A business does this to obtain extra information that helps them know their prospects better.

Hubspot is a good example of a company that does this. They offer a free template of their customer service metrics calculator:

Notice that Hubspot uses an orange asterisk to mark all the fields above. This strategy will cause a dip in conversion rates but it surely pre-qualifies everyone who completes them as potential customers of their software.

4. Add social proof near your lead capture form.

I visit Brian Dean’s website, Backlinko, and immediately see this lead capture form on the home page:

What stood out to me was his use of social proof — a testimonial from the VP Marketing at Hubspot.

Social proof influences people’s decision about trusting you. Even if you claim to have the best product or service, or be the best in your field, your audience will still look for validation from others.

Consider adding a type of social proof near your lead form. It can be any of the following:

  • Testimonial from one of your best users
  • Statement from an influencer in your industry
  • “Wisdom of your friends” — recommendations from those who personally know you
  • Awards and certifications you received
  • Places you’re featured on (see the example below from Ramit Sethi)

Now that you know the value of social proof for boosting your lead form conversion rates, let’s dive into another strategy that also enhances people’s trust in you…

5. Add security badges to make people feel secure.

A security or trust badge is a symbol that tells your visitors that your page is legitimate and they can rest easy knowing that their information is safe.

Econsultancy/Toluna did a survey in which they asked participants about the factors that lead them to trust a website. Trustmarks as a factor received the highest votes from the participants.

Image credit: Oberlo

Just because you’re not asking for their financial information, doesn’t mean you can’t include trust badges near your lead capture form.

6. Use the right text and color for the submit button.

Did you know that your submission button affects your conversions?

When it comes to lead generation form design, the submit button text and color matters. But trust me, there’s no need to overthink it.

Button Text

Use a word that elicits an action, such as “Let’s do this!”, “I’m in,” or “Sign me up.” These action-oriented phrases are also enthusiastic and personal.

Here’s how Healthline does it:

Button Color

The color of your submit button needs to stand out from the background color. Also, pick a color that’s part of your brand’s color palette. The screenshot from Healthline (above) follows this principle.

Here’s another example of a great button text and color from Good Housekeeping:

7. Mention the benefits that your leads are going to get.

Are you motivating your audience to fill out your form in the first place?

This is where a “benefit-oriented” copy comes into play. Make prospects aware of the benefits that your lead magnet provides.

Will it help them save money? Manage their team easier? Plan healthier meals? List those benefits in a bulleted list so that people can easily read them.

8. Include an image or video.

Every lead capture form should be accompanied by a hero shot — an image or video of your offer.

Here’s an example of an image beside the lead capture form (from one of our sweepstake campaigns at UpViral):

Whether you’re running an online competition, referral campaign, or a typical lead generation campaign, always include a hero shot. Doing this makes your offer tangible and more enticing to your audience.

9. A/B test your lead capture forms.

I admit — I’m a huge fan of A/B split testing. Split testing can be the best thing you can do in your business.

For those who don’t know what split testing is:

Split testing is basically comparing different versions of a web page. Its purpose is to see which version converts better.

Image credit: AB Tasty

You can split test various elements of your lead capture form to know what your prospects respond to best. Here are some sample ideas:

  • Button text – “Get Started” vs “Start My Subscription”
  • Button color – Orange vs Blue
  • Form length – Long versus short
  • Image placement – Right of the lead form vs left of the lead form
  • Copy – Benefits explained in a paragraph vs bulleted list

Personally, I don’t do split testing right away. I put out something that hasn’t been split tested to first see if it has potential. I explain this in my video.

Another important piece of advice:

Test one element at a time. Testing multiple elements at once (for example, the button text and image placement) will make it hard for you to determine what worked.

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Over to You

Are you ready to improve your lead capture form using these tips? Let me know how it goes. If you have any questions or ideas to share, drop them in the comments section below. 👇

I’m assuming you’re here because you want to grow your leads. In that case, I would like to offer you a chance to check out UpViral.

UpViral lets you create unlimited referral marketing campaigns that don’t just collect thousands of subscribers, but also make sales. See for yourself!