Have you ever encountered a form so long or complex that you decided the information on the other side of it wasn’t worth the trouble? If you’re like most people, you have. Long forms might be a necessity for some applications, but for virtually all marketing content, short and sweet is the rule of the day. Yet when designing forms, businesses often burden them with a plethora of fields because that data is so vital to their marketing efforts.
Data enhancement balances your need to know with your prospects’ desire to access content. Enhancing data means you fill in the blanks in your lead’s account file without asking him or her to spend half an hour on forms. Respecting your customers’ time by getting what you need to know about them from another source is an important quality of life issue for prospects and a win for your data collection team.
Lower Entry Barriers (to a Point)
While you don’t want to abandon forms entirely – customer data is far too valuable to give away a prime opportunity to collect it – you want to make them easy and quick enough to fill out that you get a robust response. In most cases, that entails keeping forms to four or five lines or fewer, possibly with radio buttons or pull-down menus to make filling them out even quicker.
There is such a thing as going too simple, though. You want access to involve a little effort; it enhances the perception of value for gated content. Forms also act as a self-selecting mechanism for engaged leads. A prospect who’s more keenly interested is more eager to fill out a form to get to the prize. Knowing your lead is already engaged, you’re able to make more relevant, compelling offers.
Allow Sign-Ups from Other Platforms
If you want to streamline access while gathering data on social media channels, set your content, subscription, or webinar invitation to accept sign-ups through other platforms. You then gain insight into who’s using which social media channels as well as contact data for your prospects. It’s a win for leads too as it’s typically a one-click process. What could be easier?
Signing up through Facebook or LinkedIn adds another layer of valuable data to collect, but it’s just the start. Once you have key pieces of information from these sign-ups, you can use data append services to learn more about your leads. Augmenting the information you gather from social media sign-ups gives you a panoramic view of your leads, which in turn lets you anticipate their needs and provide an outstanding customer experience.
Learn over Time with Progressive Forms
Another excellent way to make life easier for leads while collecting data is through progressive forms. The first form a visitor sees is enticingly simple, usually just a request for a name, company name, and email address. On subsequent visits, you’ll display another field or two, such as a phone number or company size. Over time, you can amass a robust and detailed record about your leads while still giving them easy access to the content they want.
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