Getting someone to look at your web site won't grow your business unless you capture their contact information. This means you need to provide a reason for them to give you their name, email and phone number. The standard "Contact Us" form usually does not work very well because there is no incentive for someone to contact you.
Here is how to make your contact form a magnet for capturing lead information from your web site visitors:
1. Create the Bait
Create a guide or white paper on a current IT trending topic. It doesn't have to be long. Your guide should explain the important points about the topic in a clear, educational way. Guides are not sales pieces so do not talk about all of your services. Be informative so the reader can walk away knowing more about the topic. They will see you in a positive light because you were the one who explained it to them. This shows off your expertise without being "salesy."
Market research firm IDG reports that 79% of IT buyers read white papers before making a purchasing decision. When you have educational documents like this to share with your web site visitors, you increase the chances of someone purchasing IT from you instead of a competitor.
2. Use the Bait
On your home page, post a form with this headline and text:
Download our guide on <topic>
Fill in this form to join our email list and we'll send you our detailed guide on <topic>. It explains <one line description followed by your form fields>.
This provides an incentive for visitors to exchange their contact details for your white paper or guide. It's a fair trade: their contact info in exchange for your educational document. If you have more than one white paper, you can add a subheading like this:
Download our guide on <topic>
and get our other IT guides as a bonus
If you don't have the time or resources to produce your own IT guides and white papers, consider using a tool like Presstacular. It gives you access to a content library of ready-to-use white papers that you can brand with your logo and contact information and even edit to include client testimonials or projects you have worked on.
3. Be Visual
Include an image of the cover page of your guide. People like to see a copy of what they are signing up to get. More importantly, visuals increase response rates when it comes to online forms.
4. Ask for Contact Information
Include the following fields on your form:
- First name*
- Last name*
- Email address*
- Phone number
The fields denoted with an asterisk (*) are required fields. Notice that there are only a few required fields and not many more optional ones. The more fields you have, the fewer completed forms you will get. Using 3–5 fields strikes a good balance between requesting too much information and getting what you need.
You can usually determine their company name by looking up their domain from their email address. Their web site will typically have their address and phone number so even if they do not complete the optional fields on the form, you can still get that information. So why ask for the phone number when you can find it on their web site? Those who fill this field out are usually willing to have a conversation with you.
Once you have their first and last name, you can look them up on LinkedIn to see their title or role within their company. Also, capturing first and last names as separate fields allows you to use automated tools to personalize your follow up messaging using a mail merge.
BIG TIP: You can automate this entire process by using the contact form HTML code provided by an email marketing tool such as Presstacular. Visitors who fill out the form have their email addresses verified before being directed to download your guide. This means that only visitors who provide valid email addresses get your guide, not those who enter fake addresses. Additionally, using this code will automatically place your new contact into your database for sending newsletters and other nurturing campaigns, allowing you to stay in touch and monitor their engagement.
5. Qualify and Nurture
People who fill out this form are usually semi-qualified leads. To see if they are fully qualified, follow up with them a few days later and ask if they would like a free analysis or consulting session regarding their IT infrastructure or something related to the topic of your guide(s).
Even those who are not ready to buy your IT services right now may be qualified — they just need a little nurturing. Capturing their contact information allows you to stay in touch regularly with a monthly email newsletter, periodic security alerts and other messaging that keep you top-of-mind. When your new lead becomes "sales ready," they will think of you first.