Lead Generation Part 1 – Form Fills

Lead generation is a huge part of business success and plays an important role in many internet marketing plans. All companies need to generate customer interest and inquiries about their products or services. There are many different ways that a business can generate those leads – some of which we will cover in this four part series. In this post, we will start with form fills.

What is a form fill?

Form fills involve having a potential prospect fill out an online form. The lead is generated when an individual fills in the required fields to query for more information. The form may include questions that request very basic data, or are more comprehensive and provide the marketer with more valuable data.  The trade-off here is quantity vs. quality as the more information that is requested, the fewer forms will be completed. But by requesting more comprehensive information, you also weed out poor quality leads. So it requires striking a balance.

What you need to know about form fills

A good technique is to offer something in exchange for the form fill that would motivate the potential lead to complete the form seriously and thoroughly. A lead generation asset is used because not many people will take the time to fill out a form if nothing is given in exchange. Examples of such lead gen assets include whitepapers, recorded webinars, eBooks, buyer’s guides, security checklists, or research reports. When you require leads to disclose their contact details before downloading the asset, it is referred to as being a “gated” asset.

Form fills may occur on your own website, on another website, or increasingly on social media. If the form is hosted on your own website, typically you’d be running a digital advertising campaign to send traffic to the form to encourage leads. If the form is on another website, they’ll take care of sending traffic to it, and you’ll pay a nominal fee for each lead generated; this process is known as content syndication. It’s also important to remember that these leads are not necessarily exclusive; they can be bought by three to four different companies who would then be in competition to connect with and ultimately convert that lead into a paying customer. If the form is hosted on a social media network like LinkedIn, Facebook, or even TikTok, then it gets shown right in leads’ feeds, and you typically pay per 1000 impressions (not per lead). One benefit of using social media, is that the lead form comes pre-populated with the lead’s contact details, which makes conversion easier. And a benefit for LinkedIn in particular is that people tend to be forthright with their personal information, so you don’t get many people filling out fake information just so they can download the asset.

Tips for successful forms

  • Keep the form and the number of fields required to a minimum and also try to limit the number of pages or steps
  • Test, test, test! Try out different variations of your forms to learn which converts best.
  • Be as specific to your business as possible. Don’t use a template. Customize the forms so that you get the information that is the most valuable to you.
  • Think about what people are willing to give up. Don’t make the requirements so stringent as to cause frustration or lose trust.
  • Promote your offer and use special landing pages designed to highlight that specific offer.

As easy as form fills for lead generation may seem, they need to be handled with care, because this strategy can run the risk of generating low quality leads. Someone casually surfing the internet  might not remember even filling out the form. Or they might have been solely interested in the free information that was being offered rather than actually buying any products or services. There is no guarantee that the leads are at any kind of a buying stage (i.e. are high up in the sales funnel). So used strategically, form fills are a very useful technique for online lead generation. But remember to use our tips and suggestions to get the best possible outcome.

In the next post in this series, we will discuss using content syndication for lead generation.


Interested in learning more about lead generation alternatives for your business? Contact eBridge today.

Want more information about lead gen? Watch eBridge’s webinar series about lead generation.

About the Author:

Hartland Ross is the Founder and President of eBridge Marketing Solutions. He has over 15 years experience in marketing and business development, focusing for the last decade or so on the technology sector. Prior to starting up his own internet marketing agency, he operated a successful franchise, worked with two different online advertising startups and was the VP of Sales and Marketing for a national development and training company. He now puts his entrepreneurial and business skills to work running eBridge, which since its inception has supported the internet marketing efforts of over 150 web hosts worldwide.

Posted July 30, 2012
Categories: eBridge Marketing Solutions' Blog, Advertising and Marketing General, Demand Generation
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