Your website needs to collect data in a transparent way to achieve serious business growth and move to the next level.
One of the best ways to collect data is through the humble form. It’s not enough to just have a form on your website, though. Creating a form that presents itself to people without interrupting their experience and capturing precise data is fast becoming an exact science.
The most successful forms are attractive, cleverly worded to encourage people to leave data behind, offer incentives and are well-positioned so they can’t fail to catch the eye.
Integrated services such as MailChimp can help people get started, but for serious growth other things need to be considered such as AB testing the site to maximise forms’ exposure, keep the data on secure servers and be as transparent as to what the data you’re collecting will be used for and if it will be provided to any third-party company at any stage.
Could Mondaq use a better form?
Take a look at this form we were presented with recently when we were looking for a story through Google News.
The story was on a site we haven’t been on before called Mondaq. Before we managed to have a look at the story the screen went dark and a pop-up form appeared. Nothing wrong with that; pop-up forms are usually par for the course when it comes to news websites in an effort to attract subscribers and capture data.
Only, Mondaq isn’t just asking for subscribers. It’s asking for people to register with the service, enter their professional details, make a choice and select from 29 specialist news topics and the continents they’d like to receive the news in.
Alongside that is a lengthy terms and conditions window that needs to at the minimum be marked as read and a password that needs creating before registering, all before we’ve managed to read the first word of the first paragraph of our article.
May the forms be with you
We need to be clear that there’s nothing wrong with this, especially if Mondaq is trying to generate subscribers and revenue from the news it’s hosting.
Only, we feel it could be done in a much more streamlined way for better results. The news we were looking for was Brexit-related and a common story. Needless to say, we went to the next site on the list to find what we were looking for.
We also have to be fair. We don’t have access to the data; Mondaq’s form may very well be working for them in generating more registered users according to their targets and goals. They may very well be in trouble when it comes to the technical side of things, though.
Changes to Google behind-the-scenes have been tweaked so that any mobile website whose pop-ups are obtrusive to the overall browsing experience will be punished. The change has been in effect for over six months with pop-ups that are too large, difficult to close or appear instantly on visiting the site affected.
Pop-ups can work, though
Pop-ups can be hugely beneficial, though, despite their interruptive nature. An analysis by Sumo found that, after analysing 2 billion examples, digital pop-ups that had features such as images, thought-provoking headlines and bright colours performed much better than pop-ups that were effectively shoved in visitors’ faces.
While some pop-ups had conversion rates as high as 50.2%, the average conversion rate of the very best pop-up forms was 9.28%. Even for the most basic small business website, that can represent a steady stream of local, interested customers joining your brand who want to hear who you are and what you’re all about.
Pop-ups are still an intrusive way to market, but it’s interesting to see that – ironically – adblocking software designed to block pop-ups are using them themselves to advertise new products and promote their services.
We’re talking about forms, though, but it’s impossible to talk about forms without mentioning the ways people are using differing tactics and strategies to get their forms in front of visitors old and new to capture and collect data for business growth.
So, what makes the perfect form?
1: Incentives that encourage people to leave data
Not just for your forms, but your overall tone of voice is essential to creating incentives that encourage visitors to leave behind relevant data.
‘Enter your email address to subscribe’ isn’t as captivating or enticing as ‘Save money with our incredible deals’, for instance. The kind of language you use can make a serious difference to attracting subscribers and improving your conversion rates.
That tone needs to be consistent across your site, though; especially in the emails you send to those who have taken the time to subscribe to follow up on what you’ve promised them.
2: Be transparent with what you do with data
A set of terms and conditions is not only essential when it comes to setting out what you do with people’s data, but it can also be important to outline exactly what happens to that data when visitors subscribe.
People may be more willing to sign up to extra services if you’re upfront about how the data is stored and exactly how it will be shared with third-party clients.
If it isn’t being shared then make sure that information’s underlined to increase confidence that their data is safe with you.
3: Create a workflow with marketing automation
For more advanced stages of growth, businesses can introduce their forms to marketing automation software that optimises, maximises and streamlines the data collection process.
The right software will segregate data and organise it into workflows in an automated and creative way, allowing business owners to focus on running their business. Automation connected with creative forms can help nurture potential leads and reconnect with dead ones.
The key to creating successful forms though lies in your overall inbound marketing strategy. Think about why you need customer data and how you’ll use it to grow and the rest will follow.
Find out more about creating the perfect forms to grow your business and capture data by contacting Webpresence and speaking to a marketing expert today.