Landing page forms are one of the most important parts of a landing page, but so many advertisers get them wrong.
In today’s post, I’ll outline seven ways you can improve your landing page forms to make them attractive to prospects and give you the data you need to qualify your leads. Many marketers, especially B2B software companies, ask for way too much information in their landing page forms.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I realize that, for this kind of web form (that asks prospects to provide information to schedule a software demonstration), the company needs to know the visitor is serious and won’t waste their time. When designing a web form, it’s crucial to achieve the balance of requesting enough information from the user to qualify them as a valid lead or prospect, without asking them to essentially hand over their identity.
So, now we know that you should ask for information from your prospects sparingly, we need to talk about how your form actually looks on your landing page. Even if you’re only asking for a little information, your landing page form still needs to be aesthetically pleasing. Creating a compelling CTA is about more than using persuasive language (though it definitely helps).
Even without the “I want to…” above them, the benefits and desired outcomes of selecting either option are clear. Both of these examples are very clickable, make the benefits clear, and leave nothing to suggestion.
Radio buttons work very well for situations in which there are only a few options, or entering the data manually would be tedious for the user. In addition to making it as easy as possible for the user to enter quite a lot of information, the inclusion of radio buttons on this web form mean that the only data the user has to enter manually is their zip code.
You might think it’s obvious what users should do if they want to sign up for whatever you’re offering, but users rarely do what you want them to do unless you make it painfully obvious. Even if you’ve included your web form above the fold, used plenty of white space to make it attractive, and ask for the bare minimum of information, you could still risk losing them before they cross the line and convert.
Of course, this is just the first step users have to complete, as shown by the 1-2-3 graphic at the bottom of the page, but as an example of how to get users to complete a web form, it works pretty well. However, while the use of a line-of-sight visual cue is very effective in this example, the web form itself is actually rather poor. Sure, you’re not going to capture many leads for a software demo or get users to part with a ton of data, but by designing for mobile, you’re at least capturing more potential leads and growing your business. It’s no use following the previous six tips if you’re not going to rely on cold, hard data to make your final decisions. Instead, follow these 15 steps and create a high performance landing page designed specifically for gathering leads. Read on and learn how to build the ultimate lead capture form, an example of which will be uncovered right at the end. Prospects: This is the purest form of lead capture, where you are chasing entirely new prospects through the use of content marketing. Lead form tip: If you are marketing to customers or leads, pre-populate as many of your lead capture landing page form fields as you can, to reduce the friction involved in filling out the form, and to create a sense of personalization.
Having established your target audience, you need to figure out what to offer them in order to get their important personal or business data.
There is a ton of digital content you can give away, first we’ll list them, then explain how they should be used differently for prospects, leads and customers. Crucial to your success with lead gen is to balance the reward (the size of the prize) with the friction involved in getting it. Note, you could ask for a lot more if you want to, but realistically, an email is all you really need for most things.
Form tip: Scale how much information you ask from prospect, lead, customer (prospect being the least, and customer the most).
Message match is the term used to describe the connection between the call-to-action (CTA) of an advertisement and the headline of the destination page. The human factor: When someone clicks a CTA they have a level of intent that must be matched when they arrive at their destination. Here’s an example from an Unbounce banner CTA that sits at the end of our blog posts. Always pay close attention to your message and you’ll increase your conversion rates by virtue of more people staying on a page they asked to visit.
Trust is key to making people believe you won’t be spamming them after getting your email. Registrant count: If you are running a webinar, list the number of registrants to encourage a herd mentality (if that many people are going, it must be good).
Share count: Showing the social share numbers shows how many people find your content valuable enough to tell others about it. Testimonials: Customer testimonials show that others have made the effort to report back on the quality of your content. Customer logos: If you have an impressive client list, take advantage of this by prominently showing them on your page. Past content examples: If you are asking someone to sign up for a newsletter, show them an archived example so they know what they are signing up for. Your opening paragraph should be a short and succinct extension of your headline, which serves as an introduction to some bullet points (coming up next) describing the product or service you’re promoting. Join us at 2pm EST for a special webinar about lead gen landing pages, featuring [insert star name], hosted by [insert another star name]. The star power and time limited component give it a persuasive edge, while the details and bullet points give it the descriptive clarity it needs to answer your questions and convince you of the benefits of attending.
Following directly from the last point (no pun intended), given how little time most people spend on most pages – you have maybe 5 seconds to garner their interest. Ecourse: A personal video describing what the course is about is typical, and most likely the most persuasive method. Slide presentation: An embedded Slideshare or lightbox gallery presentation with a sample of the full version is a great idea here. Online product demo: A video showing the context of use (the product in action) is the best way to showcase a product.
Notice how each of the examples uses only the required information in the form, uses a short intro paragraph, bullet points and relevant images.
To make it more actionable, use persuasive copy, that has some urgency or benefit statements in it. The key to creating a sense of urgency is to create the illusion of a pain point in the mind of the visitor to your page. Amazon preys on the fear of not getting Christmas presents delivered on time (who wants crying kids on Christmas morning?) They do this by helpfully telling you the last day that you should order to guarantee delivery by the date in question. I have no idea if there is actually one seat left, or if this is just a ply to encourage bookings.
If you are running a webinar, you can increase both the urgency and exclusivity of the session by stating how many virtual seats are still available. Essentially, anything you can do to create a scenario of urgency through utilizing a pain point, you’ll increase your lead gen form conversions.
CCD is a discipline targeted specifically at achieving the goals of a business, from the standpoint that the primary purpose of any page is to guide the visitor toward one specific action. In the examples following, we take a basic lead capture landing page, and transform it using 3 of the core principles of CCD: encapsulation, color contrast, and directional cues. Using encapsulation: Notice how the form stands out more in the version on the right, due to the use of an encapsulation container. Here the ad that was clicked should be a very close match to the headline as discussed in step #5. The form area shows all of the conversion centered design principles describe in the last step.
Here’s a good example of an ebook download landing page with some of these principles in action. Despite having a well targeted and relevant reward on your page, you could be generating more paying customers from your prospects – and I’m going to show you how.
It’s important to think about what will happen after you generate a new lead, and what you want them to do now that you have their attention. The lead generation confirmation page could be considered the digital equivalent of a supermarket candy shelf. Social: Ask them to follow you on a social media network (Twitter, Facebook) – or share your page.

Invite them to a webinar: Make sure the subject matter is closely related to the goals of the leads you’re capturing – and of the landing page they were just on. Ask them to subscribe to a newsletter: Newsletters (or a drip campaign if you want to push them through a progressive story arc) are a powerful permission marketing tool that keeps you in your leads stream of consciousness for an extended period of time. Before you start designing your page, you should grab a marker and use a whiteboard to lay out a wireframe for your page.
Before you run the tests I’ll mention below, make sure your wireframe is quite detailed and includes some real copy and some CCD elements such as color and contrast etc. This is a fun one to do with a whiteboard (or piece of paper hanging on the wall if you decided to sketch it that way or printed out a page from a wireframing tool like Balsamiq. For this one, you need to stand 6ft away from the sketch and see what the most dominant areas on the page are. Before you know why you are going to run a test, you need to get some actionable insight into what could make your test effective. Use services like Qualaroo to add a survey to your pages to ask people questions about their experience. Using live chat on your pages so that you can talk to people at the point of conversion and figure out why they are sitting on the fence, or what they need to become a converted customer. Connect heatmap software like Crazy Egg to your page to see where the most clicked and focused areas of the page are.
The statistical significance of the experiment should be over 95% to remove the potential that your results are based on chance.
There are a lot of feedback mechanisms listed above – all of which are effective, but armed with the data from these techniques, you will be tempted to go it alone and try to figure out how to implement change. Draw a giant version of your landing page on a whiteboard (or just print it out as big as you can). Write down a list of the primary page elements that could be tested to start the process with. Once you have exhausted all of the ideas, have everyone come and vote (by checking a stickie) on their top 3 ideas. As a result of a session like this, imagine our example from earlier, modified based on the principles we’ve learned along the way and the ideas gathered from a group brainstorm. I love these posts which point out the elements which help CRO, plus the diagrams giving an insight into where they should be positioned. They tested different types of media in the main content area of the page and found that all of the videos did worse than all of the images.
Well, if you assume this improvement stayed roughly consistent through the rest of the campaign, then we can look at the total numbers at the end of the campaign and determine the difference this one experiment had.
Sending email to people who signed up on our splash page and asking them to volunteer typically converted 10% of them into volunteers.
Each email address that was submitted through our splash page ended up donating an average of $21 during the length of the campaign.
Ross is a UX and interaction designer, product leader, and expert at drinking cervezas and lifting heavy objects. Designed and coded with my own two hands, lots of heart, some Woodchuck apple cider, Wordpress, the lovely Raleway font, and the 1140 grid.
A happy looking astronaut waving as he holds up a flag on the moon, in the distance is his space ship and several planets.
Space ColouringA simple space colouring picture, featuring a spaceman standing on the moon, holding a flag. Spaceman Colouring A more complex Spaceman Colouring picture featuring a spaceman floating in space as he fixes a broken Space Shuttle. A large selection of Robots to print out and color in, along with lots of online coloring pages for kids of all ages.
The number one goal of a landing page is to convert a prospect by having them register information with your site. BTW - If people want simple signup landing pages a service like ours could be perfect for people. The debt financial market is booming because of the financial crisis a lot of people resort to debt relief offers. Web forms on landing pages are often subject to “Goldilocks syndrome.” Too long, and you risk deterring prospective customers from converting. For more info on how to apply these tips for social, check out this post on Facebook landing pages.
Generally, after 7 fields in a landing page form, conversion rates start to drop off steeply. I understand that you’d probably want to demo your software to someone with the authority to make a purchasing decision, but this could be easily determined by the information in the Role in Company field. Without a strong CTA, your prospects may wonder why the hell they’re handing over all this personal information in the first place. Consider the benefits of your offer to the prospect, and then focus on these benefits in your CTA. They want to do as little as possible to accomplish their goal – so leverage their laziness and make it even easier for them to convert by including radio buttons.
Why not make it even more obvious where they should enter their information by using visual directional cues to help them along? It asks for a lot of information, as it’s attempting to get users to create a dating profile directly from the landing page. SO many marketers ignore web forms on mobile in the assumption that “people don’t complete web forms on mobile.” This might be true to an extent, but it’s not a limitation of mobile devices or the fact that people don’t want to sign up for stuff when they’re on the go, but rather a design problem.
Put another way, you have to consider user behavior and how people use their mobile devices, and the objectives of your web forms. Cleverly, there’s also a clickable “call” icon at the top of the page, so if the user doesn’t even want to enter their zip, they can call an agent directly.
Do you have a citation for the statement that response rates fall off when forms have more than 7 fields?
Sometimes a customer is inactive so your goal is reengagement, through exposure to new content or product demos that may turn them from a fence sitter back into a real customer.
Perhaps you get them to register for an e-course using autoresponders to drip content into their inboxes, slowly building a rapport that eventually moves from a soft sell content marketing strategy, to a request to sign up (potentially with a special offer). They need a softer sell, usually educational material that doesn’t push your product, like an ebook. Your goals here are to keep active customers happy with instructional material that makes their life easier, and then re-engage your inactive customers with special offers, and updates on new features that could reactivate them. List each session as beginner, intermediate or advance – much like you would with a yoga calendar.
Ideally, you would test this to find out what number of fields converts the best, while still getting the data you need to successfully segment and re-market to them in the future. For example if they clicked on an ad for used pickup trucks, and they arrived at the homepage of a used car business where there was no direct mention of pickup trucks. If you are doing paid advertising such as Google AdWords, there is a bot that reads your target page to see if there is a connection to the keywords in the ad. Read the text on the button, as this will be the last thing in the mind of a visitor when they click it. The best place to put this is on your confirmation page when they’ve already expressed interest. The best kind are video testimonials, followed by written ones with a photo and official title. Most of this is done via your headline grabbing their attention, but assuming this has already happened, you need to dig into some simple benefit statements rather than ramble on in a long paragraph like this one. To understand how this works, let’s first look at a couple of examples from the world of ecommerce.
Looking at the best flight for your journey and seeing that there are only 2 seats left is a great way to add urgency to the booking process.
This will increase the number of downloads before the date you choose – which of course can be continuously extended.
It’s an approach that uses persuasion and psychological devices to convince a visitor to convert.
This is most often done simply by placing the form in a containing box to provide a contrasting background.
By taking the previous version and adding some extra visual persuasion to the form, the first arrow brings your attention from the introductory copy to the form header (which as described above, should contain the description of the purpose of your form) and a second arrow from the form header down to the CTA.

It’s a concept based on the primary elements a successful lead gen page requires to be effective. A good addition to this would be a preview of the ebook to let the visitor know what they are going to download. You want to take advantage of that magic moment directly after the customer says “Yes, I like you” to keep them in your sphere of influence while they’re “in the mood”.
Admit it, you’ve fallen victim to those shelves of sweet goodness stacked by the checkout as you wait in line – aimlessly throwing crap you don’t need into your basket. The confirmation page is a good time to ask if someone would like to participate if you can automatically transfer their details to the new newsletter email list without asking for more data.
There are a couple of reasons for this: it saves you design time, by getting the layout right before you start building a page you might need to deconstruct and re-build, it also allows you to run a few initial tests using your sketch.
Get a lineup of people who’ve not seen the page before, and one at a time, position them right in front of the page with their eyes closed.
If the CTA doesn’t stand out enough, you should consider adding more contrast, size and some whitespace around it. But first you need to publish it and start driving traffic to it (from PPC, social, email, display etc.). This is where a test hypothesis comes in – a statement of what you are going to test and your theory behind why it will be a success. This is a measure of confidence that your experiment is valid and can be ended, knowing that the results are trustworthy.
This will work most of the time, but having more than one opinion is a great way to establish new ideas and priorities. For each idea, they must write it down on a stickie and verbalize the idea as it’s passed to you (as the facilitator) and stuck on the page in the relevant position. We used Google Website Optimizer and ran this as a full-factorial multivariate test which is just a fancy way of saying we tested all the combinations of buttons and media against each other at the same time. That means an additional 2,880,000 email addresses translated into 288,000 more volunteers. The additional 2,880,000 email addresses on our email list translated into an additional $60 million in donations.
There are more Space Colouring pages including the new Spaceman colouring picture available on the free colouring website, click on the link for more details. This post is to inspire you (and me) with the fresh inspiring designs submitted by designers worldwide. That information could be for a free whitepaper, an online newsletter, free demo, or another call to action. Your landing page's goal is to sell new visitors on your company, not to help current customers use the service. Other popular offers in exchange for signups are whitepapers, podcasts, and free consultations.
By not forcing even the smallest screens to have to scroll, Netflix is minimizing the necessary effort to learn about and sign up for their service.
Make it easy for visitors to quickly get an understanding of your product or service and the offer you're making to them. Woo the visitor with graphics and powerful offers, but don't overwhelm them with information and complicated processes. Too short, and you may not gather the information you need to qualify visitors as worthwhile leads. Sure, time zone differences are an issue you have to deal with during product demos, but at least make these fields drop-down menus if you have to have them.
A strong CTA, on the other hand, will reinforce their desire to get their hands on whatever you’re offering and make sure they cross the line and convert.
The more strongly you can reinforce what visitors stand to get out of your offer, the more likely they are to convert. Similarly, the CTA button itself makes it clear what I’ll be getting by signing up, whereas the control version doesn’t offer any hint of what to expect at all. You absolutely HAVE TO design your landing page forms to be mobile-friendly, whether this is using responsive web design or designing an entirely separate mobile landing page altogether. You’re probably not going to be able to include a 10-field landing page form asking someone to sign up for a software demo on mobile – it’s just too much.
WordStream tried including images of actual people on a landing page in one test, only to discover that our audience didn’t respond well (at all) to them. Typically the very minimum a prospect, lead or customer will have to part with is an email address (covered in step #3). As such they should be receiving content with signup CTAs and links to register for product demos. And remember to inform people on your landing pages that they will receive a recording of the webinar the next day if they are unable to attend – this will increase registration significantly. Immediately the message match has been broken and they will feel like they have made a bad click. In the previous example, you’d get a lower Google Quality Score for your ad, and consequently a higher price for your ad. If you’ve been lucky enough to have been mentioned in big publications or on TV, make sure to show off.
If you can turn your text into about 3-5 bullet points each explaining why they should fill in your form, then your lead gen page will be more effective.
We just talked about message match, so you should understand the importance of a descriptive CTA. Note that they only do this when there are a couple of seats left – not when there are 200 left. Landing pages sit at the heart of CCD, used to focus the attention of a prospect toward a single objective or conversion goal.
Essentially, it acts like a checklist of the important elements already discussed, as a reminder that to be really conversion focused, you need to create a page with all of these aspects working in concert together. You can do this by focussing their attention on the first thing they see after submitting your lead gen form – the confirmation page. Use only a single link for this and send them to a “Greatest Hits” or “Top 10” list page that shows off the very best content and information you have to offer. Similarly, if the headline is buried, apply the same concepts to make it more easily readable. Since we had four buttons and six different media that meant we had 24 (4 x 6) total combinations to test. If we hadn’t run this experiment and just stuck with the original page that number would be closer to 7,120,000 signups. Also check out the Space Picture Maker section to create your own space Picture Maker picture online. Netflix business model relies on converting visitors into subscribers that will pay them a monthly fee, and their landing page is optimized to do just do that.
The Member Sign In is a tertiary concern on the Netflix page, after the trial signup and how it works graphic.
Netflix does this by using graphics and very little text, making it easy for new visitors to quickly understand the service. We removed them in a separate design, only to find that our conversion rates improved considerably. The end result of this is that they either get lost trying to find what they came for, or ,ore likely they just hit the back button and leave.
The header should contain pertinent information that describes what you are getting by submitting the form, and the benefit of doing so. Every visitor to the splash page was randomly shown one of these combinations and we tracked whether they signed up or not.
As such, the advice above wouldn’t necessarily apply to us and our audience, just as it might not apply to you.

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