It’s one of marketing’s biggest catch-22s. You want your landing page form to convert a high percent of visitors, but you only want the qualified ones. You want to ask for enough information to qualify your leads, but you don’t want to scare prospects away with a lengthy submission form.
If this dilemma is keeping you up at night, you’re not alone. According to Content Marketing Institute, two of the three most important metrics for B2B marketers this year are sales lead quality (87%) and higher conversion rates (82%). If your success is measured on both of these metrics, landing page optimization should be at the top of your mind.
So how many questions should you ask on your landing form page?
Just enough fields necessary to capture and qualify your leads. There isn’t some best-practice you should follow or magic number of fields you should try to hit – this number will absolutely be unique to your company and your marketing campaigns.
Luckily, there are ways to determine exactly what your optimal field size is.
How Much Information Do You Absolutely Need
The first thing you need to determine before constructing your web forms is how much information you need to effectively qualify and sell to your prospect. Review your lead generation goals and define your MQL. What does your organization consider a marketing qualified lead? There are some questions you should ask yourself at this stage:
How will these prospects be engaged after filling out this form? If they are going to be added into an email nurturing campaign you may be fine with just their emails. If a sales rep is going to be contacting them by phone or through social media, you’ll need additional contact information.
What information do you need to qualify the lead? Company size? Industry? Job role? A college student researching a paper and the CTO of an enterprise software company might end up getting the same level of sales attention if you aren’t able to gather enough information.
If the information you’re asking your website visitors is necessary and relevant, it’s probably worth including.
In this landing page example, Shopify can get away with a very simple form that only asks for your email address. The reason is they only need your email to continue to engage you through the free trial of their platform. They also aren’t dedicating any sales reps to contacting you and will instead wait until the trial begins to qualify you as a lead.
On the other hand, H.BLOOM’s landing page needs are very different. They are collecting information to enable a rep to call for a design consultation. This requires them to know your name and phone number so they can get in contact and your city so they can have the appropriate rep contact you. Despite the fact that this form asks for five times the amount of information as the Shopify form, it doesn’t feel tedious because all of the information is understandably necessary if you are actually interested in a consultation for their services.
How Much Information Will Your Leads Provide?
Understanding what data fields you need to qualify leads will improve sales lead quality, but it won’t increase your conversions.
There are plenty of best-practices and industry averages surrounding landing page forms. QuickSprout has found that three fields create an optimum conversion rate of 25% while six or more fields drop that rate to 15%.
The fewer fields you include, the better your conversions, right?
Not necessarily. A/B testing software Visual Website Optimizer performed a test that found the opposite was true. They tested three forms – one with seventeen fields, one with fourteen fields and another that was completely stripped down to the bare minimum. The results showed that the form with fourteen fields resulted in the highest conversion rate.
So…14 fields? Is that the magic number?
The key takeaway from these findings is that you need to test your landing page optimization thoroughly to determine the best number of fields for your company, campaign and audience.
According to MarketingSherpa, companies who test their landing page optimization are 52% more likely to optimize the number of fields in a form than companies that don’t test.
Bridge the Gap with Third Party Data
Through trial and error, you’ll begin to gain a better picture of what your audience is willing to share for your offers. But what if this is less information than you need to effectively qualify your leads?
The good news is you don’t need to put all the fields you need on your landing page. You could choose to enrich the information your leads are willing to share with third party data from vendors like Leadspace or Clearbit.
Not only will this give you more insights into your sales leads, it will allow you to be more responsive to high-quality leads. As of now, it’s a little taboo to include a form field asking your visitor if they will be a top-tier customer. That means at some level, no matter how much data you ask for, your team is still required to scour through those submissions for the most important prospects.
Rather than relying solely on the limited information you can get from the form submission, you can enrich your customer data with a third-party service.
There is no magic number when it comes to landing page form fields. Thankfully, there is a formula for figuring out your optimal form length. For your next lead generation campaign, determine your sales goals and balance how much information you need versus how much your prospects will actually provide. Test thoroughly and you’ll be generating qualified leads at a higher rate than ever before.
For more information on landing page optimization, check out our webinar, “How to Create the Perfect Landing Page for Your Offer.”