9 Tips to Optimize Your Lead Capture Forms for More Conversions

The best way to generate leads through your website is with a high-converting lead capture form on it. From there, you’ll nurture the leads and persuade them to buy your product or service. You work hard on your content and copy, attracting as much traffic as you can to your site, but you won’t make much money from your site if your lead capture form isn’t doing its job. A lead capture form should be a powerful lead gen tool for your website.

Here are 9 ways to optimize your lead capture forms for higher conversions.

What Is a Lead Capture Form?

Before we dive in, let’s quickly define what we mean by lead capture form. A lead capture form is where you ask for people’s information so you can send them an email newsletter later. The form itself is typically found on a separate landing page, but they can also be popups, sidebar forms, or floating bar forms. 

Here’s an example of a lead capture form from WPBeginner, built with OptinMonster:

Ways to Optimize a Lead Capture Form for Conversions

Try one of these tips to turn your lead capture form into a conversion machine for your website.

1. Change the Position of the Form on the Page

Generally speaking, a lead capture form should be highly visible, clearly labeled, and placed near your lead magnet or offer on the page. Marketing experts will say it should be “above the fold” and directly under a headline on the webpage. 

HostGator uses this form on their blog, which appears at the top of their blog page and invites people to subscribe to their email list:

Engagement time on a website is highest above-the-fold, which is why placing elements like a lead capture form in this prime real estate on your site gets maximum exposure. The rest of the site below-the-fold traditionally builds on the engagement you start up top.

Except in today’s world, we’ve seen everything above-the-fold so often that sometimes you can increase conversion of your lead capture form by putting it further down the page. 

Melonfree does this perfectly on their homepage because, as a web design firm, they know people want to see their work first before reaching out. So they let people scroll through a quick gallery portfolio before displaying their contact form.   

2. Put the Form on an Individual Page

Another way to increase conversions on your lead capture form is to place it on a dedicated page and then to link to it. People don’t finish filling out forms because there are too many distractions on the page. Your fantastic web design and layout do too good a job and pull visitors away from subscribing to your email list. 

But, if there’s only your lead capture form on the page, they’re more likely to finish it and sign up. That’s what Daily Harvest does on their site:

Clicking Get Started anywhere on the site takes you to this form, where there’s nothing else to distract you from entering your information.

The dedicated landing page for your lead capture form puts you in better control of how it looks. You can customize it how you like and match it to your site brand better than if it’s just a form widget you’ve placed on your WordPress site. 

3. Keep the Form Short and Sweet

The best lead capture forms contain only three fields:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email

You want their first name to personalize the emails you send (that’ll increase how likely they are to interact with you and your emails.) Getting their last name separately helps keep the two names separate in your email marketing software; otherwise, your emails will address people by their full name (“Hi John Smith!” instead of “Hi John!”), which is a bad look. 

Anything longer than that reduces the chances that people will fill it out. You can build your knowledge of them over time without being aggressive up front. You’ll have other opportunities to get further information from them if you need it, so keep it to a minimum here. 

4. Add a Progress Bar If Your Form Is Long

Now, we just said your form should be as short as possible, right? There are some times, however, where you need a long-form to build out their profile more fully right from the start.

Instead of presenting them with a 20-field form that takes them 10 minutes to fill out, do what Modsy does when signing up people to their design service: break up the form into several stages and tell them how much further they have to go. 

This is Stage 2 of starting an interior design project on Modsy, and they’ve included a progress bar at the top of the page to let users know how much more information they need. 

Introducing transparency into lead capture forms increases trust between customers and your company because people know how much time they need to invest in signing up. If they don’t have time right then, they can come back later. 

5. Vary Your Submission Button Color

We know that the text on the submission button can significantly affect conversion rates, but what about the color? Color can have a psychological effect on people, but there are so many variables involved with them that it’s too hard to take them all into account. 

When it comes to colors on your lead capture form, the best thing you can do is to choose a color that’s prominent and eye-catching. It should stand out from the rest of the page. Bluehost uses a bright orange on their submission buttons on the home page to contrast the mostly dark blue background.

The other factor to keep in mind is the overall color scheme of the page the form is on. If you have one dominant color, consider using a different one for the submission button to make it stand out. 

HubSpot did a test for this on a landing page and found that a red button did better than a green button, probably because green was the dominant color on the page; the red button stood out more. 

To get help choosing high-contrast colors for your submission buttons, use a color wheel. Choose colors that are complementary to the dominant color on the page (a complementary color is one that’s opposite to your primary color).

6. Use Strong Calls-to-Action

The call-to-action (or CTA) of your submission form must be strong and catchy. It’s the tipping point between conversion and people navigating away from your website. The words on your buttons help people make up their minds just before they decide whether to fill out your form.

So, ditch “Submit” and “Subscribe” and choose something that tells people exactly what they’ll get when they click. OptinMonster does that with their exit intent pop-up. When people move their mouse to leave the site, this appears, with clear directions on what they’d like you to do:

They bolded the button they want you to click (“Get Started with OptinMonster”) and left the other one in plain text, but it’s just as useful to visitors who might need more information (“I have a few questions first!”). 

7. Include a Consent Checkbox

It’s essential to get consent from people before you email them and to advise them that you won’t sell or share their personal information. If you anticipate anyone from Europe signing up, you’ll need this from a GDPR perspective. 

GDPR is the European Union’s data protection law and outlines how websites collect, store, and use data provided by Europeans. Website owners will need to do their own research to ensure they comply with GDPR. Generally speaking, if you’re at all concerned about consent for your website, it’s best to add a consent question or checkbox to your lead capture form. 

Entrepreneur on Fire handles the GDPR requirement by adding a checkbox to their lead capture form, indicating that the person subscribing is giving their explicit consent to receive emails.

8. Add reCAPTCHA Spam Blockers

Another tip to increase conversions from your lead capture forms is to add a reCAPTCHA to it. This protects your form from spam submissions from spambots, who crawl websites to try and find ways to spam you through a non-secure form. (Not to mention the hackers out there who want to exploit your site or email list!) 

If you use WPForms, you can easily put a reCAPTCHA on your lead capture form and verify that only humans complete the form. 

It makes your subscribers feel safer with your site and helps reduce form abandonment. 

In this form, the person has to check the “I’m not a robot” checkbox and the reCAPTCHA built-in tool recognizes that a human is moving the mouse over it. 

There’s also the reCAPTCHA option where you have to choose a series of images with a particular characteristic in it, such as this one where you need to click all the traffic lights:

No matter how you set it up, reCAPTCHA can increase the conversions from your lead capture forms by reducing, and hopefully eliminating, spam submissions.

9. Make It Easy for Mobile Users

People spend a lot of time on their mobile devices today. A recent study found that people spend 21 percent of their total time watching media on a smartphone, or just over 3 hours every day. You’ll want to convert these site visitors too since there are a lot of them out there.

To capture all of those mobile users, make sure that your form:

  • Is responsive
  • Uses a single-column layout
  • Has a simple CTA button
  • Skips the CAPTCHA (it’s not as critical on a mobile form)

Over to You

A lead capture form on your website is a must today if you want to nurture leads and persuade them to buy your product or service. Use these tips to optimize it so you’ll have a high-converting lead capture form that’s a powerful lead generation tool for you.

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