As a rookie in lead generation, I was so excited to put my first opt-in form out in the world. I had spent hours creating a solid lead magnet, a downloadable resource that my target audience could use for their campaigns. Then, I tried out various form types, finally settling on a scroll box.
Any time you put a lot of effort into a marketing project, you expect the hard work to pay off. Well, my form barely got any conversions.
What was I doing wrong? I knew there was a demand for my lead magnet. I also knew that it aligned with the needs of my visitors. It should’ve attracted leads.
So, I took a close look at my scrollbox. Something definitely was missing. For one, it was getting lost in its surroundings. I ran a number of different tests on design, form placement, copy, and CTA. While this took time, it helped me get a 400% lift in my conversion rates.That exercise has inspired this blog post.
Hard work isn’t what determines success in lead generation, although it is a crucial part of it. What truly drives results is extensive A/B testing.
And the interesting thing is: we don’t realize just how many tests are possible on a tiny scrollbox. This is why we’ll explore sample A/B tests to inspire you and help you add A/B testing into your lead generation DNA.
1. Form Placement
Form placement is one of the most critical A/B tests to run. It’s also one of the most common.
There are a number of reasons for this. If they can’t see it, they won’t fill it. And if they do see it, but it appears prematurely, they’ll get thrown off by it. Other factors like mobile scrolling and form type also play a key role here. There’s a very fine balance to placing opt-in forms.
And the problem is: there’s no one-size-fits-all. Different placements work best for different companies.
Let’s take a look at a landing page that offers delivery for both recipes and their ingredients. Contentverve demonstrated that just by placing the form below the fold, the page got a 304% lift in conversions.
Instapage talks about how concise, shorter messages and primary lead generation forms are best accompanied by CTAs above the fold, while longer messages are best delivered with CTAs below the fold.
2. Design and Colors
Solid visuals are often the difference between an opt-in form that attracts eyeballs and one that sits collecting dust.
Several design elements go into creating a form. Fonts impact how likely we are to read the entire form copy. Colors have a major impact on our emotions and decision-making. Images can bring more attention to an otherwise overlooked area.
Here are some design recommendations that you can test:
- Sans-serif fonts are more readable and lead to lesser friction while reading.
- Font colors should contrast with the background to improve readability.
- Forms with images, gifs, or videos attract more attention.
- CTA buttons that contrast with the rest of the form drive action.
- Visual cues like hand-drawn arrows also tend to inspire action.
A commonly asked question is whether to opt for a green or red CTA button. For Dmix, a red CTA brought in 34% more conversions than a green one. But the company was only able to realize this through A/B testing.
Form copy is where you make your ask. It consists of a heading, a description, and a call to action.
Marketers have found that actionable and personal copy usually leads to higher conversion rates, and power words make forms more persuasive.
Primary makes its CTA both actionable and personal. Power words like ‘free shipping’ and ‘free returns’ encourage action.
But all these elements need to be tested!
Joanna Wiebe states that a good rule of thumb to follow with CTAs is to complete the following sentence: I want to ____. The blank here should be your CTA. EmpireFlippers tested this theory and changed their CTA copy from ‘Join Us’ to ‘Make Money Flipping Websites’ and saw a 33% increase in their conversions.
4. Number of form fields
Your form’s length is another key influencer for conversions. Shorter forms perform well because they take up less time and are convenient to fill out, thus bringing in an impressive number of leads for your sales funnel.
On the other hand, longer forms provide marketers the opportunity to qualify leads, paving the road for more targeted marketing, greater personalization, and high lead conversions.
But optimizations are key! You might be asking for more information than you need. Marketing Experiments predicted the same for a hosting company. They reduced their form fields from 20 to four. And voila! A 188% increase in leads.
Also note that in most cases, especially in eCommerce, an email address is all the information you need for your email list. But if you want the benefits of more lead data, test with more form fields and go back and forth till you hit the sweet spot.
5. Form layout
You might’ve seen a number of different form layouts, the most common being the single-column layout.
In a single-column layout, all form fields are vertically laid out in a single column.
Over the years, we’ve realized that the vertical format is much easier to fill out and also view on mobile. Multiple columns are a little risky, but only testing could tell you what format truly works for your use case.
Let’s explore an example.
Acquireconvert tested with different layouts on this form for arenaturist.com. The winning form got 52% more conversions.
The redesign wasn’t purely single-column, but it organized the fields more hierarchically and more intuitively while following an overall vertical layout.
6. Privacy protection
In the backdrop of increasing cold calling and phishing attacks, internet visitors have become wary of who they share their contact information with. Opt-in conversions have also had to bear the brunt of this.
A privacy protection guarantee helps ease some of those fears. But just putting it out there won’t get you more sign-ups. You need to A/B test it.
Test your form conversions with multiple variants of the privacy protection promise. Contentverve’s A/B test on privacy protection showed us just how critical words can be in convincing people.
While adding a “100% privacy – we will never spam you” promise at the end was meant to increase conversions, it had the opposite effect. The findings predicted that certain words act as ‘halt words’, setting off warning signs rather than pacifying skepticism. “Spam” is one of them.
So, they ran another A/B test with a variation of this message. Here’s how that performed.
This variation got 19.5% more sign-ups than the control! Just one A/B test is not enough to form a conclusion.
A/B testing is incredibly important for opt-in forms. Since you get only a few seconds to reel in an internet user, your forms need to be highly optimized for your target audience.
While best practices provide us with a direction to take, they can’t optimize our forms. They’re recommendations at best and aren’t written in stone.
A/B tests will help you decide what works best for your use case and your audience. Try out different variations for placement, design, copy, layouts, and even privacy protection. More importantly, don’t limit yourself to these tests!