As a marketer, many of your campaigns may be built around one primary objective: getting people to fill out a form. Often, designing a compelling advertisement isn't enough to encourage people into handing over their details. Many factors can deter someone from submitting a form, including the unwillingness to provide contact information.
Here are some content design strategies you can employ today to nudge people toward conversion:
Just Say 'No' to Distractions
When driving people to a form, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to distract them with detours. Landing pages should be built as simple as possible. Here's how:
- Drive people to a landing page - not your website.
- You want people to do one thing, and one thing only: fill out that form. You must drive them with a simple and engaging email to a landing page that is specifically built for your campaign. Sending someone to your website offers a plethora of distractions, including images and text that don't apply to your campaign's appeal, multiple links to other information, and in some cases, flashing beacons of light that are begging folks to take some other action. If you want people to drive directly to your destination, don't drop them off in the middle of Las Vegas where sparkling lights from competing assets beg for their attention. Likewise, steer clear of cluttering your emails with the same distractions.
- Strip out navigation from the landing page.
- Don't offer an exit ramp when you are trying to capture a person's information on a form. Doing so can make your lead stray away from your primary call-to-action. Will they find their way back to your form? Maybe. Most of the time - no. At that point, you may have lost their impulse to decide. Instead, your landing page should be designed simply, and with only ONE action they can possibly take: fill out that form. It’s okay to include complementary information in the form of links, but those links should show/hide content on the same page, not take the lead away from the page.
Emails, advertisements (online and offline), and social campaigns should all look the same. Using different images, layouts and copy between assets can create a disconnect for people, and can even make a person feel like the content is not reliable. Instead, try to use the following techniques in design:
- Use the same (or reasonably similar) header image in the outbound email and on the landing page.
- Repeat copy from the email on the landing page - especially the headline.
- Use the same color scheme in emails, landing pages, and on the form.
- Always provide a clear call-to-action: don't make people search for it! One of my colleagues calls this the “BOB” (Big Orange Button). Top-converting emails and landing pages always contain some version of the BOB.
Do More with Less
All too often, I have seen emails and landing pages designed with too much text, and entirely too many images. Asking people to read an entire encyclopedia before filing out your form will certainly contribute to losing their interest. Here are some tips on how to do more with less:
- Create an impulse decision.
- A compelling headline with a short summary of details in an email can create an impulse to react.
- Don't give up the farm!
- Your email should be quick, to the point, and provide just enough information to drive them to the landing page - and don't forget the BOB!
- The juicy details should be found in the downloaded content after submitting the form, not in the email, and not all on the landing page either. Otherwise, what's the point of filling out the form?
- Keep all the important stuff above the fold.
- Remember old fashioned newspapers? If you haven't heard "above the fold" in the past, it refers to everything you see on the newspaper page before the paper folds. All of the interesting, enticing info, and your call-to-action should be above the point in your email and landing page before someone needs to scroll in their browser.
- Just remember "If a person must scroll, it takes a toll."
- Use a short form.
- This may seem like a no-brainer, but I have seen a ton of long forms out there. On average, forms with five fields or less have higher conversions. Several factors can impact conversion on even short forms, however. For example, making the telephone field required is a typical detour. In some cases, simply moving the telephone field to the bottom of the form can help. Results can vary based on your content and your audience. To optimize your forms, try an A/B test and see which one is performing the best.
In this exciting new digital age, social media has impacted consumer behavior in a way that creates multiple challenges for marketers. Today's savvy Internet surfers are accustomed to getting all the information they need in a short social media status message or in a brief article online. We can learn from this behavior. These micro status messages entice people to follow links to landing pages. Your content marketing strategy should do the same.
Creating short, simple, and actionable marketing messages using the techniques I described here can have a positive impact on conversion rates. While this is not an exhaustive list of conversion strategies, these basics can significantly impact your results.
Do you have any conversion strategies that you use? Please share them here!