6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 11, 2017 9:07 AM by 9ac00b9a8f1bae05e4cbdf3e559c964e59a2c8b2

    Forms, how short is too short?

    Savina Angel

      There is an on-going discussion at our B2B company about shortening our forms to 2 or 3 fields in order to get better form conversions. Currently, the displayed fields are First/Last Name, Company, Email, Phone, Job Role, Phone Number, Demo request (Yes/No/Later). All the other fields are hidden and are enriched by a third party (if the email address is not a personal account). If the company is not in our database, the form expands to ask for city, state, country.  The demographic questions are asked so that our leads can be routed to the right salesperson. The only field I would willingly give up is Job Role, albeit reluctantly.


      We have used progressive profiling forms, which are great for known leads, but what can/should we do for net new leads? How short is too short? The clean data advocate in me doesn't want leads in our Marketo instance that can't be routed to sales. Help!

        • Re: Forms, how short is too short?
          Grace Brebner

          Hey Savina Angel,


          There's really two competing points here: conversion vs quality of leads. You're generally going to find that improving your conversion by shortening the form is going to reduce the quality of your leads (or at the very least force you to work harder to verify their quality), so you want to look at your lifecycle and consider at which key moments quality is more important, and at which points quantity is.


          Whether the average person thinks of it consciously this way yet or not, data is a currency - they'll be will be willing to provide you with more information if what they receive at the end of the form is perceived to represent a fair trade. So, I'll only want to provide my email address and maybe first name to sign up to a newsletter, but I'll hand over my credit card and home address in exchange for some chocolate. There's always a limit to how far you can push this, but the general rule tends to be true.


          Yes you will typically see a drop off on longer forms, that drop off isn't always bad. You may see a 20% uplift in form conversion by reducing the number of questions, but end up increasing the work required from Sales and Marketing 20% and seeing only a 1% increase in conversion to customers. Longer forms often help force leads to self-qualify, weeding out those who don't intend to convert or aren't fit for your product.


          So... At the beginning of the lifecycle, you can often ask just for an email address in trade for a newsletter and get value out of that lead, pushing them further. After that, you could ask for company and role to download an ebook. Then, to pass the lead to sales, ask whatever you haven't yet gleaned - this longer form may only result in a 15% submission rate, but may also result in 95% of those leads converting to customers. It's a balancing act! Mapping this out along your lifecycle and doing some testing (taking multiple factors into consideration and not just the form conversion) is probably a very good idea.


          Rambling, but I hope that helps a bit

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Forms, how short is too short?

            Really great conversation topic, and one which I think about a lot. Lowering the number of form fields pushes sellers more MQLs (and as you know more leads = happier sellers), but possibly lowers the quality of the leads we're qualifying (thus lowering conversion rate, which = unhappy sellers). It's a vicious cycle at times. Then there's the gated vs. ungated battle, which adds yet another layer to the topic.


            Totally agree the number of required fields should correlate to the content/offer; the viability of an active buyer can be gauged on how much information the buyer is willing to provide for the content (perceived worth of the content). I think 1 field (e-mail address) is great for newsletters, and for thought leadership pieces, etc. additional fields (including company, etc.) is not too much to ask (if the content is of value and relevance to the buyer they won't hesitate to provide it).

            • Re: Forms, how short is too short?
              Chris Johnston

              I would very much disagree with your argument that Progressive Profiling is great for known leads. I think it works better for unknown leads. If you have more than 3-5 visible fields, you better be providing the most amazing content to that person. To me Job Role easily gets dumped, and I would also drop demo request. I would imagine that you have a specific link for a Demo Request that is easily findable on your website and should be how they request.


              Marketo is designed to nurture and obtain information as you go. When you deliver more great content over time, you can then get more and more information and by the time they are ready to go to MQL you should be able to have Job Function and much more details.


              F/L Name


              That is a good form for any gated asset in my opinion. Routing to a Salesperson when you have never talked to this company before seems rather quick to me. I'd focus on getting it at a later time.

              • Re: Forms, how short is too short?

                Agreed with Chris:


                "If you have more than 3-5 visible fields, you better be providing the most amazing content to that person."


                Progressive profiling is great for new leads. You may not get all the info the first time, but  - no matter how qualified a lead - they're generally not really ready for a sales call after downloading just one resource anyway.