Lead Creation Trade Offs Small Business Owners Should think About

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A small business’s website will often contain an order form or other type of application that can turn the web traffic the page gets into leads. Besides the obvious benefit of creating more business, lead creation forms can also give small business owners some self -reported information on who is visiting their website and converting. Business owners can be surprised to find that their service appeals to a demographic on the web that does not frequent its physical location, and the information they gather surrounding a lead allows for a finer picture of core client bases to emerge as well.

More fields means more information, but more “friction”. Business owners should respect the utility of an application for gathering information on customers. While you may only need a couple of questions answered in order to determine if you can do business with a prospective applicant, it may behoove you to also ask information regarding their age, sex, location, contact information or whatever you need to know regarding your clients in order to better target your advertising and content creation efforts. A word of caution, however. The more fields you add to an application, the more “friction” it creates on the part of those who would otherwise fill it out. In general, the addition of fields means you will get less applications, especially as you add fields  and designate them as “required”.

Less fields means that you can get more applications, but beware of lowered lead quality. The easier it is for someone interested in your business to fill out a form, the more likely they will be to do it. For business owners whose primary concern is generating leads, having a more minimalist application form might be in their best interest, especially if they are not particularly concerned with gathering information about their clients. A word of caution, however. The less fields required to submit a lead, the less control you will have over whether or not qualified applicants fill out and submit forms since you will be asking them less “vetting” questions. A simple lead form may also have the potential for more spam leads to be created, especially if there are not required fields and no captcha, or robot detection protocol within the form.

Identify what is most important for your business to get from a lead. Think of what is absolutely required for your business to know about a prospective client in order to get a feel of whether or not they are qualified to do business. These fields you will have to include on your form no matter what. Depending on how many fields this makes, you may also want to add some optional fields in order to gather more insights on applicants. A little bit of fine tuning might be required in order to ensure that you are getting everything you need out of your leads and still maintaining the volume of applications you want in relation to the web traffic you are getting. An ideal application form will allow you to get both business and insight, and allow for clients who want to submit a forma as quickly as possible as well as those who would like to share some more information.


Photo Credit to Nicolas Nova on Flickr


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