Search Engine Land has launched its brand new column, Strictly Business today. As Chris Sherman says “Strictly Business will appear on Wednesdays, covering business-to-business (b-to-b) search marketing, focusing on both organic listings and paid search issues. The first post is about Reducing Barriers To Online Registration featuring Patricia Hursh, a regular speaker on B2B search issues.
She gives an excellent guideline on how to make effective registration forms (once your visitors have clicked through and are ready to interact on the landing page) – not the one like Motorola’s on the left hand.
The shorter the better: maximum two boxes (email, and e.g. country) give better conversion rates, more leads
The longer the better: the longer your relationship is with the customer the more you can gradually know about their real demand and respond to them. Collect the necessary further info (industry, position etc.) in the follow-up phases: you get more credit, and logically more data, once you have really given sth to your client.
The more tested the more exact: did I say max 2 boxes? Is it really true? Could your highly marketing savvy registration form mid-size with 5 boxes? Test different versions and see what works specifically for you.
My additions to the post put in the comment box, in a mock ‘7P fashion’ with all ‘V.’
visibility: some of the forms are placed below a long article, not ‘above the fold’ where visitors could immediately find where they can register. Reg forms work better in more visible sections on the page (if necessary placed on both the top and at the bottom)
visuality: you have mentioned that it is strongly recommended to communicate the specific benefits, like giving a short sample etc. I couldn’t agree with you more. But even if you provide a summary, I think it is essential to accompany your downloadable product with some attractive and relevant image, as it can improve conversion rates. It could be just a well designed cover page for a white paper – but it feels more tangible this way. So showing your product is one thing. In addition, I presume, it is also important to place the reg form close to the picture.
validity: placing some ‘thank you, it was truly useful blah blah blah’ etc. genuine (!) quotes from readers next to the reg form may also increase plausibility, and encourage visitors to react, and hit the submit button.
victory: if a visitor has asked for one product (e.g. a quote for website SEO-healing), after the submit form, on the thank you page, you may call her/his attention to your other product (CPC campaign) or vice versa. It could be in an Amazon.com-fashion, e.g. those who asked for xy also downloaded our xyz. It may work for certain types of businesses I think.
vanish or vigor: the consistent follow-up is the most convincing part of your arguments. Superb. Especially if it contains some extra info that serves as update/ addition for the downloaded product, already attracting the user. Maybe this feature could/ should be already built into the content of the downloadable material ( i.e. purposefully holding back follow-ups, some charts, surveys etc.?)
And the last bit – ‘vhatever’ I do not think it affects making business in English but Hungarian is an agglutinating language – I suppose that texts on the reg form button, most importantly ‘Submit,’ works better if it is in first person singular, affirmative, and not in an imperative form (‘I’ll have it’ instead of ‘Send it to me’ ), and especially not like ‘order it from us.’ The approach may be better from the user’s point of view, or not?