October 24, 2017

Optimize Your Inbound Form Strategy for Lead Quality

Lead quality is one of the most common pain points for marketing teams. Your company may seem to get a lot of leads, but they might not be best fit for your company. It’s even possible that you don’t have enough information from those leads to determine quality or fit. If this is occurring at your company, it may be a sign of gaps in your form strategy.

Your form strategy, if planned and executed correctly and efficiently, can gather all necessary information your marketing and sales teams need to qualify leads. Importantly, it doesn’t help you get qualified leads, but instead helps with evaluating your leads. Here are some of our best tips to ensure you've got the right leads in your funnel. 

Optimize Your Form Strategy with These 4 Tips

1. Implement a master form strategy

A master form strategy allows you to to easily collect consistent and relevant information from your leads to streamline the lead qualification process. Forms "gate" a visitor or prospect from receiving something they are interested in, asking for value equal to the value of your content. Therefore, forms should not deter a visitor from completing and converting.

An effective master form strategy takes into account the value exchanged at each stage of the funnel to increase the number of questions asked or change the type of question. The forms also act as baselines that can be cloned and changed as needed, eliminating the need to create an entirely new form. Overtime, your form strategy may need to evolve. Leveraging a master strategy means you'll be able to make updates to only the master forms, which will subsequently update across all pages, eliminating the manual effort needed to update every form across every page.

2. Use your form strategy to align marketing and sales

Your sales team may be getting frustrated with receiving low quality leads. Building a form strategy is a great way to align your marketing and sales team. Find out what both the marketing and sales teams deem a qualified lead. Create that shared definition and use it to create better forms. Make sure both teams know your company’s target buyer personas and understand how your form strategy (when it's created) will help your organization reach those personas.

Download our Ultimate Guide to Inbound Marketing to learn how to build a  successful, optimized strategy.

3. Incorporate your form strategy with persona mapping and lead qualification using standardized fields

Oftentimes, forms use single-line text fields which leave room for error and non-standardized values to enter your database. Yikes. Submissions could be spelled incorrectly, categorized incorrectly or just straight-up wrong due to lack of context or options. Try to leverage drop-down or radio select property types that offer standardized values most useful for your marketing and sales team.

By giving leads limited options when they fill out a form, you’re not only getting the information you need from them, but you're also organizing your entire database with standardized contact properties. You’ll be able to segment leads by persona and qualification (fit) as soon as they fill out a form.

4. Use your form strategy for lifecycle marketing

Now that you have ample information about your leads, including properties like pain points, goals, industry and others, you can tailor email nurture campaigns to those specific contact properties in order to move leads down the funnel. If contacts read an email that resonates with them, they are more likely to download more content, get more educated about your company and, ultimately, become a customer.

With the right inbound form strategy in place, you can guarantee your database stays clean and easy to segment. You can use the information you gain from leads to better understand their needs and create new content. And you can ensure that only the most quality leads are scored as such, and move further down the inbound funnel, thereby ensuring that your sales and marketing teams stay in sync and happy with one another's lead qualification efforts. There's no way to go wrong with a killer form strategy — as long as you optimize and grow with new information.

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Megan Sullivan

Megan is a Senior Inbound Strategist.


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