Let’s be real. The task of filling out an online form sucks. No one likes doing it. But asking a user for their contact information in exchange for the helpful content is one of the necessities of proper lead generation and nurturing. It’s important to keep in mind though which persona the content is for and what stage of the sales funnel this person is at. This will dictate the amount of information that you need to ask for.

Let’s say for example that you’re offering downloadable instructions on how to remove porcupine quills from your American Bulldog. This content is typically going to be for users who need someone that can help solve their immediate and urgent problem – so asking for a phone number, blood type and favourite ninja turtle might be a bit extreme for an introductory offer.

I want to meet the guy who said "you're going to love the ninja version of this."

Alrighty then. So how do you create the picture perfect form for your downloadable content? Start with these three tips:

1. Size matters

It’s common sense really. Shorter forms receive higher conversion rates than longer ones. Keep your forms limited to simple info like name and email address to begin. With the help of workflows and progressive profiling, you can ask for more information down the road when they grab the next offer.

2. Your form button can make or break you

Don’t Use ‘Submit’ as your button text. Conversion rates are proven to be lower when buttons use this wording. In comparison, phrases like ‘click here’ or ‘go’ have shown to receive up to 30% higher conversion rates. By making use of A/B testing, you can also try out different phrases like ‘get it’ or ‘register now’ to dial in what works best for you.

3. Nurture those leads beyond the first submission

Just like dating, be careful of what questions you ask upon first contact. Remember that for an introductory offer people aren’t interested in providing their age, salary and other personal information. Not only is it exhaustive, but it makes you look pretty creepy. It’s a sure-fire way to ensure that there’s no second date on the horizon, so pick those first questions carefully.

When can I start asking for more information?

This can be a slippery slope. You certainly don’t want to be the blacked out van parked down the street tapping the phone lines, but every piece of information you collect can also help build a profile that will help you tailor content in the future. In the beginning just get them into the system with a basic email address and build from there by asking for a little more on each progressive form. Soon you’ll have gathered enough information to build a complete profile on the prospect and you’ll be able to start developing a strategy for closing the sale.

Use this free guide to help identify who you should really be targeting:

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