The experts have spoken. Shorter lead capture forms provide the highest sign-up rates. But if you are stopping at First Name, Last Name, Email, and Phone, you won’t be able to leverage these leads in any intelligent way in your sales, reporting or remarketing efforts downstream.
When you’re done reading this, you’ll know how to capture a greater wealth of information in each and every lead to leverage and make intelligent business decisions with minimal impact to your registration form conversion rates.
Are you picking apart the basics?
So you have captured the basic form information outlined above. A good webmaster will extract the Area Code and County Code from the phone number into its own field. There are many Area Code databases you can use to map to states and time zones.
Your webmaster should also extract the website URL out of the email address. While many leads may have a Gmail, Yahoo or Comcast address, if your lead’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org, you should extract the web address into your database. In this case, www.mybiz.com would allow your sales team to more readily access their company website to learn more about them. Also, knowing their email domain extension (.com, .co.uk, .ca or .mx) may help you define another value, filtering international from domestic leads.
Are you leveraging key demographic information?
Simply asking for their Zip/Postal Code allows you to do more geographical targeting by leveraging and referencing a third party Zip Code/GPS database. Now you can accurately cluster where your leads are coming from. This is a quick way to extrapolate their country, time zone, state, county, city, and general GPS coordinates within large cities — all by asking information that people know and quickly give up.
Are you leveraging key persona information?
If you could ask ONE critical question of your lead that will help explicitly define the potential value of that lead, what would it be? For example, if you sell a service that requires a license for each user, a key question worth asking would be “How many users?” and then provide a simple, but detailed, drop down list ranging from 1,2,3 users, to 10-15, 16-25, 25-50, to 250+ users.
While processing the form information you can map these ranges against your pricing table and capture each leads potential value into your database. This will help in a number of ways: It will allow you to properly prioritize which leads your sales team may go after; it will allow you to score the potential value of your campaign against the actual win value; and you can also deploy targeted messaging in your drip marketing campaigns to larger users versus the smaller ones.
Are you leveraging key tracking?
Your webmaster should be capturing any marketing campaign tracking information when the lead form is submitted. The traditional standards are Google Analytics’ utm_source, utm_campaign, utm_medium, utm_content, utm_term.
These fields should be descript and leveraged for lead routing, tell your sales team a story about the lead, enhance your campaign reports, and allow you to segment or target your email marketing drip campaigns.
Other important fields to capture are “outside site referring URL”, “landing page URL”, and the “URL they were on prior to your lead form.” These “referring URLs” give you the ability to report what key pages are working for you and when the sales team reviews the lead and gives them a high level story of how that person trafficked your site to become a lead.
Key systems information?
Capture their IP address, resolve it to their ISP, and resolve any “Geocode” information (similar to GPS coordinates, but not always AS accurate.) Is the person saying they are from California, but submitting the form while traveling in Texas?
You should also capture their browser and operating system. Are they using a PC, Mac, tablet, or a mobile device? Are they using Internet Explorer or Google Chrome? This information can help you understand how technically savvy your lead is.
When all is said and done…
Your basic four-field form has bumped up to six (adding Zip Code and your key persona question) for your prospect to complete, yet from all the other systems you are able to capture and manipulate, you’ve extended yourself to well over 28 fields of usable information.
How to leverage this information
I’ve touched upon some specific ways you can leverage the information above, but want to provide a bigger picture about how all this information can be used together across your organization.
A good sales team can transform all this information into a great story about the lead, and leverage that in their initial conversation with the prospect. Knowing their interest, where they are located, the potential size of the deal, how technically savvy they are, and what critical pages they’ve viewed can get them far down the path to quickly determine how valuable this lead is, where to start the conversation with the prospect, and how serious the prospect might be. Additionally, sales may have a history of knowing that prospects coming in with one particular interest may also be very interested in another topic that they can bring to the conversation.
A good marketing team will be able to launch multiple email marketing drip campaigns where the email will drop into the prospect’s inbox at, say, the critical time of 10 AM, regardless of their time zone or leverage a regional item in their messaging. They might exclude, or message differently, international leads. They would use dynamic content in their drip marketing emails to message small leads differently than larger leads. They might put them on a different lead nurturing campaign all together. Reports on Zip Code or GPS might discover it’s valuable to do extremely targeted direct mail pieces, attend a local trade show or maybe sponsor a “business breakfast.”
Marketing can also extremely fine-tune their marketing campaigns and spending. Knowing which campaigns are bringing in too many international leads or too many of a smaller demographic might encourage them to shift spending to another campaign that is providing larger domestic leads. (This will make your sales team very happy so they don’t have to contact leads that are a waste of their time!)
Your Webmaster can recognize the traffic patterns and change calls to action to increase results from both strong and weak pages.
With time, you’ll have greater knowledge of your leads, better return on your spending and greater revenues from your ability to intelligently engage and close more leads.