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Many of you are generating leads via your website, but struggle to improve conversion rates and drive down the cost per lead. Here are some quick tips on

  • How you can accurately measure what’s going on
  • What to test to improve lead gen conversion rates

Measuring what’s going on

Our example below uses Google Analytics because it’s the most popular platform. The same tips hold true for other analytics vendors – Omniture directions here.

First you need to understand how to measure the conversion rate for a single page.

  • In your GA settings tab, activate a new goal and enter the URL for your “Thank you” page.
  • Wait until some new data is collected, then go to your top content reports and locate the lead gen form page.
  • Once you’re on the lead gen form page, you will see a drop down menu on the far right, labeled “segment”. Select “source”.
  • Now click the tab that says “goal conversion” and viola, you will see the goal conversion rate for that specific lead gen form page.

Now you know what you should be measuring, it’s time to test and improve.

What to test

Below are a few things to try. We recommend you do a proper A/B or Multivariate test, but if you just want to get right into it, you can ad hoc test by comparing the conversion rate by date ranges. Record your test date – collect data for 2 weeks and then compare the two weeks before the test date, to the two weeks after. If the conversion rate is improving, you’re on your way.

Here are a few tips:

1. Make it easy

Ask only what you really need to know, provide clear instructions.

  • Test using fewer fields, especially fewer mandatory fields and fewer personal questions.

2. Make it look easy

It may in fact only take a couple of seconds to, for example, select the appropriate item from a list of options. But the mere fact that the list is there makes your form appear more onerous, and will turn off some visitors.

  • Test the effect of eliminating lengthy lists and menus from your form.
  • If you really need the information, try testing a drop-down menu against a “choose one” list of radio buttons.
  • Test different form layouts. By aligning fields properly, forms appear less cluttered and simpler.

3. Clearly explain the benefits to the visitor of submitting the form

If possible, offer an incentive for submitting the form. A list of “Hot tips” relevant to your industry, access to a “members only” section of your website, entry into a contest… 

  • Test different offers and see what works best.

4. Finesse your “Submit Form” button or link

  • Test a button against a text link
  • Test different button shapes and colors
  • Test different wording, for example if you’re using “Submit”, try:
    • Tell me more!
    • Send me my [incentive]
    • Call me
    • Let’s get started

5. Use a testing tool like Google Website Optimizer

Ad hoc testing is never as effective as process based testing.  If you have the time and technical team we recommend you run simple A/B tests or simple MVT tests.  Using software often forces you to be decisive, and it makes tracking the results transparent (it’s easier to see what changes had impact).