August 19, 2017

How Marketing Sales Leads Can Be Missed

I’ve been doing this for years and I have to get this off my chest. I’ve seen hundreds of B2B campaigns- good ones, bad ones, mediocre ones. I’ve seen brilliant ones that turned targets into leads at amazing rates and I’ve seen ones so bad that digital tumbleweeds practically blow across the landing page.

There’s no excuse for getting it wrong. There’s so much good advice available on solid best practices. Really, a little research would have helped avoid so many bad campaigns I’ve seen. There is one piece of conventional wisdom that keeps popping up however and it’s very wrong.

When it comes to landing pages, there are lots of people working with a bad, wrongheaded, and silly idea. This nonsense idea is that longer forms will get you better leads.

It appears wise on the surface. Leads that fill out the longer form are obviously more interested and have a more pressing need for what you’re selling, right? Shorter forms get you more leads and longer forms get you better leads is the standard line of thinking.

Ask yourself though, are you turning away prospects, maybe even your best prospects, because you’re asking too much from them? Just because they will fill out a longer form doesn’t necessarily make them a better lead. Maybe they are lonely people and not at all busy. Maybe they are exactly who you’re looking for.

But, if they will fill out a longer form, they will fill out a shorter one. You won’t miss out on those leads but you will miss the ones that don’t want to give out their phone number or budget or timeline for making a decision. People rightfully worry that they’ll be ducking sales calls for years.

Personally, I would rather give out my social security number than put my phone number into a lead form. In the age of Linkedin, how much information do you really need from a prospect beyond their email address and name?

Hubspot says you get 6 seconds with the visitor to make your case. If it looks like too much trouble, they’re gone. The level of hassle involved is called page friction. Ask too much and your six seconds is up and your potential whale client is gone. Test it and see if I’m right. If you really want those digits, you can make it an optional field without too much extra page friction.

Bad leads who are a poor fit will always be with us and there will always be complaints from salespeople. It’s far better to get more leads and throw out some bad ones than to turn away good prospects at the landing page. Just ask the complainers, do they want more leads or less leads? Then ask, how often they put their phone number in to lead capture forms?