Why Lead Capture Forms Deliver (Mostly) Poor Results


Posted on September 26, 2019 by Aaron Johnson

And How We’ve Cracked the Code in Getting Leads To Fill Them Out

We’ve all been there, once or twice: you’re mindlessly scrolling on your Facebook feed when suddenly an ad pops out at you.

It’s related to that thing you were just looking up (which is obviously a coincidence, right?).

You see the ad and you think: “Oh, man. This actually looks like it could be kind of useful. Eh, what’s the harm in one click, right?”


Almost instantaneously you’re met with a page that’s as blatant in its purpose as it is offensive to both your eyes and the very concept of tasteful design.

You narrow your eyes in disappointment and maybe even scoff before dragging your cursor up to that little “x” on your tab.


And just like that: you’ve sworn off engaging with them ever again no matter what they might have to offer.

So how’d we do? Is that in the ballpark?

Sounds about right, doesn’t it?

And, if you’re a business owner reading this blog, there’s just one question for you: are your lead gen forms eliciting a similar reaction?

If so, don’t worry. It’s not your fault.

Crafting a lead gen form that actually compels people to gladly share their information and has a consistent style and voice, all while not coming across as being pushy, is seriously tough.

But why?

Well, part of the issue stems from a fundamental misunderstanding about…

Why People Actually Hate Filling Out Lead Gen Forms

It’s simple, really.

Think about it.

No, seriously – think about clicking on an ad and being redirected to a landing page containing a lead gen form.

Imagine the moment of realization that the lead gen form starts near the top of the page and continues past the bottom of your screen.

Imagine the moment of dread when you realize you’re gonna have to use your scroll wheel to finish filling out this absolute behemoth of a form. 

Imagine the moment of relief you’d have when you clicked that red “x” and saved yourself from having to do all of that work.

That little sequence we just imagined is the exact thought process your customers are having all. the. time

People dislike – no – despise having to interact with lead generation forms because they already have this idea in their head that:

Lead Gen Form = Spending a long time filling it out to give up my information

So, what can you do to dispel this idea? Simple:

Only Ask For Vital Info On Lead Capture Forms

If you’re only really interested in key items like their name and email address, then why does your lead capture form have room for their street address and zip code?

Cut it out.

No. Literally.

Cut that filler out and just stick to the basics.

If you just need their first name, last name, and email, then your lead capture form should only have three fields.

To save even more time, consider harnessing the power of pre-populating data available in so-called “smart forms”.

Smart forms utilize cached data your user has repeatedly shared on similar lead capture forms, thus streamlining the process.

Suddenly, all that time they would have spent typing out their information is reduced to near nothing.

Suddenly, you’ve done the work for them.

Okay, but that still hasn’t exactly solved the issue.

In practice, even after you’ve eliminated the time constraint, there’s still a second stipulation to the equation above:

Lead Gen Form = Giving up my information in exchange for  = …what, exactly?

Consider your current lead capture form:

After a potential client fills out the form…

How Are You Thanking Them For Their Information?

We’ve found that the best lead capture provide tangible appreciation for the time and energy it takes potential clients to share their information with them.

Most often, this is done by offering up incentives for the exchange of information.

Examples of these incentives include eBooks, discounts, or, for truly generous business owners, sometimes even physical gifts.

Of course, some proportion of viewers will always feel hesitant to fill it out your lead capture forms out of fear of one thing, and one thing alone: you might sell their information. 

“But,” you protest “I would never do that! I’m not some kind of mustache-twirling robber baron from the 20’s or something. I’m just trying to grow my business.”

Well, while you might know that you would never do such a thing, how do your viewers know that?

Have you made it a point to tell them, like literally say the words, that the information they give you on your lead gen forms will be kept secure?

If you can’t emphatically reply “Yes!” to the above question, take this as a learning opportunity and make a plan of action.

You don’t have to take up half your lead capture form with bold 72 size font saying “WE PINKY PROMISE THAT WE WON’T SELL YOUR EMAIL”.

A little, easily found and legible disclaimer beneath your call-to-action button stressing your dedication to preserving their privacy will more than assuage their fears.

Speaking of those handy little call-to-action buttons, we thought it’d be worth reminding you that…

Your Call-to-Action Button Is Too Important to Ignore

We know, we know – who could have thought that a little colorful button with barely a few words could matter so much.

Well, it does, and it doesn’t take much thinking to figure out why.

A call-to-action button signifies a few things:

  1. The coveted END of the form, that “huzzah!” moment your leads have after they did all that hard work to fill it out
  1. The barrier between them and their oh-so-deserved prize

When you get down to it, your call-to-action button signals that a transaction (hopefully the first of many) is about to take place between you and the prospective client.

Once they click that button, you’ve just done a sort of business with them – they’re one of your first methods of establishing lasting rapport.

With so much at stake, we’re always so shocked at the amount of poorly placed, poorly written, and just plain bad call-to-action buttons we see on lead gen forms.

What’s surprising, though, is how avoidable having an ineffective call-to-action button really is.

After mulling it over, we realized that many of these buttons would be remarkably better with just a few tweaks.

For your convenience, we’ve boiled those tweaks down to a sort of checklist to use when designing a call-to-action button:

  1. Don’t just put up a rectangle with some words on it. Put up a damn button and make the button look clickable.
  1. Give your CTA button some color contrast. If your background is white, for the love of God don’t make your call-to-action button white.
  1. Use an arrow. A big one. And point to the button.


Remember: You want viewers to take action, so putting an arrow directing them to the button is an easy way to make sure they can’t just blow you off.

  1. Get excited about what you’re offering in exchange for your visitors’ information.

Which would you feel more compelled to click:

A barely noticeable, sort-of-shaded in rectangle with the word “Submit” slapped on the front.


A button that POPS with color emblazoned with the message “Get My Free eBook Today!”

At the end of the day, even with everything else we’ve said, it’s probably just easier to remember that…

Your Goal Should Be To Impress Your Leads

You want your lead capture forms to make a mark on your prospective clients.

You want them to be stunned by the consistency in design and brand found between your lead gen forms and the rest of your advertising.

You want them to be wowed at the valuable, irreplaceable content you reward them with for their time an effort.

You want them to say “Screw the form! How do I keep talking to this company?”

You want a lead capture form designed and implemented by the digital marketing experts at Social Link.

If you want a lead gen form tailor-made to convert first time viewers into paying customers, let’s get in touch.

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