How to Use Online Forms to Reach (and Convince) Decision Makers
This post is a guest contribution from Will Cannon, entrepreneur and Founder of UpLead
To find the right decision makers, you need the right data. And the best way to find more about the decision makers you’re trying to reach is to ask them questions directly. However, if decision makers are already hard to reach, how can you convince them to submit an online form? How can you reach them? And, most importantly, what should you do with the data you collect about them?
Why you should use online forms to reach decision makers
Online forms are the simplest way to gather information directly from the people you want to learn more about. While you can use external data and analytics to discover more information about end users and decision makers, direct answers give you valuable insights that statistical analysis simply can’t provide.
A well-designed and user-friendly web form can help you identify:
- Key demographic information about decision makers
- Purchasing processes and buying criteria for new tech solutions
- A company’s business profile and employee information
With well-designed forms, you can gather more data about staffing roles, budgets, purchasing teams, and pain points or unique challenges. You can then use this valuable data to craft a relevant sales pitch or to discover other decision makers more effectively.
How to use online forms to reach decision makers
Where should you place your online forms to reach the right decision makers? Here’s how to incorporate them into your efforts and get started immediately.
Lead capture forms
One of the most cost-effective ways to reach more decision makers is by creating simple pathways for them to engage. A primary way to accomplish this is by introducing lead capture forms.
A lead capture form can take the form of a basic Request for Information form on your company’s homepage, or it can occur on various landing pages. In exchange for information from the decision maker or prospect, you can offer a special incentive or tailored piece of content.
How to get started today:
Start by researching your ideal buyer persona and determining which “lead magnets” may be most effective. Does your intended decision maker need a helpful resource, a product demo, or a direct connection to a team member?
Once you have a list of your potential decision makers, you can craft an online form using FormAssembly’s simple drag and drop form builder. Gather relevant information without overwhelming your intended decision maker with excessive fields that may discourage them from completing the form.
To close the lead generation loop, make sure to deliver what was promised. Whether that means sending a downloadable resource, connecting over an email, or scheduling a direct phone call with sales personnel, make sure to follow through.
Inbound marketing, like producing blog articles and other downloadable content, can help you reach decision makers more organically.
Although this isn’t a quick solution, a strong inbound marketing strategy can continue to yield results for months, and even years to come. And, if done right, inbound marketing can not only attract decision makers, but it can give them reasons to fill out and send forms to you.
How to get started today:
First, craft a decision maker persona. Just like any user persona, your decision maker persona should tell you who they are and how you can focus on their challenges and pain points.
Then, focus on the pain points you can solve through targeted content. For example, you may find out that your decision maker is very preoccupied in finding the right cloud service. You can then attract them with an article titled “10 Things To Take Into Account When Choosing Cloud Services.”
Once you’ve attracted them, you can ask them to submit a simple form that can promise an incentive, a more thorough piece of content, or a special deal. You can get creative with these options based on what you know may help them.
You can then use the corresponding data from your content marketing forms to keep improving your inbound strategy.
Facebook and LinkedIn ads
Lastly, a great way to find decision makers is through targeted ads on social media. Facebook is extremely helpful for targeting the right people according to your decision-maker persona, while LinkedIn ads also work very well with professionals.
How to get started today:
Once you’ve crafted the right decision-maker persona and used it to target the ad, you still need to convert clicks into filled forms.
First, focus on your Call to Action, or CTA. Review effective CTA examples and use A/B testing to get the most profitable results from your ads. Then, focus on your landing page, which is where your user will go after clicking. Conduct research into how to produce a compelling landing page that converts according to your industry and user persona.
And, since a great landing page is one that makes things as easy as possible, you need to let them start filling up the form immediately. With FormAssembly, you can embed forms to your landing page by simply pasting the provided HTML code, or by using more advanced publishing methods.
They’ve filled your form—what now?
Here are some best practices you should follow when crafting forms and analyzing their results.
Keep it simple
The main thing to take into account when crafting forms is that you should make it as easy as possible to complete each question or field. Your forms should be short, easy to understand, and attractive at first glance.
FormAssembly simplifies the form submission process by offering fully responsive forms that you can easily design, brand, and customize. Your key or targeted decision makers can complete them anywhere, whether they’re submitting responses on a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.
Apply what you’ve learned
Once you have the data, identify trends and use common pain points to improve your lead scoring process.
The best way to gather valuable insights from your web forms is by making sure you’re analyzing the data properly. With FormAssembly, your data is automatically collected and stored securely. A powerful integration to Salesforce means that you can sync and review all of your important customer insights in one place.
Improve your strategy
As you work toward more advanced form processes in the future, be sure to add questions to your forms that help you identify where your decision makers are and how to reach them. Find out more about them to improve your outbound strategies and targeted ads, and use your learnings to better identify decision makers.
Online forms can provide unique and valuable insight on who decision makers are, which challenges they face, and how to serve them with technical solutions. However, getting them to fill out your form is not just a matter of reaching them, but involves crafting a fully responsive and attractive form process that entices your users to submit.
By using FormAssembly, you can design advanced and secure online forms to keep track of your decision maker data.
Guest Contribution By:
Will Cannon is the entrepreneur and founder of UpLead, a B2B prospecting company that helps companies identify their best-fit customers and reach out to them. UpLead is used and trusted by companies from across the globe, including Salesforce, Google, and Dropbox. Before founding UpLead, Will founded BWG, a lead generation company that led the customer acquisition strategy for companies like Dropbox, Morgan Stanley, ADP, and many other Fortune 500 companies.