They grew up on the internet, creating content before it was called content.
They were watching Potter Puppet Pals and posting vlogs from blurry webcams when YouTube was in its infancy.
They were messing with HTML so they could have music autoplay on their MySpace page.
Millennials are the kings and queens of content. They practically created the art of content creation and curation. And now they’re climbing the ranks of the business world, making purchase decisions (or at least influencing them).
But how do you convince a jaded Millennial to fill out your form? Unlike prior generations, Millennials know that “free” in exchange for an email address isn’t free. They understand the value of their data.
On that same note, they’re more than willing to give that data away, provided you make it worth their while. What does that mean? Find out in this post.
Keep It Concise
Remember Vine? I think that’s a pretty accurate description of the attention span of most millennials. The videos on this (now dead) platform were just 6.5 seconds long.
Keep that in mind when you build your forms (especially if you know you have a disproportionately high rate of millennials in your target audience).
If your form is too long and asks too much, you create friction and make the millennial lose sight of why they were signing up for your list in the first place.
Did you know that reducing the number of form fields to 10 or under increases conversions by 120%? Keep it as short as you can while still maintaining data quality. You don’t need to ask for all their information at once either, you can start with the basics and ask for more as time passes.
Don’t Ask For Everything More Than Once
Stop badgering your leads to fill out an entire form every time they want to download a piece of content.
To do that, when you initially ask someone for data in exchange for something, just ask for their email first. Have that form query your database to find out if this person has already given you their data. This is called progressive profiling. Many marketing automation systems do it automatically.
Then, you have the option to either:
- Ask them for different data
- Don’t ask for any more data
To choose, consider what data you need and even how much data you already have on an individual. It can also be helpful to have leads re-enter their information periodically.
Remember, more fields = more friction but also more fields = more accurate data.
Give Them More Value
Millennials know that corporations do a lot of things with their data. They’re savvy about who gets their data, so you need to convince them that you’re worth it. How?
Give them perks for signing up for your list, don’t just give them an ebook.
Maybe they get a discount off their next purchase, maybe they get a lifetime lower-rate or behavior-tailored coupons. Maybe they get all your gated content sent directly to their inbox. Millennials are incredibly loyal to brands that give them a reason to be. Loyalty programs that keep giving beyond a single PDF download incentivize millennials to sign up and stay subscribed.
Interactive Exclusive Content
Give them interesting content. Maybe they get access to your interactive app when they sign up for your mailing list. Or an exclusive piece of AR or VR content.
Make Their Jobs Easier
The point here is, you want to make sure that you give content that serves a need.
Millennials are going to be impressed by your claims that you are the greatest. They want you to prove it to them. So, start by asking what problems they need to solve and help them solve it.
This means that leads that have already signed up to your list get all access to all content. They don’t need to fill out forms with the same information more than once, which decreases fricition while increasing engagement.
Protect Their Data
Millennials are news-savvy and tech-savvier. They know that companies buy and sell their data, especially after high profile cases with companies like Facebook.
Be good guardians of their data. On your forms, mention that you don’t sell data to third parties.
And then, actually don’t sell their data. Keep it safe. Millennials want to trust the brands they purchase from.
Don’t blast out jargon-laden messages to millennials and expect them to fill out a form.
You want to ensure that you’re both transparent and authentic when creating content for millennials.
Don’t lie or dodge the truth. Keep your language concise and practical. The easier your content and form are to understand; the more likely millennials will fill it out.
Make It Personal
As mentioned above, you don’t want to ask the same person for the same data three times.
A way to segment your audience for forms is to change what the form looks like every time a lead fills it out. This ensures they see a fresh form each time and you aren’t fatiguing them by asking for the same thing over and over.
Customize the forms your audience see. That can be done manually by sending emails campaigns that collect different form fields with different lengths, or it can be done automatically using a marketing automation system or other software to serve forms dynamically by querying the server.
Millennials are bitter just like their beloved IPAs. But they can be cracked with sweetness — that is, optimized forms that are backed by authentic, true value.
Let us know what you think:
- What do you do to entice millennials to fill out forms?
- Did you ditch forms as much as possible?
- What tips would you like to see here?
Also published on Medium.