Those who work in demand gen have become accustomed to debating optimal length, format, and location of registration forms, with an overarching goal of driving maximum conversions.
These are worthy endeavors because our registration forms are central to capturing names for account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns, digital and live events, content syndication programs, and more. Many of you probably work in companies with A/B testing programs that significantly focus on registration forms.
But we are convinced there’s a viable alternative to the traditional form that you’re probably not aware of, or at least not considering. We want to tell you how this alternative works in this blog.
This discussion is a timely one: As we head into 2022 and you plan campaigns and budgets for the year to come, it’s an optimal time to consider new approaches that can unlock new value.
Issues with forms
The typical marketing campaign, especially one that’s multichannel or omnichannel, involves a variety of touchpoints, many of which do not necessarily require form completions: advertising on Google, the web, or LinkedIn, awareness-oriented social media posts, promotional emails, or newsletters with links to ungated content, direct mail, and more.
Though typically siloed from form-based demand gen campaigns, we think these activities don’t need to be siloed. Instead, they can be leveraged strategically to serve demand gen objectives by providing early demand indicators.
We know that buyers are more motivated than ever to keep sellers at arm’s length and conduct as much diligence as possible before they’re ready to engage with sales (or complete your form).
Plus, let’s not overlook a key point: forms have issues. Typically, they focus on the bottom of the funnel, and their track record in engagement or retention isn’t excellent.
Conversion percentages vary by audience, content asset, and other variables, but we generally find one of every three visitors to a page with a form complete said form. In our case, forms are optimized to their fullest because we run so many campaigns. We’re all familiar with other forms that you might call lots of things, though “optimized” isn’t one of them, and industry data bears this out.
The Definition of Insanity Is…
All of the preceding begs the question: how much demand are you chasing away because of requiring form completions as an indicator of success? That seems even less advisable when other ways to capture or append the requisite data without introducing a friction-filled form that turns the visitor away.
While visitors who click something – an email link, a content asset on a web page, a video – have clear interest, it’s been common practice to treat their “failure” to complete a form as a disqualifier. We view things quite differently.
If you see the value in visitors’ clicks as an early indicator of demand – as we think you should – then how can you identify that intent at a contact level without a form that performs data capture?
Our homegrown solution: clicks generated from emails, targeted to our database records. We’re able to identify those who click via a unique identifier matched to each contact in the target group.
That identifier can, in turn, enable us to append historical behavior, company firmographics, LinkedIn profiles, or other relevant data points that are at our disposal. Our customers who’ve embraced this practice, Campaigns for Early Demand, say it gives them additional prospects to engage at various funnel stages.
Being able to mine your database for contact-level insights represents a modern, user-friendly approach to capturing early demand. Using it to enter the contacts in a nurture program, or manipulate their behavior, may determine additional content assets of interest.
Whatever you choose with early demand data, we believe it can round out traditional marketing/demand gen campaigns.
We’re not suggesting this early-demand alternative is a full-scale replacement for the classic lead gen approach with forms that a visitor must complete. At a minimum, we view it as a supplementary approach that B2B brands should test and evaluate to accelerate their campaigns and demand gen strategy.
Let us know if you’d like to dive deeper and evaluate the possibility of testing our approach to early demand for your brand.