Lead Generation Forms Suck and I Hate Them

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot tweets with links to supposedly awesome resources.  But when I click on these links, I get a big disappointment: A long and overly complicated lead generation form.

Example #1: HubSpot

Hubspot tweet about
“Sweet!  Clicking on this link will help increase my productivity!”

Clicking on the link brings up the lead generation form below:

HubSpot Lead Generation Form
HubSpot Lead Generation Form http://ow.ly/98jvj

Maybe it’s just me, but when someone tells me “Click here to get a list of productivity apps”, then I expect to get a list of productivity apps.  NOT a lead generation form.  Just give me the content already.  Don’t trick me into clicking your link and waste my time by trying to get me to fill out an overly complicated form that I know will result in more marketing coming my way.

There’s nothing wrong with lead collection forms — but set the expectation from the get-go. “What apps do you use to increase productivity? Register to download a free e-book”.  That won’t get nearly as many clicks.  But at least it’s honest.  At least it doesn’t waste my time.  At least I know what I’m getting myself into.

FYI, I unfollowed HubSpot after receiving several more of these.  And I am now less likely to ever use their products.

What HubSpot did wrong

  • They did not set proper expectation in their tweet
  • Their lead generation form was overly complex
    (12 form elements, 10 of them required)
  • The newsletter opt-in is confusing: There is a checkbox at the end of the form that reads “I’d like to receive more awesome resources from Duct Tape Marketing!” – Who is Duct Tape Marketing??  I thought this was HubSpot???  (Duct Tape Marketing are actually the producers of the e-book — but that’s not obvious)
  • The e-book cover is terrible – If you actually read the cover, you realize it’s just the same words repeated over and over again.

What should HubSpot do to fix it?

  • Change their tweet to: “What apps do you use to increase productivity? Register to download a free e-book that have some you may have missed!”
  • Reduce the number of form fields in the lead generation form.  Ideally, just collect e-mail, ’cause that’s all you really need to deliver the e-book.  (Less value as a lead, but less annoying)

Example #2: Optify

Clicking on the link brings up the lead gen form below.
(Also, extra annoyed by the promoted tweet)

Optify Lead Generation Form (http://bit.ly/JYMoiA)

Filling out the form gives you this e-mail (with a mediocre document)

So far, nothing unexpected.  But then this e-mail:

This is clearly an automated e-mail (addressed to asdfasdf), unsolicited (I never opted in to anything), and commercial in nature.  Hmmmm… Feels a wee bit spamy.  Certainly not what I was expecting for signing up for a crappy e-book.

What Optify did wrong

  • They did not set proper expectation in their tweet
  • Their lead generation form was overly complex
    (Only 7 form elements, but confusing headings like “Business e-mail”)
  • The e-book content was average at best – Certainly nothing in there compelling enough to make me a customer.
  • SPAM! The e-mail in which you send me your content is supposed to be your up-sell opportunity.

What should Optify do to fix it?

  • Change their tweet to: “Thinking about website redesign? Register to download this guide: Managing #SEO during a site redesign”
  • Reduce the number of form fields in the lead generation form.  Ideally, just collect e-mail, ’cause that’s all you really need to deliver the e-book.  (Less value as a lead, but less annoying)
  • Consider one of the following:
    A) Adding a “I would like to hear more about Optify’s digital marketing initiatives” checkbox
    B) Include a short solicitation in the first e-mail containing the content
    C) Clearly state that “By submitting this form, you are agreeing to receive marketing messages from Optify”

One thought on “Lead Generation Forms Suck and I Hate Them

  1. I left my email address and some other details to download a mediocre ebook from Hubspot. Result: they emailed me, then found me on my social networks, found out how to call me at work, and, well, called me at work. Coincidentally, I picked up that call. It’s like they never heard of permission marketing. Big turn off. Ironically, they don’t send me many emails and I would’ve preferred they did rather than trying to communicate with me on channels I didn’t approve.

    Like

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