May 14

B2B Marketing: What an 11% drop in conversion taught a live audience about lead gen

Lead Generation

5  comments

Recently, we ran a live test for our audience at MarketingSherpa Lead Gen Summit, and as I discovered, this isn’t the easiest thing to do.

The greatest difficulty rests in thinking about lead generation and optimization in new ways – and hoping those ideas produce significant results.

For example, the design process forced us to examine two important questions: what is a quality lead, and how do we measure it?

Live test background

For the past couple of months, we’ve been planning and designing a live test for the recently held Lead Gen Summit 2013.

During that planning, we had to address a paradox that exists in lead generation.

Marketers typically want more information about their leads. This translates to more form fields on a lead generation form.

They are also adding more friction to the lead capture process, which increases the likelihood for a potential lead to say “no” to your form and abandon the entire process.

So, how do you find the right balance between lead quality and quantity?

For our test, we tried to meet in the middle.

Control

The control lead gen page design was a single offer, a short-form page that featured only four form fields with a free downloadable MarketingSherpa Quick Guide, a $45 value, as an incentive.

We needed to identify a baseline for comparison to the other treatments. This control allowed us the opportunity to test multiple aspects of lead generation in one test.

Does the choice of incentive lead to a higher perceived value which results in more lead completions? Will this perceived value be enough for visitors to battle more friction in a longer lead generation form?

Treatment #1

In Treatment #1, the design was also a short form layout. We hypothesized offering a choice of Quick Guides would allow visitors to perceive the incentives as having a higher value and increase overall lead captures.

And the crowd goes wild conservative.

We left Treatment #2 up to the audience at Summit to design. We asked them how many additional form fields they wanted and what those form fields should be.

Surprisingly, 44% of our attendees decided to be conservative with their selection.

They chose only to add one additional form field. This could represent what attendees were learning at Summit in regards to form length and completion rate.

But keep in mind, even though one additional form field was the majority vote, in this case, there were still many attendees who wanted more form fields (56%). We did not have a chance to ask them why they decided they did, but I think it is reasonable to assume they wanted more lead information.

Now, let’s look at what type of form fields the audience wanted to add.

The audience’s choices continued to intrigue us. The job title was the top pick for the additional form. The majority may have decided a deeper context over direct contact was more valuable.

These marketers may have suspected that a phone number field was risky (phone number fields are susceptible to fake numbers) and decided to play it safe with the job title.

Treatment #2

A concern our team had based on the audience’s treatment design was that the variation between the control and treatments had relatively low friction, to begin with. How much friction can one additional form field about job title really add?

Apparently, it created a lot.

Results

There was no statistically significant difference between the control and Treatment #1, where the only difference was a choice of offers.

However, there was a statistical difference between Treatment #2 and the control. Treatment #2 decreased lead generation by 11.9% at a 99% level of confidence.

One form field had a significant impact, and it wasn’t even a high friction question, just a job title.

Our live test reiterated the point that marketers need to be strategic with lead generation forms. Prioritize the information you ask for and limit what you do upfront because it may negatively impact your overall lead generation.

Related Resources:

Lead Generation: How one additional form field decreased conversions 11% [Lead Gen Summit 2013 live test]

Lead Generation: How using science increased teleprospecting sales handoffs 304%

Lead Gen: A proposed replacement for BANT

Lead Generation: Who knows the customer better – Marketing or Sales?

About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing. He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

  1. Interesting test, thanks for sharing Brittany. Something that always plagues us when it comes to decisions like these are getting enough data to also prove that the lost lead quality is also equal to that of other leads.

    In the end, just generating leads alone isn’t the goal. You want leads which will (one day) turn into sales. Does adding the job title field result in just losing leads that would never have gone on to be sales, or are those leads just as good as the others?

  2. Hi Brittany –

    Wow, I’m impressed. I can imagine how long this post took you to write. Well done. It’s very thorough. There is no better way to learn. Than through example.

    Thanks,

    Ian

  3. Hi Brittany –

    Wow, I’m impressed. I can imagine how long this post took you to write. Well done. It’s very thorough. There is no better way to learn. Than through example.

    Thanks,

    Ian

  4. if it is something I really want, I use my complete fake account to get access to this, because usually people who want these information do also want to spam you afterwards with sales calls etc.

    second, if it is behind such screens with tons of requirements (more than really is necessary) I am 100% less likely to share the news afterwards because I do not want people to have to go through the same hassle.

    In your case above, I might download it with false information but would not spread it unless there is a very compelling blog posting I can link to. At the end of the day the marketer has to decide what they want to achive. “Because that is what WE want” though is usually the worst path for success.

  5. if it is something I really want, I use my complete fake account to get access to this, because usually people who want these information do also want to spam you afterwards with sales calls etc.

    second, if it is behind such screens with tons of requirements (more than really is necessary) I am 100% less likely to share the news afterwards because I do not want people to have to go through the same hassle.

    In your case above, I might download it with false information but would not spread it unless there is a very compelling blog posting I can link to. At the end of the day the marketer has to decide what they want to achive. “Because that is what WE want” though is usually the worst path for success.

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