Forms are a great tool for lead generation, but it’s always a fine balance between asking for enough details to qualify a lead or asking too much. A rule of thumb on how many fields you should put on your web form is to assess what is the value of filling out that form perceived by your lead. Even in the case of a web form for gated content, asking too much may turn them away or result in them filling in fake information.
What if there’s a way to get more data out of your leads without scaring them away with a long web form? Enter progressive profiling.
According to a Formstack report, contact forms should include no more than four fields per form. Adding additional fields reduces the likelihood a lead will fill out your form and give you their information. With such a limited number of fields, it becomes rather challenging to be able to capture enough quality data from your leads that can be fed into your marketing automation. What if there’s a way to get more data out of your leads without scaring them away with a long web form? Enter progressive profiling.
What is progressive profiling?
Progressive profiling is a method of gathering user data over time using an interactive smart form that presents a lead with a subset of form fields from a larger set at any one time. Fields are queued in advance in this larger set so that if a lead has already answered one of the earlier fields, the next unanswered field can be displayed in its place. In this way, a fuller picture of the lead’s profile can be built up over time without discouraging visitor engagement by requesting too much information upfront.
The greatest benefit of progressive profiling is boosting lead generation through a series of less demanding touch-points that advance the lead through the sales funnel. Another benefit is also autocompleting forms, which gives leads the freedom to update information as their situation changes, while also relieving them of the burden of filling out forms.
How does it work?
SharpSpring has recently added progressive fields to its form tool that makes it possible to achieve progressive profiling. Here’s a quick video that walks through how easy it is to start adding progressive fields to forms in SharpSpring.
What I can use it for?
To use progressive profiling effectively, you should start assessing your contact fields and determine a priority order among the fields. What are considered as important and required fields in your organisation may not be the same as other organisations, so it is critical to consider that and decide what works best for your company. Secondary fields would be less important fields that may be good-to-haves but are not necessary when they are filling out your forms for the first time. These may include fields such as phone number, industry, country, topics of interest, etc.
Keep your forms short and sweet if you want to increase engagement with your forms. Asking only a few questions and keeping them relevant is a sure way of building up more robust user data over time.