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#1 cre8pc

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:05 AM

One of the reasons that people do not fill out sales lead forms is that they are thinly disguised ways to get personal information that result in unsolicited phone calls and emails.

 

And yet marketers keep insisting they need to require personal information.  The worst case was a company that required the phone number as a first step in a sales lead form.  The second step required additional information that a large number of users did not want to provide, but by then the company had their phone number.  They had a call center where employees called every single person who abandoned the sales lead form and they were trained to "save" the lead.

 

The process worked very well for them but I hated it because entrapment is not good for customer satisfaction or branding.

 

Another example are products sold online like vitamins, hair products, credit reports, etc. that claim to be free or start out as a free trial.  To get the free trial, you have to fork over your credit card so they can bill you later for the month to month part of the program.  To not get the product, and to cancel the trial, means having to call a phone number where there is a person on the other end trained to hassle you into signing up.  You may not know your trial has even ended until you get your credit card statement and see the charge there, as it would be too much to ask to be given a heads up that you are about to be charged.

 

Another ploy is to force people to sign up for something they do not want before they get the thing they do want.  For example, if someone is interested in getting an ebook but they must sign up for a monthly newsletter before being granted access to the "Free" download.  This is not free.  It is a condition.

 

Whitepapers are abandoned and ignored because companies require a full address and phone number before the user can get the white paper.  I never fill these out.  Do you?  Some companies will require financial information as a filter or the number of employees. Why?  What business is it of their's?  There are ways to gather information that are more credible, like surveys.

 

Sales lead forms are sneaky ways to get information from people and also used to decide whether or not someone is worthy of your business.  One example is a form that let's you know they won't even talk to you unless you have a specific budget.  In a way, that is honest but it also arrogant, as it sends a message that says, "You are not good enough for us."

 

Marketers adore these ploys but how do you feel?  Have you had enough of the privacy invasion?  Have you ever been accidentally charged for something you wanted to cancel?  Do you hand over your personal information to get free resources?



#2 earlpearl

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 09:45 AM

Kim:   We own and operate local businesses/services with websites.   Every one of the sites has those forms on them.   Every form asks for the following:

 

name

email

address

phone number

 

they also include some "engagement questions".   Currently every form on every website accepts submissions with only name and phone # email.  We haven't bothered to test to see about making addresses mandatory or not. We know the  forms turn off some people.  We also get "leads" via phone and we get emails with just the email and a name and no address or phone number.  

 

When people fill out the form or call and give us addresses we send brochures.  We'll respond with emails, we'll use the phone, send texts.  We used CRM software that enables us to turn off all contact efforts upon request.  When that request comes in we respond appropriately.  We stop all contact efforts.

 

We get forms back that suggest a "best time to call"   We get forms that say just email the respondent, and other comments.  We respect those.

 

In these two verticals our basic "conversion rate"  calculated as "leads" divided by total traffic is in the range of 10-15%.  One industry is higher, one is lower.

 

In one "industry" there is a "benchmark" for percentage of sales to leads.  Our businesses in that industry generally exceeds that benchmark.  The other service type is more of a niche than an industry.  We are unaware of benchmarks.  

 

As a business when we don't do a good job of getting all that contact info we sell "worse".  We get low results in sales and in sales as a percentage of leads.

 

Among the sales every year are customers who tell us they looked at the information "years" earlier, but never contacted us.  So they contact us "when they are ready...or readier".   That is fine.  We appreciate them.

 

We couldn't survive without the contact forms.





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