Designing Smarter Lead Generation Forms

March 26, 2014

As we explored in another post about form design, lead generation forms have two jobs: make it easy for a visitor to fill out the form, and get as much visitor data as possible. That other post explores the first issue, and how to design a better form user experience. Our message in this post is this: a good form experience for the user doesn’t require you to sacrifice capturing key data points for your business.

First off, it’s really helpful to work with your sales team to determine what information they use to qualify and score leads. This should be an ongoing conversation. They can help you improve your data collection and overall marketing by sharing their experience. You can help them by sharing insights around data points that they may have not considered.

Once you have a first pass at this list of data points, prioritize collection of these. Then only ask your visitor to submit the information that’s absolutely necessary, which you can’t otherwise collect…and that brings us to the ‘smart’ part.

Smarter Lead Gen Forms Collect Data in the Background

There it is – that’s the magic! Don’t make potential clients do the heavy lifting. Get your analytics doing the work. There are a lot of tools out there for capturing the data you need to properly segment, score, and respond to leads. Use these tools to collect the data your sales and marketing teams need, to segment and act on incoming leads.

Tools you can use:

There are a lot of tools out there for capturing the data you need to properly segment, score, and respond to leads. They often have a broader set of functionality to help you deliver personalized marketing too. Here are a few that we like:


Demandbase has a great solution for identifying a visitor’s business information that you can pull into your sales CRM (example: Salesforce) or marketing automation tools, like Marketo. They do that without relying on cookies. To identify visitor information, they use a variety of factors, like IP address, email domain, ISP and more. So, you can use this to minimize your form fields, but still capture the data.

The folks at Demandbase will tell you that the idea of capturing visitor data via form is evolving to capturing data in the background. It’s not just about capturing the information of the person reaching out. It’s about capturing information relevant to the overall ‘account.’ The idea is that the person doing the research might be an influencer, but not the ultimate decision maker.  Capturing information relevant to the overall target account offers marketers and sales teams more information that they can use to engage named accounts.


You can also use a LinkedIn plugin to allow visitors to send you their information from LinkedIn. LinkedIn has rich information about professionals, that you can use to qualify incoming leads, and otherwise personalize your marketing efforts.

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