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BM_EGBy Elvire Gosnold, Director – Blabbermouth

We are always offering our customers incentives to cajole them into interacting with us but should it not be a two way thing? I find that all too regularly companies offer valuable information via their websites for nothing in return. If you have gone to the trouble of writing a whitepaper or designed technical help sheets, you should expect something back. View this as an exchange rather than a free gift.

Clean data is valuable and capturing information about prospects that wish to know more about your products or the industry generally should be top of your list for communicating with. Getting to understand your clients’ opinions is also a worthwhile activity that can be achieved via data collection.  As you will already know, clients and prospects do not readily hand over information to anyone. You need to coax them and give them assurance that you will not abuse this trust. Online web forms are a very good way to achieve this.

After your home page, your landing pages are arguably the most important pages on your site as they are the access points for your prospects and clients. Make sure that these pages look professional and easy to understand so that visitors immediately understand what is required from them, what they will receive in exchange and reinforce the message that the information they give you will be professionally handled.

You then need to think carefully about what data you want and how you will use it. It is a fine balance between making the exercise worth your while by asking lots of questions and making sure the list is not so daunting you will put people off completing the form. You need to be clear about what data will help achieve your overall sales and marketing objectives. Basically the higher the number of fields requiring completion, the higher the abandonment rate and I find that just four fields is the number that you can get away with without losing interaction.