When it comes to the usage of forms, it perhaps is one of the most debatable topics among marketers today – whether to use or not use forms. Well even before you can start thinking about that question, you should have a well laid out content strategy in mind and you should have enough content to be able to put it behind forms.
All right, lets assume you have quality content. Now what? Well you first need to analyze your objective and what you are trying to achieve. If your objective is centered around branding and thought leadership, then its best to publish the content and not put it behind any barriers. The more people read and distribute your content, the better are your chances of achieving your objective.
Now if your objective is demand generation, then you have to seriously look at your content and analyze whether its better and more valuable than the content freely available on the net. Let’s take the example of cloud computing. Before you even think of putting a web form behind your cloud computing content, you need to analyze whether its better and more precise than the content available on blogs, forums and other free article sites. If you are confident it is, then think of ways of capturing progressive information via incremental forms rather than putting a large web form in front of your prospect. For example on the first form, you can capture basic information such as name and email address. Once you have captured this basic information, then you can think of capturing information such as company, designation, phone no etc by placing the prospect in a nurture series using cloud computing in this case as a theme. Thus with subsequent downloads of more materials on that topic, you can capture incremental information about the prospect which will also help you score and qualify the prospect for a follow up from sales later.
Are there other ways to capture information without inconveniencing your prospect you can think of?