I created my first lead capture page four years ago when I started my business. Let me confess to you now: I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I wanted to advertise my services, grow my brand, build an audience, and land clients. And I thought I’d created a campaign that would do all that and more.
But I’ve learned a lot since my first campaign—and what I know for sure is that I did almost everything wrong.
So whether you’re just starting your marketing journey or trying to improve your conversion rates—aren’t we all?—here’s what I wish I knew when I created my first lead capture page. Follow these 11 tips to bring in more prospects and overachieve your campaign goals.
What’s a Lead Capture Page?
A lead capture page is a type of landing page that offers your audience something in return for their email address or other information. This means that any page with a form on it can be considered a type of lead capture page—including ebook download pages, demo request pages, or newsletter sign-up pages.
Unlike other pages on your website, a lead capture page only has one goal: exchange a lead magnet (or reward) for your visitor’s info. Get this exchange right, and you’ll be able to turn more of your fans and observers into full-fledged leads and customers.
11 Tips to Create Better Lead Capture Pages in 2020
- Know Your Goal
- Create a Compelling Reward
- Pick the Right Form Fields
- Consider Your Traffic Sources
- Craft a Message-Match Headline
- Use Social Proof
- Keep Your Copy Short and Clear
- Write an Actionable Call to Action
- Apply Conversion-Centered Design Principles
- Optimize Your Form
- Create an Incredible Post-Conversion Experience
Tip #1 – Know Your Goal
Your lead capture page has one job to do (and it needs to do it well). So before you plan a fantastic design or write a catchy headline, decide what your page needs to accomplish. What’s your one goal?
Start creating your goal by thinking about which audience you’re building the lead capture page for. There are three main types of audiences when it comes to lead capture pages:
- Leads – Leads are the new people to your audience. They don’t know you well, but they’re intrigued by what they’ve seen and would like to learn more. You’re basically strangers who have just been introduced, and it’s your job to start the conversation and become best friends.
- Prospects – A prospect is somebody who’s already some interest in your product, offering, or service, but who hasn’t yet converted into a customer. They’re likely in your CRM, nurtured with emails, blog posts, and social media posts. If this were a relationship, you two have been dating, but aren’t official… yet.
- Current Customers – Current customers need attention and relationship building as well. They may be in love with your product or they could be cold and considering churning. An offer created just for them could be the thing they need to pique their interest. Keeping the relationship metaphor going—you’re married, but it’s still important to go on dates to keep the romance alive.
Once you know who your lead capture page is for, you’ll want to decide what it’s going to do. Create clear and measurable targets based on previous campaigns or industry averages. Do you want to generate 50 new leads a month? Or have a 12% conversion rate? Decide what metrics you’re aiming for before you begin, and you’ll better be able to track how the lead capture page is performing.
For example, this lead capture page from Arrive does a great job of choosing one specific audience and making it very clear who this guide is for—New Canadian residents looking for help on their taxes.
Tip #2 – Create a Compelling Reward
The lead capture page is all about an exchange—they give you information, and you give them content. While that sounds like a no-brainer, most people don’t trust companies on the internet. You have to make the reward or offering so enticing that visitors are willing to trust you with their personal info.
There are lots of types of rewards and each has a special appeal to a particular segment of your audience.
- Ecourses – An ecourse helps you showcase your knowledge and expertise while being helpful to your audience. This type of content is so versatile any of your audience segments could find it an intriguing offer.
- Reports/Whitepapers – A whitepaper is a great B2B reward for prospects and leads, with over 82% of buyers saying they rely heavily on whitepapers to make purchasing decisions.
- Ebooks – An ebook or a comprehensive guide can help your leads and prospects learn more and take the step to become customers.
- Webinars – 60% of webinars can take your audience from lead to prospect. Webinars provide great value and they’re another tool that helps you teach your audience while establishing authority.
- Product Demos – Your product demo can be a great reward for the bottom of the funnel to help you attract interested prospects.
- Free Trials – A free trial lets your prospects and leads try before they buy. Usually, they’re between seven and 30 days, depending on the product or service.
- Challenges – A free challenge is another way to give short term access to your services or product. Nathalie Lussier used a free challenge to grow her list to over 55,833 subscribers in just four years.
- Newsletters – Newsletters nurture your audience. Ideally, they’re sent out with some regularity and focus on a theme. Depending on the content of your newsletter, this reward would appeal to all segments of your audience. Newsletters allow your subscribers to become familiar with your brand, voice, and subject matter expertise.
- Checklists – A checklist can be a simple offer to help beginners. You can quickly design a PDF page using Canva and put it out as a helpful resource for your audience.
- Templates – Later created social media templates to help social media managers and small brands with their social media reports. Visitors find templates like this valuable because they help you save time.
Tip #3 – Pick the Right Form Fields
The form field is the first place of friction your audience will feel. This is where they’ll ask themselves, “is it worth it?” or “do I really want this?” When you ask a lot of questions (and get a lot of answers), you’ll have some well-segmented data and qualified leads to work with. But how many prospects or leads did you lose by asking too many questions?
Remember, your lead capture page has one goal, so figure out the least amount of info you need from visitors to make that goal a reality.
A few things to consider when choosing how many form fields you put on the page:
- If your content only targets marketing managers from early-stage startups, do you really need to know the “Title” of the person filling out the form?
- If your goal is to increase your list size 10% each month, do you have to know the person’s phone number or company name?
If all goes well, this won’t be your last time to learn more information about your audience. Each email and offer can help you learn more about who they are and what they need.
The Bruery, for example, has been brewing bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout for ten years and is growing a list in a straightforward way: they only ask for an email address. No need for names, phone numbers, or addresses—they know they can gather that information at checkout.
Right now, they want to capture their audience while they have a little bit of their attention. The team can nurture their prospects later on, while the next batch ages in the barrels.
Tip #4 – Consider Your Traffic Sources
There are multiple ways someone can discover your offer. When you create a lead capture page, think through all the best ways to attract your target audience.
Common traffic sources include…
- SEO – This is a standard Google search. The people that find your page by a search engine are looking for something in particular, but they may not be aware of all of the solutions. Lead capture pages don’t typically drive a ton of organic traffic, but you may want to do some keyword research to see if there are any opportunities. Consider using a related piece of content (like a long-form blog post on the same topic) to try to rank higher in the search engine results, and then promote your lead capture page by linking from that post.
- PPC (Pay Per Click) – These ads are the first results on Google or the ads you see when visiting a website. When you click on the ad, the business pays a certain amount per click. When using PPC traffic sources, your audience probably doesn’t know much about you or your offer. The rewards that will be the most helpful to an audience is usually educational, like an ebook or webinar.
- Social Ads – Ads on social media will allow you to use filters and the social media platform’s demographic data to target exactly the right type of audience. But even with all of this targeting, your reward must be compelling for prospects and leads who click through.
- Email – Your email list is a powerful traffic source with incredibly high conversion rates. Optinmonster found that every $1 you spend on email marketing earns around $44 in return. You might be able to leverage email as a traffic source if you’re hoping to capture more information from leads already in your CRM.
- Organic Social Media – Apart from paid ads, you can (and totally should) post your lead capture page to your own social media pages. This audience follows you already and is interested in what you create, share, write, or build. Traffic from this source tends to be warmer and more likely to convert.
Tip #5 – Craft a Message-Match Headline
You’ve done the audience research and quality reward work, and now it’s time to put the lead capture page together. Your headline is the eye-catching phrase that, in a few words, will tell the audience exactly what it is they’ll be getting when they sign up.
Keep your messaging consistent across the customer journey from ads and emails to the lead capture page itself. A consistent message keeps things simple and clear for your audience. For example, this is how Taboola advertises a lead capture page for their ebook on how to launch a content discovery campaign.
And here’s the lead capture page itself. Notice how the messaging is simple, clear, and consistent.
By staying consistent, you’re signaling to visitors that yep—they’re in the right place. “This is the ebook you’re looking for.” It’s a simple but important principle that will almost always get you a higher conversion rate on your pages.
Tip #6 – Use Social Proof
Every lead capture page should use some form of social proof. Why? Because a Bright Local survey found that 91% of consumers are more likely to buy when they read positive reviews. Sharing testimonies, partner logos, or even the numbers of people who have previously signed up will show your audience that what you have to offer is valuable.
This example from Do You Yoga does a fantastic job integrating their social proof into the design of the page. Right below the “Join Free” CTA they let you know that 18,902 other people have already decided to sign up. It’s subtle—but super effective. (Because you know you’re in good company if 18,902 other people have already signed up!)
Tip #7 – Keep Your Copy Short and Clear
You want every word and phrase to have a purpose. Your copy has a short amount of time and space to convince the reader to sign up. Make sure your copy is benefits-driven, meaning you’re telling the reader exactly how signing up will benefit their life. Show precisely what they can expect after they hit the call to action button.
Pared’s headline and subhead nail it by describing the who, what, and why of their app in just a few short sentences.
Tip #8 – Write an Actionable Call to Action
The call to action is the button on the page that invites the reader to take the next step in the process. This little button’s copy may not seem important, but the right tweaks to CTA buttons can increase your CTR by up to 90%. Your CTA needs to invoke action. ‘Learn More’ might be fine, but ‘Get Your Ebook’ tells the reader exactly what clicking that button will get them. In our template gallery, we have tons of actionable CTAs for any type of campaign or lead capture type.
If your page is for a SaaS product, ‘Choose Plan’ or ‘Sign Up’ could be the best option for your CTA.
Webinars would require a different action than an ebook or checklist. Each offer should have a unique CTA that guides the reader to action.
Tip #9 – Apply Conversion-Centered Design Principles
Conversion-centered design means that every aspect of your funnel from the ad to the form on your lead capture page is thoughtfully placed. You want to guide the prospect toward conversion and retention.
Unbounce has a seven-principal framework that will help keep your campaigns focused and successful. The conversion-centered design framework goes deep on each principal, so if you need a more comprehensive lesson, I encourage you to check it out.
The TL;DR Conversion-Centered Design Key Takeaways
- Consistent design – Make sure you’re giving your prospects all the information they need to make a decision and convert. Your messaging, design, and copy needs to flow seamlessly from pre-click (your ad, email, or social post) to post-click (the lead capture page).
- Keep the design simple – Stay focused on your one goal, and you’ll see a higher conversion rate. We experienced this first-hand on one of our landing pages—by eliminating all other distractions, we increased visits to the next page in the funnel by 172.1%.
- Credibility – To be seen as a credible business, you need to show as many sources of credibility as you can. Certificates, testimonials, reviews, and privacy policies are all effective ways to convey your trustworthiness.
Tip #10 – Optimize Your Form
To optimize your lead capture page, think through each tiny detail, and ask if there is an easier way to get the same result.
Any tweak you can make that reduces the amount of work, thinking, or reaching for a wallet your prospect has to do will help increase your conversion rate. In fact, Wp Forms found that 67% of site visitors will abandon a form if they have any complications. Enabling auto-fill fields helps reduce the number of things your prospect has to do before clicking the CTA. So, do the heavy lifting for them and use auto-fill fields for name, email, and credit card number.
Multi-step forms may sound like an oxymoron to optimization, but experiments have shown that using multiple forms can increase conversions by 300%.
Multi-form best practices say:
- Only ask one or two questions on a page.
- Provide a visual for where the lead is in process, like a page/question count.
- Don’t ask more than 10 questions in total.
- Provide immediate value after they submit the form.
Tip #11 – Create an Incredible Post-Conversion Experience
Your post-conversion experience is every interaction your prospect has with your brand/company after they click the call to action. When you create an incredible experience that meets the needs of your customers, they tend to stick around longer and purchase more.
Remember our relationship metaphor? The post-conversion experience would be like going on a fun date, and then never texting or reaching out again. (Rude.) You both had a great date, and now’s the time to build a real long-term relationship.
How to Create an Incredible Post-Conversion Experience?
- Set up an automated email campaign – If your lead magnet teaches new gardeners how to grow giant tomatoes, then you know that your prospect is looking to learn more about gardening. You could create an automated campaign that sends them a tip of the week. This tactic helps them and builds their trust in you at the same time.
- Explain the next steps – Let your prospects and customers know what to expect next. Will they get their download in their inbox or will the reward open right after they click? Are they being subscribed to a newsletter, or will you only email them once with the reward?
- Build their trust – Trust and relationships have become the cornerstone of the post-conversion experience. Your prospects want to trust you before becoming customers, so to build their trust, be reliable and honest with their information. If you say you only need an email address to send the reward, then don’t add them to every newsletter automatically.
- Test and iterate – The best way to ensure your lead capture page is serving your audience is to test and improve. Think about your one goal and the metrics you wanted to meet and ask yourself, “is the page performing the way I wanted?” Where are there improvements to be made? Consider tiny details such as button color, or swapping all the “I”’s for “You.” You can even use Smart Traffic to test multiple variants at the same time and get results faster.
How to Create a Lead Capture Page Quickly
Building lead capture pages in your website can be a tedious process that puts a limit on your creativity and choices. That’s why Unbounce has a ton of high-converting templates to help you build and customize fast.
We know these tips and best practices lead to success, so we’ve baked them right into each template design. Choose the templates that serve your needs best, then filter by tool, campaign, type, or special features.