Thursday, March 15, 2012

Do Content Registration Forms Really Work?

People aren't going to magically hand over the keys to their kingdom - their personal information and email address. And can you actually GET people to sign up for your site? Are they providing you with legitimate information?  Take a good look at your content registration forms on your website, blog and landing pages. Are you turning off people and losing prospects? How could you improve your forms?

I stumbled upon this article from one of my favorite content marketing sites, Content Marketing Institute. These statistics are eye-openers for those who sell a product or service.
"Consider these findings from TechTarget’s report, “When Worlds Converge:Similarities in Brand Reception and Media Consumption of IT and Personal Technology Buyers. Of the 3,269 IT buyers surveyed, 43 percent said they were somewhat willing and 42 percent were very willing to share their contact information when they are ready to make a purchase. However, while 53 percent of respondents were somewhat willing to provide those details in exchange for “expert or editorial information,” only 19 percent were very willing to do so in the same scenario. 
Add to this the fact that separate research (sponsored by Janrain and conducted by Blue Research in October 2011) uncovered that 88 percent of consumers admitted to having given incorrect profile information on registration forms. It’s no wonder that Sirius Decisions found that 10 to 25 percent of all prospect records contain critical data errors."
The average consumer is not as dumb as we think. People don't always want us to have their information due to privacy and spam issues. Less is more when creating opt-in forms on your sites. Don't ask them to fill out a twenty page registration form. Keep the form simple. If I have to fill out a complicated registration form, I usually don't complete the process. I just don't have the time to waste filling out a long and complicated online form...and neither do your site visitors and prospects.

Take a lesson from HP. Look at your stats and get a feel for the conversion rates of your content registration forms. What's missing? You could be losing out on sales by ignoring your forms.
"According to a MarketingSherpa case study, HP trimmed its confusing 15-field monster of a registration form to five essential fields. It also collected visitors’ IP addresses and email domain names to cross-reference them with third-party data. The results speak for themselves: The new form yielded a 40 percent conversion rate — an increase of 186 percent — among visitors from HP’s support pages." 

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Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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