Are Long Web Forms Killing B2B Conversion Rates?
We talk a lot here about how important it is for B2B marketers to keep their online forms as short and simple as possible. We also highlight plenty of vendors with tools designed to help marketers do this.
Not everybody is getting the message. And they’re burning money in the process.
Here’s an interesting data point from Demandbase’s recently released 2011 National Website Demand Generation Study. It shows how many fields the respondents – including marketers from more than 100 B2B companies – typically use on their web forms:
Last July, Marketo did its own experiment involving web forms. It offered short (five field) medium (seven field) and long (nine field) forms, and then tracked conversion rates and cost conversion for respondents in each group.
According to a presentation by Marketo VP Jon Miller (and cited in the Demandbase study), here are the results:
- Short form: 13.4% conversion rate, $31.24 cost per conversion.
- Medium form: 12% conversion rate, $34.94 cost per conversion.
- Long form: 10% conversion rate, $41.90 cost per conversion.
In other words, moving to a short form with five or fewer fields delivered a 34% boost in conversion rates while cutting cost per conversion by about 25%.
The key to getting this kind of ROI is to get the greatest possible leverage from that short-form data. You can do that with a data-appending service, you can do it via progressive profiling, or you can try some combination of methods. But when you look at the results from this study – and from many others that say the same thing – you clearly shouldn’t be using long web forms to squeeze information out of your prospects.
2012 Sales And Marketing Integration Awards: Seeing The Big Picture
Next week, we’ll roll out one of our most popular and talked-about reports: The DGR Sales and Marketing Integration Awards. It’s no surprise that so many readers checked out our 2011 award winners. These are companies that faced huge sales and marketing challenges – and they found solutions to those challenges that paid off handsomely. In a market where even the experts often find themselves in uncharted territory, these success stories are worth a closer look.
I won’t give away too much about our 2012 winners, but I will say this: A lot of these companies dealt with extremely complex technology challenges. This included integrating new marketing automation solutions with existing salesforce.com environments; migrating from legacy CRM and data sources; and rolling out additional integrations for everything from Microsoft Outlook to the latest web conferencing platforms.
As we pointed out in a recent DGR feature, sales and marketing alignment/integration isn’t just about the technology; if your people and processes aren’t ready to roll, then even the best technology will fall flat. Even so, it’s clear that the best of these companies are investing a lot of time and effort in their technology infrastructures.
In other words, alignment is a classic big-picture challenge: You can’t win unless you’re able to see both the forest and the trees. That’s a trick our 2012 award winners can show you how to pull off.
Stay tuned for the 2012 Sales and Marketing Integration Awards Report, launching on DemandGen Report on Tues. June 26.
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