Emma Siemasko

Marketers looking to gain new clients online say collecting email addresses is the most important field on lead generation forms, followed by name and phone number. The results come from Marketing Sherpa’s 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report, which surveyed 1,915 B2B and B2C marketers about their preferences.Marketing Sherpa's Lead Generation Benchmark Report

Although gaining access to email addresses reigns supreme for 96 percent of marketers, ‘key pain points’–and whether or not marketers should ask for them– emerged as a discussion point. “This presumes that the prospect has a pain point and an immediate need,” said Tommy Landry, founder of Return On Now. “Great field for down-funnel leads, but avoid it for early-stage leads.”

While it may be best to streamline top-of-funnel forms, the pages that inspire conversions can offer insights on audience needs and inform further content marketing campaigns. Plus, creating content that caters to pain points can help brands appear in SERPs for relevant searches.

Brafton recently reported that SEO makes a much bigger impact on fulfilling lead generation goals than both social media and PPC. Because SEO efforts are improving leads for sales teams, content marketing efforts to position companies within organic search efforts is a priority.