Most content marketing strategies generate leads by collecting contact information, but prospects are only going to fill out forms if companies make a compelling offer.

A results-driven content marketing campaign manages every part of a customer’s journey from first point of contact to conversion. As the web becomes more complicated, and the buyer’s journey becomes nuanced, there are more steps to oversee and additional factors that can affect the success of a web marketing strategy. As Brafton reported, email is one of the earliest steps in the sales funnel, and even that process requires strict oversight to garner appropriate click-through rates that lead to more web traffic. However, even after that commitment of time and effort, poorly made forms could be harming other investments.

Some forms are more successful- Here’s why:

According to a study by Formstack, some conversion forms are more successful than others. Contests are the highest-converting versions (28 percent), followed by surveys (21 percent). In theory, marketers looking to generate more leads would hold contests and conduct surveys to increase their form conversion rates. However, these aren’t necessarily options for all brands, as they may not be capable of running sweepstakes or polling their audiences on a regular basis.

If companies can’t create the most popular kinds of forms, there are still ways to optimize their brand content to get more conversions. The language on the forms – particularly on the buttons that complete the informational transaction can also interest visitors and compel them to click. Formstack found it was possible to boost conversions by as much as 250 percent by adding or tweaking a few actionable words.

 “Submit form” buttons generally yield a 5.33 percent conversion rate
 “Submit registration” can convert at a rate as high as 18.72 percent 
 “Submit” on its own converts 7.78 percent of the time 
 “Submit application” drives that rate up to 16.66 percent

One implication is that the language on your forms is impacting users’ inclination toward conversion. Replace generic language obviously used to collect contact information with clear explanations about the offer. “Submit registration,” for instance, can be used when visitors are actually registering for something, whether that’s a newsletter or free consultation.

Give prospects a reason to convert

As Brafton reported, some of the most successful marketing strategies give away free samples of a businesses’ offerings. Prospects are willing to give up their information, as long as they’re getting something in return, and businesses can leverage their expertise in exchange for the promise of better marketing data. That expertise can be delivered in the form of a phone conversation or audit, but no matter its manifestation, it needs to be something of clear value. Empowered customers can spot vacuous offers from a distance, and will gravitate toward brands that win their trust and loyalty with worthy information.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.