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Tips & Tricks for Building Your Experimentation Program

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Whether you’re a education, loan, or services site, your conversion goal is to get users to submit information that you can use or resell. Even when you’re offering info (quotes, estimates, or expert help) to trade for it, you need to continuously optimize your lead-gen site to drive users. With consistent testing, you’re able to convert more of your existing traffic into valuable submissions that lead to a higher return overall. You’ll also learn more about your users and how they interact with the experience, giving you insight that not only improves the site, but the entire business.

A/B test these tactics on your own lead-gen site to optimize and gain learnings:


Automatically Provide Localized Results

Don’t forget that by entering your site, most users are already revealing their location. Take advantage of this by showing relevant content based on their area. For example, a home services company shows availability for a user’s zip code or an insurance company provides a list of helpful agents nearby. For many companies, it’s a stepping stone that interests users and encourages them to submit voluntary information.

Let’s look at how Allstate does it. They use localization when a user lands on the homepage and provides a section that shows me dedicated insurance agents in the area:

Allstate Local Agents

But if a users were here to get a quote, he or she would click the accompanying tab. The site auto-detects a zip code and simplifies the process to get a quote:

AllState Localization Quote


Pre-select Most Common Form Options

For many lead-gen companies in the healthcare or loan business, there are a lot of different types of information potentially relevant to users. This means that forms or menus often become complicated and cumbersome. But by analyzing your most common user types, you’ll be able to provide a better experience pre-select relevant options first.

For example, LendingTree’s homepage includes this CTA within the hero image:

LendingTree Form CTA

 

Before going into the entire form, it prompts me to choose a loan type and a home type. It has already pre-selected “Refinance” and “Single family home.” It’s likely LendingTree saw that these options were their most popular request or that they resembled their ideal target user. When looking at the dropdown menu, you’ll see other options:

LendTree Form CTA Display

Too many companies default to displaying options in alphabetical order when a strategic pre-selected option and display order should be tested. Take a look at how your users are interacting with these options, generate a hypothesis, and test it.


Enable CTA to Follow User When Scrolling

It’s popular practice to put your CTA at the top within the hero image. It’s usually an effective tactic for most companies since users get enough information to take action without moving away from the first view of your website. But what about users who scroll down and research the rest of your homepage? They’re still interested, but they want to learn more first. Make sure these users are able to easily convert, too. As they scroll away from the CTA, minimize it into a friendly version elsewhere in their view so that it follows them down the page. This is used frequently for navigation but can be powerful for lead-gen after proper testing.

HomeAdvisor has implemented this nicely on their homepage by minimizing their “Find Pros” CTA form onto the top of the page:

HomeAdvisor Form CTA follow

 


Allow User to Retrieve Previous Info

For many lead-gen sites that provide personalized information, such as insurance quotes or loan estimates, a returning user will want to access that content again in the future. Instead of forcing them to resubmit their information in a long form again, provide the option to retrieve the saved data with an easy login. Returning users avoid frustration, while new users see the added convenience and will be encouraged to submit knowing that they everything is accessible.

Liberty Mutual Insurance utilizes this with a quote retrieval option that leads to a popup for a simple login:

Quote Form Quote Retrieval

Progressive also does the same with their insurance quotes:

Quote Request Form CTA

However, they only need either your email address or the quote ID – not both, making it even easier. So they provide two options to login:

Retrieve Quote Email Quote ID Retrieval

 


Hide Extra Form Fields At First

For most users, a form that requires multiple fields to be filled is not fun. In fact, many users never even start the form. To drive action towards the form, minimize or hide the number of fields initially shown. Then, as they fill it out, expands it into a few more fields. This way, users are encouraged to begin what seems to be a quick task. As they fill it out and see more fields come up, they’re committed enough to finish the submission.

EverQuote does this beautifully with an animated form and map of your area in the background:

Hidden Form Fields

 

This tactic does not work for every site, though, and should be tested on your specific users. Some may not appreciate that the form isn’t completely laid out first or some may find that you have too many fields hidden overall. Both implementation and presentation of something like this requires experimentation.


Cycle Trust-Driven Copy Near Your CTA

For users to be persuaded to submit their personal information, trust needs to be established. Without it, there is major friction preventing your users from a good experience and converting. To ease their concern, convey why your company or site is trustworthy by providing proof in the right place. Use copy that establishes trust, such as the number of happy customers you have, the years you’ve been operating, service guarantees, and more. Then place this copy near your CTA and test different presentations of it. A carousel that cycles through each piece of copy ensures that the amount of copy is not overwhelming on the overall page and is worth experimenting on your audience.

InfoUSA does exactly this with a carousel right beneath their two CTAs on the hero image:

Trust Elements

 


Test Live Chat Throughout Your Site

Some of your users will have trouble finding the information they need or they have questions that aren’t addressed. To improve upon the experience, a live chat that’s easily accessible on the site can be helpful. Not only do visitors find answers quickly, but they also trust the site more just knowing that a very human customer service is behind the site. Both of these factors drive them towards submitting valuable information to your site.

LA Film School includes a live chat as a prominent part of their navigation in the top right:

Live Chat in Navigation

They also implement a floating box that offers live chat in case there are questions. This box follows users as they scroll down:

Live Chat Box

 

Of course, live chat does not work for every site and its functionality and presentation play major roles in its effectiveness. Test how your audience reacts to its presence along with how it’s displayed before fully implementing it.


Segment Users Immediately to Personalize Content

In order for your lead-gen site to provide relevant, personalized content, you’ll need to be able to differentiate visitors. Segmenting users and gathering key info upon entrance helps improve their experience. Test friendly ways that establish this segmentation early so that you’re able to provide relevant content quicker.

On the Quicken Loans site, the company wants to know if users prefer to reach a loan expert or complete their entire service online (first segmentation):

Segmentation Form

It then leads to a second segmentation asking if users are looking to refinance or purchase:

Segmentation Type of Info

Lastly, a user’s segmentation either leads them to a relevant form (with appropriate fields preselected):

Segmented Form

Or it takes users who preferred an online-only experience (on the first segmentation) to an entirely different part of the site:

Segmented Experience

 


Use a Slider for Number Fields

For sites owned by insurance or loan companies, there are usually multiple fields involving numerical input. Manually keying this in is a hassle and takes more effort than necessary since users have to physically move from their mouse, trackpad, or mobile screen onto some type of keyboard. Another option would be to use a dropdown display of numerical ranges, but this does not work for all types of information and is a lot less specific. Implementing the use of a slider is a simple and effective way to provide a seamless form UX experience without sacrificing the quality of the data.

AvantCredit does this right on their homepage by making their single field form even simpler before driving towards the CTA button:

Money Slider

DirectCapital does this wonderfully, too, when it comes to business loans. Users have the option of manually keying in the amount of money they need or they can use the slider and continue to the next dropdown field and CTA. It’s even better that the estimated payment amount on the form changes with the options a user chooses.

Slider Change Slider Change

 


Conclusion

Of course, these tactics are only considered effective if you thoroughly experiment them on your own users. Even when looking at direct competitors, you’re not able to determine if new copy or CTA works effectively on your site until you’ve conducted a proper A/B test. Doing this repeatedly is the only way to achieve continuous optimization of your lead-gen site. Use these tactics as inspiration to jumpstart your own hypotheses to enhance user experience and drive more visitors towards submitting valuable information.

To get more lead-gen expertise, take a look at our previous post about lead form A/B experiments.

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