Keeping it lean and mean with web forms
Once you have a system in place for organising your leads, it’s time to start capturing some more leads.
The best way to capture a lead from the internet is through a web form. These forms, which usually ask for a visitor’s name and email address, allow you to build up a list of leads who have given you permission to email them so you can send newsletters and market your product or service to them.
Your web form should be placed 'above the fold' of your website. If the web form is hidden or hard to get to, you website visitors will not be compelled to fill it out. The web form should also contain as few fields as possible. Typically, 'first name', 'last name' and 'email address' are sufficient. I would just use 'email address' if possible! When a visitor sees a web form with fields like 'home address', 'phone number' or 'mother’s maiden name' they start to get suspicious. Keep it simple and relevant to your purposes - only ask for what you truly need.
You should also be sure to explain that you will honour their privacy. If you are clear about what will happen when they complete the form, they will be more willing to give their information. It's all about trust.
So it is time to get a web form on your website. You can use a web form for event registration, newsletter sign-ups, contests, surveys, polls, refer-a-friend programs, comments or anything else that will help you gather information. And web forms shouldn’t be confined to your home page.