form fill out rate elasticity

Online form fill out elasticity

By Paul Morris
I read the excellent Dave Westfall on occasion and he gave some great advice on prospect forms and data collection recently that I would like to debate here…

Post Ethos: Essentially you need to think like an economist and be aware of ‘form fill out elasticity’. Well maybe not an economist. Think at least like someone who has taken Economics modules in their Business Stuides degree many moons ago (like me!).

To start I’m going with a relatively basic 4 paragraph elasticity lesson:

Elasticity is how changing one economic variable affects others.

Price Elasticity of Demand is a common elasticity and measures how responsive, or elastic, the quantity demanded of a good or service is to a change in price.

If elasticity is greater than or equal to one, the product or service is considered to be elastic. If it is less than one, the product or service is said to be inelastic.

So products such as tobacco, salt and petrol are relatively inelastic as the change in price will not have a major affect on the quantity demanded. Products such as CD’s, jewellery and hamburgers are elastic as there are many substitutes, they are not addictive and you can do without them.

This leads in to my post ethos; You should apply elasticity theory to your site and call it ‘form fill out elasticity’.

Your online forms, especially in the B2B sector, should simply be there to capture interest from individuals/ businesses. Nothing more.

Therefore asking for the minimum information required, if your forms are highly elastic (which I bet most of your forms/ sectors are) means a much higher fill out rate.

Why ask for their star sign? Why ask for their dog’s favourite chew? Why ask for lots of data that reduces the likelihood of them filling in the damn form? Now I know additional data can be useful e.g. size of your firm? Your role at the company? Number of employees? Businesses primary function? Services provided by your firm? Biggest marketing challenge? Etc. This is all useful stuff however if I could prove to you those questions reduce your form fill out rate by a whopping 80% would you still capture the data? (Please tell me you said no unless you know by capturing this data it multiplies, many fold, your chances of converting the lead).

Now I’m aware your contact forms are tied to databases that feed your mighty business machine and certain fields are compulsory and would require ‘major’ organisational change however it’s your job as a marketer to test test test and justify those changes!

Ask for only the most basic information when collecting lead data. Do not solely rely on the contact form. Back up the ‘lack of’ data capture with a truly brilliant CRM process/ people that will ensure this initial interest blossoms and you ultimately generate lots more £business.