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How to Build a Lead Form That Prospective Students Actually WANT to Fill Out

Posted By Tony Fraga on 4/20/17 2:49 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes

team working.jpgWe all know that lead forms are critical ways to identify and keep in touch with potential students. The problem is, nobody really likes filling out forms. When faced with a form, potential leads will only fill it out if what they get in return is worth handing over personal information. So how do you create a balance and build a form that is worth your money and your potential students’ time?

To generate high quality leads, it’s important that your lead forms aren’t a hassle to complete or an eyesore. This may sound easier said than done, especially since you probably want a fair amount of information from your leads. Here are a few ways to optimize your lead forms so you can attract the most promising potential students.

Simplify your form as much as possible

Very few people will want to fill out a form that’s more than five or six fields long--it becomes too time consuming. Decide which information is the most important for you to get immediately. You may only need a name and email address, or you might also include age range and potential area of study. Once you get the most critical information, you can easily follow up with them later with your school’s email newsletter or more targeted email communications. If you can add an auto-fill function to your form, or an option to get information from social media profiles, even better!

You can also gather information about your potential students a little bit at a time. Try starting with an email address and maybe a name, and ask for other pieces of information as they move through your website. And if you get at least an email, there are different third-party tools that can get more information from the lead’s email address or IP address.

Engage your audience throughout the process

Using interactive content alongside your lead form is a great way to attract potential students. While text and video are great ways to give information, they’re engaged with pretty passively. If you can get your leads actively interacting with content on your website, they’re more likely to fill out your form and stay engaged throughout your communications with them.

Try building interactive elements into your forms, like quizzes or infographics. Not only are these good for engaging your audience, but they can also give you more specific, targeted information. You can have them click through different answer options to arrive at a custom result, which is informative for you and entertaining for your lead.

Make your call to action specific and desirable

Surprisingly, some of the most common call to action words don’t generate the most leads (think: Submit, Register, Send). These words are vague and aren’t strong enough to incite action on their own. Your leads want to know what they’re submitting and why, without necessarily needing to read the rest of your page to find out. This is where your call to action button copy comes into play.

Wishpond puts it this way: “Your call to action needs to be ‘an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response.’” Instead of the generic “Submit” or “Send,” try more specific button text like “Register for Orientation” or “Get my ebook!” This way, your lead knows exactly what action they’re taking and what they’re getting from it, which is more likely to generate quality leads for your school.

When it comes to lead forms, identify your goal first and work backward from there. If your goal is to get enough information to be able to follow up with leads, maybe you can keep your form simple and stick with a name and email. If you really need more information from your leads, try creating interactive forms that are entertaining to fill out and that give your lead something in return at the end. The options here are endless, so don’t be afraid to be creative!

So what happens after your prospective student fills out the form? Learn more about content nurturing workflows with this essential guide. 

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Topics: Enrollment Management, Student Recruitment

About the Higher Ed Marketer

This blog is dedicated to sharing best practices, trends and case studies for the marketing of higher education. Our content is developed out of our partnerships with both undergraduate and graduate enrollment management professionals, as well as those who specialize in higher ed marketing and communications designed for student recruitment.

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