Lead Acquisition Forms - When Enough is Enough.

I received a direct email today from a well known HR vendor promoting their new white paper. The title caught my attention - it was on a topic of great importance to me and relevant to what's going on in the marketplace. Score a win for the HR vendor.

So, I clicked the download button and was directed to their web site where I had to complete lead acquisition form. No problem. I don't mind giving away my contact information in exchange for useful content. Nor do HR buyers which is why direct email marketing with a content offer is so effective.

I then realized I had to actually give a correct email address because the white paper would be emailed to me. Smart move by the HR vendor. Score another win.

But then I took a look at the form. Wow - they want a lot of information from me. I was in a hurry so I quickly answered the questions and completed (so I thought) the form. When I hit submit, I was told I had missing information. In particular, I forgot to select my "Industry". This was required along with six other questions that I felt were none of their business. So I selected an industry and hit submit and again I am told I forgot something. Now I'm getting frustrated. Apparently, I forgot to check "Yes" to agree with the terms and conditions. Terms and conditions? This is a white paper!!! What do I need to agree to :-) And they actually tell me I should "take some time to review" the terms and conditions. Are you serious? All I want is to read the white paper.

So I bailed - I had to run to a meeting.

And my guess is some other people did the same, resulting in lost leads for this vendor.

I understand that HR vendors want lead acquisition functionality that allows for the efficient acquisition of lead data and that gets automatically integrated into their CRM. I also understand that in an ideal world, the vendor wants their lead acquisition form to acquire as much information as possible from the prospect in order to properly qualify the lead.

But not at the expense of the lead itself.

My suggestion is to capture - and require - the basics including name, title, company and email so you can follow-up with them at a future date. You may also want to ask for a phone number (although our own research shows HR buyers prefer to communicate via email with vendors) or mailing address and possibly one or two additional questions. But don't require that these other fields get completed. If the buyer is interested in your products or services they'll let you know.

Posted by Mark Willaman

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