How accurate is information input from registration forms – benchmarks from MarketingSherpa

The following is a recent response to a recent LinkedIn question:  Podcasts and Webcasts; Include a direct response mechanism with webform/email capture, or will people exit due to the form?

Marketing Sherpa does a detailed analysis of form use in their 2008 B2B Lead Generation Handbook.  (BTW this Marketing Sherpa content like most of their content is just terrific.)  According to their research the drop-off of requiring a form is substantial.  While each case is different they model the drop off as follows

Benchmark Results Of Requiring A Form (800% drop-off)

With a form

  • Of 100 visitors
  • 10% will register (30% will lie substantively on the form)
  • 50% will actually download and read/use the content
  • 60% of these pass along the content
  • 8 prospects are educated

Without requiring a form

  • Of 100 visitors
  • 36% will actually download and read/use the content
  • 60% of these pass along the content
  • 56 prospects are educated

Marketing Sherpa also benchmarks high levels of false information on form completions.

According to Marketing Sherpa “They?re lying because they are not yet ready to engage in a one-to-one relationship with your brand. They need to learn more, take you out on a few dates, before they make up their minds if they are serious enough about you to volunteer their contact information and formally enter your lead pipeline.”  I have posted a copy of their chart “How Accurate Is Information Input Into Registration Forms?” at the top of this post but their full analysis is worth the read.

How to optimize your approach

However this is a point in time analysis assuming a single engagement with your content  and a linear opt-in path.  Instead of that limited approach we recommend increasing the value of your content by focusing on what your customers want to know, offering different tiers of content access and opt-in (from form to RSS) to increase the chance the prospects will connect with you and enter your pipeline on their terms, and segmenting your content based on decision state and needs to help you better engage, profile and qualify your visitors.

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