HOW TO: Produce an effective web form

There is little by way of industry recognition for cleverly designed web forms but they are fundamental to your marketing. Lucy Fisher reports

Nobody sets out to win the prize for the best online form. But with demand generation or lead nurturing approaches and services on the rise, as a result of the fact that more and more buyers are doing their research online, they are no doubt critical to B2B marketing success – however unexciting they may seem. After all, your site or other web content needs to attract visitors in order for them to deem it worthwhile to leave a sufficient data footprint so you can start a relationship with them. Without that, you are letting potential customers walk away.

Web forms crop up in a number of guises, too. As well as enabling marketing automation and ecommerce, they are often the first step for signing up to an online community or group, or are put in front of what is perceived to be valuable content (whether this is a trial, a free download, or access to industry experts on an information portal).