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The Lead Capture Form: Everything You Need to Know

Lead capture is an essential part of the lead generation (AKA lead gen) process. It enables you to efficiently qualify visitors and capture their contact information.

Why is lead capture so important? It’s integral to attracting existing interest in your product or service, as well as to building your lead pipeline.

However, lead capture alone is not as valuable as capturing qualified leads. The true value is in weeding out unqualified leads and funneling qualified leads to your sales team.

So how do you qualify and then capture those leads? One of the most effective tools is the lead capture page, which is a landing page designed specifically to qualify and capture visitors’ information and turn them into leads.

Note: There are many other ways to qualify and capture leads. For example, chatbots are effective and popular, particularly with B2B companies.

Lead capture pages are one part of the puzzle. However, they require a way for the visitor to fill in their contact information to be truly effective.

That’s where the lead capture form comes into play. 

What is a Lead Capture Form?

A lead capture form is a web form used to obtain the information you need a visitor to submit to turn them into a lead. The information a visitor submits is dependent on the fields included in the form. 

Examples of form fields include:

  • Contact name
  • Email address
  • Company name
  • Title / role
  • Industry
  • Geographic location (e.g., country)
  • Existing tech stack 

The form captures these inputs then pushes the information to your CRM or email database. 

You can then use this data to qualify/disqualify leads, route them to the appropriate sales rep or department, and hopefully nurture the lead toward becoming a customer.

The form does not have to be on a lead capture page, however. It can appear in a popup, header bar, or in other places as well.

Components of a Lead Capture Form

Every lead capture form is different, as the information you want to collect will differ from what other businesses want to collect. However, a well-designed lead capture form should include the following components.

On-Page Position

The lead capture form should be visible at all times without the visitor needing to scroll. The best way to do so is to place the lead capture form above the fold of your website. 

Note: This does not apply to a lead capture form that appears in a popup. In this case, the form only appears when the visitor performs the required action (e.g., clicks a link, scrolls to the selected part of the page).

There are other ways to effectively position the lead capture form:

  • At the bottom of the landing page/lead capture page: This ensures that the visitor has shown interest in your offer, so they’ll be ready to move forward when they arrive at the lead capture form.
  • Next to the offer/picture of the offer: This reminds the visitor of what they’ll get when they fill out the lead capture form.
  • Within the content: This usually involves inserting the button to open the lead capture form within the text, so the visitor can decide to move forward as they read.

A Powerful Title

The title and call to action (CTA) often go hand in hand. The title should focus on either the offer or the benefit of filling in the lead capture form.

Grab the visitor’s attention with the title copy. Reinforce what you stated on the lead capture page, or whatever the visitor was reading when they arrived on the lead capture form.

A Compelling Call to Action

The CTA directs the visitor to click a button to provide their contact information. The wording of the CTA should be clear as to what will happen next.

Examples of effective CTAs include:

  • Sign up now
  • Download the eBook
  • Get your free demo
  • Join our newsletter 

Make sure the CTA stands out (i.e., bottom of form, large, different color). 

For example, check out the CTA on Chili Piper’s page for people interested in using the software for generating meetings from conferences and tradeshows. The button is large with clear and powerful wording.

Lead capture page for Chili Piper Events, visitors can fill in email address to join waitlist

An Appropriate Form Length

The length of the form refers to both the content (e.g., introductory text, field titles) and the number of fields. These choices will depend on your goals and the information you need to collect from leads.

Shorter forms tend to result in more leads, as there is less friction for filling out the form (i.e., less to read, less to fill out). However, longer forms tend to result in fewer but more high-quality leads, as visitors must put in more effort and provide more information to complete the process.

Form fields typically fall into two categories:

  1. Essential information, such as email address and name. This will enable you to contact the lead as part of nurturing them toward becoming a customer.
  2. Qualifying information, such as company name, role, country, and software This will enable you to determine whether they are a good fit as a lead for your business.

A Privacy Policy

Stating your company’s privacy policy is an essential part of collecting the visitor’s personal information. It demonstrates that you can be trusted with this sensitive data.

Whenever you request a visitor’s email address, include a link to your full privacy policy. You can also add relevant certifications or guarantee seals. 

Avoid anything that impedes the process at this stage, such as a CAPTCHA. Also, use positive language to show the benefits of the privacy policy, rather than negative language about protecting against theft of data. 

For example, Opsgenie’s lead capture form includes a link to the Atlassian cloud terms of service and privacy policy. It also includes a link to information on how and where visitor’s data is stored.

Opsgenie lead capture form to sign up for a 14-day free trial.

How to Increase Form Conversions

Ensuring that the form has all the necessary components will help with qualifying and collecting your visitors’ relevant information. Apply the following strategies to improve your form conversion rate.

Perform A/B Testing

Always A/B test pages and different elements on your website, including landing pages and forms. For example, test several versions of the heading, content, layout, CTA, offer, and other elements on the form. 

A/B testing will help you identify what works best and what doesn’t in qualifying and capturing leads. This will help to create a better user experience, increase engagement, reduce bounce rates, and increase conversion rates.

Match the Form to the Audience

Match the lead capture form to the page on which it is located. Tie the wording and offer into the landing page or lead capture page that attracted the visitor in the first place.

One way to do this is to create a popup landing page form. This enables you to target visitors according to specific triggers (e.g., clicking on a link, scroll down the page, preparing to exit the page), which will then activate the appropriate landing page form.

Connect to Your CRM or Email Database

Collecting email addresses and contact information is important, but it can be time-consuming. Automating the process will help to make it more efficient.

Connect the lead capture form to your CRM, email database, or email marketing software. This will automate the lead capture process, enable you to segment leads into different categories, and target those leads with personalized messaging.

Implement an Autoresponder Email

Visitors want to know that you received their form submission when they click the CTA button. Employing an autoresponder email will notify the lead of a successful submission.

The autoresponder email can do more than notify the lead of a successful submission. It can encourage leads to take additional actions such as setting up a meeting, getting a free demo, or checking out your products and services.

Install an App to Book Meetings

You can do more than capture a lead’s email address for future contact and nurturing. You can install an app to encourage the lead to request a demo and set up a meeting once they’ve submitted the lead capture form.

A long wait time between filling out the form and speaking with a sales rep will decrease the likelihood of the lead becoming a customer. Long waits also create a negative impression of your business, which will affect conversion rates.

For example, you can install the Chili Piper’s Concierge product on your lead capture form to enable the lead to immediately book a meeting or start a live call with a sales rep.

How Chili Piper's Concierge looks when booking a meeting from your lead capture form.

Form Examples

There’s no need to create a form from scratch. There are many online form building tools to choose from, including:

Online form builders offer templates that will help you create your own forms. You can also find great examples of lead capture forms online.

Check out the following five examples of high-performing forms for inspiration.

1. Adam Enfroy

Adam Enfroy is a solopreneur and blogger who uses this lead capture form to grow his email list. Subscribers provide their name and email address in exchange for learning how to create their own blog and grow their audience.

This form is effective because:

  • It is quick and easy to fill out (two form fields)
  • The copy includes social proof (500,000 other bloggers)
  • The offer is clearly stated in the header and copy

Adam Enfroy's lead capture form, asking for the visitor's name and email address

2. AutoAnything

AutoAnything sells car parts online. They use a pop-up lead capture form that provides a coupon to visitors in exchange for their email address.

This form is effective because:

  • It requires visitors to fill out only one field
  • The offer is the main focus with the 15% off text being a larger font and bolded
  • It triggers when the visitor moves down the page or prepares to exit

AutoAnything lead capture form that provides a 15% off coupon for the visitor's email address

3. Chili Piper

Chili Piper’s Concierge app enables leads to book a meeting right after submitting their form. Their lead capture form requests the visitor’s email address in exchange for a free demo of the app on your website.

This form is effective because:

  • The CTA lets visitors clearly know what they get in return
  • The text promises a quick response (30 seconds)
  • It’s next to an image of what Concierge would look like on the visitor’s website

Landing page for a free demo of Chili Piper's Concierge app in exchange for your email address

4. Chamaileon

Chamaileon is an email creation platform for agencies and agile teams. Their lead capture form requests visitors create an account and provide their email address in exchange for a free trial of the software.

This form is effective because:

  • It has a clean, straightforward design
  • It asks for the visitor’s permission to use their information
  • It includes a link to the company’s privacy policy

5. Yumi

Yumi enables parents to create healthy meal plans for their baby. Its multi-step lead capture form involves several steps to collect the visitor’s contact information and details about their child.

This form is effective because:

  • The heading is personal and benefit-focused
  • It breaks the process into steps to collect more client data
  • It includes a link to the site’s privacy policy

Yumi multi-step lead capture form for developing a healthy eating plan

The Bottom Line

There are many ways to qualify leads and capture a visitor’s contact information. Lead capture forms help to streamline lead qualification and improve visitors’ experience, which makes the entire lead generation process that much more effective. 

About the Author

David Gargaro has more than 20 years of experience as a content writer and copy editor. His content has appeared in Business.com, ITPro.com, RHB Magazine, Advisors Magazine, and more. In his free time, he enjoys reading, catching up on TV shows and movies, watching hockey, and playing with his daughter.

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