Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Im currently researching how to handle lead generation forms.

I came across a website which has 3 slightly different forms for downloading a white paper, downloading an ebook, and downloading the trial.The trial download form is the shortes.

Trial Download fields:

  • name
  • company
  • phone
  • email

White paper form fields are the same but have 2 more fields:

  • job positon
  • country

The ebook form has trials form fields + state field.

I can not wrap my head around this.

Why would they have those differences in forms? Does this strategy have a name?

Also, i want to add on this particular site, if you fill out a form once, the info you already entered is auto filed on the next form you would fill out.

So, if you get a trial first, you would only need to fill out 2 more fields for the white paper.

But who is to say that most people would first get the trial, and later a whitepaper? Does this even make sense?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

This strategy looks like a reverse-common-sense implementation. The most guarded of my personal information is my phone number, followed by email, and then anything else from the list.

If I had to do this, I'd tag the most valuable asset with direct contact information of the person downloading it, not the other way around.

share|improve this answer
    
all forms have phone number and email. the ebook has one more field in addition, the white paper download 2 more. –  user1721135 Feb 13 '13 at 11:18
    
@user1721135, thanks for coming back to tell us what was going on. Seems like a good lead gen method, to be used with care. –  humbleware Feb 14 '13 at 1:42

Assuming there is a good reason for this (which we will never know):

If they have a different expected audience for each product, it may be that their business logic has dictated that they need to know the additional information for whitepapers - for marketing or sales reasons. This actually makes sense if they want to be able to say "349 companies have used our whitepapers to inform them of X".

It may also be that each item is handled by a different department, and so the information requirements have simply been given to the developers to include.

From a UX perspective, it is best to ask for as little information as possible, but UX needs have to always be balanced against other business needs.

share|improve this answer
    
well I assume they have good reason since they are a serious company and are using "clicktale". Maybe they assume, or know that everybody downloads the trial firs, then downloads white papers. –  user1721135 Feb 13 '13 at 15:03
    
@user1721135 Not all business decisions have a good reason. I wish that weren't the case though. –  JohnGB Feb 13 '13 at 15:10
    
that is true ofc even in big companies. however since the website im speaking of usually knows its shit, and as i said uses advanced user monitoring, i assume there must be a reason for this. granted it probably wouldnt make a huge difference if they had the same fields on each form. –  user1721135 Feb 13 '13 at 20:12
up vote 1 down vote accepted

For anyone interested I found out what this is all about. Turns out this is called progressive profiling in marketing and it's a way to ask a prospect lots of questions without the need to stick them all on a single form.

sources:

http://www.hubspot.com/blog/bid/33993/HubSpot-Forms-Now-Feature-Progressive-Profiling-and-a-New-Interface

http://www.4thoughtmarketing.com/Eloqua-Progressive-Profiling-Forms/

Edit: Does going through all this just to have 1-2 less fields even make sense?

It seems so:

http://www.marketingexperiments.com/blog/internet-marketing-strategy/lead-generation-testing-form-field-length-reduces-cost-per-lead-by-10-66.html

This study suggests 1 less field = 1% more conversions.

share|improve this answer
    
This is a really interesting concept, I'm not sure if it's smart and user friendly, or devious and cunning! –  JonW Feb 14 '13 at 0:01
    
Yeah its pretty cool. I just wonder if it makes any sense doing all this just so your forms can be 1-2 fields shorter. Have to do some more research, maybe there is data on it. –  user1721135 Feb 14 '13 at 0:06

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.