How to Optimize Forms for Lead Generation

As the name suggests, lead generation is the process of finding and attracting new leads for a business. A lead is defined as somebody that is interested in a product or service so much so that they provide a company with contact details. Once a business has this initial lead, they can then follow up with them at a later date and hopefully convert that lead into a sale.

Unless a business has a clear strategy for lead generation, it is very difficult to generate any significant sales increase. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that their online visitors are ready to make a purchase right away, so they focus on converting immediately instead of capturing those leads and following up later. But the reality is, only 4% of online visitors are ready to buy, so lead generation should always be the priority.

Forms are one of the most effective methods for capturing leads from people that visit a business website. If a company isn’t already using forms on their site, they’re missing a huge opportunity. Simple forms that ask visitors to sign up for an account or register for a newsletter are a great way of collecting basic contact information. Once you have that information, a relationship is established and you now have an opportunity to follow up and convert those leads.

Whether a business is using forms for the first time or has had them on their site for a while, it’s important to understand how to optimize forms for the best results. Here are 4 effective ways a business can optimize forms for lead generation.



Add forms to pages that get the most traffic

Before making any changes, it is first important to understand the current state of your lead generation strategy. Look at what methods are currently generating leads and what areas could do with some improvement. Not only does this direct your strategy, but it also makes it easier to track results later on.

The first step is for a business to determine where their leads are coming from in the first place. This varies for every company but the three main lead sources for B2B companies are SEO (14%), email marketing (13%), and social media (12%). For B2C companies, social media is top (17%), SEO is second (16%), and email marketing is third (15%). Businesses also generate leads from paid ad campaigns, content marketing, and live chat.

By determining where leads are coming from, businesses can also get an idea of which pages on their website are the most convincing. There are also some great tools such as Google Analytics, which can give detailed information about how many visits each page gets.

Using this data, businesses can work out where to put their forms to generate the most leads. Although forms are effective, they only work when people actually find the form in the first place. Users are incredibly unlikely to search around a website for a form to fill in. This makes it vital that businesses place it on pages that the majority of users are already browsing.


Put #29excludeGlossary forms above the fold

Placing forms on the most popular pages is a start. However, businesses also need to ensure that the form is immediately visible on a page to get the best results. A study conducted by Nielsen Norman found that 80% of users’ browsing time is spent looking at content above the fold (the first screenful of content). Any forms placed below the fold will be missed by the majority of users, so they must always be placed above the fold where they will be noticed.

This trend is not just limited to lead generation forms either but also applies to ads. Research by Google suggests that any ads placed 50% below the fold experience a 66% drop in conversions. This demonstrates that web users do not scroll aimlessly up and down the page. If they do not immediately see valuable content, they are likely to bounce right away which means the business loses that potential lead. So, it is absolutely crucial that lead generation forms are placed above the fold if they are to be effective.

Keep form fields to a minimum

Efficiency is vital when creating lead generation forms. Users are not visiting a website because they want to spend time filling a form. In fact, many consider it a waste of their valuable time. Making the process as quick and easy as possible for them is the best way to encourage people to fill out lead generation forms.

Finding ways to improve user experience on a website is important. The simplest way to make lead generation forms simple is to only ask for essential information. This makes filling in the form minimal effort. A business only needs a name and an email address to follow up with a potential customer in future. Asking for more than this risks making the form overbearing and will reduce the number of leads collected.

The data supports this theory and according to Unbounce, the optimum conversion rate for a form with three fields is 25%, but this drops to 15% for a form with six fields. In some cases, businesses may use longer forms for other purposes. However, if the aim is to generate leads, shorter forms are always more effective.

Below is an example of a form that is optimized for lead generation, due to the minimal fields.



Create beautiful forms

The way that a business designs its forms tells the customer a lot about them. A basic, unattractive form gives the impression of an amateurish company that isn’t necessarily trustworthy. But a well-designed, eye-catching form shows professionalism. There are some excellent form builders available, so there is no excuse for using poorly designed forms. Some of these no-code form builders, like Paperform, are completely customizable, so businesses don’t need expert knowledge to create an incredible form that boosts lead generation.

When designing a lead generation form, there are a few things that businesses should keep in mind. Branding is essential, so always use colours that match the company brand and include the logo too. Colour psychology has a role to play as well because it dictates the response that people have to the form. Picking colours that evoke the right emotional response and grab the attention of the user will increase the percentage of users that fill it out. Making the form clear and easy to read is important too. Avoid overcrowding and don’t underestimate the effectiveness of white space.



Lead generation is a crucial part of the sales funnel for any business, and using online forms is an effective way of capturing those leads. However, knowing how to optimize those forms is key to success.

Placement is incredibly important. This means businesses must do their research to determine which pages on their website get the most traffic and place the forms there, making sure that they are above the fold.

The way that form is designed makes a huge difference too. Users are giving over their valuable time to fill out forms, so they must be kept as simple as possible. Designing an attractive form using a no-code form builder will also encourage users to engage with your forms.

Once a business can get all of these elements right, its lead generation strategy will drastically improve.

About Rebecca DiCioccio

Rebecca DiCioccio is the Marketing Manager at Paperform. Outside of work, Rebecca can be found exploring the outdoors or with a book in hand. Rebecca’s background in copywriting and a keen interest in SEO and digital marketing mean she understands the importance of staying up to date with the latest trends in a dynamic and ever-changing industry.