You need detailed website enquiries.

A name and email address isn't enough to work with but demanding more information on the enquiry form doesn't work.

The longer the enquiry form the fewer enquiries it gets. People don't fill in long forms.

Would you fill in a really long form?

One of my clients lost 90 possible sales in one month because he wanted two extra questions on his enquiry form.

His MarketingMotor AdWords campaign was cooking and he was feeling overwhelmed. He wanted two bits of information to help him respond faster. I advised him against it but he insisted.

The page conversion rate measures what percentage of visitor fill in the enquiry form. The higher the page conversion rate the better. It's one of the most important performance indicators we track.

Most website owners are satisfied with 1 enquiry for every 100 visitors or so. He was getting 31 enquiries for every 100 visitors. (That's freakishly high even by MarketingMotor standards.)

I added the extra questions to the form and let it run for a month.

The extra two questions reduced the page conversion rate from 31% to 24%. It equates to 90 missed enquiries every month. Missing 90 possible sales a month was enough incentive for him to see it my way. We removed the extra fields and the conversion rate went back up again.

When you start out in business you'll quote for anyone who asks. As you get more experienced you'll start saying NO more often than you say YES. Not everyone is a good fit for your business.

Some are in the wrong place. Some want something you don't do. Some can't afford you. Some will pay late and argue about your bill. Some are just horrible to do business with.

The sooner you can get rid of the wrong kind of prospects the more attention you can give to the right prospects. Nobody minds calling someone when you've got a real chance of a sale.

Here's how we help you prioritise your MarketingMotor leads.

A MarketingMotor lead generation site comes with the simple enquiry form shown below. The form works well. It’s a compromise between being easy enough to fill in and long enough to be credible. Almost a million people have completed one of our forms.

Most websites have an enquiry form. When you fill it in your enquiry is sent to someone and you get shown a message or sent to a thank you page.

We do it a little differently.

Introducing the two-part form.

We have a second form which is only shown after the sales prospect clicks the ‘Continue’ button. At this stage we’ve got the information from the regular enquiry form so we’ve lost nothing if they don’t fill the second form in. If they choose to give us extra information we add that to the enquiry before sending it.

I chose the headline “Prioritise your enquiry.” because I wanted to give a reason for us asking the extra questions. I also wanted to offer a benefit for filling in the form.

Psychologist Ellen Langer studied the affects of persuasive language. She found that people were more likely to do what she wanted if she gave them a reason for asking. Even if the reason was absurd.

She experimented by asking people queuing to use a photocopier if she could cut in. She tested three different ways of asking. First, she asked "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?" 60% allowed her to go ahead of them.

94% responded favourably when she was more specific, "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I'm in a rush?".

The surprising result was that 93% of people said yes when her reason was ridiculous. "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?"

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