At what point does a website visitor who’s maybe interested in residential solar become a qualified solar sales lead?
It’s simpler than you might think: When a web visitor gives you his contact information by filling out an online form, he becomes a solar lead.
But while the answer is easy, judging by the many ways that some solar websites misuse website forms, the devil’s in the details.
“Real and actionable conversions come if you fulfill two conditions: overcoming psychological obstacles + screening out the tire kickers,” according to Laura Moisei at Unbounce.
In other words, a pro conversion is all about getting a lead that has a genuine interest in your business and your product offering. As Mona Elesseily said, “collecting information from prospects with your form is a negotiation, a process of easing into a relationship – and not a sudden event.”
If someone’s just kicking the tires, they probably won’t fill out an online form because they’re not ready to talk to a sales rep yet. So if your website is clear about what you offer and to what kind of solar customers, then you don’t really have to worry about your contact form generating a lot of unqualified leads. If it is, then maybe you need to go back and re-orient your website content towards your ideal solar buyer persona.
It’s the opposite problem that most solar companies have to worry about — namely, not enough people filling out their online contact forms. And that’s because those companies are asking web visitors for too much, too fast. Here are the top six mistakes in forms that lead to low conversions on solar websites:
- Wrong offer. A form to “Get a Free Quote” or even receive a “Free Home Solar Assessment” will scare off website visitors who are at the early stages of the solar buyer’s journey. You wouldn’t ask someone to go steady on a first date, right? Likewise, when someone just finds your site, they’re often not ready to get a visit or phone call from a salesperson. So, if that’s all you’re offering, then few visitors will fill out your form. You’ll get more form submissions if you offer your web visitor something that will help them move forward with their buying decision at their own pace such as an e-book or checklist.
Too many form fields. The sweet spot for forms is 3-5 fields, according to the experts at Unbounce. Any more than that, and fewer visitors will fill out your form. This means that you have space to ask for a visitor’s name, email address and city and state. But you probably don’t have space to ask the average amount of their monthly electric bill, the name of their electricity provider or how recently their roof was replaced.
- Too much on the landing page. You know your form should be placed on a landing page, right? Once your visitor gets there, through an appealing call-to-action, then your landing page should be laser focused on one thing and one thing only: getting the visitor to fill out the form. So remove anything else that’s usually on your site pages, including sidebars with blog posts and ads and even your top navigation menu. Don’t give the visitor anything to do but fill out and click on the form.
- Not enough on the landing page. If it’s not clear that the solar web visitor will get something valuable in exchange for his contact info, then he won’t bother to fill out your form. So, as you remove distractions, remember to add in enough text and pictures to show what your visitor will get if they send in the form. If you’re offering an e-book, for example, have a few bullet points about the content along with an image of the book’s cover.
- Boring button. A grey button that says “Submit” will get very few clicks. Get more clicks by making your buttons attractive as possible. Make your button an action color such as orange or blue. Then, depending on your offer, the text should say “Download E-Book,” “Reserve Yours Now” or even “Get It!”
Of course, to be really useful to your sales effort, your form should be connected to your CRM system, automatically feeding contact info straight into your company’s lead tracking database. And for your solar marketer to be able to track the results and optimize the form based on usage, the form should also be integrated with analytics.
A form is the last step in the inbound marketing process that attracts visitors to your site and then guides them towards more interaction with you online. First, you need to get the right traffic to your website — people most likely to become your most desired solar customers. Then, make it easy for the solar-curious web visitor to learn about your company and its offerings. Finally, guide that visitor towards starting a low-pressure relationship with you when he’s ready by offering him something he’d want in exchange for filling out your lead generation form. That’s how you’ll get more web visitors converting into solar leads that your salespeople can really use.
— Erik Curren, Curren Media Group