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By Eric Quanstrom #marketing September 8, 2016

Maybe you’re like me and have created an entirely separate email address to collect all the emails I get from varying companies with information I find useful to keep up to date on. (It keeps my normal inbox from getting even more cluttered.)

Web forms are one of the best ways to generate leads from people casually browsing your site. You’ve offered something interesting. They’re interested. In exchange for your information, they give you an email address and maybe a name.

The marketing industry likes to argue about the effectiveness of long forms versus short forms. Long forms being those where they ask for your full name, email, company, budget for x, position within the company, and usually much more. Short forms are just email address and occasionally your first name.

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Long form provides the benefits of lead enrichment. You know which of the people who are looking into your content are the ones you want to focus on. You have all the information available: where they work, what position they are, even their budget! It’s basically a business to business lead generation goldmine for no more trouble than putting together a helpful free tool.

The short form is much friendlier than the long form. It’s less invasive than asking for a bunch of upfront information that the person viewing may or may not be comfortable sharing. The short form will get you higher conversion rates. Conversion is defined in this instance as casual surfers turned interested parties.

At the end of the day, it’s really about what works best for your target group for your business to business lead generation. If you’d rather have a long list of prospects to check out, use the short form. If you prefer a shorter list of prospects with little need to lead enrichment, use the long form.

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