Forms Are Not Dead as Email Lead Capture Tools

Email Lead Capture Tools

Marketers rely on email lead capture as a way to collect information from their website visitors. Typically, this is done through a traditional web form, although additional approaches include popups, chatbots, live chat, quizzes, surveys, and more.

In a technology-driven world, you would think that old-fashioned contact forms would be headed the way of the dinosaur. If you believe that, you would be wrong.

Online forms are far from dead. They remain the most commonly used type of lead-capture tool, with 74% of recent respondents to a HubSpot reporting they use them. Among that group, half of the respondents said online forms provided their highest conversion rates. That makes traditional forms the highest-converting lead capture tool for marketers in 2019.

The average length of a web form today is roughly 5 form fields. Anything longer limits feedback. Anything shorter may not capture all the information you need.

In addition, 60% of marketers use more than one tool to capture email leads. Among the secondary tools, 37% of respondents use live chat while only 17% use a chatbot. 

To help you optimize your lead-capture strategy in 2019, here are other findings revealed by the HubSpot survey:

Survey Methodology and Respondent Data

Any survey you conduct is limited by the sample you can reach. In our case, we received 173 valid survey responses. We filtered for marketers working full-time on lead capture and lead generation. Here are some quick statistics about our sample.

A large percentage of our respondents work at small businesses, with roughly 33% reporting less than 50 employees, although the distribution evens out among the other responses:

Additionally, a good chunk of our respondents (24%) work in advertising and marketing, but the rest is fairly diverse and split evenly between other industries.

Everyone in our sample works full-time and said they were “very” or at least “somewhat” involved in lead generation and lead capture efforts at their companies.

As with any research you conduct, there are some limitations to our dataset, as well. We'll cover sample limitation and quirks later in this article.

Key Lead Capture Statistics and Findings

Here’s a quick overview of the most interesting statistics we learned about lead capture in 2019:

• Forms aren’t dead. 74% of marketers are using web forms for lead generation, and 49.7% of marketers say that web forms are their highest converting lead generation tool.

• Chatbots still have low adoption, but still, 17% of marketers are using chatbots today. However, only 6.5% say it is their highest converting lead capture tool. • The average length of a web form in 2019 is about 5 form fields. Because contexts vary so wildly, this is neither good nor bad, though we have seen inconsistent studies that fewer form fields usually result in higher conversion rates.

• Conversion rates are highly variable and contextual. Reported conversion rates varied consistently across reported categories, but the mean conversion rate from our study is 21.5% (*read more below about the limitations with our reported conversion rates).

• Data-driven marketers are outpacing everyone. Running A/B tests, using form analytics, and running user tests are all correlated with higher form conversion rates and satisfaction with lead generation efforts.

• Multi-step forms convert 86% higher. Only 40% of marketers use them, but those that do report 17% higher satisfaction rates with their lead generation efforts, and their self reported conversion rates are 86% higher.

• Only half of the marketers use “lead magnets” to capture email addresses. Marketers who use lead magnets, or downloadable resources after a website visitor shares their email address, report marginally higher satisfaction rates and conversion rates than those who do not use lead magnets.

• Ebooks are the most popular lead magnet, with 27.7% of marketers using them. However, 24.9% are using webinars and almost as many (21.3%) are using free tools to get email addresses.

• The average Ebook length is between 5k and 10k words. Barely anyone writes an Ebook that is larger than 10,000 words, and the most common length is between 5,000 and 10,000 words.

• Marketers overemphasize on total lead volume and not enough on lead quality. It's reported that only 56.4% of marketers have a lead qualification strategy, and only 39.5% are using any sort of predictive lead scoring. It appears we overemphasize on volume of leads without considering the quality of each lead.