If you want to turn visitors into potential customers, you’re going to need a good batch of lead generation forms on your website. These are the tools that turn casual browsers into genuine business opportunities and quality lead generation forms will maximise the percentage of incoming traffic that converts into real prospects and, ultimately, paying customers.
In this article, we’ve got 30 of the best lead generation forms from around the web Each of these examples is a valuable lesson in form design that’s going to help you capture more leads from your website – and we’re going to explain exactly what makes them so effective.
The Ingredients for a Good Lead Generation Form
Lead generation forms are the interface that stands between your CTAs and users completing conversion goals – everything from newsletter signups and content downloads to free trials and purchases.
A good lead generation form takes off where your CTA finishes and keeps motivation high in users, throughout the conversion process, while you capture the data you need.
If your form allows this motivation to drop or makes it too difficult for users to convert, you’re going to miss out on a bunch of leads. So, generally speaking, the harder it is to complete your lead generation forms, the more you need to incentivise users so they consider the reward worth the initial workload.
One solution to this problem is to make your forms as short as possible and reduce the workload – and this is one of the most common form optimisation tips you’ll come across online. Except, it turns out shorter forms don’t always lead to higher conversion rates and the bigger problem is they don’t secure the data you need to generate quality leads.
Luckily, there are more scientific (and psychological) methods of increasing incentive and reducing the perceived workload of completing your forms, which is precisely what you’re going to learn from the examples in this article.
This is important, too, because the best lead generation forms find a way to capture the data you need to qualify and segment your leads so that you can prioritise the ones that are most valuable to your business and send relevant messages to each target audience – all of which leads to more convincing marketing campaigns.
So let’s get into the examples.
Our first example comes from a website called BrokerNotes, an online platform that helps investors of different levels choose the best broker for their needs. As soon as visitors land on the website, they’re greeted by the following lead generation forms which guides them through a series of questions to determine what they’re trading, their level of experience and which kind of broker they’re looking for.
Once visitors have filled out the requested information, they’ll receive a list of recommended brokers that match their criteria and links to their websites via affiliate referral links.
Users don’t even need to submit an email address or any other personal data.
Dozens of industry leaders partner with BrokerNotes to generate leads via the website and users get personalised recommendations without having to hand over personal data. The multi-step form design creates a more engaging experience and guides users through the process with zero typing required – perfectly optimised for mobile and every other device.
Best of all, this excellent lead generation form was built using our own Leadformly software.
One of the strengths around the forms we create at Leadformly is the multi-step approach we encourage across our forms. These break the form into short, simple and engaging steps.
Instead of listing questions in a long column format, it is proven that forms convert better when split up across multiple steps. This also makes the process feel more conversational and less like a form. The progress bar is integral in helping the user understand how far they’ve progressed in the process and how much they have left before finishing.
By using this multi-step approach, the questions can be grouped around different question types, which can help the form process feel more natural but also creates mini-micro conversions along the journey. This process along with strong visual images creates a far more engaging process for your forms, certain to increase conversion rates.
This multi-step example is one of the Leadformly templates and is fully customisable in our drag and drop editor. You’ll find over 50 templates to choose from in our form builder and each one is optimised with 58 UX best practises.
HubSpot is another company that knows a thing or two about lead generation and its free website grader tool remains one of our favourite form examples.
Basically, HubSpot invites users to get a free assessment of their website to see what could be improved and all they need to do is type in their URL and email address.
Once users hit the Get your score button, they’ll find a full-page report grading different aspects of their website – from SEO and loading times to mobile optimisation and other crucial performance aspects.
Unlike Unbounce, all users need to submit is a URL and an email address to access this free tool but this gives HubSpot everything it needs for this lead generation strategy. This “free tool” is designed to show website owners that their online presence is lacking and demonstrate why they might need the kind of software HubSpot provides in order to improve results.
Crucially, it also captures the emails HubSpot needs to nurture these leads through its email marketing campaigns.
MailerLite gets right to the point on its homepage with this pricing UI that acts as a lead generation form. Instead of making fancy promises, the company allows prospects to see how much the platform is going to cost them (if anything) based on how many subscribers they currently have – and get an idea of how much it might cost them in the future as their contact list grows.
Users can then create their free account or start a free trial to get access to premium features for 14 days, which is just enough time for MailerLite to showcase the value of its paid plans.
The company’s signup form certainly doesn’t get in the way of things, either. We’ve got a simple three-field signup form with a long list of reasons to sign up to its “Free Forever” plan, which emphasises the nothing-to-lose message and eases any buyer concerns.
While many software providers expect you to call their sales team and book a demo, Inspectlet gets right to it and provides a live demo on its website. Click the Try the Demo button and you’ll be taken to a page recording session that captures your behaviour in exactly the same way Inspeclet’s software does.
Users can see exactly what they’ll get from the platform in seconds.
If users decide Inspectlet is for them, they can get started right away with a free account and upgrade to a paid version any time they want to expand their CRO efforts.
Pricing is based on the number of recorded tests, visitors and page views per month and the free version covers enough for users to get an extensive feel for the software. All they have to do is fill out a basic form and they can get started right now.
Inspeclet’s lead generation strategy removes friction at every possible interaction by making a live demo of its software instantly accessible and providing a free version of its software that new users can try out for as long as they like. Buyer’s anxiety melts away and the signup form is equally minimal, allowing new users to be set up with the software in minutes.
Thread offers personalised style and clothing suggestions, which are delivered to users via post for them to try for themselves. This is a market that’s gaining a lot of traction right now and the company uses a smart mix of AI and human style expertise to deliver clothing items that customers can’t help but keep.
The process starts with an extensive multi-step form asking a series of questions so Thread’s algorithms can learn as much as possible about new users.
It asks which brands new customers like the most and then asks them to select a series of styles they prefer for casual, formal-casual and formal situations. Users can select as many options as they like from dozens of images for each situation, which feeds more data into Threads algorithms.
The form goes on to ask users how much they spend on average per month on clothes and even how much they typically spend on individual items. Yes, this is an extensive form but, once again, the quality of results is going to improve as they provide more data so the reward increases as they continue to engage with the form.
Users can skip steps at any time they choose but they understand this might limit the accuracy of Thread’s recommendations.
ConvertKit reminds potential customers that they can create a free account at every opportunity. The company targets entrepreneurs and self-employed workers with a passion for what they do and promises to help you “make a living doing what you love”.
It’s a powerful message and users can click through to get started right away. If they keep browsing on the homepage, they’ll come to another CTA further down the page, which reaches out to prospects based on their experience with lead generation and the current stage of their business.
ConvertKit is showing users that it understands their venture is unique and that it’s software is capable of meeting their current needs, whatever they may be.
This theme continues when users sign up for their free account where ConvertKit uses a multi-step form to learn more about individual prospects and help them choose the right package for their needs. At the same time, it allows the company to capture valuable data to segment its audiences and target them with more relevant messages in its follow-up email marketing campaigns.
Databox crams so many little examples and best practices into the lead generation form on its homepage that we can’t help include it in this list. There’s just so much to take notes from. Starting with a single form field and a CTA button calling upon users get Databox for free.
Free is one of the most powerful words in the CRO dictionary but Databox beefs this message up by stating that its software is “free forever” and clarifying that users don’t need to provide any credit card information to sign up.
Finally, it adds a compelling horizontal list of brands already using the software and explains that 15,000+ businesses and marketing agencies are using Databox to improve website performance.
On the signup page, Databox reinforces the free aspect of its software with bold text and even throws in some underlining for good measure. Key benefits are listed to remind users why they should sign up and more social proof makes an appearance with a testimonial that explains why new users won’t regret filling out five measly form fields on the opposite side of the page.
Once users submit their form details, they’re taken to a short multi-step form that helps them set up their account and they can start importing their data.
Canva makes the vast majority of its software 100% free for people to use and it’s a great design tool for quickly creating visuals and graphics for things like social media content and blog posts.
As the signup form says, Canva is also “free forever” and the signup process takes a single click if you choose to create your account via Google or Facebook.
Even if you choose to sign up using your email account, the form couldn’t be much simpler but Canva doesn’t need to capture a great deal of data right now. The company takes an incredibly soft-sell approach of letting you use its software for free, knowing that serious designers and agencies will upgrade to a premium account for a couple of pro-grade features.
Ramen has one of the simplest lead generation forms we’ll be looking at in this article, using a two-step form that starts by only showing a single field asking for an email address.
This email address is fed through to the second stage of the form where users simply need to provide their name and create a password to start using Ramen’s software.
There’s no payment section, account setup stage or anything else getting in the way of users from trying out Ramen’s software. All of that can wait for later and all the company cares about at this stage is getting people into its platform as quickly as possible.
Segment uses a lot of the design techniques we’ve seen already in the article, which work so effectively for generating B2B leads.
First, we’ve got the single form field asking users to get a demo of its software and link below that tempts them to create a free account.
Once again, social proof is there to encourage more signups by showing users how many businesses are already using the software to increase their profits.
Then we come to a quick form that only asks for the three essential pieces of information and users can then access their free account as soon as they’ve clicked the confirmation link in their verification email.
Startquestion wants to make it as easy as possible for users to sign up and remove any hesitation they might have about trying out the software for free.
It eases typical concerns related to free trials by clarifying that no credit card is required and assuring users that they can cancel any time. It also states that its software is GDPR ready, which is another common concern business owners and marketers may have after the regulations came into effect in May 2018.
To cap things off, the company also shows a list of known names that are already using its software, specifically stating that its platform is “trusted” by those established names.
The account creation form is a simple four-field affair that allows users to get started right away and Startquestion emphasises the free account and no credit card aspects of its offer. It also lists details of the free trial included with a link for access to full details.
The list of existing customer logos is a key presence once again.
Once users complete the signup form, all they need to do is check their inbox for the confirmation email, click the link and they can start creating their first survey.
Chargebee has two conversion goals to temp interested prospects with and, at a glance, it would appear the company’s priority is to get people scheduling demos. Normally, when we see this double-CTA format, the primary conversion goal comes first and the CTA button has the bolder use of colour contrast.
Perhaps Chargebee really does want users to schedule a demo – after all, this would connect new prospects with its sales team who can explain which version of the software is best for them.
Or, perhaps Chargebee uses a bit of psychology here by leading with a CTA that requires more commitment and then following up with a nice, no-commitment free signup option. The arrow of the first CTA button even points to free signup CTA.
Chargebee makes signing up a breeze, too, and all users need to provide is a work email address and their phone number for mobile confirmation.
#14: The Zebra
Insurance quote forms can be some of the most challenging to design, due to the sheer amount of data required to deliver accurate estimates. However, insurance provider The Zebra proves how the lessons we’ve already looked at so far in this article can be used to turn the most demanding form experiences into a powerful lead generation tools
Users can breeze through the quote application process by using The Zebra’s form, which uses conditional logic to remove irrelevant questions as users provide more information. This is a crucial tool for reducing the length of forms without compromising on the quality of data you secure from leads.
The form guides users through every step of the application process while providing visual feedback with its progress bar and numbered questions. Typing is reduced to a minimum where possible and optional fields are greyed out unless a user chooses to accept them.
The Zebra has clearly put a lot of work into optimising this form and it’s implemented a lot of the techniques we’ve built into our own form builder after years of testing and optimisation. It’s no coincidence that many of the examples we’re looking at in this article use multi-step designs to reduce the negative friction of complex lead generation forms.
Dropbox’s homepage aims to get visitors signing up to its paid “business” accounts but the company knows this might be a little presumptuous for a first date. So it gives users the option of trying out Dropbox Business for free, for 30 days, and if that’s still too much of a commitment, people can click the get Dropbox Basic link to sign up for a free personal account.
Whatever option users choose, the signup process is fast and simple.
In this example, Dropbox is leading with its priority conversion goal while offering smaller steps for users to take who might not be ready to buy into paid plans. Aside from a free trial, users can also sign up to a free Dropbox Basic account, which the company uses as a lead generation strategy for capturing new users and targeting them with upselling campaigns to turn them into paying customers in the future.
Slack has one of the smoothest software signup experiences you’ll come across, which starts with a simple call to try out Slack for free.
Now, Slack is a team communication tool so, when a new user clicks through to try it out, they’re asked whether their team is already on Slack or whether they want to create a new Slack workspace for their team.
Either way, to get started, all they need to do is provide their email address and hit the Confirm button.
Next, they’ll be asked to type in the confirmation code that’s sent to their inbox.
And that’s it. Users can either create their new Slack workspace or choose from the existing spaces their email address is assigned to.
Tello has a similarly simple signup process and it helps that the platform provides a free experience that’s more than enough to teams started on collaborative projects
Simply type in your email address and hit the Sign Up button to get started with Trello for free.
On the next page, your email address is automatically typed into the relevant field and all you need to do is enter your full name and create a password to complete the signup process.
Speaking of easy signups, Lyft surely has to be a contender for creating one of the easiest, friction-free experiences for new customers.
You only need to type in your phone number and hit the Text me a link button to get the link sent directly to your phone. Aside from being impossibly easy, this call to action communicates the simplicity of this perfectly, leaving no doubt in users’ minds that this is going to be fast and convenient (quite an important message for a brand of this kind).
#19: Totally Money
Totally Money uses free credit reports as a lead generation strategy and this something you’ll see form a lot of businesses in the finance sector these days.
Totally Money provides credit cards, loans and mortgages, which means anyone interested in a free credit report is likely to be interested in its services. The lead generation form is quite in-depth but this is to be expected from a credit report and the motivation to complete the form in full is high.
Not only is Totally Money generating relevant leads, it’s qualifying them in great detail and determining which prospects to target with offers for credit cards, loans and mortgages using their financial history.
Sleeknote doubles up its lead generation strategy by encouraging users to sign up for a 7-day free trial while asking those who aren’t ready to take the plunge to click on a secondary CTA button for more information.
Users who bite on the free trial CTA are greeted by a minimal form that only asks for a name, email address and password.
On the right, Sleeknote also adds a list of incentives and some social proof to reinforce user intent to complete the signup.
VWO is a comprehensive piece of conversion rate optimisation (CRO) software and you don’t expect easy signups to platforms of this calibre. However, VWO bucks the trend with one of the simplest free trial signups you’ll come across.
All you need to do is type in your email address and hit the Create a free trial account button – that’s it.
VWO will start setting up your account right away while a verification message is sent to your email address. In the meantime, the free demo version of VWO will load up in the browser (before you even verify your account) and you can start trying out the software right away.
No more than a few seconds after you’ve submitted your email address, you’ll find yourself using VWO’s excellent software without providing any additional information until a later date.
Few software companies make it as easy as VWO to sign up for a free trial (possibly none) but Moosend comes pretty close with its own lead generation form.
We’re back with another multi-step form here and, after submitting their email address, all users are asked for is to create the login domain and password for their account and hit the Register button.
Graze proves that software companies aren’t the only ones who can tempt customers in with free trials. Food subscription services are a big thing now and Graze faces increased competition in a market that’s only going to become more saturated.
Getting loyal customers on board, sooner rather than later, is a priority for the company and it tempts new prospects in with a free box of healthy snacks to get a feel for what the service has to offer.
The signup process is pretty simple with a basic form leading onto a payment gateway and then a final section where new customers can customise their free box. Friction here is significantly higher than many of the examples we’ve looked at so far but when users are getting something tangible for free, they’re usually willing to put in some extra work.
Some businesses are lucky enough to have a more straightforward set of conversion goals and, in the case of Scribd, the company can more-or-less rely on one: getting readers to sign up to its eBook service.
This simplicity shows in the brand’s free trial lead generation form, which can have you reading eBooks within a few clicks if you choose to sign up with Facebook or Google.
Failing that, you can choose to sign up with email and Scribd will then prompt you for your name, email and a password. Easy as that.
Zeroqode promises to make code-free app development easy and this will be a tempting prospect for designers, developers and startup founders. With Zeroqode, you can buy templates, blocks, plugins and everything else you need to create fully-functioning apps.
But we know by now that you have to sweeten the deal to get people signing up and Zerquode also offers some freebies as a lead generation strategy – starting with some free templates.
After clicking on the CTA button, things start to look quite familiar with a basic form that asks for users’ name, email address and a password for their free account.
Considering the amount of time and money it takes to build an app from scratch, Zeroqode’s paid offering is tempting enough, to begin with, and its free templates provide the extra incentive for users to try them out for themselves.
What have we learned from these examples?
Above all, we’ve learned that lead generation forms are an extension of your CTAs and a central part of your conversion optimisation strategy. There’s not much point in optimising those call-to-action buttons if you haven’t got forms that are going to convert users into solid leads.
Now, we’ve looked at a lot of examples in this article and a range of different forms but they all have one key thing in common.
Each of these forms is built around a lead generation strategy that motivates users to take action. Your ads, landing pages and CTAs build up the promise of value and then your forms provide the means of satisfying the urge you’ve built up throughout your marketing campaigns.
Your forms have the power to give users what they’re looking for and it’s crucial that you keep this balance of reward vs effort alive throughout the entire process. You have to keep the sense alive in users that end result is going to be worth the initial workload and we’ve seen a number of strategies used in our examples to achieve this:
- Multi-step forms
- Showing a single field first
- Minimising the need to type
- Personalising the experience
- Using conditional logic
- Psychological techniques (eg: sunk cost bias, anchoring effect, etc.)
- Free tools, demos and resources
- Copy that keeps incentive high
You might notice that we haven’t spent a great deal of time talking about form length, layouts, button colours and other visual design aspects in this article – and not because they aren’t important. It’s just that we’ve focused on the more conceptual and strategic aspects of lead generation forms because this is what determines how much motivation people have to fill them out.
The problem with most web forms is that they kill this motivation by delivering an experience that gets in the way of conversions. Meanwhile, the examples we’ve looked at in this article enhance the experience and leave little doubt in users’ minds that they want to go all the way.