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For a Good Time, Use Our Contact Us Form

Contact Us You have a form on your website! A nice, prominently placed "Contact Us" form. So you're doing what you can to convert your online visitors to leads, right?

Wrong .

Generating good, quality, qualified leads is not unlike building a relationship. You need to learn a fair bit about each other before you're likely to commit to anything.

And insisting on only having a "Contact Us" form on your site is the relationship-building equivalent of inviting someone you've just met back to your place.

Most of Your Prospects Are Shy

You need more than just a "Contact Us" form to attract the interest of the vast majority of your website visitors. Sure, some of us will be ready to talk to a salesperson, but are you really willing to let 95% of your prospects flounder around with nothing else to do?

Well good, because if you're not giving us the relationship-building information we need, we're gone. Off to some other site. Some site that understands us. We have needs, too, you know!

Make Us Trust You and Like You

The sad thing is, it's so easy. All you have to do is create a couple of offers that address the needs of the those of us at the top and middle of the sales funnel, and we'll be happy to fill out those silly old forms of yours. Offer me something of value, and I will gladly offer you my email address.

Remember, your Contact Us form only "offers" me the chance to talk to a salesperson. You're going to have to try a little harder than that.

What Makes a Good Top-of-the-Funnel Offer?

If I'm an early prospect, I'll need convincing that (1) you understand exactly what my problem is, and (2) the type of solution you offer might be appropriate.  This is not the time to tell me about your product specifications, features and benefits. That comes later, after I trust you a little more.

Show me you understand the issue I'm facing by writing a one-page PDF about my problem -- not about your solution.  If you're a plumber, write an info sheet about what to do if my toilet repeatedly overflows. Can I service it myself? Are there parts I can buy? How will I know if I need to replace the whole thing?

I need to know that you truly want to help solve my problem, not just make a sale.

What Makes a Good Middle-of-the-Funnel Offer?

It's still not time to tell me all about your products and services.

Thing is, I'm pretty sure I can find that information if I want to. I'm guessing it's somewhere on your website, am I right? So tell me something I don't already know.

Now that I'm convinced that my problem might match the kinds of solutions you offer, convince me that you're the one to provide me with that solution.

Offer me testimonials from happy customers, case studies of completed projects.

Videos are great at this stage. Take a Flip camera and shoot a three-minute video of one of your happiest customers, and let her tell me why I should trust you.

Don't worry if the video isn't "professionally produced." I'll trust you more if it isn't slick and expensive looking. That tells me you're spending more time on making your customers happy, and less time trying to pull one over on me.

Now Maybe I Will Contact You

If I trust you, if you've convinced me that you truly understand my problem, and that your solution might be a good fit for me, I might finally be willing to fill out your "Contact Us" form. Heck, I might just pick up the phone and call you myself!

But you need at least three offers on your site, each one calculated to serve the needs of customers who are at different stages in the sales cycle. Each offer lies behind a form, and each form lies on a landing page.

Tailor the offer to the needs of the customer -- not to your monthly sales goals -- and we will happily fill out your forms.

Beth Dunn is a member of the Inbound Marketing Consultant team at HubSpot. Beth also blogs at www.bethdunn.org and An Accomplished Young Lady .

Image by giarose .

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