Test form validation as a way to qualify prospects

Form validation can be a good option to leverage if you want to filter out less qualified leads so that more of the prospects converting are highly qualified leads. You can let the less qualified leads filter themselves out by defining certain criteria that you find less desirable, and then let form validation be the gatekeeper.

The criteria you choose to filter out will vary based on your key business goals and decisions. Examples might include: 

  • Email address (excluding personal email addresses)
  • Employee count/company size
  • Position in the company
  • Country or region
 
Example: Segment’s demo form

Segment, for example, requires that you enter a business email address. This might filter out smaller businesses that run their company out of a personal email address.

When you enter an email address on the left CTA, it takes you to a slightly longer form, where the email address is pre-populated.

If a personal email is entered, it prompts to use only a valid business email address:

 

Test adding features to your thank you pages to extend the experience

The page that appears after a prospect submits a form is often underutilized. You can drive engagement beyond the form fills by seizing the opportunity to do more on your thank you pages. Remember, at this point, the prospect is already invested and ready to commit (if nothing else) their time.

Consider providing recommendations or other relevant options on this page.

 

Options might include

 

  • An “Add to calendar” button for events, repeat purchases, subscriptions, or delivery dates
  • A “Share” button for different social platforms
    • “I just signed up for this webinar, come join me!”
  • Recommendations based on what the prospect just signed up for
    • “You might also like ____.”
    • “Customers who attended this webinar also enjoyed our book, ___.”
  • Links to relevant content you think the prospect might be interested in
    • “In preparation for this demo, consider reading these blog posts…”
  • A chatbot for additional actions the prospect should or could take

 

Example: Snowflake

In this example, Snowflake’s webinar signup confirmation page includes several options for engagement:

  • Adding the event to your calendar
  • Chatbot with additional offerings
  • Virtual hands-on lab registration
  • Demo signup
  • Ebook

Experiment with tailored chatbots

Chatbots are a handy way to gain more insights into your prospects, help direct them towards what they’re looking for, and guide them to your own objectives. If you utilize chatbots, you can leverage Intellimize to enhance your prospect’s experience by swapping out chatbots based on who your prospect is and where they are on their journey with you.

 

Listen for triggers within chats

One thing to consider is leveraging your chatbots as a way to gather more information about who your visitor is so that you can present tailored content and chatbots that are better fits for who they are.

As your prospects engage with your chatbot, you can set different triggers and attributes that Intellimize can listen for and act upon. Any info you might want to use to tailor the user experience can be added as a trigger.

 
Example:

If you don’t know what industry or role the prospect is in yet and they reveal this info within the chatbot, Intellimize can remember that. Future page visits can be restructured with eligible variations for that industry or role.

 

Swap out chatbots to personalize the prospect’s experience

You can set up various chatbots with unique messaging and tone (outside of Intellimize), then set attributes that Intellimize can listen for. Intellimize can swap out chatbots, based on your attributes, to meet the prospect where they are in their journey with you.

 
Funnel position and new vs repeat visitors

When a prospect is first testing the waters with your company, you’ll probably want the chatbot to have a level tone with generic but encouraging messaging. As the prospect moves down the funnel or repeatedly visits the site, you know they’re more interested and invested. The tone may shift to be more aggressive or the messaging can push them to talk to sales or another objective.

 
High-valued targeted prospects

If you have MVP prospects that you’ve reached out to directly or had a great interest in, you might want to set up a specialized chatbot with targeted messaging to further finesse or direct the prospects. Perhaps you offer a phone number, live chat agent, or a discount/special offer.

 
Lower-valued prospects

If you’ve determined that some audiences aren’t the right fit for your business or are lower-value targets, you may want to push that audience to self-serve options or a particular solution.

 
Industry, role, or solution

You might have a different type of messaging or tone per audience group that you want to configure as different chatbots to surface. For instance, a prospect in the aviation industry could get a chatbot that includes aviation lingo or specific context-sensitive dialog trees.

Experiment with different images to see what resonates with prospects

An image is worth a thousand words, as they say. Sometimes your images can draw prospects in and, combined with the right messaging, encourage them to convert. Try running multiple variants of the images on your pages to see what resonates with your prospects. Intellimize can help uncover the content that has the most impact.

 

Test out different mediums, treatments, and styles

Try different types of imagery to see what your prospects are going to connect with most. Sometimes it’s product images, illustrations, or photographs. Play with how you style those images and how they interact with each other and the other content on the page.

  • Medium – Photographs vs illustrations vs. animations vs. video clips
  • Overlays – Colored vs. partial transparency vs. none
  • Styles – Drop shadow vs. outer glow vs. page edge-to-edge vs. overlapping images
Example: ServiceTitan

ServiceTitan uses a good mix of photos and illustrations for static images and video thumbnails. The combination of different imagery helps the audience get a good sense of their solution in action, without needing a big explanation. The surrounding messaging and or videos let the prospect dive in to learn more.

The 3 examples below showcase different ways they present images.

  • Top left image – An illustration showing their dashboard is the thumbnail for a video.
  • Bottom left image – A photo of someone in the field with overlaid benefits acts as their thumbnail for another video.
  • Right image – An illustration of their mobile software is overlaid on a photo of someone using the software in the field.

 

Test out different subjects and image composition

The context of your page and solutions may inform what kind of subjects you’re able to present in your images. Below are a number of different ideas you could consider trying.

  • Photos of people – Stock photos vs. more natural, less perfect looking individuals
  • Abstract images – Colors vs. shapes vs. artistic
  • Objects – Computers vs. charts vs. screenshots
  • Scenery – Beaches vs. sunsets vs. open field

Another thing to consider is where your subject’s attention is focused. As an audience, we tend to follow the gaze of people we’re looking at — including in photographs. If your images include people, try having the person’s gaze aim towards the product or messaging you’re presenting.

Additional considerations:

  • Do you include just one subject or have multiple subjects in the image?
  • What are their perceived moods? What are they doing in the image?
  • Does the image convey a message or just compliment your text?
Example: LaserAway

On the homepage, two example hero images test a few things at once:

  • Scenery – Beach vs. car
  • Action – Walking vs. driving
  • Subject’s gaze – Looking into the distance vs. looking at the audience

 

Test out different placements for your images

Try out variations where the image is different sizes or in different places on the page. For instance:

  • Large hero
  • Banner image
  • Next to your text
  • Above or below your text
  • Background image (behind text / content)

 

Test out images tailored by geolocation

In some cases, you might be able to leverage the prospect’s location to present different relevant images. This may not apply to you depending on your offerings.

Examples may include:

  • Region-specific imagery for high-value regions or targeted prospects. For instance, if you’re targeting a set of prospects that are based in New York, you might try to include photos of people with New York scenery in the background.
  • If you offer services in specific regions, you could show a service map with eligibility based on the prospect’s location.

Test personalized landing pages that maintain the continuity of your ad messaging

Compel visitors from paid ads to convert once they reach your site by using the same imagery, keywords, phrases, and special offers from the ad. Whatever brought the prospect to your site obviously piqued their interest and resonated with them. By repurposing the specific ad content on the page, you may encourage them to stay on the site and drive engagement.

 

Leverage UTM parameters in your ads and email campaigns

Adding unique UTM parameters to the URLs of each ad and email campaign lets you know where your prospect came from and what content they viewed before arriving on your website.

 

Repurpose the content from your ad on the page

You can present the same content from the ad or email on the web page to create a consistent and tailored experience. Components from the ad you might repurpose on the page:

  • Hero image
  • Phrasing and keywords
  • Tone, intent, special offer
Example: MasterClass.com

In this example, a Facebook video ad features former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov promoting a class on how to play chess. Clicking the ad opens the website to an image of Garry showcasing the chess class and the 50% off promo.

This is a much cleaner, tailored experience that focuses on my interest in chess, rather than the generic homepage that doesn’t even include the chess class.

Try personalizing the homepage so that it becomes a dynamic landing page

Imagine a world where every time a prospect landed on your homepage, they were presented with content tailored specifically to their traits and interests. Intellimize can automatically update pages to meet individuals based on who they are and where they are with you in the funnel.

 

Reflect on the kinds of info you have about your prospects

Tailoring a prospect’s experience starts with associating the visitors with some info that you already know or can learn. Intellimize can then modify the page to show your variations based on the criteria/attributes you’ve defined (e.g. by solution, industry, funnel position, or targeted audience).

Deanonymization services

B2B services, like Clearbit, KickFire, and Demandbase, generate business profiles for prospects that visit your site. Using reverse IP lookup, these services provide details about the visitor in the time it takes the webpage to load.

Data you already have (first and third-party data)

Take stock of the first-party data (i.e. insights you’ve learned/collected) and third-party data (i.e. info you’ve acquired from other companies) you have to leverage in customizing the prospect’s experience. Some examples may include:

  • CRM data – Leverage info that you’ve collected in your CRM (e.g. Salesforce) about your prospects to tailor their experience. For instance, the prospect’s industry, role, company name, competitors, and where they are in the funnel.
  • Lead generation services – Products like Marketo let you gather and keep track of key info for each of your known prospects. As additional info is learned, it helps paint a better picture of who this prospect is.
  • UTM parameters – UTM parameters placed in the URL allow you to track where incoming visitors came from. Typically, UTM parameters are often included in links within email campaigns and advertisements. These parameters can then be leveraged to identify/target specific audiences or prospects or maintain a consistent experience.
Your prospects’ behavior

You can learn a lot about who a prospect is by what they view and engage with because that’s what they’re interested in. How a prospect interacts with your site can be matched to different attributes (e.g. industry, role, funnel position).

  • Pages viewed – A common use case is to leverage different solutions pages for your offerings. If a prospect visits a given solutions page, it might define their industry, role, or interest. Alternatively, a prospect that views case studies from three different small businesses is likely a small business themselves.
  • Clicks – Depending on how your site is configured, you might have certain CTAs that can be monitored to give you a better sense of their funnel position or their industry, role, or interests. For instance, if your site has a Pricing Calculator widget and the prospect engaged with it, you’d know they’re lower in the funnel.
  • Repeat visitor – You can watch for how many times a prospect visits the site or a set of pages. Repeat visits often indicate a heightened interest.
Let the prospect tell you

Something to consider is simply asking the prospect more about themself. You could leverage chatbots to ask targeted questions or provide a floating widget, which can be dismissed, with similar types of engagement questions. You might even prompt them with an option that says “Personalize this page for me,” which can be acted upon.

 

Adjust your tone and messaging based on where the prospect is

Always keep the prospect’s journey with you in mind and try to meet them where they are. Think about how you might engage with them based on where they are at that moment, literally and figuratively.

  • Where is this prospect on their journey with me?
  • How can I address or treat them differently now at this stage of their path?
  • What’s worked in the past with prospects at this stage?

Where are they? Every website is unique, so you may have several different points of engagement to consider.

  • Where are they in the funnel?
  • How many times has this prospect visited the website? Or a specific page?
  • What brought them to your site? Email campaign? Paid ad? Targeted Ad? Webinar?

How do you meet them where they are? This depends on your business goals and what you know about them. The idea is to engage with the prospect with the appropriate tone and content based on the stage of their journey. Consider adjusting your tone and messaging based on:

  • Where they are in the funnel (i.e. how invested/ready to convert they are)
  • How many times they’ve visited the site (i.e. their interest level)
  • Repeated actions on the site (e.g. repeated clicking a solutions page or case study)
  • The path that led them to your site (e.g. targeted prospects may get VIP treatment)
  • Company size or employee headcount (i.e. smaller company might be looking for something different than a larger company)

 

Tailor your content based on who and where they are

Whether you’re learning about your prospect on the fly or you already know who this prospect is, leverage what you know to tailor their experience. Always consider how you can leverage your prospect’s data and behavior to enhance and personalize your content to fit them.

Aim to surface what’s relevant and important to them; hide or filter out what’s not. Make their journey with you feel like “it was meant to be” or a “happy coincidence that all the pieces fit together nicely.”

Tailor based on who the prospect is

Leverage your data sources to come up with a picture of who this prospect is. Consider personalizing verbiage based on:

  • Their industry, role, geolocation
    • Try variations that speak to their role (e.g. “UX designers, like yourself…”).
    • Try location-sensitive verbiage if it adds value (e.g. if you sell software, the weather is irrelevant, but for HVAC services the weather is very relevant).
  • The size of their company (i.e. enterprise vs small business)
    • Enterprises may be receptive to just the facts and a professional tone.
    • Small businesses may be receptive to personalized touches with a warm tone.
      Both may share the same preference. Try variations with each to find out.
  • Their behavior (e.g. viewing a solutions page, case study, particular blog, etc.)
Illustrative example: ServiceTitan

ServiceTitan caters to several trade industries. In the image below, their HVAC solutions page could be leveraged to bring the homepage to life as a dynamic landing page whenever Intellimizes recognizes a prospect is in the HVAC industry.

Variations could pull from ideas on this page or similar HVAC themes.

Tailor based on their user journey

Think about how you’d talk to the person if you were talking to them in real life. Often your tone and what you say will change based on how many times you’ve met the person and what their perceived interest level is.

For instance, you wouldn’t just jump into your first conversion with someone acting like you’ve been best friends for years. It’d sound fake and you’d instantly lose some trust.

Similarly, consider crafting variations with a variety of messages and tones for each stage of the funnel and repeat visitors.

  • Funnel position: Adjusts the tone of your verbiage as the prospect’s interest level increases (e.g. neutral at first, leading to more direct “buy now” tones as they move down the funnel).
  • Repeat visitor: Similarly, consider welcoming back returning prospects and transitioning to more engaging tones, while showing them lower funnel CTAs.
Illustrative example: Sumo logic

For upper-funnel prospects, your variations might promote discovery, highlight case studies, and cater to prospects that want to research more. While the following example has a “Start free trial” CTA, the focus is on exploration and learning.

For lower-funnel prospects, you might have variations that show something more concrete, pushing them towards your solution/trial/demo. The following example is more specifically tailored and has three CTAs to try the product, focusing more on engagement, before presenting a case study.
Tailor based on their geolocation

If you have different offerings or messaging that you want to present to prospects based on their region, you could create variations that leverage their geolocation to do this.

Illustrative example: Snowflake demos schedule

Snowflake lets you register for live demos by region (Americas, APAC, and EMEA). You could use the prospect’s geolocation to preselect their region or only show demos for their region (i.e. hide demos for other regions).

Experiment with minimizing the prominence and number of optional CTAs

You don’t want to overwhelm your prospects by giving them too many CTAs to choose from. Decision paralysis can occur when too many options are presented and the prospect can’t decide which action to take, so they take no action. Consider reviewing your pages and limiting or minimizing the prominence of less important CTAs, which will help showcase your most important CTAs.

 

Reflect on what the goal of the page is

First, decide which CTAs are most important. When prospects arrive on the page, what action or actions do you most want them to take? What’s the objective or purpose of the page? The CTAs that support the page’s primary objective are your key CTAs.

You want to prominently feature your key CTAs and make them stand out.

 

Avoid letting key CTAs get lost amongst non-key CTAs

If there are too many prominent CTAs, the key CTAs get lost among the various options. This is especially true if all of the CTAs have similar designs and contrast.

Example: KickFire

An older version KickFire’s homepage had 4 CTAs prominently featured above the fold. Not only did they all look the same, but the non-key CTAs were “larger” than the key CTA due to the length of the text.

As it turns out, the buttons were superfluous as the entire card for each solution was the actionable link. 

Throughout the site, this theme persists, where the volume of prominent CTAs and the lack of contrast could make the key CTA get lost in the crowd. On a different page (below), eight CTAs with almost no discernible design differences are showcased with nearly equal prominence. Which CTA should prospects click?

 

Limit the number of non-key CTAs

Depending on how much importance you place on them, your first option is to simply remove a number of non-key CTAs from the page. You might also move them to another location:

  • Place them within a menu, like the navbar
  • Move them under a collapsible section of the page (e.g. tabs, accordions, learn more link)
  • Add a learn more link that goes to another page containing the non-key CTAs from this page

 

Minimize the prominence of non-key CTAs

If the non-key CTAs are still important enough to keep on the page, the next best option is to make them less prominent.

  • Using a less vibrant button color (e.g. gray)
  • Convert the CTA from a button to clickable paragraph text (i.e. a hyperlink)
Example: KickFire, gray button

In this updated version of KickFire’s homepage, they’ve changed some of the non-Key CTAs to be a darker gray. While still more prominent than hyperlinked text, the “Book A Demo” CTA is clearly what stands out against the other elements of the page. This is more successful than the previous iteration of their homepage in drawing the focus into the right CTAs.

Example: KickFire, hyperlinks instead of buttons

In this illustrative example, we remove the buttons and replace them with hyperlinks. At a glance, the two key CTAs (which both point to the same place) are the most prominent items on the page now.

Experiment with customer logos tailored to each prospect

Adding brand logos for your existing customers is a good way to build trust and present social proof. The example above is from Drift. Take it to the next level by tailoring some of the logos to speak directly to a given prospect’s situation.

 

Tailor logos to your prospect’s competitors

Imagine investigating a solution and seeing that several of your competitors are already using that solution. You’d instantly know that the solution is probably a good fit for you.

Consider using a deanonymization service or info you’ve learned to identify some of the prospect’s competitors who are also your customers. Intellimize can swap out your customer logos with corresponding competitors. In many cases, prospects are more likely to engage:

  • It’s an effective way to gain social proof and validation that it’s the right solution
  • Washes away some of the prospect’s mystery and doubt
  • Gets the prospect’s competitive juices flowing
Illustrative example: Medallia

Let’s say that a prospect is identified as working for Verizon because they’ve provided a Verizon work email address. Logos could be swapped to show competitors like Sprint, T-Mobile, and Vodafone:

 

Tailor logos by audience

When you know what a prospect’s industry, role, or interests are, you can refine your logos to match that audience. Essentially, showcase the most relevant logos you have to the prospect to pique their interest.

Example: Intellimize

One audience that could be considered is whether a prospect is B2B or ecommerce. Rather than surface both options to a prospect, the page can have tailored logos that speak to each known audience.

 

Tailor logos by geolocation

Depending on your offerings, you may be able to leverage the prospect’s geographical location (e.g. city, state, country, or region) to further tailor the logos to the prospect.

Options might include:

  • Region-sensitive competitors of the prospect
  • Your customers that are based near the prospect (for higher recognition)
Sample scenario:

Let’s say that you know I’m in the food services industry and you know where my business is located. Rather than showing possible competitor logos from around the country/world, you could target competitors that are local to me.

One option would be to present a state map with my competitors’ logos pinned to it.

Try using tailored case studies and social proof

Generally, case studies and social proof can help give prospects an inside look into how effective your solution can be for them as well as build trust or provide a sense of validation. Take it to the next level by tailoring the content to speak directly to a given prospect’s situation.

 

Speak to the prospect’s pain points

One very effective way to grab the prospect’s attention is to speak directly to the challenges that they’re currently facing. Often a prospect is on the lookout for an alternative to their current solution because they have pain points with it.

Consider showcasing common pain points, it might be music to the prospect’s ears.

  • Use what you have: See if your existing customer success stories highlight any pain points with a competitor, where your solution helps overcome it.
  • Ask your customers: If you don’t have existing examples of competitor pain points, ask your customers if there were any that you can use to build new case studies.
Sample scenario: Your site offers CRM software

Your existing customers explain that Competitor-A’s CRM software has challenges integrating with a popular knowledge base solution and they’re thrilled that your solution offers easy integration and support.

  • You prepare case studies that speak to how well your product integrates with that knowledge base solution, with testimonials of customers who have switched from Competitor-A’s CRM solution.
  • If a prospect is identified as using Competitor-A’s CRM, Intellimize can surface the new content you prepared.

Speaking to the prospect’s immediate pain points might resonate with exactly why they’re looking into alternative CRM solutions, pushing them to convert.

 

Surface content based on the prospect’s competitors

Imagine investigating a solution and seeing that several of your competitors are already using that solution. You’d instantly know that the solution is probably a good fit for you.

Consider using a deanonymization service or info you’ve learned to identify some of the prospect’s competitors who are also your customers. Intellimize can swap out case studies and social proof to showcase some of the prospect’s competitors that are already using your solution. In many cases, prospects are more likely to engage:

  • It’s an effective way to gain validation that it’s the right solution
  • Washes away some of the prospect’s mystery and doubt
  • Gets the prospect’s competitive juices flowing

 

Surface content based on your company’s competitors

If you have one or more competitors that offer popular solutions that your existing customers have also used in the past, you can leverage that. Build out case studies and social proof that speaks to how your customers have adopted your solution and all found similar benefits, advantages, growth, profit, etc. over the competitor’s solution.

Part of your data collecting can include asking what solutions the prospect currently uses. Then, you can have Intellimize swap in relevant case studies and social proof to match the prospect’s current situation, showcasing how your customers have found great success after switching.

Example: Drift

Drift highlights customers who saw improvements after switching from Intercom:

 

Refine your content based on your audience

When you know a prospect’s industry, role, or interests, you can refine which case studies and social proofs are presented based on that criteria. This helps you tailor the page to feel more like a personalized landing page to the prospect, where only relevant content is shown.

To illustrate, if a prospect is in the healthcare industry:

  • Showcase just healthcare case studies and social proofs
  • If a few of your industries are related, perhaps show those as well (e.g. insurance)
  • Hide the case studies and social proof that would be irrelevant to a healthcare professional (e.g. plumbing industry) 
Example: Intellimize

One audience that could be considered is whether a prospect is B2B or ecommerce. Rather than surface both options to a prospect, the page can have tailored social proof that speaks to each known audience.

Experiment with shorter messaging and different tones

Try testing out different approaches to how you say what you want to say. Your prospects might respond better to simpler phrasing or a shift in the tone of your message.

 

Word count: Less is more

There’s often a simpler way to say… just about anything. When you put the effort into distilling your verbiage down to its simplest form, your prospects notice. You can make a big impact here. Consider creating variations with simpler phrasing and fewer words.

Example: Bill.com

In one example, this banner initially had a list of items. The text in the list was longer, encroaching on the image, and used a smaller font, making it harder to scan.

A simplified variation reduced the number of words and eliminated the list while keeping the same intent. The text now visually aligns with the natural flow of the image and is easier to scan.

 

Try different tones and approaches

Consider how you say it, not necessarily what you say. How you deliver the message can make all the difference in getting a prospect on board. Think about how you’d talk to the visitor if you were talking to them in real life. Often your tone will change based on how many times you’ve met the person and what their perceived level of interest is.

Test different ways of saying the same message. For instance:

  • Direct vs. casual
    • Direct: “Buy now”
    • Casual: “Start considering”
  • Just the facts vs. conversational
    • Just the facts: “9 out of 10 people who switch see a minimum of 25% lift.”
    • Conversational: “If you’re looking to place a safe bet, consider trying Solution X. Most of our customers see a minimum of 25% lift. Why gamble elsewhere?”
  • Features vs. Benefit (i.e. “what we do well” vs. “your problems we can solve”)
    • Features: “Our chatbot tech responds 3 times faster than the leading competitor.”
    • Benefit: “Stop losing prospects because of slow chat response times.”
  • Scarcity vs. abundance (e.g. “Only 3 spots left”)
    • Scarcity: “Sign up now! Only 3 spots left”, “Only 10 hours left to sign up.”
    • Abundance: “Sessions start every hour, so there’s always a slot available to sign up.”