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It’s My Form in a Box! Try This Simple A/B Test

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♭Are you wise enough to know when a gift needs givin’?♮

There are plenty of ways to screw up a form.

Put your form above the fold, you’re a pushy salesman. Put it below the fold, you’re a pushover. And what’s good CTA copy? Three fields or two? There’s never a firm answer.

But since forms are the apex of lead gen campaigns, these are very important questions for every digital marketer. Everything you say — everything you design — should build towards persuading users to complete your form.

The problem is, that “apex” is a moving target. People arrive at purchasing decisions at all different times. So how can we appeal to different buyer types without placing nasty, unsightly forms all over our landing pages?

To solve this, we’ve uncovered a tactic for allowing users to tell you when and where they’re ready to fill out your form; something that allows you to place the same form in multiple sections of your landing page without taking up real estate.

The tactic: placing forms within a user-triggered lightbox, a.k.a. a lightbox form, and distributing CTAs to the same form throughout your landing page.

The form conundrum

Form placement wouldn’t be an issue if users all had the same buying habits, but we know that’s not the case.

In their 2006 book Waiting For Your Cat to Bark, Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg assert that customers can be segmented into four fundamental buyer modalities, (i.e., profiles that describe the behavior of different buyers):

buyer-modalities

Without going into too much detail (but here’s more if you need it), they break down like this:

  • Competitive buyers like making quick decisions based on logic; they view speed and decisiveness as an advantage.
  • Spontaneous buyers also make quick decisions, but these decisions are driven more by emotion than logic.
  • Methodical buyers take their time to make the most informed decision possible — they read the fine print before making a choice.
  • Humanistic buyers want to ensure their values align with a company before becoming a customer; ethical approval from peers is important.

These four buyer modalities tell us different people arrive at purchasing decisions at different times. But with only one form per page, how can marketers appeal to everyone?

If you bury your form below the fold, buyers who make decisions on a whim (competitive and spontaneous) may decide to bounce before they scroll down and see it.

If you put your form above the fold, methodical and humanistic buyers (who are busy devouring your copy three screens down) may forget where it is. Same result: they’ll bounce.

But in all this madness, there’s one thing common to every buyer type: they all have questions that need to be answered before they arrive at a purchasing decision.

And by answering these questions, marketers build momentum towards successfully converting visitors to leads and sales.

Conversion momentum

Every landing page tells a story. It’s not enough to just say the right words and have the right design. To convert prospects, you must address their questions in the right order.

Most landing pages follow a story similar to what’s known as Monroe’s motivated sequence — developed in the 1930s by Professor Alan Monroe — as a way to structure persuasive speeches.

monroes-sequence

Monroe’s sequence lends itself to the concept of building conversion momentum, (i.e., the forward movement your landing page creates when you address a prospect’s questions in logical order). You need conversion momentum in order to build and motivate prospects towards performing your desired action.

On a landing page, that normally means either clicking a call to action or filling out a form. But with the concept of lightbox forms, it means clicking a CTA to activate a form.

And when your landing page copy tells the story in the right order — the correct hierarchy of persuasion — a lightbox form will help you appeal to different buyer types at different stages of your funnel, all on the same landing page.

So what are lightbox forms?

A lightbox is a modal window that opens over a page, filling the screen and dimming what’s behind. It allows us to prominently display content requested by the user.

Click on any Facebook picture, and it displays in a lightbox:

facebook-lightbox

Lightboxes are normally used to display media or extra copy, but lightbox forms are used to display, well, forms.

Here’s an example from Autopilot — a marketing automation platform — who uses lightbox forms on its webinar landing pages.

autopilot-lightbox

So unlike inline forms, which display on the page itself, lightbox forms only display once they’ve been consciously triggered by a user clicking your CTA.

The concept takes advantage of what’s called the Zeigarnik effect, developed by Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, which suggests people are much more likely to finish processes they’ve already started. It states that people have trouble focusing on new goals when they’ve left previous tasks incomplete.

In this context, the Zergarnik effect suggests users who click a CTA are more likely to complete your form, since they’ve already taken the first step.

And remember those buyer modalities? With lightbox forms, we can distribute multiple CTAs throughout the page — all linking to the same form — allowing us to appeal to competitive, spontaneous, methodical and humanistic buyers.

Spontaneous and competitive buyers can be captured with CTAs earlier in the story, while methodical and humanistic buyers can click your CTA after getting more information.

Of course, there’s no such thing as a guaranteed conversion lift. Lightbox forms are a great testing opportunity, not a sure thing. So if you’re interested in giving it a shot, follow the step-by-step tutorial below.

Putting your form in a box

If you use Unbounce, you can follow this process to set up your first lightbox forms. If you don’t use Unbounce, you can grab a free account and follow along.

If neither option works for you, check out this handy tutorial on setting up lightboxes with CSS and jQuery.

Step 1 of 4: Create a page (or use an existing page)

Open up the Unbounce App. If you have an existing lead gen page you want to test, click Start with a Copy of Your Existing Page.

lightbox-tutorial-1

If you don’t have an existing page, click Create New Page, give it a name and click Start with this Template.

lightbox-tutorial-2

Step 2 of 4: Create a lightbox

From the tool panel on your left, select Lightbox Button, and drag and drop it onto your page.

button (1)

After dropping your button and typing your CTA copy, a menu called Lightbox will appear just above your page preview window. Click this menu.

lightbox-tutorial-4

Step 3 of 4: Put your form in that box!

Your page should turn blank, and the tool panel will reappear. Select Form and drag it onto your page.

lightbox-tutorial-5

You’ll now be prompted to select your form fields, just as if you were setting up a normal form. Select your fields and click Done.

lightbox-tutorial-6

Crop your form, click Save Changes. The entire sequence is demonstrated in the GIF below.

lightbox form demo

Step 4 of 4: Make ’em open the box (distribute more CTAs)

As discussed earlier, one of the advantages of lightbox forms is you can link multiple CTAs throughout your landing page to the same form. This helps us appeal to multiple buyer types.

Scroll down, and when you find somewhere to place an additional CTA, drag and drop another Lightbox Button (the same as you did in Step 2). Highlight the button, and in the Properties menu on your right, options for “Click Action” will appear, as per the screenshot below.

Selecting Lightbox will link to your original form. Rinse and repeat for every additional CTA you wish to add to your landing page.

lightbox-tutorial-8
NOTE: At this point, you’ll probably notice the builder gives you the option to use multiple lightboxes (Lightbox 2, Lightbox 3) under “Click Action.” Since we generally advise against having more than one goal on a landing page, this tutorial only discusses linking to a single form.

Setting up your A/B test

Now for the fun part! Setting up your A/B test is pretty simple, so you can follow the step-by-step instructions below, OR just watch this 60-second tutorial 🙂

Step 1 of 3: Duplicate your page

If you started this tutorial by copying an existing page, skip this step.

If you started by creating a new page, open that page by clicking it in your Admin Toolbar.

lightbox-tutorial-10

Next, click Start with a Copy of Your Existing Page.

lightbox-tutorial-11

After duplicating your page, you will need to work backwards and create a variant that has an inline form, instead of a lightbox form.

In your new variant, delete the lightbox CTA.

lightbox-tutorial-12

Next, go to the same Lightbox menu above the tool panel. Click the actual form to highlight it, and then click delete. (Note: If this isn’t completed properly, you won’t be able to add a new form in the next step.)

lightbox-tutorial-13

Next, drag and drop the “Form” widget from the tool panel, select your fields and click Done. You’ll be left with an inline form like this:

lightbox-tutorial-14

Since any other CTAs you’ve linked to the form (in the lightbox version) will no longer work, you’ll need to remove these from your page as well.

Step 2 of 3: Assign traffic

Now that both variants are set up, your dashboard should look something like this.

lightbox-tutorial-15

Next, it’s time to assign traffic to your “Challenger” variant. Simply click the “0%” and assign a traffic value of “50.” Your dashboard should now look like this.

lightbox-tutorial-16

Step 3 of 3: Publish (or re-publish)

From your dashboard, click the blue Publish button towards the top of your screen. If you copied an existing page way back at the beginning, this button will say Republish.

lightbox-tutorial-17

Mazel tov! Your test is ready 🙂

So what can you expect?

When you test lightbox forms, a blessing of unicorns won’t carry you to a 300% lift, nor will your landing page will be imbued with the strength of 10 fallen kings.

But like any form-based A/B test, you will see a change in the way users interact with your offer. Whether that change is positive depends on your aforementioned hierarchy of persuasion, which you can learn more about in this episode of the Landing Page Sessions.

In essence, lightbox forms are a nuts-and-bolts, throw-on-your-hard-hat type of A/B testing opportunity you can implement without too much pain and agony (e.g. endless hypothesizing).

♭And that’s the way you do it!♮

Lightbox form

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About Daniel Rodgers

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Check Also

5 Stars: 20+ Tips to Invigorate Your B2B Marketing Using Testimonials & Reviews

Hand holding one of five white stars image.

Hand holding one of five white stars image.

What’s in a review?

With the right client testimonials and customer reviews, B2B brands can increase trust and loyalty in uncertain times while strengthening existing connections and fostering new ones. Your brand may even be sitting on a goldmine of evergreen trust-building user-generated content.

Let’s take a look at 20+ tips to invigorate and expand your B2B marketing toolkit with a smart customer review and testimonial strategy.

Making The Statistical Case For Testimonials & Reviews

With some surveys showing that  90 percent of adult Internet users rely on reviews before making purchases, and others placing the figure even higher at nearly 99 percent, it’s important for B2B brands to make sure they feature the reviews and testimonials their customers have taken the time to write and share online.

Despite their unique power to build brand trust, just 43 percent of B2B businesses use reviews in their marketing toolkit.

Conversion rates can skyrocket by as much as 270 percent when online reviews are smartly incorporated, however, as shown in the Website Builder Expert data below.

Website Builder Expert Image

Some 30 percent of businesses said that customer reviews had a major impact on their overall success, and just over 26 percent said reviews also had a major impact on profitability, as shown in the following chart from a recent ZenBusiness survey.

ZenBusiness Chart

The same survey revealed that 52.2 percent of older businesses monitor online reviews weekly and 18.5 percent do so daily, while 47 percent of newer firms monitor weekly, and 39.3 percent monitor daily, suggesting that more established brands have settled into a weekly cadence, while younger firms tend to keep a more frequent watch over reviews.

Businesses tend to monitor a multitude of online review platforms for reviews, with 67.6 percent using Google, 55.1 percent Facebook, and 46.3 percent Yelp, followed by others as shown below.

ZenBusiness Chart

Only 11.9 percent of businesses said that they respond to every review left for them, while 60 percent said that they interact with either some or most reviews they receive, the same survey noted.

Younger B2B buyers are increasingly looking for reviews and testimonials to be delivered to them in methods that differ from those of older buyers, creating an opportunity for some brands looking to connect with younger audiences.

“Sixty-one percent of Millennial buyer decisions are influenced by user reviews that they trust,” Brian Fanzo recently noted in “Meet The Millennials: How Marketers Can Effectively Connect With The New B2B Buyer,” urging smart B2B marketers to not rely solely on traditional websites, and to instead “bring the testimonials — the trusted user reviews — to the buyer.”

Brian was one of the 13 B2B social media marketing leaders offering trends and predictions in our "13 Top B2B Social Media Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2020."

His sentiments are largely echoed in report data recently examined by Social Media Today.

[bctt tweet="“In 2020 social media marketing will shift from vanity metrics to transparent and authentic channels to focus on real-time customer engagement.” @iSocialFanz" username="toprank"]

You May Already Have a Goldmine of Testimonials

Many established B2B brands may already have a fantastic cache of glowing testimonials from clients, however because some firms don't have any established practice for gathering, collecting, and most importantly utilizing them in marketing efforts, they remain mostly hidden.

Gathering existing reviews and testimonials can be a great way to get new insight into your most loyal customers, unearth any points of customer dissatisfaction, and to build new mechanisms for improving communication with your customers.

“Your offerings should be so attractive to your loyalists that they have no reason to look elsewhere for additional products or services,” Rob Markey wrote in an insightful Harvard Business Review look at how to “Make It Easier for Happy Customers to Buy More.”

Client and customer kudos today comes from more channels than ever, which can make it challenging to gather and compile into a dedicated testimonials file. A list of only a few of the digital channels to search for possible existing testimonials includes:

  • Email Correspondence
  • Online Collaboration Tool Chat History
  • Private Social Media Posts
  • Public Social Media Posts
  • Mobile Device Text Message History
  • Voicemail Transcripts

Whether it's each quarter, weekly, or every day, taking the time to mine testimonials from each of the channels your firm user is a great way to unearth potentially powerful customer and client testimonials.

Tactfully encouraging clients to consider leaving a review or testimonial is a nuanced process best customized on a per-client basis, however there are also some universal methods to help guide a good strategy, such as those outlined in “14 Proven Ways to Encourage Customers to Write Reviews.”

Social media and search engine firms have also done their part to try boosting the visibility of customer reviews, such as Google adding highlighted business reviews in Google Posts.

[bctt tweet="“Whether it's each quarter, weekly, or every day, taking the time to mine testimonials from each of the channels your firm user is a great way to unearth potentially powerful customer and client testimonials.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis" username="toprank"]

Testimonials & Reviews Increase Trust & Loyalty

Trust is paramount as B2B marketers seek to attract, engage, and convert new clients, and testimonials and reviews from satisfied existing customers are among the most powerful forms of messaging when it comes to earning the business of potential new clients.

It's no secret that for many years study after study has shown that testimonials and reviews hold the power to build trust, and ultimately help persuade people to engage your company's services.

Some 90 percent of B2B buyers said that they are more likely to complete a purchase after seeing a positive review.

[bctt tweet="“High rates of loyalty are a huge asset in business. They provide a necessary foundation for profitable growth.” — Rob Markey @rgmarkey" username="toprank"]

The earned power of trust becomes even more apparent when paired with survey data showing that globally 54 percent of consumers would still buy from a brand even after a negative product experience if they felt that a firm hadn’t broken trust.

When trust has been lost, however, some 82 percent said that they would not purchase again from the brand, highlighting the importance of building brand trust — something reviews and testimonials excel at.

Testimonials & Reviews Strengthen Existing Connections & Foster New Ones

Testimonials and reviews showcase the ability of your business to provide best-answer solutions so well that people take the time to personally write appreciative messages sharing their gratitude.

Testimonials and reviews also take good business partnerships and strengthen them, and help bring B2B relationships to new levels of commitment and trust.

62 percent of consumers leave positive reviews in order to help others in making buying decisions, while 52 percent say they leave negative reviews to warn others, as shown below.

Website Builder Expert Image

The connections forged through testimonials and reviews makes the relationship between your business and your clients stronger, and also serve as an important and visible example for potential new clients who are looking for information about your company.

More firms are also making it easy for customers to leave video feedback, such as a method Airbnb has implemented that mimics the ease of use users have come to expect for sharing videos on YouTube or Instagram.

The video review format has led some customers to share lengthier and more precise feedback, which in turn allows businesses greater insight into their customers.

“Videos can be richly emotional — offering the real voice and face of the customer. That emotion, transmitted directly to front-line employees and leaders, often generates the sort of empathy that inspires and motivates thoughtful action,” Rob Markey has noted.

By making video reviews a simple and optional part of customer feedback surveys, brands can have the best of both traditional text-based input and — for those who choose — the advantages of video reviews.

“If they say yes, then we've incorporated a video widget into the survey where they can just turn the camera on on their phone or computer and leave a response,” Airbnb customer insights manager Raj Sivasubramanian has said.

“The customers that chose that option really embraced it. And we actually had a lot of customers tell us in the video, ‘This is really cool. I love the fact that I can do this,’” Sivasubramanian added.

B2B firms can also utilize more formal video testimonials into their feedback efforts, as Business 2 Community explored in a helpful how-to guide, “How to Shoot the Perfect Video Testimonial.

[bctt tweet="“Testimonials and reviews take good business partnerships and strengthen them, and help bring B2B relationships to new levels of commitment and trust.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis" username="toprank"]

The Challenge of Combating Inauthentic Reviews

While no firm wants poor reviews, they are nonetheless important in their own way to consumers. 62 percent of U.S. consumers found that negative reviews were just as important as positive ones when it came time to make purchasing decisions.

Customers have grown to be suspicious of businesses that have conspicuously uniform five-star reviews, however, and more now say that they look to utilize multiple sources of reviews when researching a firm.

Despite this, 65 percent of U.S. adult consumers believe the reviews they read are generally accurate, however.

Recent survey data has also shown that 55 percent of consumers see the biggest red flag with reviews that use the same wording, while 35 percent view an overwhelming number of positive reviews to be indicative of inauthentic reviews, as shown below.

Bazaarvoice Chart

Testimonials & Reviews Are Evergreen

Most testimonials focus on the things that a client or customer loved about working with your team, and these are also largely the type of praise that isn't particularly directed at a specific time, which makes testimonials excellent sources of evergreen content that can often remain relevant and convincing for years.

HubSpot has compiled an extensive list of good examples of testimonial pages that can serve as inspiration, in Lindsay Kolowich’s “14 Testimonial Page Examples You'll Want to Copy,” showing how to implement quotes, video, audio, case study, customer interview and other types of testimonials.

To help you along your path to building more powerful testimonials and reviews into your current strategy, or to begin implementing your first such plan, here are several additional recent resources that have been published:

Reinvigorate Your B2B Marketing Testimonial Strategy

We hope this introductory look at the power of client testimonials and customer reviews to help B2B brands boost trust and loyalty and strengthen connections has been helpful, and that the tips and statistics we’ve shared will help make your marketing testimonial strategy more robust and successful.

The post 5 Stars: 20+ Tips to Invigorate Your B2B Marketing Using Testimonials & Reviews appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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