Let’s kill off the one-size-fits-all signup page

Does your website still use a one-size-fits-all information request page? Many do, and that’s just lazy.

As everyone who runs a business which relies on email signups knows, better results are achieved if their signup form itself doesn’t let up in terms of selling the product. An effective signup page will be finely crafted to have a compelling headline, then teasing the benefits of signing up, and making it easy to do so. While a general enquiry page on a company website may not have this sort of targeting, we can still learn from email-based businesses.

In an ideal world, we’d have a separate enquiry form on every page on the site, so that we could ask for only the necessary information, and offer something tailored to the page. For example, on the page describing the ABC1 Blue Widget, it would be ideal to have a form right there which offered enquirers the brochure and data sheet about the ABC1 Blue Widget, rather than having a link to a general form somewhere else on the site which didn’t offer anything specific. If the nature of the product or service meant that requesting a call-back about the product was more appropriate, the form could explain why that was the case, and just asking for the prospect’s name and phone number.

Having loads of separate forms is hard to maintain, so website designers don’t like the idea, but we could have different classes of forms to cut down on the numbers, with the page having its own tailored blurb above them.

If it’s absolutely necessary to send people to a separate page to make an enquiry, perhaps it could have an intelligently-linked section at the top which is tailored to the referring product page and ‘sells’ the reason to fill in the form. Just make sure your website doesn’t have a single, isolated response page headed ‘Contact Us’, demanding that the prospect specifies what they want, tediously, and potentially asking them for unnecessary information. It’s not 1998 any more.