The Death of the Lead-Form

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If your company is among the thousands of online e-commerce players who are still relying on a web-based, prospect lead-form, this article is for you. For nearly two decades, marketers have been playing keep-away with information contained on their websites that they believe you want. These marketers employ tricks to lure the customer into believing that if they offer up their personal contact information – name, email, contact phone number, etc, then the website will magically unlock it’s secrets.

The truth is, few websites hidden behind lead-forms satisfy consumer wants/needs. Marketers act quickly on this unmet need by loading the contact information into email drip campaigns and into out-bound dialers to connect you, the consumer, with a live agent. What is the goal of this agent? To learn the very things you were willing to tell the company had they let you into their wed-site . . . What you want.

So why is this 20 year-old model under threat?

  1. It has a single point of failure – the mobile phone. According to Kim Komondor, USA Today, robo-calls accounted for 50% of all calls in 2018 – over 26B calls! Our mobile phone numbers are instant access to us any time, any where. Accordingly, we are desperate for filtering and screening. Android, iOS, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and a host of robo-call stopping apps are answering this need ( opens in a new windowLink). Recent upgrades, updates, and feature enhancements are racing to market to relieve us from unwanted calls. Most experts believe that answered calls from unknown numbers will significantly decline in coming years.
  2. Smart marketers understand that a websites and multi-channel digital ad campaigns are a proxy for consumer aspiration and intent. Who doesn’t want to know what their customer is really thinking? A well designed site, that follows the rules of cognitive exchange, allows marketers to download their customers brains – one click and scroll at a time. New technologies (like that collect, measure and transfer customer intent in real-time to the call platform and to the agent, gives new-found supremacy to the inbound call. These calls now possess everything they once lacked – foreknowledge of exactly what the customer is thinking. Agents can now skate to where the puck is going opposed to forcing the customer to start over.
In short, the phone assisted transaction will ALWAYS be about trust. Companies relying on outbound connections to their prospects are swimming is a murkey swamp of robo-saturated dis-trust. Your .com is front door to your company. You need to decide if you intend to welcome visitors in, or hold them at the door and send them away until you can welcome them back on your terms. Company’s who wastefully spend to get back a customer who once tried to enter their store will lose in the end. This is why the outbound lead-form call is dead.

Future prediction:

Customer prospects will far-favor a self-directed, friction-less and contiguous shopping journey over a disjointed, start-stop-start-again pathway of yesteryear. Intent-rich, digital-to-voice inbound calls will replace the outbound ‘invite-back’ call which will become increasingly difficult to connect.

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