E-commerce Link: Leads by Design
Consider allowing your customers a taste of the type of information they will enjoy once they subscribe. In the interaction design field, this is called "gradual engagement," and it helps make visitors more amenable to signing up to access the rest of your content.
So where does this call to action get placed on your Web site? Ideally, you can make the ask in several places: on the purchase confirmation; within your resource library; or on the search results, contact us, or news and notices pages where users obviously have an information need. Your offers will be received better if they are positioned in a relevant context than if they appear randomly as a callout; particularly in the right-hand column or footer. After years of using the Web, people have developed "banner blindness." Eye-tracking studies confirm that users don't look to the portion of the page traditionally reserved for promotional banners. If your call to action too closely resembles an ad, it likely will be ignored.
Overly long forms lead to drop-offs. So streamline and simplify your form fields and page copy. At the same time, don't be afraid to require specific information of your users and then use that data in a way that is smart and personalized. If you are a technology company and you learn a lead works within the pharmaceutical industry, send him case studies and technology solutions that are related to pharma, not retail. This tailored approach may help lay the foundation for a trust-based relationship. Moreover, this initial interaction ideally is just the beginning of your customer relationship. For now, be cognizant that the length of your form should be proportional to the value you're promising.
On the form itself, make sure entry fields are formatted consistently and aligned on a strong vertical axis. This orientation decreases completion times by not requiring users to hunt for the next data entry point. Similarly, make sure your developers set a logical tab order when they program your form—allowing users to complete all fields using only their keyboards.