I don’t natively hail from a background based in marketing. In fact, during the time I was a young man, I loathed marketing for it’s attempt to change my opinions and choices – curse you, effective advertising! As the years had accumulated early on in my web development career I observed the industry of web marketing take root and begin it’s maturing process; and so my understanding and appreciation for marketing – I admire you, effective advertising!
One facet that transitioned instantly to marketing online is the ability to target a message to your intended audience. In direct marketing, a list of subscribers is considered the most valuable part of a mailing campaign. Thus, marketers will aggressively allocate resources (time and money) to creating a list of highly targeted subscribers as a result.
Building this list via an online method is done by way of a “squeeze form”. In essence, a “squeeze form” and the page you’ll find one on have the sole purpose of capturing information for follow-up marketing – typically the gem is a name and email address; that means no (simple) exit hyperlinks, has persuasive imagery and/or copy writing techniques and includes one or more incentives. It sounds so friendly, inviting, and welcoming doesn’t it? Thankfully this industry term is not publicly known, but people still pick up on the vibe so these forms have to be highly effective. Even I still sometimes grumble inside when confronted with these.
Let’s get down to it. Where do you place the form that collects the visitor’s information? It depends. And what it really depends on is the amount of content (imagery and copy writing) being presented along with it. What doesn’t depend is that the form remains in very close proximity to the content’s message. Considering the placement of a squeeze form on a blog with several other types of content potentially, it can be challenging to keep marketing elements together and with the intended focus. If you can manage it, the most evident message would be on a dedicated page to stage it as the primary focus.
If you’ve been reading this blog long, you’ll know that content is king. Content is what presents the message and provides the persuasion, therefore the form needs to be the next thing for the visitor to see. And to be sure we’re all aware, with any form, limit what the form requests to the bare minimum (If the marketing campaign is truly effective, you’ll have future opportunities to request other information).
The most prominent locations (in proximity to the message) is to the right or bottom following a typical (l-r) reading path. This is a convention, so if you’re going to break it, have a strong reason why. Here’s an example showing a solid convention.
This example shows the form oriented on the left and the marketing message on the right.
Based on the marketing that leads to this squeeze page, a visitor has already read over the compelling content (in an email) and is here primarily to complete the form. What also could be critiqued is the number of fields to complete.
As with any online project, research and testing are vital to help you make initial design decisions and then optimize the user experience just before and after the campaign is launched.
Post a comment when you get your first/next one done, I’d love to check it out. Happy squeezing!