Two Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Collect Grower Data
If data is the new oil, the web form is the derrick we use to extract it. The big difference is that the people drilling for oil have a pretty good idea of why they want it and how they're going to use it. On the other hand, agriculture companies go to great lengths to extract data, but often leave those barrels of 'digital gold' rusting in storage.
For that reason, I want to share two important questions I always ask whenever a client tells me they want to collect data as part of their landing page or campaign.
What Are You Going to Do with It?
It may seem like a fundamental question when it comes to data collection, but you'd be surprised how often it doesn't get asked. If the answer is "nothing," or, more likely, "I'm not sure," then you probably don't need to collect that information.
There are a few reasons for this. First, every time you ask your audience to provide information – even something simple like asking for an email address – you decrease the number of people willing to perform the action and/or consume further content. That's significant, because those eyeballs have value. Granted, it's not as much value as a qualified prospect, but when you don't have a plan to get value from that prospect, it means fewer eyeballs and a potential prospect now turned cold.
Secondly, knowing what you're going to do with the information will help you figure out how much to ask for. If you're adding an initial prospect to a lead nurture sequence, do you really need to know their phone number?
Is There A Better Way to Get It?
Nobody likes filling out forms. That's not news, but what might be is the fact that we have a lot of new and exciting tools in our bag that can make forms less painful or eliminate them altogether.
Start off by thinking about secondary calls to action. For example, if you only ask for an email address to signup for a newsletter (because that's all you need), you can consider including a secondary form along with your thank you/subscription confirmation message requesting a name and location. The idea here is to get information in increments while explaining the additional value you can offer with the data collected (in this case, by sending information that's relevant to their region).
Next, you can focus on strengthening your calls-to-action. "Learn More", "Contact Us" and "Get In Touch" are weak and diffuse, so growers aren't going to give you much if that's all you have to offer. Simply implementing something like HubSpot Meetings – which allows users to book time directly into your calendar – can be a great way to provide more concrete value. It also opens the door to ask your prospect about their concerns or questions, because it is directly relevant to the value you're offering.
Finally, there are platforms out there that allow us to disguise our forms or take away the friction. You can swap your forms for a chatbot. Facebook offers Lead Forms, which collect information right within Facebook and eliminate the need for prospects to fill out basics like name and email address.
It's important to note that asking these questions will not solve all your problems, and in some instances, the answers could uncover more significant issues. However, they're the best place to start the conversation about how you can turn the crude oil of grower data into the fuel that powers your growth engine.