Growing a brand is hard. It takes a totally coordinated effort across all business activities to really grow your brand successfully. Just one important aspect of growing a brand is using surveys to get to know customers better so that you can make certain aspects of your business better.
But what most people don’t know is that getting to know customers (or potential customers) doesn’t need to be exclusively done via traditional feedback or satisfaction surveys. It can be done with download forms.
What is a download form?
Download forms are a kind of survey that are important for initiating first contact with potential customers or further contact with current customers.
Essentially, a download form is where someone enters personal information in the exchange for some kind of content. The form can be hosted within a webpage or it can have it’s own dedicated URL. If you’re an Ungapped user, download forms are given their own dedicated URL from our survey tool.
What should you offer as a download?
Since we all have different business with different customers each with different needs, it’s really hard to prescribe what people should offer as downloads and not offer as downloads. However, some common content examples are an ebook, a template, an infographic, a white paper, a report or an exclusive video such as a webinar.
What does a download form look like?
This really varies depending on the type of content that is up for grabs from a download forms well as a company’s branding. However, a download form will usually have some description text about the content available, the form fields required to access the content and the submit button. Take a look at one of the download forms we use on our own website:
You can see at the top of the form we have company branding followed by the description of the content. Then we have the fields required for download including email, first name, last name, company and job title. At the bottom of the form we have the submit button which once pressed starts the download process.
What information should you ask for on a download form?
Usually, the information you are asking for is balanced against the type of content available for download.
For example, if you’re offering a free ebook on a high-level topic such as “10 Ways to Use Surveys to Grow your Brand” then the information you’d likely ask for would be their name, their email and possibly their job title or company.
However, if you’re offering something a little more meaty in information like a new report or research findings, then you would likely ask for more in depth info like name, email, job title, place of work, city/town and phone number.
Take a look at some of the example I’ve come across when downloading content for my own research needs:
You can create your own landing pages with our survey tool. Create a free account now.
Why is there a difference in how much information you should ask for?
The easiest explanation is that a download form should act as a fair exchange of information.
If you have information or education that is pretty commonplace to find, people won’t be very willing to give away a lot of personal information because trading personal details with commonplace content isn’t really a fair deal. Why should people give you their name, email, phone, company details or even team size when all you’re giving them is an ebook on the top 20 branding accounts on Instagram? People can find this information relatively easily elsewhere without having to give a lot of personal information.
However, you are offering a white paper that’s been thoroughly researched and availably exclusively on your site, then people will be a lot more willing to give away information about themselves because they cannot find this content elsewhere. It’s worth the trade.
How does a download form help grow your brand?
Marketers, sales people or business owners need prospective customers to give us their contact details so that we can qualify them as a potential customer and kickstart a personalized selling process. Once we have just the basic contact information, even just an email, we are better able to nurture them down the sales funnel and hopefully make them a customer.
What makes the entire selling process easier is if we have more information on our individual leads and with download forms, this is entirely possible! Whether it be personal information, information on their previous business activity and behavior, or both — the better you can segment, target, nurture, and effectively market to them. As a consequence, there’s a much higher probability that you’ll be able to close them as customers.
What happens if you don’t have anything for people to download?
Then make something! I know this might sound pretty daunting but really it doesn’t need to be. Spend some time thinking of the ideal customer you want more of. Then identify a problem they have before coming to you. Use that problem to create a piece of content that either further sheds light on that problem or offers some kind of solution. Start with something small, like a ebook and then work yourself up to something more complicated (like a white paper).
Here’s a hypothetical example:
Chef Adam runs a private cooking school for individuals, small groups and corporate bookings. He wants more cooking class signups from corporate companies so he decides to create a piece of content that targets office managers in corporate companies (as these are the people that usually make the booking for his classes). Some ideas are:
- 10 snacks to share at the office
- How to host an after-work event at your office
- The complete guide to healthy client lunches
None of these content examples are designed to directly sell cooking class signups. They are instead aimed at solving a problem Adam knows customers face before they come to him.
Adam publishes this piece of content on his website and notices that people start to download it, submitting their information via the download form. Great news for Adam! Now that he has these contact details, he can now start to follow up either with newsletters, targeted mailing campaigns or even giving them a call and asking if they’d be interested in booking a cooking class.
Get started with your own download forms
You can start creating download forms right away on Ungapped. You’ll also be able to use our mailing and text message tool at no extra charge. Just create an account with us. For pricing options, visit our pricing page.