4 Lead Capture Forms You Need (and How to Improve Your Signups)
by Irek Klimczak last updated on 0

4 Lead Capture Forms You Need (and How to Improve Your Signups)

There’s one tricky thing about lead capture forms:

They’re powerless without motivation.

In simple English, your lead gen forms themselves can’t convert your visitors into leads. It’s the motivation you give them that influences them to sign up using your forms.

So motivation is the first element you need to work on for conversions.

But before we go into how to motivate visitors to sign up on your forms, we’ve gathered four important lead capture forms you should be using.

And if you’d like to learn more on this topic, check out our beginner’s guide to lead generation and this post on how to build an email list in 2020.

Table Of Contents

4 types of lead capture forms you should be using

1. Native inline buttons and forms

Image showing an inline button used to generate email signups on a blog.

Inline buttons are buttons that appear in the middle of your content or page; so visitors see them while they’re scrolling down and reading your page.

They may look simple, but they make one powerful lead capture form.

When building these forms, you need to avoid one major mistake – making your offer different from what visitors came to that particular page for.

Ideally, your form should feel native, meaning it should present an offer relevant to what visitors came to your page or content for.

So if people came to your page to read about working out at home, the form should be about home workout plans or equipment.

Let’s look at a real-life example.

Content marketer, Chris Von Wilpert, published an article sharing his content distribution strategies. And somewhere in the middle of the post, he has a button where he’s offering a step-by-step content distribution strategy checklist:

Image showing an inline form button used in an article to capture new email addresses.

The offer is in line with what his readers came to the page for, so they’re interested in the topic and would be more likely to convert.

Need another example? Here’s one from GetResponse.

In this article on improving email deliverability, we’ve placed a lead capture form that offers a free email deliverability checklist.

Because the content’s highly relevant to the topic of the article and it gives immediate value to the reader, this form gets higher than the average conversion rate.

Example of a lead capture form used in an article related to email deliverability and offering a free deliverability checklist.

This is on top of the standard form we’re using to collect email addresses at the very bottom of each article.

Example of a standard inline form that's visible on every page of the blog. Note its content is not directly related to the content of the page.

2. Screen fillers and welcome mats

At first glance, these lead capture forms may sound like a no-no because you’ve probably experienced how annoying a screen filler or welcome mat looks like.

Just so we’re on the same page, here’s what they look like:

Example of a welcome mat type of lead capture form from Optinmonster.
Source: OptinMonster

Essentially, they take up your visitor’s entire screen, covering every part of it. This type of lead gen call to action (CTA) puts visitors’ focus on your offer. 

And that’s one of the things that annoy visitors; many of them hate it when something covers their entire screen and they can’t look at anything else.

But screen fillers don’t always have to annoy visitors; it all depends on how you deploy them. Generally, they will be annoying when they:

  • Interrupt what visitors are reading
  • Are irrelevant to what people came to your page for
  • Can’t be closed easily

When your screen filler or welcome mat does any of the above, visitors might start cringing — and you don’t want that.

So here’s what you need to do:

  • Properly time your screen filler. Let them only show up when visitors have spent time with your page; ideally, when they’ve spent at least two minutes on your page (or whatever is the average amount of time users spend on your page). 
  • Give visitors an easy way out of your screen filler; they shouldn’t have to try too hard to close your CTA if they don’t like it.

Used well, screen fillers work and can send your conversion rates through the roof; OptinMonster once shared that a user used them to improve their conversions by 800%.

There are also two more things you should keep in mind if you’re using these types of lead capture forms – bounce rate and SEO.

Google and other search engines don’t like it when readers can’t see your content right away. If you’re going to make it difficult for them to read it, you’re probably going to see high bounce rates and most likely won’t rank high in the SERPs.

So pay attention to your users’ behavior and time your lead capture forms appropriately.

Did you know? You can grow your email list and build effective email signup forms using GetResponse. Plus, you can integrate GetResponse with virtually any other web form builder either through Zapier or our prebuilt integrations.

3. A non-obstructive slide-in form

A non-obstructive slide-in form looks something like this; it usually slides in from the bottom right corner:

Source: Thrive Themes

And sometimes, you can have it sliding in from the bottom-left corner as well.

Slide-in forms can be powerful because you can set them to only show up to engaged visitors — visitors who’ve scrolled a certain percentage down your page or spent a certain amount of time on the page.

For example, when someone scrolls about 50%-70% down your page, it’s safe to assume they’re engaged with what they’re reading. And that’s usually a good time to show them a relevant offer.

Or if they’ve spent, say, three minutes on your site, it might be a good time to show them an offer — because most unengaged visitors would have bounced off within the first minute and you’ll only be left with good quality leads.

Sidebar lead forms are one of the most popular forms you’ll see on websites.

You must have seen one before:

Example of a sidebar lead capture form.

One thing that’s really powerful about the sidebar lead gen form is how it doesn’t obstruct the information your visitors are looking at on your page.

And if you can make it stick to the sidebar while your visitors scroll down your page, even better!

Generally, when building your sidebar form, two things are important:

1. Make it noticeable: While you don’t want to obstruct your visitor’s view, your need to make sure they see your form. To do this, make the sidebar color different from your main page’s color, like what you see in the example below:

Sidebar opt-in form in a contrasting and visible color.

The sidebar color contrasts with the main page’s so visitors will hardly ever miss the form.

2. Make your CTA button something they want to click: For instance, our sample button says “FREE COURSE.” Not only that, the color of the button also clearly stands out from everything else on this website.

Usually, you won’t need more than these four types of lead gen forms that we’ve covered above.

However, if you’ve got a longer page don’t be afraid to repeat your inline form a few times throughout your page.

Also, instead of using the slide-in form, you may want to A/B test an exit-intent pop-up. Personally, I’m not a big fan of those, but they can generate some good results if your offer’s particularly good.

Now, let’s discuss how to best persuade visitors to use your lead forms. 

How to motivate visitors to sign up through your lead capture forms

1. Focus on a specific customer pain point or desire

People sign up through lead capture forms with hope or an expectation…

They’re hoping that after signing up, they’ll:

  • get the solution to a particular pain point or 
  • get something they desire or learn how to get it

For example, people who fill out this form from Shane Barker’s blog are hoping to learn how to become an influencer on Instagram:

Signup form with a headline that's directly related to the blog readers' desire. Here it's about influencer marketing.

So in this lead capture form, Shane is focusing on a specific desire that some of his audience would have — gaining followers or influence on Instagram.

He understands their desire and promises to show them how to get their desire if they fill the form. 

The bottom line here is this: the process of building your lead capture form starts from understanding a specific customer pain point or desire.

2. Genuinely understand how to solve their pain point and give them their desire (or show them how to get it)

It’s one thing to understand a specific customer pain point…

It’s another to know how to take that pain away.

If you don’t genuinely know how to solve a problem, it would be hard to convince people to sign up for it and give you their email address. 

And even if you do convince them to sign up for something without really understanding their pain points, the truth will eventually come out and your lead capturing efforts will be futile.

So your best bet is to understand how to solve their pain point.

For instance, if a pain point they have is (following our example above) not knowing how to build an engaged Instagram following, the first thing you need to do is understand how to do it.

You can understand this by either:

  • Trying to build your Instagram following and get real-life experience on how it’s done, or
  • Study or interview people who have built their following successfully and share your learnings

Once you understand how to solve your customer’s problem, then you can build your form and communicate how well you understand their problem while promising to solve it.

3. In your form, show you understand their problem and promise to solve it

When you’ve really studied a specific pain point your customers have or a desire they want, you can easily empathize and communicate with them.

In your lead capture form, show them you know what they’re looking for.

Here’s how to do that:

  • Use your headline copy to speak directly to their pain point or desire
  • For example, Digital Marketer has this lead form under their posts and you can see how it targets newbie marketers’ desire to “get better at marketing.”
Example of a signup form that targets their users' desire to get better at marketing.

This is only an example, but you get the idea: let your headline copy speak to your target audience’s pain point or desire.

This applies to both – your signup forms and overall landing pages, too.

  • Use your description to show visitors how you’ll be solving their problem 

The purpose of your headline copy is to catch your visitors’ attention and make them interested in learning more about what you’re offering.

So in your description, which is right after your headline copy, tell them how you plan to solve their problem; this will help you build their trust in your offer.

For instance, notice how Digital Marketer uses the description section in their form to explain exactly what marketers will get when they sign up for this offer:

Lead capture form with a full description of what the subscriber is opt in for.

And when visitors click the blue button, they land on a landing page where they go into more detail about what’s inside their offer:

Landing page that further explains what's inside the offer the subscribers are opting in for.

All this helps to motivate visitors that signing up for their offer is well worth it.

4. Deliver on your promise

It’s easy to make promises that’ll get visitors to sign up.

But what happens after they sign up?

Are they happy after receiving what you promised on your forms or landing page?

Here’s the thing: if they’re not happy after receiving whatever you promised them, you might lose them forever. And that could mean losing a lot of money.

Because when you create a lead generation form, you’re most likely doing it to get sales. And if that’s the case, people signing up on your forms are potential customers. 

So, if they signed up for a guide (or any other type of lead magnet) and the content doesn’t deliver on the promise that made them sign up, they’ll unsubscribe and you’ll lose them. If they signed up for a free consult and the call goes south, you lose them. 

In the end, your lead capture form becomes a waste if you don’t know how to solve the pain-point you promised to solve.

On the other hand, if you deliver on the promise you made on your lead gen form, your audience will be interested in your services/products and that could lead to sales.

Speaking of which, GetResponse recently ran a study on lead magnets that have the highest conversion rates. If you’re not sure what you should be offering in your signup forms, that’s a great place to start your research.

Related: Using Exit Overlays to Incentivize Email Signups


Don’t be annoying with your forms. Be smart and use every opportunity on your site to collect emails without sacrificing giving your visitors great user experience.

There are a lot of lessons to take away from this guide, but here are the most important ones:

  • There are four main types of forms you should be using: native inline forms/buttons, screen fillers, slide-in forms, and sidebar forms.
  • Let your form focus on an offer to solve a specific customer pain-point or desire. This way, your visitors can focus on your promise and consider signing up for it.
  • Genuinely understand your customers’ problem before building any lead capture form. This will help you communicate your offer more precisely and get quality leads.
  • Deliver on your promise. If possible, over-deliver. It would make them trust you after signing up and be interested in buying what you’re selling — of course, if it’s useful for them and they can afford it.

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