The last several years have seen social media platforms release ad types that aim to ease conversion friction for consumers, and in turn, lead generation woes for advertisers.
These ad types allow prospects to submit their personal information in exchange for an offer without leaving the platform. Since social media platforms often have users’ personal information from signup, users hardly have to do anything other than click “Submit” to claim the offer before returning to their browsing experience.
Facebook was the first to introduce the format with Lead Ads years ago. Then LinkedIn and Twitter followed suit. Now, Quora is testing similar ads called “Quora Lead Gen Forms,” which provide advantages similar to the other formats. But is using them worth the disadvantages to advertisers?
What are Quora lead gen forms?
Quora Lead Gen Forms are an ad format that allows advertisers to generate leads quickly and easily, without forcing prospects to leave the platform. According to Quora:
Lead Gen Forms offer a native signup flow to instantly acquire high-intent prospects. Connect with people when they’re researching and evaluating solutions on Quora and drive them to complete a valuable action.
How do Quora lead gen forms work?
If you have any experience with Facebook Lead Gen Ads or LinkedIn Lead Gen Ads, you’ll recognize the way Quora Lead Gen Ads work. The user experience looks a little like this:
The user encounters a text or image ad in-stream. When they click the ad, it immediately opens a lead capture form that auto-populates information the user has already shared with Quora. Clicking the call-to-action button will submit this information to the advertiser, then reveal a “Thank you” message that will come with instructions on what to expect next. And it may include a call-to-action to get the visitor to view the company website, learn more about the offer, or to view the resource immediately:
Quora lead gen forms allow advertisers to capture the following information:
- Contact Info: First and last name (required), Email, Business Email, Phone Number
- Employment Info: Job Title, Company Name, Company Size
- Location Info: City, State (U.S. Only), Zip Code (U.S. only), Country
While adhering to the following creative parameters:
- Image or Text ad format (Image aspect ratio 16:9, recommended px 600×335)
- Business name: 40 characters
- Headline: 65 characters
- Copy: 105 characters
- CTA copy: Contact us download learn more sign up
On the form:
- Offer headline: 65 characters
- Thank you message: 65 characters
- Submission CTA: Learn more, View Now, View Company Website
- Landing page URL
When you’re through inputting this information, you can complete your order and run your ad. When leads are submitted, you’ll see them in your dashboard.
If you want to export those leads from Quora, you can download a CSV file or integrate it with Zapier. The lead gen forms Zapier integration works with 1,500+ apps like Gmail, Salesforce, and Marketo.
Should you use Quora lead gen forms?
Quora lead gen forms come with big benefits. They’re minimally intrusive to consumers and straightforward to complete, which usually translates to a higher volume of leads. They also capitalize on Quora’s established brand image to communicate trust, which also does well to boost conversion. Before you jump in with both feet, however, their disadvantages should be considered:
1. You neglect optimizing the post-click experience
Perhaps the biggest advantage of using Quora lead gen forms is that they are quick and easy for visitors to fill out. There’s very little friction between the click and conversion.
Consider, however, that there are countless tools to speed landing page load times, like Google AMP, for example. There are best practices to make filling out forms a breeze, and tools to enable them, too, like social autofill:
When used sparingly, Quora ads may offer the opportunity to generate leads more quickly than your website could. However, if used continuously in place of lead gen content on your website, you are unlikely to figure out how to improve the post-click experience.
When your users click your ad and are driven to your post-click landing page, they offer you valuable data:
- How are they behaving?
- Are they converting?
- Are they leaving before your page even loads?
Heat map software, for example, can show where your visitors are clicking, scrolling, and hovering:
Gathering such information is how you form the basis for optimization. Not just for your current campaigns, but others, too. Relying on another platform to generate leads for you means cutting off traffic to your website, and with it, valuable data.
2. You miss opportunities to build trust with your own branded content
It’s another major benefit of using Quora lead gen forms: Quora is a well-known brand with over 300 million users. Such social proof gives them credibility in the eyes of prospects who see your ad. They trust Quora, and if your brand is unknown in comparison, this trust could be what makes them comfortable with converting.
However, the other side is that as a relatively unknown brand, you’re not doing yourself any favors by preventing your users from interacting with your brand. For consumers, trust is built over time and repeated exposure to a business. Each lead gen form campaign you run that doesn’t drive visitors to your post-click landing page is one less time they see your logo. It’s one less time they see your tagline, your brand colors, consume your brand voice, which separates you from competitors. While a few times may make no difference, in the long run, it adds up to a major loss.
3. You lose the opportunity to guide them further through the funnel
After the user has submitted their information, there are CTA buttons that can drive a user to your website. These are “View Now,” “Learn More,” and “Visit Company Website.”
Since there is currently very little data on the success rate of these CTAs, we can only speculate on their success. Is it likely that new leads will click them after converting through an ad format that’s made specifically to bypass the advertiser’s website?
Eventually, data may say otherwise, but this seems unlikely.
And if they’re not visiting your website, you can’t tempt them with offers related to the one you’re advertising. You can’t nudge them further through the funnel with a report, or a case study, or demo. Again, the benefit to these ads is that they’re unintrusive. They’re made to get users to submit their information and get back to Quora. And that’s very likely what they will do, despite whatever detriment to your brand.
4. You lack the flexibility that comes with a custom form
Of course, as is the case with every ad format and publisher, there are creative constraints that must be followed for the campaign to run. Headline and copy must be a certain length, images must be a certain size, etc.:
The difference is, constraints on lead gen forms are not creative constraints that can be worked around. Every business is different, so are the traits of every valuable customer. And when you’re forced to select from a set group of form fields, you may be forced to pick from fields that will do nothing to tell you whether a customer is worth pursuing.
For example, company size may not be an indicator of lead quality for you. Your buyers may buy regardless of business size. Location may not be important either. There may be no correlation between valuable customers and where they’re located.
Form fields should not be generic name, address, job title, etc. Instead, they should be arrived at through careful consideration by marketing and sales to determine what traits your most valuable customers share. When you know these, you can ask the right questions to determine quickly who is worth your time and resources, and who is not.
With lead gen forms, you can only use what you’re offered. That may change as the product rolls out to a wider audience. But currently, what you’re offered is 12 fields worth of information.
5. You may sacrifice quality for quantity
We’ve said it multiple times already: The biggest advantage to Quora lead gen forms is how easy they are to complete. Shorter forms, auto-populating fields, an easy submit button — these make converting a breeze for consumers. The problem is when it comes to lead gen forms, easier to fill out isn’t always better.
When you make such optimizations: shortening forms, auto-populating information — you increase the likelihood of conversion. And that’s good until you get a tsunami of new leads that only converted because it was easy to convert and they were mildly curious about your offer.
You don’t just want a high volume of leads. You want leads that will eventually purchase your product or service:
While Quora lead gen forms may be a great way to pump a high volume of leads into the pipeline, it may also clog that pipeline with useless data that marketing and sales are forced to follow up on.
6. You may be collecting outdated information
Do users care if you get the wrong information from your Quora lead capture form? Probably not.
Do users always create social media profiles with accurate information? Not always.
So, when they click through your ad and see that their information has been auto-populated, and it’s wrong, are they going to update their phone number to the correct phone number?
Are they going to give you the correct business email, or leave the one they used at their old job?
Will they correct their location to where they live now?
Maybe. But if there’s one thing we can say confidently about users, it’s that they want what’s in it for them. They aren’t likely to care much about what your business gets in return.
Might all their information be up to date? Perhaps. If not, might they correct that information to ensure you have the highest quality leads to work with. Possibly.
But do you really want to take that chance? The likelihood they enter recent data is (probably) higher if they’re doing it for the first time, rather than correcting old information they signed up with on Quora in 2012.
Start optimizing your post-click experiences
While Quora lead gen forms can be a valuable complement to your other marketing initiatives, they should not replace the post-click experience. Your landing page is where the conversion happens. It’s where you learn about your audience. It’s where trust is built and customers are earned.
You may be able to generate leads on Quora, but you’re going to need to qualify them with your own tools. For that, you need optimized post-click experiences. Learn how to create them quickly and easily with a demo from Instapage, the only PCA platform.