Using Form Validation to Qualify PPC Respondents

By Janet Driscoll Miller | Jan 8, 2008
More Articles by Janet


If you’re a marketer, you’re not new to the age old question from the sales department of quality of leads vs. quantity of leads. It will literally drive me to an early grave. As a marketer working with PPC, you want to ensure that you get the best quality clicks you can. But what happens after the click? That’s where the “sales” measurement of quality really begins.

We obviously first want to minimize non-quality clicks, which thus reduces our cost for non-quality leads. Makes sense. But there’s only so much than can be done through keywords and ad copy to filter out the non-quality leads. Take for example the situation of a recruiting firm. Many of the keywords that they advertise on will be words that both job-seeking candidates and employers will search for. However, only employers actually are revenue-producing leads — therefore they are the quality leads for the sales force. We can’t necessarily eliminate keywords — they are shared between both groups.

And, often regardless of ad copy, a candidate will click on a recruiter’s ad (even if targeted towards an employer) because the candidate knows that recruiting firms likely have resume submission on their website. They literally don’t care what the ad says. It could say, “HEY, CANDIDATES — DON’T CLICK HERE.” and they still will click on an ad.

So how do you ensure that on the postclick side, the landing page, that only qualified leads enter the sales database? A great start is with form validation. Form validation ensures that the page visitor submits the required filelds of the form, but it also can dictate some requirements for those form fields. Let’s say you’re a B2B company. You likely only want company email addresses — not freebies like gmail email addresses. Form validation would allow you to reject the form from being submitted if the form field for email contained gmail.com (or hotmail.com, etc.), only allowing business email addresses for form submission.

While limiting form submissions through form validation may likely reduce overall conversions, it will provide more “quality” leads that are already somewhat “prescreened” for your sales department. It may mean that your conversions go down, and if you track your progress as a marketer by this number. But it’s important to remember that “non-qualified” leads don’t help the company — no matter what your conversion rate is! So reset your expectations and do the right thing where you can. You, your sales force, and your company win in the end and you’ll be able to obtain a more realistic view of how your PPC is truly working for you.

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