Graphic of a sign-up form

Lead Generation: On-platform Forms vs. Website Forms

When you begin planning a paid campaign around generating leads, there are a couple of ways you can capture leads—through on-platform lead generation ads and lead forms hosted on your website or a campaign-specific landing page. 

Just like all ad platforms are not created equal, neither are lead generation methods. How do you know when to use which type of form for your campaign? 

On-Platform Lead Generation Forms

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and even Google all have on-platform lead generation forms, allowing you to quickly—and easily—get information from your audience to grow your lead list. Having on-platform lead generation forms

Instil form example

 also provides your audience with an ideal user experience by allowing them to fill out and submit the form without leaving the platform they are on; cutting down on total clicks and time spent completing the form.

Though not as customizable as a form hosted on your website or landing page, lead generation forms on social platforms have varying degrees of customization, including customized questions, auto-fill responses, and customizing an

 introduction and confirmation page for those engaging with the form.

Leads that come in through on-platform lead forms mean that the initial leads are housed on their respective platforms (e.g. in Facebook’s Lead Center). Without utilizing a third-party program, you will need to pull these leads manually to upload them into your CRM platform. Depending on your budget, programs like Zapier allow you to connect these lead forms to your CRM platform, allowing for leads to automatically upload when a new lead comes through. 

Additionally, if you are utilizing a robust platform like HubSpot, you can sync different lead generation forms to specific workflows to follow up with new leads with customized, relevant email communications instantly. 

Website Lead Generation Forms

Where on-platform lead generation forms are a quick eBay to get information from your audience while they browse the platforms they frequent most, lead generation forms hosted on your website can provide a variety of benefits, including a

website form example

 deeper understanding of your audience with more creative freedom in terms of customizations to the look, feel and questions, more control over what the customer journey experience will be and a better impression of your overall brand. 

From a testing perspective, on-platform forms require multiple

forms to run across various ads. Through programs like Unbounce, you can create forms on your website or landing page that have the ability to A/B test with dynamic copy swapping. These types of tests can help you better hone in your unique value proposition and improve the efficacy of your ads by increasing the form submission conversion rate. 

With greater creativity afforded to website lead forms, you can easily create quizzes to help encourage folks to complete the form and better segment your audience based on their results (e.g. if you are looking for different types of volunteers, you can create a quiz to segment them into the right types of volunteer communication). 

If you are promoting workshops, upcoming programming, or events that are for a specific group of people (e.g. college students between the ages of 18-22), form logic from those hosted on your site can allow for folks to know instantly if they do not meet the eligibility criteria and help with lead quality. 

Additionally, by utilizing a form on your website or specific landing page, you can ensure consistency of the user experience across your integrated marketing strategy—including paid and organic social media, email marketing, and any in-person efforts. 

Depending on your campaign goals, what information you are requesting from your audience, and how you want to interact and engage with leads, using the right form—whether on-platform or on your website—can help create a strong user experience and impact for your organization.