You Can Use Online, Interactive Calculators to Drive Qualified Leads

 Anna Talerico, ion interactive's EVP and co-founder
Anna Talerico, ion interactive’s EVP and co-founder

An online, interactive calculator enables visitors to calculate something such as a price or a discount or a special rate, specific to their inputs. Even complex pricing can be converted into a pricing range estimator. This provides the immediate gratification that buyers crave.

How to generate leads with an online calculator:

  • Let visitors interact with the calculator and see the resulting outputs. Optionally allow them to email the results to themselves, or a colleague, using that action as a lead capture opportunity. Or, if hot inbound leads are what you want, have your visitors request a sales call once they have seen their calculations.
  • Have visitors use the calculator, and gate the results, requiring the user to complete your form before seeing their outcomes. Note, this works best for complex calculations, as the results may not be deemed valuable enough by visitors who have completed a calculator for a simple product or service. 
  • Consider requiring visitors to complete a form before providing them access to the calculator, especially when the calculations are likely to be complex or high value.
  • Offer to send pricing results from the calculator to the prospect instantly via email, rather than displaying the pricing results in the calculator itself.

How to test for higher conversion rates on your online calculator:

  • Results access: Can you drive more leads by providing the results with an optional form to email the results to themselves? Or by gating the results, providing access to the results only to those who complete your form? Find out with an A/B test!
  • Content cross sell: Will you capture more leads by gating the calculator results, or by giving free access to the results, but with an optional form to receive complementary content that’s related to your product or service? An A/B test will let you know if the offer of related content is more compelling than the results themselves.  
  • Form length: How much is your visitor willing to tell you in the form? You can test varying form lengths to optimize for maximum conversions.
  • Layout: Test radically different types of calculator inputs—radio buttons, sliders, free text inputs, etc. to see which user experience reduces bounce rates and increases engagement. A calculator is a also great place to test different headlines, images and calls to action around the calculator itself. Or, test radically different results pages, varying the emphasis on the call to action to determine how you can influence conversion rate with layout and design changes.

How to measure content consumption and engagement on your online configurator:

  • Look at the basics such as bounce rate and conversion rate to get an idea of overall performance.
  • Score calculator inputs based on how desirable the inputs of the visitor are, and evaluate scores across traffic sources to determine which sources deliver you the most qualified, engaged leads. 
  • Evaluate the aggregate responses to understand your audience better and gain real insights into how well your offering or pricing fits with their unique buying scenarios.

And don’t forget to surface prospect insights to your sales team:

  • Show sales the prospect’s actual calculator inputs from the visitor so they understand the buyers unique parameters and buying situation. This helps accelerate deals by providing the buyer with a great experience where expectations are met, and information surfaced in an online experience doesn’t have to be rehashed in a scripted sales experience.

Have you tried using an online calculator to generate qualified leads? Let us know how it’s going and what you’ve learned along the way!

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