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It’s Time for Manufacturers to Move Past Web Forms

4 min
Who is eager to give out their contact info to a stranger? Nobody.

Gating content has long been seen as a necessary component of a manufacturer’s marketing strategy. A 6sense study found that 53% of companies engaging in an ABM strategy (i.e. targeting specific accounts rather than casting a wide net) are still gating their content.

This tactic is stinky because research shows that only 3% of visitors will ever fill out a web form to “ungate” high-value content … and the juicy contact info in those web forms is the kind of data marketers need to generate MQLs (and justify their existences).

Meanwhile, today’s B2B buyers are keenly aware of the sales cycle and understand that when they fill out a form, they’re signing up to start receiving emails and phone calls — even if they’re just beginning their buying journey, are just doing preliminary research, and have no interest in talking to a sales rep.

As a result, gated content acts as a deterrent. Visitors who refuse to fill out your forms (97% of them, on average!) instead look for the information elsewhere — either on third-party review sites or the websites of your competitors.

To engage these top-of-funnel prospects, you need to provide no-strings-attached content that addresses their needs.

But … how are you supposed to know who they are so you can start targeting them with relevant marketing and outreach?

Manufacturers who want to deliver a better user experience — and ultimately a more effective sales process — should open the gates to their website and use intent data to understand which prospects are heading toward their deal pipelines

By removing forms from the equation, manufacturers can create a truly seamless user experience on their websites, enabling customers to access valuable information quickly and easily.

Let’s look at the benefits of ditching forms and how 6sense enables manufacturers to gain even more intent data and insights into their buyers. 

Drop the Forms, Learn More About Your Buyers

With traditional forms, you may uncover someone’s name, contact details, and other basic data points — but this doesn’t give you any insight crucial details such as:

  • How they found your business
  • If they’ve already interacted with content on your website, or
  • If they’re even in-market for your product or solution 

Instead of creating an alienating roadblock in front of great content — or pricing sheets or product videos — you can leverage an ABM platform to deanonymize your web traffic. 

6sense is the industry leader in matching seemingly anonymous web traffic to the companies conducting research for B2B solutions. When an important stakeholder from one of your target accounts visits a product page, you’re alerted of activity at that account without them needing to fill out a form

Not only do you gain insights into their activity on your website, but 6sense’s large intent network captures their activity across a wide landscape of third-party websites. This reveals how much research an account is doing into topics related to your business, and serves as a strong indication of buying intent. 

By leveraging 6sense to… 

…you’re not only giving your sales and marketing more critical insights, you’re also able to provide a better user experience. You no longer need forms to capture contact details, or to understand which accounts are ready to buy.  

A More Personalized Experience for Manufacturing Buyers

Beyond simply removing the hurdle of filling out a form — and potentially deterring a critical buyer from learning more about your product — 6sense’s ability to de-anonymize web traffic also allows for a smarter marketing strategy for manufacturers and a more rewarding buying experience. 

Here are two ways that dropping forms for an AI-driven ABM platform like 6sense can lead to stronger engagement at key accounts:

Serve Content Based on Buying Stage

Gaining deeper insights about your buyers makes it much easier to personalize your website. When manufacturers serve up content that is relevant for each individual visitor, conversion rates soar.

For example, if a buyer visits a manufacturer’s website after researching a specific product online, 6sense can make it possible to know who they are and serve up a white paper or product demo video specifically related to that topic.

Distributing Relevant Content Across Channels

Uncovering a buyer’s area of interest — like which specific products they’re researching — makes it easier to engage them across different channels like advertising or email. Think of it like an advanced form of retargeting.

Normally with retargeting, you can only serve up hyper-specific display ads to people who have already visited a specific page on your site. The problem is that you don’t know if the people who visited that page were real buyers or just lookie-loos.That means a big piece of your ad spend goes to waste targeting people who aren’t within your target account list.

By matching signals to accounts, you can narrow down your audience targeting to just people at accounts that fit your ICP.

Even better, you can also do that same hyper-specific targeting when people research one of your product categories on third party sites. If one of your target accounts researches a competitor solution on a third-party site, you can see that activity and trigger your own ads to win their business.


It’s time to move past forms as part of a manufacturer’s digital marketing strategy. They are a deterrent for visitors and they don’t capture enough relevant information about your buyers. A platform like 6sense can remove the need for forms while increasing the amount of insights you unearth about your key buyers.

The 6sense Team

6sense helps B2B organizations achieve predictable revenue growth by putting the power of AI, big data, and machine learning behind every member of the revenue team.

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