How to create online forms
- Online forms allow you to easily collect information from current and potential customers.
- Some forms require response boxes to be checked, while others allow written responses.
- Using these forms can provide you with the information you need to make data-driven marketing decisions.
- This article is for small business owners and marketing professionals who want to learn more about online forms and the benefits they offer.
Every business needs the right data to make better business decisions. You can easily collect data from customers, prospects, and prospects by creating and distributing an online form that provides you with information to help you make data-driven decisions.
Writing, designing and implementing online forms is simple with the right tool and some effort. There are many tools available for creating online forms that can feed data into your existing business systems.
Here’s what you need to know about creating, using, and analyzing online forms to improve your business.
What are online forms used for?
Chances are you’ve completed a few online surveys. Maybe it was a registration form, an order form, or a custom form on a specific topic. These are often simple questionnaires that are seamlessly integrated into a company’s website. If you’ve ever purchased something online and entered your credit card information, you’ve used an online form.
An online form is an interactive web page or HTML form that allows the user to enter information. Once they press the submit button, their form responses are sent to the servers for processing, where they can be analyzed and evaluated.
There are different types of online forms that can appear in various places on your websites. The most common is a text box, which can ask a simple question, then the user types in their answer. These fillable forms can be placed on any page of a website and ask as many questions as you want. If you’re not looking for open-ended answers, your online form can use checkboxes for multiple-choice questions, drop-down menus, and submit buttons.
Where you place and promote your online form is up to you. However, you need to place it somewhere that is visible and will get the most responses.
Key point: online forms are simple questionnaires that you place on your website to collect feedback from your customers.
How businesses benefit from online forms
Online forms are an efficient and organized way for businesses to collect data about their customers. Because you create and publish the online forms yourself, the questions are objective and original to you and the information you are trying to learn. The data collected comes straight from the source, so it’s accurate, and since most forms are responsive on mobile devices and tablets, it’s easily accessible.
These forms can not only capture the data submitted directly to them, but they can also capture details of how customers interact with the page the form is embedded on. Once you accumulate these metrics, you can feed this information to your team and make marketing decisions based on the analysis.
Key point: Online forms allow you to ask your website visitors objective questions that can help you make informed decisions about how to target them effectively.
What type of information should be included in an online form?
Your online form should include one or more questions, where users can either type an answer or select an option from a menu. As mentioned above, the most common types of online forms include text boxes, drop-down lists, checkboxes, radio buttons, and feedback messages.
The questions you ask should be simple, concise and easy to understand. Don’t use too many words when a few will do. Also, don’t use complicated language when simple words convey the same meaning.
Although your first instinct may be to ask several questions to get as much information as possible about your customers, consider exactly what you are looking for. When you have too much data, it’s hard to focus on what you need.
People won’t want to spend a lot of time filling out your form, so make it as quick as possible. To make the process painless for users, ask questions that can usually be answered through autofill in their web browser, such as their name, email address, location, and phone number. The less time a user spends filling out your form, the more likely they are to respond.
“Capture only what you need in the order you need it,” said Spencer Fry, founder of Podia. “For example, if a customer buys [an online product], the first thing we need is their payment information. A credit card number, expiration date, and security code are all we ask for in our checkout form.” The company will only ask for additional information, such as an email address or password. pass, only after receiving a customer’s credit card information.
“Asking for too much information up front can be overwhelming,” Fry said. “To streamline the process, break it down into steps that build on each other.”
Key point: Online forms should have clear questions. Only ask questions that you think will provide valuable information. Asking too many questions can be a hindrance and cause people to not answer any of them.
How to create an online form
There are many free and paid online form builders you can use to create them for your website and integrate them into your marketing automation workflow. Although the layouts, features, and workflow all vary to varying degrees, the steps for creating an online form are generally the same for each program:
- Create a new form. Whichever form builder you use, you start by creating a new form. In most cases, you can create one from scratch or modify a pre-made template.
- Edit and format your new form. Next, you will modify your form by adding fields to it. These can be predefined or custom fields. Once you have decided on the type of form you want to use, write down your questions and answers. It’s useful to do this in a word processing document in case you need to go back to the original form.
- Test your form. Check again to make sure your form works across multiple web browsers and devices. Complete and submit the form through your non-default web browsers and phone to ensure that user responses are delivered regardless of how they submit them.
- Submit or publish your form. Once you’ve reviewed your form and everything looks clean, it’s time to send your form out to the masses. You can publish it as a web page on your site or include it in an email to clients and customers.
Key point: You can create an online form from scratch or use a template. Be sure to edit and test it before sending or publishing.
A great online form builder should be simple, intuitive, and easy to customize. Here are some of the best free and paid online form builders that you can use to create your own forms.
- Google Forms: Google Forms is free and easy to use; it only requires a Google account to use. It saves all your information in Google Sheets spreadsheets for your analysis. They also have pre-made templates in case you don’t know how to format your online form.
- HubSpot free online form builder: HubSpot offers a free and versatile form builder that lets you create up to 1,000 form fields with 12 different field types to help you optimize your responses.
- Wu Foo: WuFoo, which starts at $14.08 per month, is a great form builder if you’re looking to collect lots of data and use it for complex reports. Its secure interface allows you to receive payments online.
- Character shape: If you prioritize the design of your online forms, Character shape may be the way to go. Typeform starts at $35 per month, and you can make your forms more engaging by adding images, videos, and GIFs. It also lets you customize the home screen and menus.
- JotForm: JotForm’s The free builder is more customizable than Google Forms and is one of the only free builders that accepts payments. They have an extensive template library, with over 10,000 form templates, and it can be easily integrated into your marketing tools.
- Form Stack: Used by Netflix and Twitter, formstack allows you to create online forms without needing to know how to code. Their workflow lets you connect to all your business apps and keeps you up to date with your forms via email notifications. Prices start at $19 per month.
Key point: There are a number of sites online that can help you build your forms, including Google Forms, HubSpot, WuFoo, and Formstack.