How Marketers Can Effectively Use Forms

August 24, 2015
By Special Guest
Steve Gibson, Director at JotForm

Collecting information is key to being successful in marketing. You need to learn who your audience is and what they think in order to effectively target them. Here’s a few ways marketers can use online forms to improve their campaigns.

1) Select the right form type

Surveys: The classic tool in the marketing arsenal is a survey or questionnaire. Here you can collect user data and market information to plan future campaigns.

Contact forms: Nothing like a warm lead to keep your pipeline filled. Setting up a contact form is essential for many marketing campaigns. For some, adding a friendly overlay that displays a few seconds after users arrive is an effective way to gather their email address.

Feedback forms: Similar to surveys, feedback forms give users a chance to voice their opinions. These are usually brief open ended forms where users can express their thoughts.

2) Place or distribute your form in the right channel

Perhaps more important than the type of form, is where users discover it. Users need to be able to find a form in order to fill it out.

Email:  Surveys are typically emailed out to existing users and are great for collecting larger sets of information.

Embed on a web page: Many online form builders allow you to embed your forms wherever you like. This is great if you’d like to place them on a web page for all your visitors to see.

Create a PDF: In many cases people are comfortable with PDFs. You don’t need to be online to fill them out, and people can email them back when complete. In some cases they can submit their form results directly from the PDF. Although they’re being replaced by their online form building cousins, creating fill-able PDFs is still very popular.

3) Check Analytics

At the end of the day, measuring your results is key. It’s impossible to know how effective your campaigns are without analytics. Here’s a few of the basic metrics to measure.

Number of results: This one’s obvious, but if no one’s responding at all, it’s time to try a different angle.

Conversion rate:  If using an online form builder, make sure it comes with a form analytics tool.

Location, location, location:  In many cases marketing campaigns target specific geographic areas. It’s important to verify you’re hitting the right spot. Analytics tools will quickly be able to tell you where your responses are coming from.

4) Follow up

It almost goes without saying, but following up with the information collected is important. If someone submits their email address, then ensure they’re added to your mailing list. If they provide feedback, let them know you value it and follow up with any inquiries. The key is to plan your communications and follow through with them. Too often people get busy and not respond, or skip months in sending their newsletter. You can have the best form outreach campaign in the world, but it’s all for naught without capitalizing on the results.

What have you found to be the most effective way to work with forms in your marketing campaigns? Tell us about it in the comments.

Steve Gibson is the Director at JotForm, a popular online form builder featuring best-of-class form analytics. His duties span improving the quality of the Product, Support, and Documentation in order to acquire new users and enhance user experience.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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