As the preferred way of collecting data, it should come as no surprise that online forms are heavily used by business – and have been for some time. If anything their use has expanded over the years, as businesses have found they can benefit from using a wide range of different types of forms.
If you want to take full advantage of the potential benefits that online forms bring to the table, there are several types that you should definitely think about using:
A contact form is an integral part of any business website, and will provide visitors with a convenient way to reach out and get in touch. It is generally preferred to providing an email link, as it will not require a separate window or software be opened to send a message.
As a rule contact forms should be designed to be simple – with as few fields as possible. Typically the most essential fields are the name, email, and message fields – though other optional fields such as a category to segment the data can be helpful as well.
More recently contact forms have started to wane slightly in popularity due to the fact that more people prefer to contact businesses via social media and other platforms. That being said businesses will still benefit from providing the option.
Lead capture forms
One of the best ways that online forms can be used for marketing is with lead capture forms. Essentially these forms are simple affairs that are designed to capture the contact details of potential leads so that the business can engage and market its products to them via emails.
The most effective way to use lead capture forms is to place them on a dedicated landing page, with an incentive that entices visitors to fill in the form in exchange for something of value. Ideally it should have only two fields at most: A name and email address field.
Sometimes lead capture forms go by other names such as newsletter sign-ups, email marketing forms, and so on. At the end of the day they all describe the same type of form however: One that is designed to capture contact details for marketing.
Order and payment processing
Online forms feature prominently in ecommerce platforms and any website that needs to take orders or collect and process payments. Suffice to say the forms are used to gather the data about the order or the payment details.
If your business intends to sell products on a website, this type of online form is indispensable. In the case of payment processing however additional security features may be required – especially if sensitive financial information is being captured.
As an alternative many businesses integrate their online forms with third-party payment processing platforms and rely on them to secure the transaction.
Market research surveys and questionnaires
Any business stands to benefit from learning more about their target market and the demographic of people that it is trying to reach. Online forms such as surveys and questionnaires will provide you with the opportunity to do just that, and collect the answers any type of questions you may want to pose to visitors.
The length of the forms used for market research can vary. Some surveys are really just simple polls with a few questions, while others are more elaborate and in-depth questionnaires that could even span multiple pages.
It should be noted that it is more difficult to convince people to fill out longer forms. Keep that in mind if you’re offering an incentive to fill out the form, and make sure it is enticing enough based on the form’s length.
Although feedback forms are most frequently used to gather feedback about a website or service, it can technically be used to collect feedback about anything related to the business. It is a valuable tool for businesses to learn more about key areas that they may want to improve.
Some of the ways that you can use feedback forms is by using it to collect information about your products, sales process, deliveries, customer support, marketing campaigns, and so on.
Between the five types of forms listed above, you should be able to identify several ways that you can use online forms to benefit your business. That being said you undoubtedly are also starting to realize that each form needs to be purpose-built, and having an online form maker such as AidaForm can help with that.
Always remember that although businesses mostly publish forms on their own websites, publishing links to online forms on social media, forums, and other platforms is a great way to reel in more responses. At the end of the day the more data your form is able to collect, the greater the benefit will be to your business.