For a small business and sometimes even really large businesses, forms are an afterthought or overlooked.
Web forms, however, are one of the most important components of your website. They are the vessel for which people can get information to you, whether it’s about a purchase or a question or anything in between. It’s a simpler method of communication that’s often overlooked.
But it shouldn’t be.
An organized database
Web forms are important because instead of offering an email address for someone to contact you with or a telephone number, when someone submits a form – they then stay in your online database. You have a specific lead source for this person.
This becomes important when you use a marketing automation system (like Hatchbuck, one of the ones we recommend for smaller businesses) or any sort of email marketing tool.
For a marketing automation system, the two primary ways to get people into your database is to a) have them click a link after they’ve already given you their email address or, more to the point here, b) submit a form. This makes forms a critical funnel for getting people into your digital ecosystem.
With email marketing tools, forms can enable people to sign up by checking a box to receive more information. Therefore, forms are a really useful funnel for email marketing programs as well.
If you want to be tracking your digital marketing efficiently as well as your lead generation efforts, you need contact forms on your site. And everyone should be tracking their digital marketing channels.
Getting things organized is useful but being able to track a lead source for a B2B business or, say, see a history of questions for an existing customer for a B2C business is critical. Paper trails are just as important online as they are offline so that when you go back and analyze your metrics, you can see patterns.
Maybe people ask similar questions after visiting specific pages, meaning something needs to be clarified on those pages. Or maybe your company’s Pricing page results in far more form submissions than the overview of your Services, meaning you may want to direct traffic more to the Pricing page and optimize your Services section. You get the idea.
Putting thought into your forms can save you a tremendous amount of time. Think about how much easier it is if the people who have contacted you have already provided basic information, like an answer to a question you frequently ask your customers or even something simple, like their preferred contact method.
It also saves you time in terms of building up your email list and segmenting those emails, depending on the questions you’ve asked.
Think carefully and critically about your website forms. That’s all we’re asking for here.