With marketing webforms, companies can generate a bunch of leads just by putting the right forms in the right places.
It’s always a good idea to have open avenues of communication so that users can get in touch with your brand, and marketing webforms are the answer. Webforms serve an enormously valuable function because they allow information to be exchanged for various purposes like content downloads, webinar registrations, and even online shopping.
What are webforms?
Webforms is a broad term that refers to any module on a web page that allows users to enter and submit data. There are a million different ways forms are used, and a quadrillion data fields to capture, including but not limited to:
• Medical stuff like patient info
‣ Symptoms, surgeries, allergies, medical history
• Online shopping including product information, shipping, and payment
‣ Product size, product color, payment method, address, email address
• Services and maintenance like vehicle repairs
‣ Vehicle make/model, last maintenance, summary of work
• Job applications and employment history
‣ Education information, past employers, job titles, skills, experience
• Basically anything you have to do at the Department of Motor Vehicles (or Secretary of State’s office as we say here in Michigan)
Webforms allow for certain fields to be required fields, meaning the form can’t be submitted by the user unless there’s specific information in the field. Like providing an email address when signing up for an email newsletter.
After the webform is submitted, the information is sent to the company to be processed. And the processing is different depending on the form and the company it is submitted to. A vehicle maintenance webform might go directly to a mechanic or operator. A job application webform will go to the relevant recruiters and hiring managers.
To be specific, the rest of this article will specifically describe marketing webforms, which most often are routed into a CRM, with the appropriate automations configured to handle the form appropriately and get it in front of the right teams.
What are marketing webforms?
Technically speaking, a marketing webform is just a regular webform but used specifically for marketing purposes. Marketing webforms typically aim to generate leads for a business, and include a bunch of different types of forms, like:
- Requests for a demo
- Webinar registrations
- Company newsletter signup
- Feedback and support
- Content downloads
- Targeted marketing campaigns
For instance, many websites have newsletter signup and free trial webforms that appear ubiquitously throughout the site. Our free trial form is right there and scrolls with you while you read. It’s friendly. 🙂 →
Nutshell’s email newsletter signup webform is literally just one field: Email address. Yes, it still counts as a webform, and yes, email address is most certainly a required field.
Requests for a demo or for a conversation with a salesperson are lower in the funnel and are reserved for prospects who’ve already expressed interest in a product or service, meaning they shouldn’t be as commonplace as newsletter signup forms, for instance. They ideally live on their own landing pages, web pages, or at the bottom of a targeted page about a specific offer.
Marketing webforms can be created numerous ways. It’s common for web builders to offer webforms as a feature built directly into the platform. The problem with website webform builders, though, is that they typically offer limited data delivery options, meaning that once the user hits the submit button, the form appears in an email inbox or on the website’s message manager, but that’s it.
There are also third-party webform platforms like Formstack Forms that allow users to create custom forms and then display them on their websites and landing pages. The plus side to third party webform builders is that they often integrate with a much wider array of software than their built-in counterparts, so you can have a user’s submitted data get automatically beamed into your CRM without having to do anything extra.
Last but not least, growth software platforms like Nutshell often support webform capabilities as well, meaning that user-submitted data automatically gets handled appropriately without the need for an integration or intermediary step.
By using a single growth platform for both webforms and CRM, for instance, automations can be configured so that users receive a welcome email upon submitting a form, or are added to a sales pipeline, or are routed in different ways depending on their answers. It’s kind of like the gold standard of marketing webform functionality. 🏆
How to build effective webforms for marketing
Despite the wide range of applications for marketing webforms, they all share a common goal: To be attractive enough for the user to fill out.
This isn’t just attractive in the visual sense—although that’s important too—but attractive in the sense that the webform itself is relevant and impactful to the prospect. And most of this is based around context, specifically that the content and offerings on the web page match the prospect’s needs based on their stage in the marketing funnel.
So webforms for people high in the marketing funnel might be for something lightweight that doesn’t require a phone call or meeting, like a downloadable piece of content. And webforms that are low in the marketing funnel could be for a sales demo, or something more hands-on like that.
The main thing to keep in mind when deploying webforms for marketing purposes is that the offer behind the form should be something that resonates with the audience it’s being deployed to. This alone is the biggest factor determining whether or not users interact with the form as intended.