Forms are a key conversion asset and the choice of form can be key to their success in capturing the details of those viewing pages with forms on.
Key considerations are:
- The more fields you expect to be completed depends on the perceived value of what the person completing the form gets. To get something more akin to promotional material should be literally a couple of fields (name and email). This at least means we can send that person a personalised thank you email for completing the form. If completing the form gets a free holiday to America then go ahead and show 100 mandatory fields to complete!
- If the client uses forms on many different pages then there are real benefits in having the same form and using the smart fields function (replaces a field where HubSpot already has the data with a field that is empty) in order to progressively build a profile of the visitor who uses a form several times to access information.
- Forms are not restricted to HubSpot Landing Pages and can be used in any HTML page. Ensure that clients who don’t use HubSpot’s CMS replace all website forms with HubSpot Forms to allow actions based on Form completions. (There are other ways e.g. Zapier if there is a technical reason the swap cannot be made.)
This process refers to standard HubSpot forms that will be embedded on a page and not Pop-forms that appear over the top of pages. See separate process.
Step 1 of the process
- how many fields you are initially going to show
- are they existing HubSpot fields (if not you will have to create the field in ‘properties’
- field types: minimise at all opportunities the use of free text fields as that limits the automated use of the data. Use drop-down lists or radio buttons in preference. E.g. not “which country do you live in?” where someone in free text may put England, Britain, United Kingdom but provide a drop-down list with fixed choices.
- If the form is specific and for a ‘one-time use’ then you won’t need smart fields. If the form will be used many times then agree with your client the additional 5-10 facts they would like to gather on the visitor so that a new one can be collected each time the visitor returns
Step 2 of the process
Instructions create the form in HubSpot (and style it) are here:
Things to consider in terms of the options for each field:
Label: You don’t have to use the default label taken from the property name - can this be more directive or useful? e.g instead if Email consider “Your best email address” or “Your work email address” if B2B.
Help Text: This is displayed right next to the empty field and provides additional information to prompt the user’s response e.g. Where do you live? Help Text: We are looking for the Country that you live in
Placeholder text: This is displayed within the field that needs completing. As soon as the completer starts typing the text disappears. We could put the Help Text above in as “Country you live in”.
Default value: This actually puts text in the field that will be accepted unless changed. In the example above, if you expect 95% of users to be in the UK then put “United Kingdom” into the default value. The danger of default value is that people don’t change it even though it is not correct for them. Default value, however, is essential when used in combination with the “Make this field hidden” - here we can put a field value in that we want captured in HubSpot but don’t want the user to see in the form. An example might be the source (e.g. where the form was placed) so you can create sub-lists of people completing the form based on the hidden field.
Email domains to block: Some clients do not want email from consumer email services such as yahoo, google etc. These email addresses can be blocked on a form-by-form basis. Care is needed as some prospective buyers early in the buyer cycle do not want to reveal their employer and use personal email addresses. There could also be GDPR implications of capturing and using a personal email address as against emailing email addresses that are clearly business email addresses. This needs to be decided on a case-by-case basis with the client.
Make this field required: Generally, it is believed that more forms are completed where fields are optional and not mandatory. Consider each field and whether it is a “must-have”.
Make this field hidden: See Default value above. Is there some data you want to put into HubSpot for each form entry that is not needed to be gathered from the person. Usually, this is used for reporting/list building/workflow definitions etc.
Dependent Fields: In wanting to keep the number of fields that initially appear in a form to a minimum then dependent fields is a good way to show fields only when they are relevant rather than to everyone. A good example is if a field is “do you want to be contacted by phone” (dropdown or radio buttons with Yes and No. The dependent field (phone number) is hidden unless the person selects ‘Yes’ in the previous field. A current limitation of HubSpot is that the dependent field has to appear immediately after the question that determines whether it is shown or not.
Step 3 of the process
Using Progessive Fields for profiling purposes.
Consider for any form that will be used many times the setting up of progressive fields (found at the bottom of the fields pane.)
Work with your client to define the 5-10 things they would like to know about the person completing the form.
- More ‘hard’ facts? Company, Job Title, Location
- ‘Soft’ facts: How would you describe your role? What is the purpose of your visit to our website today?
- More about their issues/challenges? What would you consider your biggest challenge?
In all of these considerations try to keep to a set of options rather than free text. You could use an “other” field and have a free text dependent field appear to capture additional information.
Full instructions are here;
Step 4 of the process
What happens on form completion?
In the Options tab you have the following choices:
- Whether to display a thank you message or take the user to another page is usually set in a landing page. However, if you are embedding this in a website then you need to set the options here.
- Does anyone need an email each time there is a completion?
- Cookie Tracking: If the form is to be used on a shared device e.g. sign-in form at an event then cookie tracking must be switched off or you get one new contact record in HubSpot that then gets updated/overwritten as many times as the form is completed (nightmare!!).
- Unstyled Form: if you are embedding the form in a third party CMS then you may wish to turn this off so that it can be styled in the CMS.
Step 5 of the process
In the top right of the form page is an “Actions” dropdown.
- Do you need all submissions in a list so you can then create a workflow for all form entries?
- Do you need translations of the form if your client has a multi-lingual website or portal?