html-web-forms

Here at FormAssembly, we use HTML web forms for every department. Online forms are key to our internal business processes, but they’re also central to our marketing, sales, events, customer support, customer success, operations, infrastructure, and security. And as our service grows, so does our need for web forms.

How We Work Together

The Form Builder makes it possible to whip up a form in five minutes, even if you don’t know a single thing about code. We’re pretty tech-savvy here, but not everyone’s a programmer. The drag-and-drop interface is great for anyone to use, whether they’re a marketer or a seasoned customer rep. More importantly, though, we can team up to iterate fast and effectively.

Here’s our process:

  • Brainstorm. We discuss the form basics: what’s the purpose of the form? What fields do we need, and why do we need them? Where will we put the form? What do we want the form to do, once it’s filled out? Where should the data go?
  • Draft. Someone creates a quick draft of the form, taking note of all the design points.
  • Collaborate. The form owner shares the form with the people who will help refine the copy, layout, or features. For example, Salesforce experts can set up a connector to push the data to our Salesforce database, a marketer can polish the call-to-action, and a designer can refresh the theme. This phase might involve several iterations and rounds of testing as we revise our way towards the finish line.
  • Review. All the stakeholders take a final look at the form. Last-minute changes happen, if necessary. We make sure the form and any connectors are configured and working properly.
  • Publish. We embed the form in the right place and take it live!

It’s also easy for us to update or copy a form after it’s launched, which is helpful for A/B testing and conversion optimization, or any on-the-fly revisions. And because the HTML web forms can share themes, we don’t have to worry about branding and styling consistency.

So far, we have a whopping 19 use cases of web forms, which can be split into 6 different categories.

Web-to-Lead Forms (Web-to-Anything Forms)

These smart forms are invaluable, since they’re often the first touchpoint we have with our customers. People can reach out to us and ask a question, get a quote, start a trial, or sign up for a demo. Plus, since the forms are plugged into our CRM, we can push the data to update or create any standard or custom Salesforce objects, which is why we call them Web-to-Anything forms. This is especially useful for marketing campaigns, as we can avoid creating duplicate records and segment people into the right mailing lists.

  1. Contact Us. Our basic catch-all form. Questions and messages get routed to sales and support.
  2. Events Meetup. We’re proud to sponsor tech conferences and events, which offer great opportunities to meet partners and customers throughout the year. This form helps us facilitate those face-to-face chats. (Feel free to drop us a line if you’ll be at an upcoming event! We’d love to say hi.)
  3. Enterprise Quote. For companies who need a formal quote, we can automatically generate a quote with the help of built-in calculations. This automation is a definite time-saver.
  4. Enterprise Demo. Visitors can schedule a demo and detail what they’re looking for and any questions they may have.
  5. Trial Signups. Landing pages for marketing campaigns have specific signup forms, which is important for lead capture and measuring the success of a campaign.
  6. Enterprise Order. Whenever a customer places an order, the form alerts us to spin up an Enterprise server instance.

Registration Forms

Our registration forms pack a punch. Under the hood, integrations get into gear and do the work for us.

  1. Class Registrations. The class registrations are linked to our webinar service, which makes a note in Salesforce and triggers automatic emails to registrants with the webinar details.
  2. Developer Registration. To build apps and integrations with the FormAssembly API, developers must sign up. The registration is hooked into a MailChimp list for developer news.
  3. Partner Signup. Consultants, designers, and devs can join our Partner Program here. We frequently refer customers to our Partners, who can help them maximize FormAssembly through custom development and consultation. If partners opt in, the form adds them to a mailing list and to the Partner Directory.
  4. Nonprofit Discount Application. We’re proud to serve nonprofits, who can apply for a discount by providing documentation of their NPO status.

Moderation Forms

  1. Abuse Report. This flags FormAssembly forms for spam or abuse. From time to time, scammers and other people with no-good intentions create forms to trick people into giving away their information. We have filters in place to catch these types of forms, but with this report form, people can help us identify and dispatch anything that flies under the radar.
  2. Developer App Review. Devs submit finished apps and integrations for review.

Surveys & Feedback Forms

We’re always striving to make FormAssembly better, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without user feedback. When we add to our roadmap, we need to make decisions driven by data, rather than guesswork. User feedback is instrumental to our decision process.

  1. Class Suggestions. We offer live online classes every month, but if anyone’s interested in a different topic than the ones we cover, they can let us know. It helps us expand our curriculum and clues us into what people want to learn about.
  2. Cancellation Feedback. Whenever someone cancels their FormAssembly account, we like to ask why. This gives us real insight into what people need from a form builder, and what we can do to meet those needs.
  3. UI/UX Surveys. As we improve and update FormAssembly’s user interface and the user experience of the application, it’s proven extremely helpful to ask users what they think. For example, we’ve sent out a survey to poll users about the wording of a feature, and the results were loud and clear.
  4. General Feedback Surveys. Sometimes we ask open-ended questions on how we can improve FormAssembly, or ask about people’s industries and roles so we can improve the resources we offer.
  5. Share Your Story Testimonial. We love to hear about what people have accomplished with FormAssembly. Through this testimonial form, customers can share their use cases and add to our brag sheet!

Data Entry for Onboarding New Enterprise Customers

We welcome all new Enterprise customers with an onboarding call. It’s an opportunity for us to answer any questions they might have, talk about what they plan to accomplish with FormAssembly, and help them get started.

  1. Onboarding Call Summary. To get ready for each call, our engagement team brings up a prefilled HTML web form, which pulls the customer’s info from Salesforce. It’s a simple way to get up-to-speed on who we’re talking to and why they upgraded. During the calls, we also use the form to do a quick write-up, update our notes, and send it back to Salesforce. This helps us keep track of the conversations we’ve had and preps us for any follow-up calls.

Knowledge Base Guides

Online forms aren’t just a portal to access prospects’ information — they can serve as a learning tool. Thanks to conditional logic, you can hide or show sections based on respondent answers, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style. This is handy for interactive quizzes and tutorials, and you can add images and hints to clarify instructions.

  1. Web Form Security Checklist. We created a checklist to evaluate whether a web form meets the security standards outlined in our Best Practices guide. It’s not your typical HTML web form, because the main goal isn’t to have people hit the submit button (although they can enter their email address for a copy of their results). Instead, we want people to go through the checklist and discover what they can do to build customer trust, boost security, and protect data privacy. The checklist earmarks the relevant parts of the guide for easy reference.

Smarter Infrastructure, Better Data

We love smart software (and we love building it!), because we get better data. Gone are the days of squinting at paper forms, trying to decipher illegible handwriting, or accidentally entering several new typos in the process. Say goodbye to the burden of transcription and double entry. No more tabbing through an endless spreadsheet and hitting copy and paste into the wrong column.

Smart web forms means data that’s cleaner and more accurate: we can set validation rules and automatically check our database for existing records. And since the data’s already in action, we don’t have to be afraid of missing an email notification buried underneath hundreds of other emails. The data’s exactly where it needs to be.

As we refine FormAssembly’s architecture, we keep in mind both the form creators and the form respondents. Web forms can be unpleasant and chaotic to design and to fill out. What’s easier for the people behind the web form isn’t always great for the people facing the web form. The best tools reach a happy place where there’s harmony between the two, and it’s our goal to find that harmony. User experience should be the highest priority, not an afterthought.

We’re always dreaming up fun and inventive ways to build web forms. How do you use FormAssembly? Tell us about your forms! ▸

 

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