All websites built and maintained by the MarComm team have the capability of deploying forms for collecting responses from your visitors. Our form tool is plugin that works with WordPress called Gravity Forms.
Gravity Forms is a tool that can be used by anyone with administrative access to a web property, but the initial configuration needed to build a form correctly for the first time requires a little bit of practice. We have found that it’s quicker for us to build the form on your behalf for the first time, and allow you to customize the answers and responses as needed once the form is up and running.
A form on your website can be configured to do any of the following activities.
It is possible to build a form that does conditional logic.
- Example: If the response to question 1 is “UArizona,” display a follow up question that asks “Why did you select this inferior school?”
Responses from the form can also trigger conditional actions.
- Example: If the response to question 1 is “banannas” email person 2 instead of person 1 with the results.
- Example: When someone submits this form, also add their email address to my email list.
It is also possible to gather submissions from people who are submitting things via the form.
- Our preference for storing these submissions is to set up the form to automatically place any uploaded/attached object into a shared Dropbox folder for you to collect as needed.
- Links to the attached Dropbox file are automatically included in any email generated by the form.
Basic Form Workflow Questions
When submitting a request for us to build a form on your website, these are the additional answers that we will need from you.
1. What questions did you want to ask of the people who are filling out your form?
- There are multiple types of responses that we can gather from your form including all of the basic UI controls.
- Text responses can be either a single line response or a space for a full paragraph. Either control can also come with or without rich text formatting conrols like bold, italics, hyperlinking, etc.
- Responses that need to be limited to a certain length are measured by character count instead of a word count. (Fun fact: The average length of all English words is 4.7 characters per word.)
2. When the form is completed, we can end the user experience in one of two ways. You’ll need to decide which is best for you.
- Informal forms typically display a brief message on the form page saying “yay, you did it” as well as a quick indication of what happens next.
- Formal forms typically redirect to a completely separate thank you page on your site. This page should tell the user what happens next with the information they submitted. It can also contain links to the next appropriate place for them to visit within your website. This formal redirection also helps with analytics goals if you are looking to measure a form’s “conversion rate” from a tool like Google Analytics.
3. The results from the form can be emailed to you (or someone in your office) directly.
- That address is relatively easy to change or reroute for vacations, etc.
- Who would like a copy of the information once submitted?
- And, should that message be formatted in a specific way to make it easier to consume.
4. The results of the form are also typically sent back to the person who submitted it.
- This send-back message is a really effective place to include the next steps in your business process. Be sure to answer the question about what will happen next with the information provided including how long will it take for the form to be answered or actioned. Messages about data security or privacy can also be included here.
- It is also an opportunity to provide direct contact information for the person behind the process, should they need to reach out directly.
- Finally, this is also an opportunity to provide a targeted marketing message to to the person who submitted your form if appropriate. Encouraging further connections through social media is a good way to close the message.