“Who do you recommend?” is probably a common question you hear from your clients when recommending plug-ins, modules, and functionality to help build better websites.
But when it comes to form builders, how do you choose? There are so many form providers on the market, all with different functionality and features. Choosing the right form partner depends greatly on your client’s goals.
4 Features to Keep in Mind When Researching Solutions
If you’re building a website for a customer or client and need a form solution, or if your client just asked you for a recommendation, do you have a go-to partner you feel confident using or recommending?
Your clients rely on your experience to add the right form platform to their sites or recommend the best one out there. If you need a proven solution you can have faith in recommending, use these four features as you vet options and narrow down your list.
Data breaches make the news more often than we’re comfortable with, surely. And consumers are on high alert about who has their data and how it’s being used. The form builder you recommend must follow the most stringent guidelines to protect customer data.
When reviewing platforms for their security levels and measures, keep an eye out for (and ask them about):
- Data redundancy, including backups of information
- Encryption, both for forms and the data input into them
- HIPAA compliance, especially for organizations that handle any type of personal health information (PHI)
- Personal card information (PCI) certification, which is essential if your client’s site handles any type of payment gateway for goods or services
- Privacy, especially for data input into the form, and how it’s stored or who has access to it
- Spam protection, which eliminates bots or other nefarious sources the ability to access your forms and potentially your data
- Secure socket layer (SSL), essential to the form experience because it keeps the connection secure as data is input and stored in the database
If this information isn’t easy to see from a vendor’s marketing assets, be sure to ask directly about how they protect consumer information and data. Your client’s website experience deserves the best possible security for their form users.
2. Ease of Use
Your clients have enough going on in their world, so why not eliminate the confusion of learning yet another tool to manage their website?
When reviewing vendors and potential form solutions for your clients, find out if the solution offers:
- Customizable elements, so your client can tailor forms to their unique needs, including thank-you messages, workflows, and rules
- Drag-and-drop design, which makes it easy to edit and rearrange form layouts quickly and efficiently
- Duplicate form options, so your client doesn’t have to start from scratch with each new form
- Quick build options, including default field types like name, email, and phone number that have the necessary field lengths and functionality pre-built
- Version control, or the ability to see previous versions and most recent edits to the form
- What-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG), a handy editing feature so form administrators can see how the field will look as they’re building the form
An intuitive form builder is essential to any client’s success in building conversions, email lists, marketing funnels, and more. Find a tool that’s easy to use so your client and their team can keep their brand thriving.
3. Submission Management
Forms are started and not completed for many reasons. Sometimes the user gets interrupted and abandons the form, other times they accidentally close a window. Whatever the case may be, submission management is an essential function of the best form tools.
Submission management should allow your client to:
- Monitor submitted and abandoned forms
- Follow-up with contacts, rosters, and registrants, if needed
- Track the rate of abandonment
- Pull reports on abandonment versus completion to identify opportunities to improve the form experience
By tying form use and submissions to analytics and tracking, you’ll be able to better understand the site visitor’s journey, which may influence where the form is placed, or how it’s promoted throughout the site. You can also set goals for form conversions, allowing your client to monitor the success of their form performance.
Ask the potential form vendors you’re recommending about these functionalities, too.
4. Seamless Experience
Now that mobile use has overtaken desktop use, it’s important that the forms your client builds create a seamless, headache-free experience for their web visitors. Specifically, this means that:
- Fields should not change length between desktop and mobile
- Fields should not stack oddly or incorrectly on mobile versus desktop
- Form flow should feel comfortable and easy to complete between mobile and desktop
- Grouping of fields, if applicable, is easy to understand on both mobile and desktop
Your selected form solution should be seamless in how it’s implemented on your client’s site, regardless of the content management system (CMS) used. Whether it’s WordPress or Drupal, the selected form solution should be easy to embed without negatively impacting the user experience.
The form solution you choose should also make it easy to control best practices in form design, too, such as grouping fields, naming fields, providing instructional text, and more.
Ask for a Demo
When working with potential form vendors and partners, ask about a free trial or demo of the product so that you can get a good idea of how the form solution works. As a potential partner, you have the right to know the ins and outs of a product before your recommend it to your clients. After all, it’s your name on the line, too.
If you’re looking for an ideal form solution that’s secure, easy to use, and delivers a seamless experience for administrators and users, request a demo of Formulate.