How to Create a Form that Prospects Actually Want to Fill Out

How to Create a Form that Prospects Actually Want to Fill Out

Last Updated on February 10, 2022 by Rakesh Gupta

Converting more prospects, to marketing-qualified leads, based on their activities, is a balancing act. Indeed, it poses a Goldilocks syndrome – asking too many questions may confuse and overwhelm your prospects; on the other hand, if you ask too few questions, it would hamper your ability to capture necessary information to vet a lead. Unfortunately, either case would have a negative impact on your prospect generation process.

Check out this article – Expedia gained $12 million in profit by removing just one redundant field from a Form. The field in question was Company Name. The field was confusing because prospects thought that Expedia was asking for their Bank’s name! Due to the confusion, the prospects entered their bank’s address instead of their home address. The error, in turn, frustrated the prospects because it led to failed transactions.

Reference -World wide web

In this blog, I will discuss the importance of Form Design in prospect generation process. Then, I will explain why, using Pardot Form, is one of the most effective and efficient ways to achieve a higher rate of prospect generation.

Form design is a critical piece of prospect generation process. So, if you want to create a form that your prospects actually want to fill out then, you need to consider following key points:

  • The Form must be on an eye-catching landing page.
  • The Form must be easy to populate and capture relevant information.

In general, the rule of thumb is, ask as few questions to your prospects as necessary. When the only handful of questions are asked, it reduces chances of errors, confusion and/or frustration. As Expedia’s experience reveals, a minor change on the Form eliminated the source of confusion and made a huge difference to their prospects.

What Does A Form Conversion Mean?

Form conversion is the moment when a visitor hits the ‘send’ button on the Form. The prospect form will likely be one of the first interactions your potential customers may have with you. As a result, the form needs to make a very good first impression. 

If so then, what is the secret sauce of Form Conversion? Glad you asked! Please refer to the following recipe.

First and foremost, do not design a complicated, or in-depth, form. Prospect form should ask enough information to determine the quality of a lead without, confusing or frustrating, a prospect. Once you decide what information will be required for the form, you need to ensure that you are following these best practice tips:

  1. Should your form be colorful and contain logos or images? Yes, make sure to use the brand colors – to increases brand awareness, make a visually appealing form.
  2. Should you use radio buttons, drop-down menus, check boxes or a blank data field? Evaluate each field individually. Determine which style is typical or makes the most sense for each field. For example, most information forms use radio buttons for fixed options and blank data fields for the last name or email address. These tips will help your prospects to fill a form faster and you may generate more prospects. 
  3. Is the form responsive? A responsive design is a worthy feature. Having to scroll up, down, or side to side, on a mobile device, is not only confusing and time-consuming but, it also acts as a prospect repellent!

Finally, before uploading a prospect form on your site, test it. Test it in-house and test it using outside sources. Test! Test! Test!

Benefits of using Pardot hosted Forms

Forms are a powerful way to collect information about visitors and turn anonymous visitors into identified prospects. Pardot also allows us to use third-party forms and pass prospects’ data into Pardot using Form Handler. We will discuss Form Handler feature in the upcoming blog post.

There are several benefits to using Pardot hosted Form, as opposed to, third-party forms. By using Pardot hosted Form you can take the advantage of the following built-in features:

  1. Progressive Profiling: – Marketers progressively gain lead details, while still growing lead conversions because leads are not turned off by the amount of information they are asked to provide. For example, if the country selected is United States then, Pardot displays Phone field. 
  2. Email Validation: – Prevents prospects from submitting an invalid or unrelated email addresses through your forms, or form handlers, by selecting email validation options on a per-form basis.
  3. Drag-and-drop Form Builder: – Build a form using drag and drop method instead of using codes.
  4. Add prospects fields: – Allows you to add prospect custom or default fields on your Form.
  5. Make fields required: – It is easy to make a field required in Form by selecting a checkbox.
  6. Personalized Pardot Form: – Allows you to personalize Thank You content and redirect your prospects to different pages based on the field value, which helps in increasing completion and submission rates.
  7. Use Completion Action: – As soon as your prospect completes a form, you can send autoresponders (helpful in gated content), add them to email lists, and notify users of completion actions.
  8. Bot Protection Pardot forms naturally protect you against bot submissions.

Creating a Form 

Pardot Form comes with a reporting feature to monitor your form’s performance. The reporting feature is available irrespective of whether the form is on a Pardot landing page or on your own website.

Let us start with a business use case. David Haditsch is working as Content Marketing Manager at GurukulOnCloud. At GurukulOnCloud, they are running their first campaign to promote their products and track activities of visitors and prospects on the corporate website. To capture prospects’ data they want to create a Form which includes following fields:

  • First name
  • Last Name
  • Company
  • Email

To create a new form, perform the following instructions: 

  1. Click on Marketing | Forms
  2. Then click on the + Add Form button, as shown in the following screenshot: 
  3. The next step is to enter few details, as mentioned below:
    1.  Name for new form – for this scenario, enter Brand Awareness as name
    2. Add Tags to organize your form. If you want to learn more about folders and tags then, refer to this article Overview of Folders and Tags
    3. Select a Folder where you want to save the form – for this scenario, select Brand Awareness (If folder does not exist, create one)
    4. At the end, select a Campaign for your Form from the drop-down. For current scenario, select Brand Awareness campaign (Overview of Pardot Campaign). 
  4. Once you are done, click on the Next button
  5. The next step is to add fields, by default a new Form contains First Name, Last Name, Company and Email fields. To add or modify fields, perform the following actions
    1. To add fields, click + Add Another Field.
    2. Using the arrow you can drag-and-drop your fields to arrange them.
    3. Edit the settings (required, always display, etc.) for the field with the pencil icon. In my next blog, I will take a deeper dive by showing you how to add an additional field, make a field required and use Progressive Profiling.
  6. Once you are done, click on the Next button
  7. The next step is to modify Form’s ‘Look and Feel’. The options available under Look and Feel section are:
    1. Layout Template: – allows you to select a layout for your Form’s layout and appearance. For current scenario, select Standard Layout template.
    2. Submit button: – allows you to change the text that a submit button will show on the Form. For current scenario, enter the text, SIGN UP. It is also possible to use an image on your submit button. 
    3. Above Form Tab: – allows you to add text, that will appear above the Form’s Submit button.
    4. Below Form Tab: – allows you to add information to be displayed directly below the form’s Submit button. 
    5. Styles Tab: – allows you to control the look and feel of Form elements – examples include, fonts, label alignment, and checkbox alignment – without the need for custom CSS.
    6. Advanced Tab: – allows you to controls the way your form behaves.  For instance, Advanced Tab allows you to add bot protection using reCAPTCHA; enable Kiosk/Data Entry Mode (Do not cookie browser as submitted prospect); and, reset the form by selecting the option Include “Not you?” link to allow visitors to reset the form
  8. Once you are done, click on the Next button
  9. The next step is to add Thank You Content or Thank You Code to specify what is displayed once a prospect submits a form. In addition, you can also define completion action. 
    1. Thank you content displays immediately after a prospect clicks the submit button. For current scenario add Thank you! as thank you content. 
    2. If you want to redirect your prospects to different pages, based on the field value then, consider using Thank you code.
    3. If a prospect fills out a form and then, tries to use the same form within 10-minutes, he/she will not see the form again. Instead, he/she will see the Thank You Content. If you want to modify this feature then, select Always display form after submission option. Please note that this option is enabled by default in Kiosk Mode and it is not editable.
    4. If you want to redirect your prospect to a particular page without displaying the Thank You Content, then, select Redirect the prospect instead of showing the form’s Thank You Content checkbox. 
    5. Completion Action allows you to take the action as soon as the form is submitted by a prospect. Completion actions are not retroactive for prospects who filled out the form before you added a completion action. Completion action will fire overtime when a form is submitted by the prospect. In my upcoming blog, I will take a deeper dive by showing you how to add a completion action to your Form.
  10. Once you are done, click on the Next button
  11. Now you are on the Confirmation and Save page, that displays a summary of your form’s details. 
  12. Once you are done with all the changes, the final step is to click on the Confirm & Save button. Your form is now live and hosted on its own URL. 
  13. To see a sample, you can access my form by navigating to this URL

–> When a visitor submits a form in Kiosk Mode, Pardot looks for prospects with a matching email address. If there are multiple matching prospects, the submission will be associated with the prospect that has the most recent Last Activity field value. If the prospect with the most recent Last Activity field value is in the Recycle Bin, then, the prospect will be undeleted. If there are no matches, Pardot will create a new prospect.

In my next blog, I will take a deeper dive by showing you how to add an additional field, make a field required and, use Progressive Profiling.

Proofreader: - Munira Majmundar

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