Forms roll all key online interactions: registration (for community boards or exclusive website areas), checkout and payment (e-commerce websites), feedback and sharing (contact forms on all types of websites and blogs). Why is there such a need for automation?
When approached by a wide number of people on your website, it’s obviously not a good choice to ask them for an e-mail message. It would imply they open a mail client and do a few extra steps which dramatically increase abandon rates.
It’s vital to offer your site’s visitors a handy interface to get in touch with you, while keeping anti-spam guard on. What a form does is basically gather data input in a secure way and send it to the site owner by e-mail.
Why you should be using a form building app?
Now let’s go one step further. With a dedicated form generating system you can do a lot more:
- Enrich the form appearance with CSS in a simple way
- Receive and store extensive file uploads: images, videos
- Encrypt data using SSL
- View statistics of the submitted data, draw reports over it
- Improve site performance, specially if you are using a WordPress plugin
- … and many others
Form building may not be the biggest challenge for a developer. However, if you’ve been there you know it’s not the most pleasant task either. It requires server and database administration, tricky debugging and hours of working time. At some point, you may not want to deal with so much hassle when the whole job of building and maintaining forms can be handled by a remotely hosted form generator.
How can you make use of 123ContactForm?
This app provides form building tools for virtually any web platform: HTML sites, blogs, Facebook pages, Google Sites, Twitter, MySpace. Forms are also accessible on mobile terminals. 123ContactForm (aff link) runs on dedicated high-secure servers with daily backups, so you can breathe easy about your data protection. Users can direct any inquiries to their support team, which is 24/7 available on live chat.
It takes just 3 simple steps to create any type of form or survey and implement it on your page for visitors to fill in. All is intuitive, 123ContactForm requires no coding skills. Contact forms, registration forms, surveys, order forms with payment integration – these are some of the basic forms you can build. There’s also a collection of ready-made form templates for a lot of purposes that will help you save a great deal of time, just pick and use.
You can design the form in a WYSIWYG editor with drag and drop fields. Input validation is included. Along with common fields like Name, Email or Phone, you can also find advanced ones – file upload (in dozens of formats), Google Maps, social buttons on your form. Longer forms can be split into multiple pages, so that they look lightweight and easy to fill in.
A great element for web accessibility is field branching in multi-level forms (dynamic forms). It involves a set of logic rules over fields so that they show or hide depending on user’s input. On each alternative the person chooses, there’s a whole new set of fields to display. 123ContactForm makes it easy to build such dynamic forms.
When you design a form for your website, you wish it to match the exact look and feel of the surroundings. With 123ContactForm you can style forms using a gallery of color themes and even apply CSS to create unique looks.
Once a user fills in the form, you receive a copy of the submission by email, even to multiple addresses if you wish. Form entries get stored in an online repository where you can access them with queries or draw reports to catch a visual glimpse on statistics. Data export to CSV is also possible.
Spam has no way to get near your forms, as 123ContactForm uses CAPTCHA and a whole range of additional security options: password, IP restrictions, country filter. For sensitive data transfer, such as with order forms, you are provided SSL encryption.
Form solutions for any business
Bloggers – Every website needs at least one form. It’s the same for blogs, where the Contact Us page is a must-have in order to look trustworthy and business-like. With 123ContactForm it’s most easy to create contact forms and newsletter subscription boxes, just as iBlogZone.com has (see sidebar). You can make forms for Blogger too using this app, which is a great advantage since as you may know the Google blogging platform doesn’t allow server-side scripting which would make it impossible to code your own forms.
Web design and development agencies – can find some special features on 123ContactForm, apart from the main form building facilities. Let’s take just one example. When you work for your clients’ websites, you wish everything to be uniquely crafted, forms included. With 123ContactForm you can set a domain alias, so that forms will look like hosted on your own web property with no mention of this third party app. Forms are 100% white label, so that you can add your logo and make it all look like built by your own hands. Smart one!
Small business sales departments – Today, many businesses use web forms as a sales instrument, especially for lead collecting and e-commerce check out. With 123ContactForm you can populate your landing pages with effective forms that will tighten your sales funnel and perform the maximum possible conversions from casual visitors into leads for further sales. 123ContactForm integrates with popular 3rd party apps (MailChimp, SalesForce, VerticalResponse) that help you direct the form leads you are collecting into CRM systems and contact lists for email marketing. Multiple language forms are available, to help users get beyond dialect gaps. Thousands of small businesses are already using 123ContactForm.
Marketing executives – Most market studies in the era of the Big Data rely heavily upon online surveys for testing variables such as customer satisfaction and loyalty, business demographics, pricing perception. With 123ContactForm companies can collect data easily and obtain statistics at a glance, the DIY way, without having to use complicated research tools. Savvy marketers can also track referral information about their customers who submit forms: IP of the submitter, the browser used etc.
E-commerce – Order forms created with 123ContactForm can help you receive limitless payment without having to set a laborious shopping cart. The fee can be one-time or recurring (for donations or subscriptions). You can set your forms to accept payments from PayPal, Authorize.Net and Google Checkout.
Pros and cons
Having the forms hosted on remote servers may not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, 123ContactForm has special security scripts that clear any possible issue. The app also offers plenty of flexibility in accessing your form data and using it. Domain aliasing makes it hard to guess that your forms are actually hosted elsewhere.
As a developer, you may feel a little restrained by the fact that the form script is generated automatically. For this reason, 123ContactForm provides the inline HTML of the form too, so that you can do further tweaks upon the code if you’d like to.
How to register?
123ContactForm is a freemium service, with special discounts for NPOs and for any purchase of the yearly plans. To register free, just click on the green SIGN UP button in the upper right side of the screen. Users that have a Yahoo, Google, Google Apps or Facebook account can sign up using these profiles. It’s that easy. And did I mention that 123ConctForm also has an affiliate program? How cool is that :).
That’s it! Happy form building!
this post brought to you by 123contactform.com