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Formstack Small Business Handbook

Learn how online forms can help your business grow.

How Forms Add Value

The value of online forms extends way beyond collecting information. To help you get the most out of your forms, we put together a few ways forms can be leveraged to streamline communication, organize data, and simplify processes. While not exhaustive, this list is designed to get you thinking about the many ways forms can benefit your business.

Nurture Your Relationships

Lead nurturing can be easily explained by comparing it to dating. First, you meet, and then you date, until finally you make the relationship official. Everything that happens from the first meeting to sealing the relationship deal is the nurturing phase. The same principle can be applied to nurturing qualified sales leads from their first brush with your brand until their decision to buy.

Lead nurturing allows you to keep in touch with your non sales-ready prospects so you can continue the conversation until they decide to buy. You can do this by periodically touching base with them through automated, one-to-one emails. But first, in order to do this, you need their email addresses. And there lies the beauty of an online form. Let’s say a prospect — we’ll call her Caitlin — visits your site, pokes around a bit, and decides she’d like to sign up for your newsletter (or blog feed or white paper or whatever content you have to offer prospects that they would be willing to disclose their email to receive). This form should be simple, asking for a small amount of information such as her name and email address. Asking for too much too quickly is like asking for a commitment on a first date – you run the risk of scaring your prospect away. Once Caitlin submits her information, that info can either be stored in your Formstack account database and/ or you can choose to have that info emailed directly to you or the person of your choosing. Now that you have Caitlin’s info, you can use integrated online tools to help automate the rest of your nurture phase. Since we’ve partnered with several email marketing services, you can integrate your email tool with your Formstack lead form, which allows you to automatically send Caitlin’s info to your email tool and add her as a subscriber to one of your lists. So, if Caitlin signed up for a newsletter, she will be added to your list of newsletter subscribers. This way, you know her entry point and what message you need to communicate to her next. This is known as the “lead-nurture track.”

The best way to organize your lead-nurture track is to use a CRM system (Client Relationship Management) to help you manage your communication and touch point schedule. You can integrate your Formstack lead form with your CRM system allowing you to add your prospects automatically from your lead forms to your CRM. Now that Caitlin is added to a lead-nurture track, you can set up automated email campaigns and tasks within your CRM. This ensures that you are continuing to engage with Caitlin for as long as she is willing to engage with you. If Caitlin signed up to receive your newsletter, the next email she receives could invite her to download a free white paper. After she downloads the white paper, you can have an email automatically sent to a sales rep to follow up with her. Depending upon your sales cycle, you can schedule emails to be sent on a timeline that works best for your process. Simply put, online forms enable you to start a conversation and nurture a prospect down the path toward conversion. Whether you nurture the prospect with an automated email campaign, send a follow-up email yourself or pass the information to a sales rep, Formstack provides the tools you need to start qualifying a prospect that you may have otherwise missed completely.

Improve Internal Communication

When working on a project or account that requires several people, it’s tough to stay organized and assure communication efficiency. Online forms can help businesses stay organized and keep everyone up to speed on the necessary information. Here are four smart ways online forms can improve internal communication:

  1. Sharable data and dynamic reporting

    Formstack allows you to share any data that you collect with your colleagues without giving them your account information. You can send them a link that lets them preview all the necessary information. Collecting a large amount of data? Use our charts and reporting tools to summarize the results to share with your team. You can even use the full and wide screen features, allowing you to present your data in a professional looking way.

  2. Notification and confirmation emails

    When collecting information from customers, users, partners, etc. not everyone needs to see all the information gathered. Use the notification email feature to send certain data to individual teammates based on how questions are answered. For example, if a customer says they are in the Midwest, you can set up an email notification to be automatically sent to the salesperson that covers that region. This feature eliminates clutter while still getting the right information to the right people. When using the confirmation emails, you can automatically send a message to the person who filled out your form, confirming all the details they submitted. If you have coworkers or team members who have filled out an HR form or appointment request, you can send an appointment confirmation as an easy way to remind them.

  3. Third-party Integrations

    With Formstack’s network of integrations, you can collect data and automatically send it to a third-party payment processor, CRM tool, or another database. To avoid redundancy and confusion, be sure to check out how you can use one of our integrations to streamline your data collection and management processes.

  4. Mobile Apps

    Never be uninformed when it comes to your data – even when you’re not near your desk. Formstack offers a mobile app for Windows, iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices to quickly gather information around top performing forms, number of daily submissions and views, individual submission data, and much more.

With Formstack, you can easily organize and share your collected data. The more resources you have to streamline your communication process, the less headaches, meetings, and emails you’ll have trying to clear up any redundancies or confusion.

Conclusion

At Formstack, we love forms and all they can do for our clients’ businesses and organizations. This Formstack Small Business Handbook should provide you with a strong foundation of ways forms can help your business grow. We also know you might have more questions. Fortunately, we have answers. From our blog to our Support team, we’re here for you if and when you need us. Happy form building!

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