Web forms: what is it, what are they for and how to create them
Web forms, also known as HTML forms, are online pages that allow input from different users. They are interactive resources with the same format as a paper form, where people can fill out particular fields.
They are mainly used to recover data and information from a specific group of people . This type of information is processed and stored to carry out other types of work.
In a form there are two basic parts:
- The program or script that helps process information retrieved from users.
- The interface or page that has the form structure (fields, labels, buttons, etc.)
By meeting these two basic elements, your forms are ready to collect the information your users enter.
Importance of forms
For starters, forms help you manage and collect information efficiently and easily. Likewise, they help to have the information stored and organized to carry out the corresponding analyses. These types of forms are essential to obtain the necessary information from potential clients .
By knowing customers through their responses, it is much easier to take measures and retention strategies. This is done in order to increase sales and establish a much stronger relationship with customers.
Benefits of forms
If you still have doubts regarding the use of web forms, here are some reasons why these elements can be beneficial for your company or brand. Learn about the advantages below.
Thanks to the program or script that processes user information, it can be stored and viewed in real time. Therefore, it is ideal for companies that want to make reports or information flows as quickly as possible. In this way, you avoid moving and processing physical documents that result in a time-consuming and unproductive process.
I save money and time
In addition to the previous point, using web forms translates into a much simpler and more productive process. In addition, we leave behind the era of printing, distributing and storing hundreds of forms. With an automated program, it is possible to collect all the data you want and have it at your fingertips at any time. Without a doubt, there is a visible saving of time and money in the use of web forms.
Improve information flow
It is natural that, when using web forms, the management of information becomes much more fluid. Data is processed and displayed in many ways, leaving behind the use of physical formats that had to be captured and processed manually for storage.
There is a massive reach
There is no doubt about this advantage. Web forms can have a greater distribution than physical ones. Plus, they can have massive reach if shared through the right channels.
Every good form must have essential features that are easy for users to attend to. Next, you will learn which are the main items that a well-prepared form must comply with.
Be clear and simple
Both the interface and the instructions should make the user feel calm and with zero confusion. It is important not to make a form that requires a lot of effort, as the person may choose to abandon it.
Use of CTA
If the intention is for users to enter the form and share their data, what better way to do it than through a call to action. Using an attractive CTA will help obtain those conversions we want.
Visual contrast with the site
This feature is much more visual and stylish than the rest. It is important to present forms that stimulate people through colors and their integration of elements. Make sure the forms accurately represent the company.
Go from the general to the particular
This means that the degree of complexity that is going to be handled in the form has to increase little by little. It is important to start with basic questions (such as asking name, age, gender, occupation, etc.) until reaching slightly more detailed questions about what you really want to know.
Information about the form
This is essential in any type of form. It is desired that each form have a title and a brief description that, in addition to attracting the user's attention, declares that the data provided will not be misused. It is essential to appeal to good practices and management of user information.
Clear writing to avoid errors
It is important to be as clear as possible with the instructions. It is ideal that they be brief, but well explained, so that the user does not get bored reading extensive and poorly written instructions.
Types of forms relevant to your company
There are various types of forms, each with its own characteristics and purposes. Next, we will present to you what these forms are and what their elements are.
These types of forms help to start a relationship between the company and the user, since the basis of a bilateral contact is established. It is ideal for receiving notifications and updates of all kinds.
It works as a tool that houses a company's customer data. This is done in order to save a person's preferences and personal data to facilitate future actions. It serves to improve service to users.
In addition to the registration form, this type of form helps to know and save customer data when placing an order. Here you can find out the delivery address, payment method and billing information.
These are employed by charities and non-profit organisations. They are usually used to know the personal and contact information of donors.
In one of the simplest forms there can be, since very little data is requested. Likewise, they are often used to ensure that users subscribe to content that may be of interest to them, mainly newsletters. From these forms, it is possible to build a spectrum of customer loyalty.
We've all been through a login form. And they are essential so that users can access their data or information from a certain site.
They are used to rate the experience, help or quality of a website, product or service. They are usually known as Likert surveys and CSAT satisfaction scale.
How to create a form on a web page?
To create a form on a web page, you need to use the HTML language, which is the markup language used to structure the content of a web page. HTML allows you to create different types of elements, such as text, images, links, buttons, etc. Forms are a special type of element that allow you to collect information from users, such as their name, email, preferences, etc.
To create a form in HTML, you need to use the <form> tag, which defines the start and end of the form. Inside the <form> tag, you can use other tags to create the different fields or controls of the form, such as <input>, <select>, <textarea>, <label>, etc. Each tag has its own attributes, which specify the type, name, value, size, style, and other characteristics of the field.
For example, if you want to create a simple form that asks for the user's name and email, you could use the following HTML code:
<form> <label for=“name”>Name:</label> <input type=“text” id=“name” name=“name” required> <label for=“email”>Email:</label > <input type=“email” id=“email” name=“email” required> <button type=“submit”>Send</button> </form>
This code would create a form with two text fields and a button to submit the information. The for attribute of the <label> tag indicates which field the label refers to. The type attribute of the <input> tag indicates the type of data that is expected to be entered into the field. The required attribute indicates that the field is required and cannot be left empty. The id attribute is used to uniquely identify the field. The name attribute is used to send the name and value of the field to the server when the form is submitted.
If you want to see what this form looks like on a web page, you can copy and paste this code into an online editor like CodePen either JSFiddle and see the result.
There are many more types of fields and attributes that you can use to create more complex and custom forms.
Software to create web forms
There are many software to create web forms, but I am going to mention three that I find interesting and useful:
- Typeform : It is a software that allows you to create online forms with an attractive design and a fluid user experience. You can choose from more than 3,000 templates or create your own form from scratch with 28 different question types. You can also integrate your form with other applications such as Google Sheets, Slack, Hubspot or Salesforce.
- JotForm : It is a software that offers you the tools to create beautiful and functional forms for all your needs. You can access over 10,000 free templates, customize your form theme, accept online payments, and connect your form with over 100 integrations. It has an artificial intelligence feature that helps you create forms automatically.
- Wufoo : It is a software that allows you to create powerful and professional forms with a simple and easy-to-use interface. You can use over 400 templates or start from scratch with over 30 field types. You can also generate reports and analysis of the data you collect with your form and synchronize it with other platforms such as Mailchimp, Dropbox or PayPal.
Written by Moises Hamui Abadi : I am an entrepreneur, founding partner of Viceversa and SoyMacho. After leading several digital businesses and advising several other businesses; I decided to form MHA Consulting, a digital marketing consultancy dedicated to growing and enhancing digital businesses in more than 7 countries and generating more than 1,500 million pesos.
Schedule a call with MHA and learn about how to create perfect forms and sell more and better.