I Bet You Never Thought To Use a Form for That!

When you’re building a WordPress website, there are some essential elements you likely want to include, such as a contact form. However, limiting your use of forms to your contact page is a missed opportunity to increase leads, boost engagement, and enhance the overall User Experience (UX).

There are many ways you can use forms on your WordPress site beyond providing visitors with a contact method. From collecting user feedback to generating leads and expanding your mailing list, forms offer dynamic and convenient ways to drive conversions.

In this post, we’ll start by discussing the role forms play in WordPress and how they can help you collect valuable information. Then we’ll introduce you to eight creative ways to use them on your site with some tips for making them effective.

Note: We’ve saved the most surprising ways for the end, so keep reading!

An Introduction to Using Forms on Your WordPress Site

When most people think of website forms, they likely think of contact forms. These simple, embedded features let your visitors enter basic information to get in touch with you:

However, the use of online forms extends far beyond contact points. These documents allow you to easily and conveniently collect a wide variety of information from users and visitors directly from your website. You can also use them across other channels such as email and social media.

Website forms are beneficial because they provide straightforward ways of collecting lead-generating data that you can store and use in the future. Therefore, forms are essential tools to help you with marketing, sales, and promotions. 

Another benefit of using forms on your WordPress site is that creating and embedding them is quick and easy. 

For example, if you’re looking to create a standard form, you can use the Jetpack plugin:

There are a handful of plugins you can use if you require different functionality, depending on your needs. 

6 Ways to Use Forms Beyond the Standard Contact Form + 2 That Might Surprise You

Now that we understand more about the role forms play in websites, let’s look at their different use cases. Below are six creative ways to use forms on your WordPress site, aside from your contact page. 

1. Run Fun Contests and Giveaways

Running contests and giveaways on your website is an excellent way to boost engagement. Giving away freebies can help promote your brand and spread awareness about specific products and offerings. 

To make it as simple as possible for your customers to enter the contest, you can use an embedded or pop-up form to collect their information, such as names and email addresses:

This form provides you with customer contact information that you can use for future campaigns. People will be more likely to hand over their details when they know they have a chance to win something in return. 

2. Register Users for Memberships and Events

If you run a membership site or host events, you can use website forms to make user registration a breeze:

For example, you can use these forms to let visitors sign up for a service.

You can also utilize them for event registration, such as an upcoming webinar. Like a giveaway, this can be an effective lead-generation technique because you’re giving users something in exchange for their contact details.

Another way to use registration forms is to sign up a customer for a free trial of your product or service. This method makes it easy for you to collect their information and upsell products at the end of their free trial period.

3. Collect Feedback From Customers

Regularly asking for and considering customer feedback is essential when running a business. It can help you identify opportunities to improve. Collecting user input also shows your audience that you value their opinions.

You can use forms on your WordPress site to ask your customers for feedback:

The feedback can be about a product they recently purchased, the level of customer support they recently received, or areas they think your business could do better. 

Many people appreciate the opportunity to have their opinions heard. Providing a quick and easy way for users to voice their feedback can help facilitate a better customer experience.

4. Conduct User Surveys

In the same vein as customer feedback are user surveys. If you want to poll a large user base on a specific topic, using a form questionnaire is a quick and efficient way of doing so:

You can use surveys to effortlessly capture insights for data-driven marketing decisions. These forms can help you gather meaningful research on key topics using real-time customer feedback.

Plus, there are a handful of standard form responses you can use. For example, you can incorporate multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and long-form responses.

5. Let Users Sign Up for Your Mailing List

Email marketing is a powerful way to grow your audience, expand brand awareness, and increase engagement. However, figuring out how to grow your subscriber list can be challenging.

One way to expand your subscriber list is by embedding a newsletter signup form on your website. It lets you easily capture the email addresses of your visitors:

One of the benefits of signup forms is that there are so many different areas you can place them. For example, you can insert them in the header or footer of your website. This placement ensures the forms are easily accessible no matter which pages your users are on. 

You can also use forms as exit-intent pop-ups. For example, as visitors are about to leave your website, you can have the signup form appear with a convenient Call To Action (CTA).

6. Enable Applicants to Apply for Jobs

Recruiting and hiring new talent is a staple in any successful business. However, the application process you use can influence the number of applicants and the quality.

Today, many job seekers want a quick and convenient way to apply to jobs they’re interested in. To make the process as convenient as possible for your prospects, you can add a form on your website that enables potential employees to apply to open positions:

You can embed these forms directly below the job descriptions. Plus, you can enable applicants to attach documents, such as resumes and cover letters. This feature eliminates the number of steps users must complete to submit their information for different positions. 

Using a form also helps you keep all the necessary information of applicants in one place for easy access. This can streamline the vetting process and, ultimately, help you find the most qualified applicants. 

7. “Name It!” Campaign – Involve Users In Product Decisions

Raise your hand if you’ve ever eagerly suggested a name for someone’s new puppy, or your local zoo’s newborn giraffe. Users love feeling useful, so give them a fun job. Create a form that allows visitors to suggest a name for your latest product or mascot. An entire viral campaign can sometimes emerge simply from a “name this” campaign. 

8. Story Telling Time: Group Writing Project

This idea might have more limited uses, but with a little creativity, you should be able to adapt it for most situations. Suppose, for example, you own a dog grooming business. You’ve decided to offer a new service focused on taking fun pet portraits, where pet owners can get photos taken of their pets in costume or with interesting backgrounds.

To really kick off this new service, you’ve decided to do something very different. You set up a daily series of forms that allow users to write a collaborative fictional story about a group of superhero pets. Each day users submit a paragraph designed to expand upon the previous days’ entries. You, of course, will curate the entries and only post the best ones that continue the storyline. Once you’ve declared the story complete, you give each participant a coupon for a free pet portrait of their own!

Can I Use This For My Business, Though?

Think you can’t make use of this tip for your stodgy old business? There is nothing stodgier than an office product supply business, right? So how can you get creative with that?

Consider hosting a group writing project that tells the story of “The Case of the Missing InkJet Printer”. Give your users some basic clues to start with that might go something like this…

Sandy, the general manager’s office assistant, clicked Print. But when she walked over to the cubicle to retrieve her report from the printer, she was stunned. The printer stand was empty! After searching the entire office, and asking every coworker if they knew what happened, she was shocked to discover that the ink jet printer had simply vanished”.

Ask your visitors to continue the story by submitting their ideas in a form. It will be fun to see how creative people can be when uncovering the “truth” behind a missing item. Of course, the end result will be a coupon for the latest, greatest inkjet printer on the market, plus a lot of fun for everyone.

Tips for Creating Effective Website Forms

Once you decide to create a particular type of website form, the next step is to build it. As we mentioned earlier, there are various tools you can use to do so. 

However, regardless of which plugin you use to create your forms, there are some essential tips to keep in mind to ensure effectiveness. For example:

  • Keep things simple. Only include the necessary information to keep the forms as brief and concise as possible. Otherwise, you risk overwhelming users and reducing the likelihood of completing the form.
  • Minimize the amount of typing involved. In most cases, your customers won’t want to spend considerable time filling out lengthy responses to form questions. Therefore, it’s a smart idea to include multiple choice answers when possible (and where applicable).
  • Provide clear instructions. To make your forms as effective as possible, it’s vital to ensure that users understand what you’re asking and how to complete the fields correctly. You might consider adding example answers to demonstrate the type of responses you’re looking for.

Best practices for creating website forms vary based on the type you’re building and what your end goal is. However, it’s crucial to prioritize the UX to make the data collection process quick and effortless for your customers. 

Conclusion

Most website owners understand the importance of including contact forms on their websites. However, many overlook the various ways that forms can help drive conversions and generate leads.

As discussed in this post, you can use plenty of strategies to get creative with your forms. For example, you can use them to register users for events, conduct user surveys, let visitors sign up for your mailing list, and offer a seamless way to apply for jobs. 


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The WordPress.com Team

At WordPress.com, our mission is to democratize publishing one website at a time. Create a free website or build a blog with ease on WordPress.com. Dozens of free, customizable, mobile-ready designs and themes.

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