Back in the days, companies’ websites were nothing more than static information boards offering information about the company and being a one-way street in terms of communication.
Knowing who visited a website and what they wanted to find there was difficult. Looking for customers took place outside the website.
But things have changed with the introduction of web forms – a powerful means to actually initiate communication with the website visitors and possibly convert them into customers!
Simply put – web forms help companies generate sales leads.
In fact, recent studies show that 65% of businesses say generating traffic and leads is their biggest marketing challenge and 74% of companies say that converting leads into customers is their top priority.
What are web forms used for?
Web forms are a great way to help you capture your website visitors’ details – their name, email address, preferences, comments, and feedback.
They are also a powerful means for website visitors to get in touch with a company, send information, place an order, send a request or an inquiry. All of the information submitted though web forms goes directly to a sales rep (or a dedicated inbox) and later gets transferred into the company’s database.
On top of that, web forms are a convenient medium that helps businesses create follow-up activities, which are more targeted and relevant for their prospect or customer base.
The web form challenge
Getting people to fill out and submit the form is a challenge in itself.
But after you collect information, you need to process it, right? And this means that you need to put the information into a spreadsheet, then analyze and tidy it up, and only then enter it into a CRM system.
It is the processing of information collected via web forms that is the main pain for businesses.
Let’s admit – it is a heavily manual and mighty tedious process!
Like many, you probably wait until you manually collect a fair number of leads in your spreadsheet and only then transfer them to a CRM system.
This can hardly be called a quick and efficient process, can it?
No business wants to decrease the number of people that fill in the web forms, but each and every business wants to reduce the amount of manual work that it takes to process these forms.
What’s the answer? Automation! And that’s where CRM is at its best.
The connection between web forms and CRM
CRM software can positively transform your web form experience in three main ways.
First of all, you don’t have to know HTML to create, design and publish customized web forms with a CRM system.
Secondly, a web form created via a CRM system will automate the importing of data from websites straight to your database, removing the need to re-type the information into the CRM system.
Thirdly, since CRM is designed to help your business build strong relationships with your prospects and customers, web forms connected to a CRM system will help you to quickly get hold of your website visitor’s details, so you can start responding to and nurturing your leads automatically!
6 ways integrated web forms can benefit your business
CRM-integrated web forms are mainly used to capture information from your prospects, customers, suppliers, and partners.
In order to explain how integrated web forms work, we decided to show you how you can benefit from this functionality in your everyday work.
1. Save money on integration and reduce manual work
One of the biggest benefits of integrated web forms is that they’re seamlessly integrated with your CRM system.
This means that you don’t have to use different types of apps and external software to capture information.
The fact that there are no complex integrations saves your company a lot of money, as it eliminates the need to manage different apps. It also gives you fewer things to worry about, as it lowers data security risks. Finally, it makes you independent from outside vendors.
On top of that, seamless integration sends all data collected via web forms straight to your CRM solution, allowing you to manage and process data there and then, with no third-party medium.
2. Initiate communication with visitors to your webpage
People who visit your website are your potential sale opportunities!
So, you’d better strike a conversation with them before they disappear into the unknown.
Integrated web forms can be tailored to fit different types of situations, helping you solicit new data submissions in every possible situation, as well as expand your inbound marketing efforts with no extra costs.
You can easily create forms that lead to content downloads, subscriptions, registrations for events, or opinion polls. All this helps you establish connections, build relationships and generally be more proactive in your communication with your website visitors.
3. Automate your lead nurturing activities
Because integrated web forms are designed with marketing people in mind, they can help you cast your marketing net wider and catch leads better.
Web forms allow you to not only collect names and email addresses, but also set your CRM system up to trigger specific actions.
For example, someone completed a form on your website to download a white paper.
Once the download is completed, you can send a targeted and personalized email to the person afterwards and offer other information or links which are relevant to the topic that the person has expressed interest in. And that’s an easy way to get your prospects further down the buying funnel.
In a nutshell, you are able to turn passive data collection into active lead nurturing in your CRM solution – by performing a number of automatic, yet targeted actions with the data you collect via web forms.
4. Ensure data quality
Getting more leads is always top of mind for your marketing team.
But not just any leads, they want good quality leads.
That’s why, for marketing professionals CRM database is their gold, meaning the information it contains should have value and be without mistakes.
Let’s take a look at an example.
When people fill out a web form, you’re not always sure that the email address they provide is a good one. What if they misspelled it, or, worse, put in a dummy email address? There many people out there who just want to download a particular piece of content, but they don’t want to give their real email address.
In cases like these, the double opt-in functionality helps. Once you receive a new email through a web form, the CRM system can send an automatic email verifying the person’s email. And if it’s a bogus one, you’ll know.
But the best thing is that this function helps you reduce the amount of manual processing, because you don’t have to spend time weeding out the good email addresses from the bad ones or checking for duplicates.
It’s already done for you! Automatically.
5. Send relevant and better targeted communication
Your marketing team is always interested in sending the right content to the right people.
But in order to know what to send, you need to know what a person wants to receive.
A web form is a great way to get this kind of information.
You can design a web form that will offer subscription options. This way a person can decide what type of information he or she wants to receive from you by simply ticking off the boxes on the form.
This allows your marketing team to know exactly how to target leads and only send relevant information. So, if they are looking for sales-related information and have no interest in customer service stories, then you won’t clutter their emails with irrelevant and often annoying stuff.
Integrated web forms also allow you to offer more self-service options for your customers and prospects. You can send links with options for registration, opting in or out, ability to adjust submitted information, agreeing to be processed, notified, etc.
6. Collect GDPR-related consents
And finally, the hottest topic of the year – the new EU General Data Protection Regulation law, which affects all businesses that work with the EU citizens’ data.
In line with the GDPR requirements, you need to document any consents you obtain regarding lawfully storing personal data and sending e-marketing messages.
Web forms offer you an easier and more trusted way to obtain and store consents in your CRM solution!
They also allow you to easily ask for and then automatically register consents in CRM, without any need to store files in external systems or resort to manual data input methods that may lead to mistakes.
This way you can rest assured that the consent information you have obtained is securely documented and correct.
Web forms and CRM – a compatible duo
Web forms and CRM are truly a match made in heaven.
The two not only complement each other, but also enhance each other’s functional potential.
To sum up, web forms that integrate with a CRM allow you to reach out and get information from your target audiences directly, as well as automatically process and triger actions based on data submissions.
This “compatible duo” can also help you improve some of your everyday marketing and contact management activities:
- Improve data quality;
- Capture better quality leads;
- Obtain privacy consents with ease;
- Reduce costs and increase security;
- Improve your communications with website visitors;
- Automate data processing and reduce manual work;