Quick Wins with Marketing Automation Forms

Having done lots of marketing automation onboarding and coaching in the last year, I’ve decided it would be helpful to put some of CU 2.0’s processes out there. You might be wondering… this guy doesn’t write blogs, so who is he and why should I trust him?

Well, one of the core services that CU 2.0 provides is marketing automation. As our project manager and head of automation, I feel pretty darn suited to address marketing automation topics and share some of my thoughts and expertise on the matter.

If you’re new to marketing automation and want to learn how to achieve some quick wins with the platform of your choosing, then read on!

It Doesn’t Matter Which Automation Platform You Use

If you’ve made it this far, then perhaps you and your company have just picked up a marketing automation platform (MAP). Maybe you’ve gone with a classic like Hubspot or Salesforce Pardot. Perhaps you opted for an up-and-comer like SharpSpring.

Fear not! This blog is platform agnostic: the processes provided within should apply to the marketing automation tool of your choosing.

Without further ado, let us begin!

Quick Wins with Marketing Automation Forms

This week’s blog is all about getting some quick wins out of your forms with your marketing automation tool. Forms are one of the most important ways for your website to generate new leads.

Forms ask for a small amount of contact information, such as their name and email address. In exchange for that information, visitors may access or request any number of things:

  • Subscribe to your blog
  • Ask a question
  • Download your white papers/case studies
  • And most importantly: request a demo or sales consultation!

There’s plenty of other things you might want a form for, but for now let’s get into how you should set these forms up and what you can do with them.

1.     Progressive Profiling

One of the quickest and easiest ways to learn more about your leads is to enable progressive profiling. Progressive profiling is asking for new information on subsequent forms after a visitor has already filled out one.

For example, let’s say a lead has already filled out a form and given you have their first name, last name, and email address. Then, instead of requesting first name and last name again, we could request company and job title.

As is the case with most sales, more information is better than less, and progressive profiling allows you to capture more lead information across all of your forms. We recommend you come up with a priority order of fields that you’d like to gather info on, and then enable progressive profiling for all but the email field or any field(s) key to a specific form.

Regarding progressive profiling for the email field, I typically recommend against turning this field into a progressively profiled field due to the fact that email addresses sometimes change, and/or the device a lead is using might have someone else’s information stored which would cause the newly added information to register under the wrong user. Because of these reasons, it’s usually a good idea to leave the email field in every form and only turn other fields into progressive fields.

2.     Automated Email Responses

This next quick win for forms is about automated email responses. Most forms you see will have some sort of “thanks for submitting” message when a form is completed, which is great!

We recommend using custom messaging for these to reinforce that the submission was received… but one thing we don’t see often enough is specific automated form response emails. If you’re not creating a specific message for each form, then we absolutely recommend you build and set these up.

One example of a commonly missed opportunity is when a new lead subscribes to your blog. This person has just explicitly opted in to hear more about what your company does and the knowledge you have to offer. But too often there’s no follow-up email pointing towards some of your excellent content.

If your company produces only a few blogs each quarter, then there might be weeks before this person hears from you, giving them plenty of time to forget about who you are and why they should care about your services!

So, let’s plug that hole and create auto response emails that cater towards the purpose of the form itself. For subscribing to your blog, you can set up an automated email that showcases your companies top three blogs.

If they request a demo about a service you provide, send them an email with information you would recommend they read prior to the demo (this is known as assignment selling… more on that in a future blog!).

In the case of a simple question or comment submission, then you can just set up an auto response email that lets the lead know their submission has been received and that a company rep will reach out within a specific time. You could even offer up a blog (related or not) for them to view in the meantime.

All of these messages are welcome by someone who would willingly fill out a form, and each of these messages help to inform your leads and build trust.

3.     Automated Nurturing Campaigns

With some forms, it might make sense to keep sending the lead related content (at a non-spammy interval, of course), even after the first automated response email goes out.

An example of this might be when someone downloads a PDF from your site, such as a case study or white paper. Often, there will be lots of awesome content on your site that supports the information contained within the downloaded PDF.

This is a perfect opportunity to plan out some followup content and build automated emails to invite them to learn more. Even just 2-3 more pieces of content can help people move down the funnel. It may even push them over the edge to request a demo and begin the next step of the sales process!

Final Thoughts

And that’s all folks! If you have any questions about the implementation of any these suggestions, want to learn more, or simply feel like saying hi, then don’t hesitate to contact us or even request a marketing automation demo to see how we do things!