Back when I was still in college, my university has this thing where in order for students to see their grades online, they are first required to fill out a questionnaire related to that particular class and the teaching professor. The questions are typical but they’re numerous and since we have to do this for every class we take that semester, we pretty much skimmed through all of the questions and went with the default answers.
Forms are inescapable on the internet. Almost every concert tickets I’ve ever bought began with a form. Product giveaways tend to have a survey as a prerequisite. Even now, 5 years since leaving college, the odd questionnaires and surveys still land on my inbox, usually from undergraduate students from my alma mater. A lot of these came through Google Forms, which is functionally decent but for businesses aiming for professionalism, there are other form builders out there you could use that don’t require any web development background.
The landscape for online form builders
For the purpose of lead generation, forms and surveys are still deemed to be one of the most useful tools. Compared to two decades ago when surveys have to be done directly through visits or telephone calls, the internet has made data collecting easier, giving businesses access to a more robust set of data. With the advent of services like PayPal, digital subscriptions have also been made more accessible, enabling people living in Gold Coast to subscribe to the New York Times by filling out a simple form.
It is in light of this that you should start giving forms a proper consideration. The familiarity and ease-of-use associated with Google Forms might be attractive but its blandness and lack of customization options can be crippling. The following is 5 form builder services available across the internet, with a mix of free and premium services, which you should take a look at if you feel Google Forms isn’t enough.
American-based JotForm is one of the most popular form builders. With JotForm, users have the option of using one of the plethoras of templates and themes available within the platform or by building their own form using a selection of several building blocks available within the platform. JotForm also enables the use of conditional logic and branched-out forms for a more complex data gathering.
The service operates using both a freemium and tier scheme. While most of the templates and themes available are free, some of the higher-quality ones are not. Additionally, while it is possible to use the service without a paid subscription, free users are limited to 100 monthly submissions, 5 forms, the addition of JotForm branding on your forms and other restrictions.
For the more artistic types, you should consider using TypeForm. TypeForm realizes that there aren’t a lot of things that could be more mind-numbing than filling out a form and they subvert this idea by turning forms into more of an extended conversation. They do this by focusing only on one question at the time and allowing users to attach multimedia contents into the form itself. The name itself comes from the fact that TypeForm is designed so that users can fill out the entire form by simply typing out their answers.
TypeForm operates using a tiered scheme. The basic version is free to use but comes with a restriction of 100 responses per month and only 10 fields per form. Other restrictions include being limited to basic questions only, the use of conditional logic, payment field and no file uploads. The Pro tier comes with all of those for an extra US$30 per month.
Ninja Forms isn’t a full-on form builder in that it is actually a WordPress plugin, which means that this tool is limited to WordPress websites. Since it’s a WordPress plugin, Ninja Forms should be considered one of the default options for WordPress website thanks to its integration capabilities. Ninja Forms comes with support for robust customization options and the ability for more complex fields available out of the gate and the use of drag-and-drop form builder.
Ninja Forms pricing plan is a bit trickier though. While the free version comes with the above features, some customization options like conditional logic, payment options and file uploads are locked behind a paywall. Instead of a tiered subscription though, these features are locked behind add-ons, which you could purchase one at a time to use for a year. Alternatively, some of these add-ons are also bundled together for those looking for a more conventional subscription scheme.
Now working under the analytics company Survey Monkey, WuFoo offers robust collecting and analytics tool on top of the more common features like payment options and conditional logic. On top of that, WuFoo also offers the capability to create a device-responsive form, one that could suit both desktop and mobile devices for a more comprehensive set of data. To add to its analytics capability, WuFoo offers integration with CRM software maker Salesforce for comprehensive reports.
Of course, these features don’t come cheap. The basic free version is limited to 5 forms and 100 submissions with a lack of payment options, confirmation e-mail and feature integration. These features are available with a Professional subscription, which comes with a price tag of US$29 per month.
It should be noted that these are all for forms, which while still can be used for surveys aren’t especially suitable for the cause. For surveys, you might want to look at dedicated survey tools like Survey Monkey which has been mentioned before. Filling out forms can be boring but it doesn’t have to be and all four on this list, with special mention to TypeForm, can be used to inject a certain class to your lead generating tool.