Top 5 Web forms that help grow your business
Request a Quote
The key to any Marketing effor is to manage leads through the Sales pipeline into suspects, qualified prospects, then handoff only qualified opportunities to Sales. The salesperson will then get alerted, research their profile on Linkedin, connect with them and follow their company, and followup via phone and email, to evaluate their needs, fit them into the best offering, identify the decision makers, identify if the have the budget and when they are in a position to make a purchase decision. Then you have quotes and contracts, billing and invoicing, and onward.
These can be a lot of steps to have to go through, but there are ways to short-circuit these processes. Self service quotes.
Well, at least allow your customers to submit a simple form requesting a quote and let them tell you their needs and see if you have something that fits. You jump right to the end of the cycle and you allow the customer to control the buying process. Today's buyer searches online to deterine a top 5 or 10 list well before they submit their information for you to follow up with them. They want to engage on their timeframe, not yours.
Not only is this less work for the customer/lead and for the employees because they get alerted when someone is wanting to talk turkey, but it also the most appropriate way to segment your customer database - into valid opportunities, as opposed to all the other types of web forms like contact us forms or signups for a free trial, etc. We are all having to do more with less to grow profitably so it only makes sense to respect the customer's time enough to offer a service for them to not have to wade through all the 'due process' that you are putting them through with all the stuff they don't need to hear about, because 'they know already and they just want a quote, and have submitted 5 others with your competition, so let's get to it!'
Contact Us Form
In addition to giving your customers your contact information, which forces them to make the effor to get in touch with you, it is best to have a simple form they can submit to ask you to contact them, so that after it's submitted, then it goes into the Lead database, routed to the proper employee who also gets a real time notification to followup, and the lead who submitted the form gets an email alert thanking them for their request, and how may we help you, while the employee phones them at the next available moment.
When they submit the form, it is not just telling your business they want to be contacted, it is also telling you they are there right now if you want to get hold of them to get it done.
People are busy these days and you can either spend a lot of time calling them when you have the free time, or get used to being more reactive to their time constraints and contacting them when they request to be contacted. They will tell you in the form if now is not the best time, call me tomorrow at this time, etc, but at least you know when you can get them on the phone for a real conversation that can move the business forward and not wast everybody's time.
You can have many variations like sign up for a monthly newsletter or sign up for a free trial or sign up for a free consultation, the point is that for those that are not quite yet ready for a quote, maybe if you were to send them some emails from time to time they would like to learn more about your company before setting up a call. You must doube-opt-in your leads before you email to them, and you must allow them to opt-out of the email with one click, in order to comply with SPAM rules. This type of functionality is standard in any Cloud CRM these days.
Allowing passive learning about your company, people, products, partners, etc is a delicate balance of not sending too many emails but yet being there for them when they need a quote or a call, etc. Having these signup forms on your website puts the control of the buying process in the control of the customer when coupled with a Request a Quote form. Presumably, if they wanted a quote they would have submitted a request for one. If they signed up for the free trial, it means they want someone to reach out to them right away with an email and phone call, to get introduced and to answer their questions but if I don't return your calls, send me useful content via email and keep trying to catch me by phone. At least you know where you stand.
Tell a Friend
Many times people visit your website and are not ready to purchase from you yet, but knows someone you are perfect for. Or, they want to remind themselves of your site quickly and easily to remember to come back and check you out when they are in the market. A Tell a Friend form is a tool for your website visitors to refer your website to their peer by only having to enter the email address of who they want to refer the site to. If they put their own email address, it goes to their email inbox to remind them to look at the website, or if they enter their client's email address, then their client will get and email referring your site.
One key thing to keep in mind is that you are not allowed to save that email address for marketing or sales followup because that is not the intent of the form and can be used for abuse. The deal is they are referring your website to someone on your behalf, so respect them enough not to abuse their client's email address with emails they didn't request. This is called SPAM and you need to avoid it.
If someone submits a Tell a Friend form, it should send only a single email to that email address and nothing more, no followup emails, no phone calls, nothing. If they want to get in touch they will submit a form for you to contact them, or signup for something on your site, or request a quote.
Submit a Support Request Ticket
When people feel they need help, the quickest way to help them is to allow them to vent in a form on your website what they need as a support ticket. A support ticket tells the company that something is an issue that needs to be addressed. The last thing you want to to in today's age is to not let your customers tell you that they are not getting something about your business, and they need to get it to get or keep their business. If you don't respond to their needs then they will go to their peers on Social Media and let out their frustrations in public.
This doesn't mean you can solve every customers request or need, or that you have to act on their requests or suggestions, but today's businesses are analyzing the good, the bad and the ugly about what their customers have to say. Most innovation comes from a customer complaining about having looked at many vendors and is now weary of searching and it results in a complaint to your support department. This is a hot opportunity if you can solve their problem, or at best it is an idea that you may look at as a new angle on growth.