As a digital marketing agency, form submission analysis should be one of your top priorities.
In fact, “form submissions” is the second highest-priority KPI we pay attention to when optimizing our clients’ campaigns – the first being phone calls.
And to effectively analyze and optimize your clients’ sites for form submissions, you need a form solution that gives you complete control over the form’s design and contents. Unfortunately, most agencies start off by installing Contact Form 7 (the most popular free form submission plugin) and never think about it again.
But Contact Form 7 doesn’t give you the fine control you need over the form. And it doesn’t allow you to measure its performance. Without solid data, it’s impossible to make progress and gradually improve your clients’ businesses.
JotForm provides you with a robust solution, giving you both the fine control you need to design for your clients’ specific needs and the analytics you need to optimize the form for conversions.
First, here are some of the limitations of Contact Form 7, which will help you see why you need Jotform.
Contact Form 7 Limitations
1. No Reports / Weak Analytics
CF7 doesn’t provide you with any data you can analyze out of the box. It only gives you an interface you can use to build and publish forms.
To collect data, you would need to install a separate plugin: Contact Form DB
There are many problems with this approach. First, the design of the plugin is unintuitive.
And it only collects submissions. It doesn’t have a user interface for analysis built-in. So you would have to export your stats into CSV, Google Spreadsheets, RSS or JSON and analyze the data in a third party program like Excel.
This is neither efficient nor sustainable when analyzing form submissions for multiple clients.
In addition, you’d also have to understand Ajax to connect CF7 to Google Analytics.
2. No Conditional Logic
CF 7 is missing conditional logic.
If you wanted to redirect your form submission to a different email address depending on the user’s city selection, e.g. if the user selects “New Jersey”, send the email to [email protected], you wouldn’t be able to.
You also wouldn’t be able to hide certain fields until they become relevant to the form user. For example, you may only want to ask for payment information if a user checks the box that they want to buy something. This is important functionality that is not built into CF 7.
3. You Need At Least Some Coding Knowledge
CF 7 uses manual template formatting which means you need to know HTML if you want to place the elements in a different order.
You also need to know CSS to edit how the form looks. If you don’t like the default form field styles from your WordPress template, you’ll also have to understand WordPress theme development – since you’ll have to dig deep into the code to make those tweaks.
Even if you do understand basic coding, you have more important things to spend your time on. And so does your team.
What Makes JotForm the Perfect Solution for Agencies?
As an agency, you’re dealing with many clients. You need a master account to control all client forms from a single interface. It makes it so much easier to have a central hub, where you can jump from one client to the other without logging out and logging back in for each client.
After Contact Form 7, we tried Gravity Forms, another popular form solution that allows for conditional logic, hoping it would offer that functionality. But, we quickly realized it didn’t have everything we needed as an agency. It didn’t offer a master account with sub-folder options.
We still had to log out and log back in for each client. And to edit the forms themselves for various clients, we had to login to the individual WordPress dashboards for each client.
Since GravityForms didn’t work for us, we tried another solution: FormStack.
But the UI was difficult to use, to say the least, and we wasted a lot of time due to the interface. We decided to move on from FormStack.
Finally, we discovered JotForm. It was robust and allowed us to create a sub-account for every client and have sub-folders under each sub-account. That meant we could easily handle multiple projects for multiple clients – all in one place. That was a good start. Then, on top of that, the UI was straight-forward and intuitive.
And we’ve stayed with JotForm ever since. Its power comes from its flexibility: it allows ease-of-use for novices and deep customization possibilities for developers.
1. Main Dashboard
This is the first screen you’ll see after you login to your new account. It allows you to see a high-level overview of your forms.
You can control all of your clients’ forms from a single dashboard. You can also create reports, see your submissions, and start editing individual forms – from a single interface.
2. Form Builder
This is where you’ll be spending most of your time when creating and editing forms.
On the left side is your form element inventory. You can drag an element and drop it to the right side. Then, you can drag it wherever you see fit.
Every element that you place there has its own menu, reached by clicking on the gear icon. There, you’ll see the options panel for that element.
You can also implement every popular payment option from the left inventory. In fact, you can create a full product store without using any 3rd party software.
3. Theme Designer
In the theme designer, you can edit the style of every form element without needing to know how to code.
However, your development team can use CSS rules to gain even finer control over the design.
They can edit the:
- Color scheme
- Background image
- Complete layout – form width, input width, paddings, border radius
- Your own logo
- Line heights and general spacing between elements
JotForm integrates with different categories of the most popular online services. You can:
- Process payments with: Paypal, Stripe, WorldPay, 2Checkout, Clickbank, Onebip, Freshbooks and Authorize.net.
- Send form data to Google Drive, Google Sheets, Box and Dropbox.
- Integrate it with CRM software, such as Salesforce and Highrise.
- Integrate it with popular email marketing software like MailChimp and Aweber.
5. Exporting options
Before exporting, you can choose which fields you do and do not want to export and forward the submissions to any email you need to.
The analytics screen is very robust and intuitive. You don’t have to use separate software to analyze your data, although it’s always a good idea to integrate everything into dedicated analytics software like Google Analytics.
You can see:
- The user’s IP address
- Where the user came from
- What device and resolution he was using
- Conversion rate on any specific device
- Average time spent on filling out the form
7. JotForm Widgets
One of the best features of JotForm is its incredible API which allows developers to build and share their own widgets.
Those widgets can then be embedded into your forms.
For example, we wanted a form that would put a Google Map into a field and use the GPS in the phone to pin the user’s location to the form.
Someone had already made a widget for that. All we had to do was plug it into our form.
Another example of a useful widget is one that allows form users to sign the form with their mouse or finger (eSignature).
The widget system is similar to the plugin system WordPress uses. JotForm has created an open ecosystem around the app which makes it extensible and great for different use cases.
You can see the entire widget list here. JotForm really has everything you need.
8. Embed Options
There are different embed options. You can embed as:
- Source code
- A feedback button (the button is placed to the side of the screen. When clicked, the form appears.)
- A pop-up
- A lightbox
See the entire platform list here.
Specialized services often offer very few embedding options. For example, ActiveCampaign – another piece of software we highly recommend – only offers one embed option.
Other Services and Apps Using JotForm
A lot of software services use JotForm. Some of them include:
- omniref, a Ruby programming language documentation website
- Washington Post, a news website
- FooPlugins LLC, WordPress media plugin developers
- Zapier, a web app that connects different web apps together
- Flow XO, a web app for creating automated workflows.
- Casting Quick, a website for finding acting jobs
JotForm and Email Marketing
For email campaigns, we’re using ActiveCampaign, and it’s perfect at what it does best – email marketing. And, while it does include a form solution, it’s not robust. Apps like ActiveCampaign and InfusionSoft don’t focus on forms exclusively – which means their forms are very limited.
With JotForm, you can create intricate forms. Then, you can connect those forms with email marketing tools using Zapier – a web application that allows the non-technical user to connect two applications with one another through a web UI.
If you’re using free form plugins like Contact Form 7 for your client websites, it’s time to move on to something better.
JotForm is a robust solution perfectly suited for digital marketing agencies. It allows you to create sub-accounts for every client – while controlling all of them from one central interface.
You’ve seen how all the features of JotForm can benefit you in your work with clients, including the powerful custom widgets that will make your forms unique and powerful.
The analytics UI is intuitive, and gives you the most important info right on your dashboard.
Finally, JotForm plays well with email marketing software, which usually has limited embed and integration options.
What form submission software is your agency using? Do you think there’s anything out there better than JotForm? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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