Online Form Software Simplified
Capturing data is at the core of digital marketing. All of your efforts will fall infinitely short without the ability to make information submission easy. To our benefit, there are many software tools that afford us this important functionality.
Unfortunately, with so many solutions also comes so much confusion. As with most software nowadays, it takes a focused eye and made up mind to quickly determine the best form building software for your business. My aim with this report is to further simplify the process for you.
For that reason, I have listed the top form building softwares we see most widely used online as well as in the Automation Bridge Private Community. To make the listings (non CRM based) below the software must meet the following criteria:
- Native CRM integration
- Conditional fields
- Conditional thank you pages
- Payment processing
There will come a time where you will need more than a contact form on your website. If you’re reading this report, there’s a high chance that time has already passed. Use my research, experience, and considerations to help shorten your decision making process on which tool is best for you.
This is going to be the first option for most business owners and/or consultants starting out. The ease and convenience of being able to create and use forms from within the same software you manage contacts in can be quite alluring.
I started here myself. From Aweber, GetResponse, Ontraport, Infusionsoft, and ActiveCampaign (throw Hubspot in there as well)…I’ve always tried to get the most out of my CRM-based forms. However, they all fall short. Especially when it comes to conditional logic.
There isn’t a CRM tool (that I’m aware of) that has conditional logic for fields and thank you pages built into their form software. The closest is Hubspot, but I’m always hesitant to recommend them because of how technically difficult it is to pull off conditional logic with their forms.
If I were to rank the top 4 small business marketing automation platforms by best form functionality it would be:
- Ontraport (due to their conditional thank you pages)
These CRM platforms do provide the basic needs for most businesses. But when the time arises for more functionality the following solutions are where you should look.
Gravity Forms is my preferred software for WordPress websites. It is the most seasoned offering with the most functionality. With the competitive WordPress ecosystem, this is a plugin that has withstood the test of time and provides a deep level of functionality ranging from basic to advanced.
However, it is not without its flaws that I have found with my personal experience. First, is the lack of AirTable integration. I cannot count how many times I wished I could easily send submissions on my website to an AirTable database for more reliable storage and data analysis.
Second, and this comes with traditional WordPress software, the user flow to create forms is very disjointed and click heavy. Given each click tends to introduce some loading time it can make it a bit cumbersome building larger forms or creating multiple forms at once.
Thankfully, GravityForms has the largest library of plugins and add-ons compared to other WordPress solutions that allow you to extend its functionality even further.
If you’re looking for a means of sharing the data captured in Gravity Forms with more plugins that you are using for WordPress check out WPFusion.
JotForm is my preferred form software for pretty much all of my information capturing needs beyond 3rd party pop-up forms and lead generation software. It’s interesting since they were the first form software I ever purchased (back in 2012).
At the time it was some of the most flexible form software and I used it primarily for intake forms and payment processing. Once I purchased my first all-in-one software (Office Autopilot then Infusionsoft) I found I used the form software less over time.
Fast forward to 6 months ago, and I rediscovered JotForm and all of its glory. I’ve mentioned how much I enjoy their Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign integration…but the more I use it the more useful I find it. Here’s a few things that keep it outshining the rest:
- Conversation view for forms (TypeForm style)
- Native integrations (yes…they integrate directly with AirTable)
- Built-in report generator
- Super fast form builder (Gravity Forms doesn’t come close)
- Mobile application
I have yet to find any other offering on the market with the level of integrations and functionality of JotForm. How they handle integrations is very Zapier-esque since they allow you to pass data to as many tools as you’d like from a single form submission.
One MAJOR flaw that almost prevented me from using them (as I deem this as unforgivable for a software platform this mature). They force you to autosave your forms. This means there is no way to privately edit a form that is already live on your website without the changes being made updating on your website in real-time.
It’s not technically a deal breaker but it’s so foolish it makes you question the decision making process into doing something in such a non-user friendly way.
Hopefully this made it easier for you to make a quick decision for the right software for your data capturing needs. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” you will need form software beyond your CRM. Especially for use cases such as:
- Job applications
- Waiver forms
- In-take forms
- Podcast guest submissions
- Internal processes
When the time arises make sure you have this report bookmarked to be your guide.
We’d love to hear about what use cases you’re using forms for as well as the software you’re using. Let us know in the comments below!