5 Ways to Use Web Forms

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in email, Facebook, Networking, Opinion, Small Business, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Jun 07, 2012

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Forms

Web Forms are a dynamic and engaging way to involve your customers in your marketing process. Form functions can be used to fortify your campaigns in a variety of ways that work to combine certain efforts and expand on others. This post will list a few of the methods that marketers have utilized over the years and provide a detailed description of how to create similar setups. To help illustrate my points, I’ll be using a Form builder available through Social Page Builder.

5. Surveys

One of the most basic functions of Web Forms, online surveys allow you to get direct feedback from your customers without invading their privacy or inciting a negative response. For best results, try asking your audience what they like in similar products or services.

Most Form builders include a generic set of tools. Once you have loaded your builder, look for a set of applications labeled “Survey”:

Survey Tools

From here, you’ll be able to set various questions and responses using tools like sliders, boxes, and tallies:

Survey Tools 2

4. Quizzes

Want to keep your audience interested in your brand? A good quiz can get your customers engaged in your website or Facebook Page. Whether you want to focus on your products or branch out is up to you, but, above all, BE ENTERTAINING. Nothing will turn your customers away faster than a lame quiz. (For some great examples, check out these quizzes by The Oatmeal)

Quizzes can be creating using generic Form boxes (fill-in-the-blank) or dropdown menus and check boxes (multiple choice):

Quizzes

To set up email notifications for quiz completion, go to “Setup and Embed” in your main menu and follow the email alerts instructions. Most Form builder programs have this kind of functionality:

Email Notifications

3. Email List Building

The most commonly used of the Web form functions, Email List Building is critical to any online marketing campaign and huge part of integrating your email marketing with other electronic efforts. Forms used on Web Pages or Facebook Tabs can help you fortify your lists with dedicated and interested leads at virtually no cost to you.

Email Forms are simple to set up; most Form builders have a default email option that can be selected from a series of standard operations:

Email

*Email addresses can be exported in notification emails (example above) to the address of your choice. Automatic list integration varies between Email Service Providers. For specific upload protocols, please consult your current Email Service Provider.

2. Remote Login

Want to give your customers easier access to their accounts? Just like any regular login page, Web Forms can be programmed to accept login information and remotely connect your customers to your product. This is great for eliminating extra steps in the login process and giving users more options when using your services.

To set up a remote login, search your advanced options for Username and Password fields. If neither are available directly, they can usually be fashioned through the individual boxes’ “Properties” sections:

Passwords

1. Contests

One of the best uses of Web Forms is coordinating and supplementing contests. Not only can Forms be used to integrate all of the functions above into one campaign structure, unique notification tools allow you to take those results and develop a legitimate, secure method for contest verification.

In addition to the standard options described above, Social Page Builder’s Form Builder also integrates an upload function which can be used to drive a submissions-based contest. Such submissions could then later be used to promote your brand (depending on contest terms):

Upload

Once you’ve set up your content, you can secure your Contest by creating strict parameters on multiple submissions (under “Preferences”) or inserting a Captcha (Under “Tools”):

Strict Submissions

Captcha

Lastly…

Make sure to include a “Submit” function with every Form you create. Most builders won’t let you publish a form without one, but it’s a critical last step:

Submit

Like this post? Then check out some of our other How-Tos: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Email Campaigns and How to Make a Great Custom Cover Photo. to get more updates like this one, be sure to Like Us on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter.

Quora – Answer Questions & Build Trust

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Advice, Networking, Small Business, Social Media | Posted on Aug 26, 2011

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It is just as hard to Ask a Question as it is to Answer One

I think people really forget that social networks were not pioneered by sites like Myspace, Facebook, or Twitter but through online forums and chat rooms.  I have fond memories of spending my time in topic based chat rooms and scrounging through forums answering questions and adding to the group’s discourse. If you are overlooking relevant forums with your digital marketing efforts you are missing some major opportunities.

Here are 3 ways forums and Q/A sites can help your marketing efforts:

1. Makes you an authority

By answering people’s questions with relevant and accurate answers you will begin to build yourself up as an authority figure in that subject. This is a great way to separate your company from your competition. The better your answers, the better the response. On Quora your answers can be up voted, and having a top answer is a huge deal.

How often do you have a question about something and your friend snarkily remarks ‘Google it’? Well when you ask your question in Google, the most relevant information comes up. If you built yourself up an an authority and your site comes up in the search, people are more likely to click your site because you are a trusted source.

2. Increases Site Traffic/back links

If you ad quality content on the forum, and you think your website could pose an even better solution, toss a link to your site into your comment.  Make sure to fully disclose that you are an employee of the company or the webmaster of the site.  Also, don’t just post a link to your site! Make sure to actually add to the discussion, forums have moderators and your post will be deleted and you could also be banned.

3. Increases brand awareness

Now that you are an authority on a topic, your brand will be known for more than just its great products and services. For the longest time I actually didn’t know what Hubspot did as a company. I followed their blog, subscribed to their RSS feed, and even used their web tools. It wasn’t until months after reading their posts and utilizing their tools that I realized they were a marketing agency. I just used them as a trusted resource for marketing topics. If I were ever in the market for inbound marketing tools or or automation applications (which I am not, very happy with our Infusionsoft suite), my decision to use the Hubspot tool would have been greatly influenced by all the work they did building their brand up as an authority. Granted we didn’t convert to their tools, but they get a huge referral whenever I am discussing marketing techniques.

My Two Cents

Overall, you need to look past the major social channels and really start to get your hands dirty on forums. I know that forums don’t have a refined look to them, and joining a community can be intimidating! Just remember, if you are passionate about your industry you will always have something of value to add to the community.

Do you use sites like Yahoo Answers, Quora, or belong to any forums?

Social Page Builder at Mass Innovation Nights

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Facebook, Networking, Small Business, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Jun 09, 2011

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Mass Innovation NIghts

If you are in the tech space & live in Massachusetts check Mass Innovation Nights out!

Last night was the 27th installment of Mass Innovation Nights (MIN). If you have a company in the tech space in Massachusetts you do NOT want to miss these events. Averaging a guest list of 150-200 people who are all interested in the same thing: learning about the newest technological innovations emerging from Massachusetts.

MIN is the ultimate place to network and get advice; this is how a standard night at MIN goes down:

Registration and networking starts at 6:00 p.m., presentations begin promptly at 7:00 p.m., there is an ‘Experts Corner’ team assembled for one-on-one conversations with start-ups and entrepreneurs throughout the entire night and an after-party at a nearby bar at 8:30 p.m.

MIN has 10 tables set up for exhibits, and of those 10 tables, 4 companies get to give a 5-minute presentation to the entire crowd. In order to present your product, MIN conducts a poll on their website asking their attendees to vote for products they would like to see present. We were very proud to have come in 1st place on the poll for last night’s event, especially with all of the other great products and services competing for a presentation spot.

Check out some of the other great products presented at MIN last night.

Check out BetterScape

A really cool web application that promotes positive behavior through social media with ‘Karma’ points. If anyone from BetterScape reads this, can a company page receive Karma points? If not, I would definitely suggest including this functionality.

Visit postpo.st today!
Simply put PostPost is a search engine for Twitter. With PostPost you are able to find the Tweets you may have missed because an overzealous tweeter happened to bury something important. Not only is this a great way to search Twitter by the people you follow, but you can also segment the tweets by content type. If you are a Twitter user this application is a must have.

Check out Toursphere

All I can say is ‘Wow’, Toursphere is an amazing mobile app creation tool for museums and city tours. Granted this product is focused on this one niche, there are endless possibilities for this white labelable mobile app creation tool. Toursphere is a simple, elegant, and cost effective mobile app solution for museums and tour groups (and hopefully more industries in the future).

Thanks again to Bobbie Carlton for arranging this event and the sponsors of last night’s MIN: CCR LLP & Hyperion Law.