Are you taking full advantage of your form plugin?
This page may contain links to Amazon.com or other sites from which I may receive commission on purchases you make after clicking on such links. Read my full Disclosure Policy
As a WordPress consultant, I'm often asked about my favourite plugins. I usually decline to answer, because it's best to source a plugin that meets one of your specific needs rather than looking for a way to use one just because someone else really likes it.
That said, most websites have a contact form, and my favourite form plugin is GravityForms. I’ve been using it for over 10 years, so if I created your site, chances are high that you have it.
But it's not just me! GravityForms is currently the 4th most popular tool in the Top 1 Million sites in the Feedback Forms and Surveys category.
As I explained in How to Create an Effective Contact Page, forms can be a useful way of screening incoming inquiries because they allow you to ask key questions up front, even if it’s something as simple as “When is the best time to call you?” Well-worded questions also help the client to explain their needs more effectively, reducing the number of back-and-forth emails.
Most form plugins will allow you to create your own questions, but GravityForms has many features which set it apart from most of the others. Here are a few creative ways you can use it:
- Set up a custom thank you page that comes up after someone completes the form. This is a great way to engage them by directing them to other important content on your site, promoting a special offer, or inviting them to follow you on social media (see example).
- When someone completes the form, invite them to join your mailing list. When they click in the field, they will automatically be added to Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or another email marketing service. If you have double-opt in enabled (which I strongly recommend), they’ll receive the usual confirmation email (see example).
- Create a poll and allow participants to view the results (see example).
- Collect payment through Paypal, Stripe, or another online payment system (see example).
You can even create automated and customized emails to be generated after a form is completed, with unique messages going to you, the person who filled out the form, and other team members who may need to reply or take other action.
My Care Plan clients have access to GravityForms at no additional charge, along with over 40 official add-ons offering the above feature enhancements and many others, including analytics, anti-spam, automation, CRM, messaging, and more. Since purchasing your own license would set you back $259.00 USD per year, it's another good reason to consider a Care Plan!
For an additional cost, there are also tons of add-ons created by other developers.
GravityView is an add-on I've found very useful, because it allows you to display information from form entries on your site in many unique ways.
Since I started using it for the Productivity & Organizing Blog Carnival, it has saved me from hours of copying and pasting! I also used it to create the searchable Golden Horseshoe Virtual Assistants Group Member Directory.
Check out the demo site to see other possibilities.
I eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, cooking, watching movies, drinking tea, and spending time with my family.