If you want information from someone, you just ask them for it, right? If it’s a stranger, you might start off with some small talk, a comment on the weather, or maybe even a compliment. But what happens when you don’t want to ask just one person, but 10, 100, 1000 people? “Just asking” is suddenly not so easy. So, you build yourself an online form to start asking at scale. But your form is forgetting something. It’s forgetting that the users completing it are actually humans. They deserve to be eased into giving you information, just like someone does when you speak to them face to face. Your form doesn’t do small talk and it definitely doesn’t offer up compliments, does it? We’d like to guide you through a few ways to collect information conversationally and at scale. Think this sounds like airy-fairy mumbo jumbo? Think about it. Better conversation means better engagement. Better engagement means more and better responses. Want to learn more? Read on.
“Forms”. Have you ever been less excited by a word? Probably not. However, whether you like it or not, forms are all around us. They’re tirelessly working to take data and information from the fingertips of human beings all over the world and turn it into actions. Did you sign up for an event recently? Then you filled in a form. Take some money out the ATM this morning? Yup, that was a form too.
If you’re reading this, you probably know you need a form for something. And you’re probably savvy enough to know to do it online (the trees will thank you). Think of your form as a way to pass information from one person to another. And just remember, that interaction counts—a lot.
Welcome to square one of the hopscotch. Before you start creating a form, make sure you clearly know what information you’re after. This will dictate the structure of your form. Online forms come in many shapes and sizes, and can find themselves popping up all across your business or organization. To get a better idea of just how many hats a form can wear, have a look at Typeform’s online form templates.
Here’s an example of a form asking for basic information for registration purposes. Its sleek design puts respondents at ease.
This template is ideal for receiving tidy job applications. It gives HR professionals the space to fully explain the position and specifically ask the candidate what they need to know.
Collect employee input with this ready-to-use template. It offers employees the option of anonymity, and efficiently categorizes their suggestions.
Here’s a great way to successfully capture leads in exchange for an offer such as a service, a coupon, or a piece of content.
Is your product solving your customers’ problem? Find out with this engaging feedback form, aiming to collect actionable feedback about your business.
Here’s an example of an event invitation form. It quickly informs the hosts about their guests’ attendance and preferences.
What information do you want to collect? Whether it’s for employee feedback, registration for an event, or job applications, one thing should be clear: only ask what you need to know. There’s no time or space for unnecessary questions, which can come across as unprofessional. On the other hand, if you stay transparent about your objective, your respondent will be more willing to help you achieve it.
If you ask someone to fill out, say, a contact form in the street, will you start by blurting out “ Name”, “Email”, or “Question”? If you want your online form to unroll as a natural dialogue between you and your respondent, you’ll need to make your questions a little friendlier. If you insert personality into your copy, your respondents will feel like they are part of a casual, and even fun, conversation.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Creating an online form that builds trust may require time, coding and, product design resources that you may not have. Luckily, Typeform can do the dirty work for you, while giving you the freedom you need to create your own content, structure, and design.
In the end, what you’re looking to have is an honest conversation with your audience. Here are a few Typeform features that can help you achieve that.