SITECORE SMART FORMS AND PROGRESSIVE PROFILING

  • By Luke Stephenson
Luke Stephenson
Putting a form in front of high-quality downloadable content is a great way of capturing leads. This is nothing new. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that if you’re a marketing professional, you’re probably doing this already, and you’ll be using their contact information for lead nurturing activities until they’re ready to buy. 

But what if the same prospect wants to download more than one piece of content? Do you ask them to complete the same form again for each new piece of content, or perhaps you remove the form altogether?  In my opinion, neither of these options are optimal. Here’s why… 

Making your customers complete the same form each time creates an inconvenient hurdle to jump. Every piece of branded content that goes out of the door is a very good thing, so we want make it easy for the prospect. On the other hand, removing the form altogether is a missed opportunity to get to better know your prospects. 

The more you can find out about your leads, the better. More information means more personalisation opportunities, and importantly, more information for the sales team to sink their teeth into. 

Here’s the magic. With Sitecore you can set up smart forms which will allow you to progressively profile each customer with each new form submission. In essence, you continue to display a form in front of every subsequent download, but the questions you ask each time will be different. 

We’ve previously written about the concept of A/B testing your form length to find the correct ratio between lead quality and form submission quantity. I recommend you do this for the very first form a new prospect will complete. For every subsequent form you can auto-fill the standard fields like “Name” & “Email” and ask one or two additional different questions. 

Needless to say, it’s highly important to ensure that the information behind the form is of a very high quality and provides very good value to those who submit their details. If that is the case, they’ll come back for more content and complete more forms. 

Let’s take a look at a rather ironic example of how this can be used:

For the purpose of this example, let’s assume that 3chillies were providing a very helpful step-by-step guide explaining how to setup a smart form within Sitecore. Here’s a wireframe of what the landing page for that download might look like:   

smart forms
At this stage we’re only asking for a few details from the prospect. Although it requires them to part with their vitals, in terms of form length the barrier to entry is relatively low. As a side note, notice the lack of navigational items and other clutter on this page. This places more focus and emphasis on the form, which tends to result in higher conversion rates. 

Ideally, when this form is completed you’d redirect the customer to a thank you page which has links to other content they might be interested in downloading. Let’s assume they click one of those links and go through to another landing page. Here’s what that might look like: 

smart forms 
A new question at the bottom of the form has replaced one of the old questions, and the other fields have been auto-populated based on the visitors IP address. This new hurdle is much more manageable for the prospect to process, and when they hand over a new piece of information about themselves, it'll be stored in their file on your CRM. 

What happens when they want to download the next item? We ask more questions of course, and bit by bit we start to build a very good understanding of that lead. 

All of this functionality comes out of the box with Sitecore. Get in touch if you’d like more information, or you’d like to know more about our other
Sitecore services
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