Forms 2.0 was released to the public yesterday (1/24/2014), offering the first major update to the “forms” functionality since its original creation within Marketo. Forms 2.0 has been an enormously popularly voted idea as a product enhancement, spearheaded and championed by Eric Hollebone.
The extra value that Forms 2.0 brings, in my opinion, is adding new building blocks for advanced uses. While all of these are possible with Forms 1.0 and extensive custom coding, the return on that custom development isn’t great, and it creates non-robust, non-scalable results. Forms 2.0 adds in functionality that makes the following advanced use-cases not only attainable, but justifiably profitable.
The building block functionality that is new to Marketo Forms 2.0 (not exhaustive):
- Create double-column forms in the editor
- Conditional field display
- Placeholder text
- Fieldsets (grouping fields into their own box)
- Style themes you can choose from
- An area to apply your own custom CSS
- Setting error languages
- Ability to set locales (e.g., MM/DD/YYYY can become YYYY/MM/DD)
- Ability to choose default follow-up pages
- Font selection for the form
- Ability to add rich text fields to the form
Lots of good stuff! I know many people have been waiting for some localization (or, “localisation”) efforts, and Forms 2.0 delivers on that. What I’m really interested is advanced use cases here, so let’s dig into some areas of potential.
1) Conditional field visibility:
* If “Country” is “USA”, show “State” picklist.
* If “Country” is “Mexico”, show “Mexican States” picklist.
* If “State” is “Arizona,” show “cities” picklist.
Of course, the Marketo product development team already thought of this. The normal process for adding picklist options is pretty tedious, and definitely not scalable. For adding picklist fields in Forms 2.0, there’s an “Advanced” option in which you can copy and paste pipe-delineated, return-separated values. Ready to grab every country in the U.S.? There are lists for that. City? Lists.
Just hide the states picklist by default, then make it show conditionally.
2) Fieldsets + conditional visibility:
You can show/hide entire groupings of fields based on one condition, and they’re grouped logically and in code! Wow, cool. This one has enormous potential.
Okay, realism. Actual uses. Here we go.
Making forms less daunting. This has been a huge problem if you have a lot of fields in your form. If I go to a page and see a form with 10 fields, my palms start to sweat. That’s way too much detail required for an unknown company and website. On the other hand, if I were to see “First name, Last name, Email,” I wouldn’t worry too much. Then I’d fill those out and a “Company” fieldset appears with a few more fields. Okay, I can do this, I can do this. Fill ’em out, only three more. Etc.
Showing fields relevant to that user based on known information. I want to show different fields to a Customer versus a Partner versus a Prospect. How do I do it? Make an always-hidden field, populate it based on lead information, then set a conditionally-displayed fieldset based on that hidden value. Now the Customer can get to see upsell/cross-sell qualifying questions, whereas the Prospect can get to see base qualifying questions, and the Partner can referral-qualifying questions.
3) Rich text fields in Forms 2.0
The new use here is being able to attach text/HTML/CSS to a form instead of just a landing page or template. Because custom JS might be applicable to only certain types of forms, this is a cleaner approach. The real intended use here is basic, trying to add a line or image to a form, such as being able to add a link to terms and conditions. The potential lies beyond that basic use though:
Then you can create an A/B Landing Page test in Marketo, have identical landing pages except for separate Forms 2.0 with different sequential UI experiences. Bumping your conversion rate is the goal, and now that’s measurable.
These are only the first things I’ve considered with the new release of Forms 2.0. What are some other advanced use cases that you can see?