#Unpacked EP4: HubSpot Forms

In this episode of Unpacked Remington Begg and George B. Thomas Unpack the HubSpot forms tool. They talk about major form issues most marketers face. How to use HubSpot forms in a completely different way than you may be now and so much more.

Tune in to unpack your future HubSpot forms success and generate more leads.


About the Expert

Remington Begg

My passion is to help business owners succeed by helping them leverage the POWER of internet marketing. We work with clients to define their goals, and backwards-analyze what they need to reach those goals using everything available with the internet.


Full Transcript

George: Unpacked, where we're going to talk about forms for about, I don't know, 20, 25, 30 minutes, and we're going to probably start from basics, or start at advance, and we're going to fly all over the place.

George: By the way, if you are watching this, make sure you leave a comment or a question. You'll probably hear me say that multiple times as we're going through here, because we want this to be super interactive.

George: By the way, if we didn't want you to interact, we would just do a video. The fact that we're doing this in the group and doing live means that we want to see you, hear you. We want you to be part of the show Sprocket Talk Unpacked.

George: Remington, do you want to kick us off with something related to HubSpot forms?

Remington: Yeah. So, HubSpot forms. I think HubSpot forms are often totally forgotten, in regards to HubSpot, in regards to how people can use them, because a lot of times, I'm sure you feel the same way, we'll just into a portal and some will have the same form on 147 different pages, or they have 14 duplicates of the same form that are exactly the same across multiple pages. So, in a lot of cases, there's a whole form strategy that they could have.

George: Yeah. This blows my mind because not only that, but I've also went into portals ... Which by the way, some of these things that we talk about, we may or may not do. We're just having a general conversation about HubSpot forms. I love when I go into portals, typically, when other agencies have helped them, maybe sometimes when we have, and I see that there's an awareness form. Form. One form, for all things awareness. One form for all things consideration. One form for all things decision. I don't know if I love that or not, to be honest.

George: I see where in some cases it makes absolute sense, but the fact that they think that you can do three forms and be done on your website forever is a no bueno, no bueno, because there are times where forms need to get micro, and you're really going to understand that the more that we talk about forms today and some of the crazy, nerdy things that Remington ... Because, I know where he's going. I know where he's going. Some of the crazy, nerdy things that he's going to talk about ... Which, by the way, I don't know where he's going because we scripted this. This is completely unscripted. We're just going to float with it, but there are things that you're going to do on individual forms that make no sense to be on a form that is going to be across all of your awareness ebook, guides, checklists, things like that.

George: Now, I want to take a step back. And Remington, I actually want to talk about how people, when they're thinking of their forms, might want to think of HubSpot forms in a different way. What I mean by that is don't think of the form as a just general piece, but think of individual properties that one can create for the form, because you have the ability to completely customize the experience. Because you can customize the questions, you can customize the potential answers, and when you're thinking of about those properties inside your forms, more times than not, I like to think of when I can create a form in a drop down or a check box where somebody can give me three or four specific answers ... Maybe five or six. You guys get that I'm just throwing out the number. Versus a text line where they can type anything in.

George: Reason for that? Because I want to make it easy for me on individual properties, with individual five, six, four, three, two, seven answers, to use those drop downs or those checks as segmentation pieces.

George: So, let's say I have five custom properties. Each custom property has four possible answers. I now have a massive amount of ways that I can segment, depending upon the answers of those custom properties. Which, by the way, if I'm saying custom properties, I'm also going to tell you that you should create custom groups for those properties.

George: Remington, what's next on forms?

Remington: Yeah, yeah. I like where you went there, in regards to having your primary question and those conditional fields. 100%. Where I think people often forget is hidden fields. I love hidden fields. It's probably one of my favorite things to do.

Remington: So, I got two of them. One is hidden fields for those types of forms. We, a lot of times at Impulse Creative, have people that we want to classify very easily so that we tell the client what they got to worry about. Is this a sales qualified lead, or is this a "I just wanted to download your ebook and read it"? Right?

Remington: So, one of the biggest areas, people who [00:05:06] get stuck with automation and they think about that kind of thing. We can go in and just set a hidden field at a specific property on a form. So, if you have that ebook, you could set that lifecycle stage to be marketing qualified lead or subscriber, if it's a blog subscribe. From there, you don't have to worry about any kind of automation. It's automatically going to drop them in the bucket they need. So, that's one.

George: Without a doubt. Without a doubt.

Remington: The second one that is really fun is a lot of times you'll send people to a page and you want to know about the most recent source, or maybe the UTM campaign. So, with these hidden fields, you can take whatever the field value is, or the actual field property name is ... So, first name, as an example, or email. If you put a question mark email equals whatever your email address is, in the URL, it will auto fill the form field.

Remington: What's cool about that is if you have other technologies or other tools and you're driving someone from Mailchimp to your HubSpot form, you can make it so it pre-fills those forms, too, by using those hidden fields.

George: Yeah, yeah. And I know that all of you are looking for the live rewind button right now. Not a thing. Not a thing, but when this is over, you can rewind that. As you rewind it, or right now if you're just like, "Wait. What?", you can put #NinjaSkills right in the comment section below. I'm just going to throw that out there.

George: By the way, you can take this to any level that you want. I'm going to take Remington's tip, and I'm going to take my tip, and I'm going to squash them together like a big Hershey's peanut butter cup, chocolate and peanut butter together. Imagine if you created a custom property. Let's say you market it to, I don't know, firefighters from Fargo who are interested in fire hoses, maybe. That's a lot of Fs people, but you get the idea. If you knew that they filled out a form that was on an ebook specific to fire hose products, you could literally set that as a hidden field and know that you are segmenting, if they fill out that form, by interested in fire hoses. Boom. Plain and simple. Right there. Anyway that your mind can think of using those hidden fields with any of your custom properties, you can do amazing things and it's immediate.

George: What's nice, too, is it's very cemented, very secure, very like a foundational piece that you just know there's not any mistakes, which is why I'm going to flip back to ... Remember, Remington, when I said I don't know if I like the all awareness, all consideration, all decision? My biggest fear in that is that, not everybody but some people, some HubSpot users will do that, and they won't know to pay attention to what URL it was on or what other metric needs to go with that form, and there will be mistakes made in the way that they're marketing or selling to, or segmenting, that potential contact.

George: Now, another tip. A form, people, doesn't always have to be a form. By the way, before I give you that tip ... Before I give you that tip, let me just say, put in the comments ... Yes, they are super useful. We have a comment. Put in the comments any questions or thoughts that you have about what we're talking about.

George: So, let me go back into this.

Remington: And tell us if you disagree, too.

George: Oh, yeah.

Remington: We don't just want yes men and women. Challenge us because we can all learn something here.

George: Right. We can all learn something. I always like learning things. Okay. I want to act like I'm going to go into it and not go into it again, because the suspense. What do you mean a form's not a form?

George: So, here's the thing. Tip. HubSpot form doesn't always have to be a form. What I mean by that is just because it's a forms tool doesn't mean that you can't use it in other options, ideas, strategies. For instance, one of the things that I've heard over and over and over and over again, questions I get ... "Hey, what kind of survey tool should we use that integrates with HubSpot?"

George: Now, let's stop and think about this for a second. A survey tool is a tool that allows you to ask people questions and get answers that you want to see the responses to. A forms tool is a tool that asks people questions, gives them options to answer, and gives you the responses to. Okay.

George: So, with that, a landing page doesn't always have to be a landing page, meaning you can absolutely go into HubSpot, you could create a landing page as a survey page design, and you could create a HubSpot form as a survey instead of a form, therefore putting the HubSpot form on what looks like a survey page and doing your survey, using your HubSpot form and custom properties that we talked about already. Now, there's no worry about integration. There's no extra paying for additional third party not to be named monkey to that do survey and things. You don't need any of that, because now the survey is fully in HubSpot, on a HubSpot landing page, using a HubSpot form, using your custom properties. And by the way, people, you should have a custom property group called survey questions, so you absolutely know how to quickly build surveys in the future and can grab questions from multiple surveys that you've done in HubSpot, all in one tool. I'm just throwing that out there.

George: Hey, we got a "What's up, boys?" I can't share it with the world. No, you can't share it with the world. It's in the group. But you know what you can share? You can share the fact that anybody that is a HubSpot user should join right now, or tomorrow, or a day later, maybe even a week.

Remington: Right now.

George: I don't know. Right now, they could come join the Sprocket Talk group because this live, right now, if you're going to get it truly live, is in the group, and that's the place where it's at.

Remington: For group members only.

George: So, thank you for pointing that out.

Remington: All right.

George: Forms. Remington, go.

Remington: You had a lot of goodness in there in regard to the survey stuff. The one objection I've heard to that is I can't take that data and turn it into something. What's cool is you can export that data just as easy. So, a lot of times you can totally make that stuff happen.

Remington: So, bringing it back to forms. So, smart forms. When I say smart forms, what do you think? Right?

George: I mean, that they're smart.

Remington: Well, right. Smart forms, a lot of times people don't realize ... And this even stumped a couple people at HubSpot support, from some of our clients, is you can serve different HubSpot forms based on campaigns. So, if you have different lead routing because the different ... You could do different locations. You could do different ... You know, metro areas. You could break it down all the way to campaign or even list segmentation. You could show different lists on different landing pages to get different things moving, as long as you got the form imbed in the HubSpot tool.So, by doing that, you're going to be able to take that HubSpot form, and you're going to be able to change up some of that criteria that's on there, in addition to what you can do with progressive profiling, which is the second tip of this piece here.

Remington: You could dig in, and you could be asking completely different questions, whether or not someone's already submitted. So, if you know, and they're in a smart list, that they are a informationally qualified lead, then you could easily start dropping ... You could easily start dropping them into certain areas where you're asking completely different questions, because you know they're qualified, or you could have an opportunity that is suddenly coming through and downloading a whole bunch of your guides. You could start asking those, what I call, inoculating the objection questions that you could really start to drive in, to get those qualified leads, so it just hands the leads over on a silver platter.

George: Yo, are you inoculating your people? I don't know, but you should be, right?

Remington: Inoculating objections.

George: Yeah. Get rid of them. Work for it. Hey, I'm going to go back out of nerdy for a minute. By the way, nerdy has been awesome.

George: Here's the thing. Some of you might know, maybe hate it, maybe haven't tried it, but the fact that with HubSpot form you have now styles or templates for your forms, right? For instance, if you're embedding this on another website, or even if you are using it on the HubSpot CMS, you can choose a style that you want your forms to look like, and specific per form, as well. So, if you want that smooth little just the line that they fill out, it's a style.

George: As a matter of fact, I think there's five, maybe six. I think five, maybe six. I think five styles that you can use for the forms. Now watch. I'll go look after this live broadcast. There'll be like seven.

Remington: Be 14.

George: And I'll look like an idiot. Yeah. No, there's not that many. There's not that many. However, with that, if you don't want to use a style, there is a nice little check mark that you can click and say, "No, don't use any style", because you might be a CSS ninja, and you're like, "No, I want to make it look exactly what I want it to look like", which is awesome.

George: All right. So, that's form styles that you can use. We've talked about custom properties. We're talked about custom groups. We've talked about smart forms. We've talked about surveys, well forms as surveys. We've talked about even the fact that you can do hidden fields. What else?

Remington: Progressive profiling.

George: Yeah, progressive profiling.

Remington: We talked about smart forms.

Remington: So, the other one is, I hear it a lot, multi-step forms. Everyone freaks out. They're like, "I can't multi-step forms." We have some onboarding forms, tying together your survey stuff, and then also-

George: Now, now ...

Remington: Go ahead.

George: Now, warn people. Warn people. We got to warn people. If you're at a standing desk right now-

Remington: Sit down.

George: Just sit down. We don't want anybody to be injured in the first episode of the Sprocket Talk Unpacked show. We just don't want that to happen, so if you're at a standing desk, sit down.

George: Okay, Remington. Go for it.

Remington: Multi-step forms are relatively easy to do. Just like we recommend people dig in and start to build landing pages out from the thank you page on up to the landing page on the form, what we tell people to do is if you have multi-step forms, build out however many forms, and consider it one complete thought in regards to the questions you're going to ask. Then, essentially what you can do is, we have one entrance form we use. There's five steps in it. What we do is we have the first three questions on every single form is the person's contact info. Right? So, first name, last name, email address. Now, that stuff will hide if the information's already known, which you probably want to do as well, which is another little bonus piece. Right?

Remington: Then, in addition to that, if you have that on every single form, then you start talking about the different elements that you need. The form redirect simply goes to the next page. All you need to do is drop in a delay on the first one or have the person known.

Remington: So, here we go. This is essentially how it'll run. You have somebody fill out the first page, and let's say it's someone who is going to be requesting a consultation. You say, "Awesome. It's great to meet you. Fill out this form, and we'll let you get a meeting booked." They go through. They book that meeting. They immediately can get to that thank you page. In the amount of time it takes for the user to click the link on the thank you page to continue filling out the rest of the information you need, you are going to be able to measure all the submissions of these forms as they go and also do some lead scoring, but you'll also be able to drop those in and start to just set up the form reader X for each form, to continue collecting information.

Remington: So, your submit buttons ... We never want to actually see the word "submit". Right? But your submit button could just say, "Continue to step two", or "Continue to step three", and essentially each form will just redirect to the next, and you could go on forever. Probably don't want to go on forever, because you won't want to bore people, but you can get some really compelling information. That's one of the biggest areas for Impulse, that we start to identify super informationally qualified leads, is because we've literally collected every question we'd want in the sales process, and now we can actually go in and talk about value.

George: Yeah. So, you just dropped like a couple things, by the way. Didn't even think about it, but before we get to me talking about those things that you dropped and just rolled right on by ... Kind like rolling, rolling on the ... Anyway. I digress. I digress. Hey, by the way, yes ... No, actually. I can't go yes. No, I do not use CSS to make my hair absolutely perfect.

Remington: Yes. Center align. Center align. Flex box. That's how he does his hair.

George: Yeah, flex box. Right there. Right there.

George: No, actually, it's a product called Monkey Snot. Believe it or not-

Remington: What?

George: That is the ... Monkey Snot. That is the name of it. But-

Remington: This episode is not sponsored by Monkey Snot.

George: It's not sponsored by Monkey Snot. Actually, it's not sponsored by anybody, but if anybody from HubSpot is watching right now, we are ... You can email us. No, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. That's not what this show's about, people. It's not what this show's about.

George: Also, though, Remington, we have a question. What about putting a form ... Actually, let me hit something first. You rolled by that you wouldn't want submit or subscribe on a button. By the way, one of the things HubSpot forms, completely customizable copy on your button. I know that sounds simple, but there's somebody out there that isn't using HubSpot right now and may ask the question, "Hey, I wonder if I can easily customize the copy or text on the button of my form." Yes, you can, and you've just watched a video that says you can, and Remington rolled right by it.

George: Now, Remington, this is going to get you nerdy.

Remington: Yeah, let's roll.

George: So, you got your thinking cap on, bro?

Remington: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

George: You got it on? Okay. So, what about putting a form as a survey into a bot as defined from a campaign or list?

Remington: So, you could have field data that you would ask for in the bot. Wouldn't necessarily want it to feel like a form, if you're using the bot to do it, but you could totally make the forms available based on that campaign. But you could also do the exact same thing with the bot if you want. You just got to be understanding of the experience, and I would say why not do both? Because, that bot could collect some conversions that may not happen on the form.

George: Which, by the way, if nobody knows, like if you're watching this and you haven't paid attention to Remington Begg, the dude is a little bit like live chat bot playbook crazy. He's like the ninja of the bot world. I'm just going to throw that out.

Remington: Thanks.

George: I'm just going to throw that out there. So, hey, speaking of which, by the way, this show is amazing already, first episode out, because we've got one of these comments that says, "Ahh." Now, when it starts that way, you know it's a good one.

Remington: Right.

George: Says, "This will be good for when candidates book calls with me. Then another form on the thank you page, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera."

Remington: Amen.

George: Right? So, that's good. That's good. Okay. All right.

George: Forms.

Remington: Forms. What else you got, George?

George: HubSpot. Here's the thing. I see you out there-

Remington: Because you said you had a baker dozen.

George: I see ... Yo, which is 13, by the way. I'm pretty sure that's 13, but I don't know if we'll hit all 13, because, daggone, we only got 10 minutes left. Ten minutes left-

Remington: I got four more, so let's roll.

George: Thirty minutes is fine. Okay, so here's the thing. I see you out there. I see all you people creating all those forms using HubSpot, and they're super long forms. You're asking 27 questions, and hey, I'm not going to go at you and say you shouldn't have 27 fields in a form. There may be a reason, at the very bitty, bitty, bitty bottom of the funnel, that you need somebody to fill out that type of form. I get it.

George: However, the problem is that there is a feature in HubSpot forms that you are not using, that helps the user understand where their mind should be in the moment of the fields that they're actually filling out. That is, in your HubSpot forms, you can add text that you can turn into headers, and so you can literally break the form up into three or four sections where it's, "Hey, personal information", "Hey, company information", "Hey, product information", "Hey, problem information", "Hey" ... I don't have any more heys, but you get the idea. You could have like five or six sections, and you could have an H2 or H3 that breaks up those 27 fields, and it looks a lot nicer, cleaner, sleeker. And it can even be where the H3 is styled, bringing up CSS, by the way, that hit the comments a star today. It could be that the background is a solid color blue and the text is white, but the rest of the page is gray. Right?

George: So, you can get super creative. You can make it visually stimulating. Why are you not dragging in that extra little text area that you can use with your HubSpot form fields? I don't know.

Remington: Yeah. It's actually a rich text field. You can put whatever the heck you want in there.

George: That's right.

Remington: I actually think you could even put an image in there if you want, but that could get a little crazy.

George: I think ... eh-

Remington: You don't want that page too long.

George: We warned people we might get buck wild. No, but a small icon might be super dope.

Remington: Sure. Yeah, or an emoji. 100%.

George: As long as it's not the poop emoji.

Remington: Right.

George: Hashtag-

Remington: Well, unless you're a plumber.

George: Well, actually ... Yo, what's your favorite emoji? As you're watching this, put in the comments ... I mean, you could literally just grab an emoji and throw it in there. You don't have to be like, "Well, my favorite emoji is" ... No, it's just what is your favorite emoji? Put it in the comments below.

Remington: All right. To your point there, one of my favorite things that a lot of times people don't know is form analytics. In the HubSpot tool, you not only can have all the definition, but the form analytics are pretty awesome. You could see how many times your form was viewed and how many times the actual form was filled out. That can be really compelling and useful, too, because when you think about that, we care so much about our CTAs and their click through rates of them, and we care so much about our landing pages, but in some cases we ... Like, at Impulse, a lot of our forms aren't on our service pages, so you could totally drop in and understand, wow, this form might be too overwhelming. Let's dumb down some of the questions and add in some of those hidden fields, or whatever, or progressive profiling, or conditional fields, as you had said.

Remington: The form analytics is huge, and what's really cool is you can click from the ability there, and immediately create a static list of the people who have filled out that form in that given moment. So, that can be fun, too.

George: Yep. You know what else is fun?

Remington: What else is fun?

George: Being organized is fun, Remington. I like being organized. I like when people are organized. You know, people are like, "Ah, you know, I don't know how to be organized in forms." Have you looked lately? By the way, how often do you go to the forms tool? But have you looked lately? There's folder structure in HubSpot forms. So, you literally can have, you mentioned it, a service forms folder, an employment forms folder, and awareness folder, a decision folder, a ... You can have any type of folder you want, and then you can put the forms in those folders.

George: The reason I bring this one up is because, in HubSpot, one of the things that I'm always training everybody that I train, when we do the HubSpot consulting, is any action that you can take or any way that you can be organized that helps you find something in ten seconds instead of ten minutes will make you love HubSpot just that much more. Please, rewind that and listen.

Remington: Amen.

George: Ten seconds over ten minutes. So, having these file folders for forms ... And by the way, they are not related to the list folders, because those people are the wrong side of the tracks, because when you put lists in folders, they still stay in some big stinking long lost that you can get lost in. When you ... It's wrong. Whoever's building the list tool, please, like a folder structure is so that it goes in there, and it's in there, and it's nowhere else. Now, forms-

Remington: George, this is about forms.

George: No, no, no. I get it. I get it. Hey, no, this is about being real life with HubSpot, and anybody that tunes to Sprocket Talk Unpacked is going to get live ... At least for the next four minutes in this episode ... and raw, and like I said, we might get buck wild. I'm feeling a little buck wild right now, but ... But in the forms tool, when you move a form to a folder, it goes in said folder. So, there can be a day, instead of you logging into your HubSpot portal right now and going, "Holy bejeezus. 57 forms. 12 pages", you can be like, "Oh, look. There's six folders, and I know exactly what's going to be in one of those six folders when I click in there to find the form that I need, because I want to do some reporting, or I want to add a field, or I want to do something to it." Just saying.

Remington: All right. So, I've got another one.

George: I got a little hype there.

Remington: Yeah. You got a little off.

George: I got a little hype there.

Remington: Got heated.

George: That's probably like a clip.

Remington: Yeah. So, another one for me that-

George: I might have to take me heart medicine, I'm just saying, before these things.

Remington: You need to like ... You just walk. So, the other thing is the share link for forms. Right? So, we were talking about all these survey pages and everything. If you really have ... And you could really use this for internal onboarding. If you have questions that you want your salespeople to ask, you could have a whole bunch of bookmarks that just drive straight to that share link, and just make sure that form isn't collecting cookie data. You could have them fill out the forms of those questions for every single one of their prospects. It could be really easy for them to get that information on. So, it's in the top right of the forms tool when you're in a form. You just hit share, click the share link, and it's not pretty, but it's ready to roll. You could create a form and create the link for someone to be able to fill it out in minutes.

George: Gosh, I can't believe we're down to two minutes. I'm loving Sprocket Talk Unpacked.

George: By the way, if you're loving Sprocket Talk Unpacked, you need to let us know in the comments. Let's finish this up strong, Remington.

Remington: Yeah.

George: Forms. Properties. I'm going to throw something that's a little sideways. Anybody out there paying attention right now, lead scoring is, by the way, moving from where lead scoring lives. It's moving into properties, which means it's also getting tied into properties, which could be potentially part of forms.

George: Anyway, I bring that up because I want you to talk about ... Because it's super nerdy. I want you to talk about calculations and what one could do with calculations, and forms, and data, and all that fun stuff.

Remington: Yeah, for sure. So, calculations could get a lot of fun. Anything that you could calculate in Excel spreadsheet, you could do in HubSpot. Now, you do have to have HubSpot Enterprise for calculations. Marketing Enterprise.

George: #upgrade.

Remington: If you do have it, it's really amazing because you could go from asking people how many seats they have at their organization, or how many people do you want to attend this event, and they could submit and fill out that form. You could have an automatic or even a thank you page that actually displays their cost.

George: Yeah.

Remington: Or you could go in and start to do those crazy calculations that George is talking about, based on certain math and things that are happening. So, there's a lot of value there.

Remington: I'm going to kind of breeze over that a little bit because, literally, calculations-

George: One minute.

Remington: If you could do it-

George: One minute.

Remington: ... for Excel or Google Sheets, you can do calculations in HubSpot. The final thing, and probably one of my favorite and I think under-utilized, HubSpot just kind of rolled this under the rug, is followup options for email based on forms. You can automatically send submissions for the email notifications to the actual contact owner, which you could only do with a workflow historically, or you manually had to do it for each and every form. So, if you have some workflows that go through or you have some people who are owing their leads, and you want them to get notified when an ebook gets downloaded, check that option, followup notifications in the form options.

George: Yeah. There's about 27 other things that we could talk about forms, but it is officially five o'clock.

Remington: We did good, man.

George: That's 30 minutes. We busted it down for the entire time, Remington. Here's what I'm going to tell people in this group. First of all, if you love the comment, talk about how you love the comment. We already got "thanks, dudes". We got "don't get George started". We got "super cool content. I'm a fan." Hey, I'm a fan, too. So, here's the thing. Start right now, in the comment, if you're watching this live or if you're watching this after it's live, put in the comments what tool should Remington and I unpack next, next week. Next week, which actually we're talking about maybe Thursday, but next week, what tool ... ? You know how we roll. We just-

Remington: Next episode.

George: Yeah. Next episode, what tool would you like to hear us unpack? Because, they the way, this live show, Sprocket Talk Unpacked, is for you, the group, the audience, the HubSpot user. We want to be able to throw out as much training, as many ideas ... Not cloud, but some cloud and a lot of tactical, so you guys can be amazing at HubSpot.

George: Remington, any last words before we close? We're a minute over.

Remington: No. Try it, and take something away today, and do it. And let us know what you think.

George: That's right. Go out into the world, folks, and do some happy HubSpotting.