I’m going to put this out there first: I LOVE Gravity Forms.
I use Gravity Forms to run my own business and incorporate them into the sites of all my clients.
There’s just so much you can do with Gravity, above and beyond what you might imagine. Obviously I can use it for my contact form or a detailed client questionnaires, but it does so much more than just boring ol’ forms.
Less Work with Gravity Forms
Here are just four creative ways to use Gravity Forms:
Surveys. Gravity forms are handy for surveys, which provide statistical data for tracking the transformation of course participants and whether they actually achieved the outcomes I desired for them.
Legal Document Signing. The premium pro version includes a signature field add-on. Using the Gravity Form’s notifications, I can email both my clients and myself a copy of the signed terms. Instead of having (and paying for) a separate service for signing, you can work with Gravity Forms.
Sync with Other Tools. Gravity Forms syncs with lots of tools (including MailChimp—we’ll get to that in a minute). I sync it with FreshBooks, my online accounting software. When clients agree to work with me, they fill out a new client contact details form, which sets up a new client in FreshBooks, so I don’t have to ask the client in a separate email for their mailing address etc. They take care of that small step which improves my accounting workflow speed and efficiency.
Attach Documents to a Form. Just as I use Gravity Form to pull client information into Freshbooks, I could do the same with contractors and ask them to submit a W9 form at the same time. Gravity Forms allows you to attach documents to forms, so I’d avoid having to madly chase down W-9s come tax time.
As an added bonus, all of these forms can be synced with MailChimp (Tired o MailChimp? Read why I’m a MailChimp super fan here). When forms are synced MailChimp, each time somebody submits a form, their profile in MailChimp can be updated so they are added to a unique group in your list. In turn, I can automatically trigger emails when they are added to these new groups using MailChimp’s automation tools. Responsive and easy peasy.
Gravity Forms + Mail Chimp = Match Made in Heaven
But Gravity Forms isn’t just for long forms. Gravity Forms and MailChimp play particularly nicely when it comes to lead capture forms.
1. I can maintain one list in MailChimp. Again, my opt-in forms are synced with a list in MailChimp. You can sync with any list, but I maintain one list with lots of groups, rather than lots of lists. This means I am only paying for each subscriber once, and I don’t have to send multiple emails to multiple lists (because in MailChimp you can only email one list at a time). You can get pretty clever with directing subscribers to specific groups in your MailChimp list using Gravity Forms. If users answer one question “yes” you can send them to one group, or if they answer another question “blue” you can send another way.
2. I can segment subscribers into segments. In addition to using multiple groups in MailChimp, you can create Segments. MailChimp defines a Segment as “a collection of subscribers with common qualities.” So for example, you may have segments based on search results* in your list, such as: people who signed up to your list between certain dates, people who opened emails between certain dates, people from a specific group who signed up after a certain date … or people who belong to two groups. This last one is handy for working out conversions, for example, how many people signed up to my list via my Facebook campaign AND then bought the course I sold to them.
3. I can trigger MailChimp automation campaigns. One of the automation triggers in MailChimp automation (for paid users only, from $10/month) is “user added to group” so, again, I can funnel users who hit submit to specific groups and in turn trigger specific automated campaigns.
4. I can get clever with MailChimp automation campaigns. MailChimp automation can be based on user activity as well, so if someone is added to a group, which triggers a unique automated email, and then they DON’T open that email, I can trigger another email. I can also trigger a particular email if they DO open the first email.
5. I can skip the double opt-in. I’m actually a proponent of double opt-in, but some marketers believe that it can hinder opt-in rates. The more hoops you ask somebody to jump through to get on your list the more likely you are to lose them. There’s still a lot of debate about best practice on this one, but if you decide that a single opt-in is right for your business (or right sometimes), it’s easy to set up that way in Gravity Forms + MailChimp.
6. I can deliver opt-in gifts instantly. If you use the MailChimp embed code for your forms, you have to wait for people to double opt-in, before they get their freebie. In that short space of time they can lose interest. With Gravity Forms, as soon as someone hits submit, they can be re-directed to another page in your website which can house your downloadable PDF, ebook, audio file, or video! Or they can be redirected to a page containing your webinar details.
7. I can deliver different opt-in gifts. If you use the MailChimp embed code and the automatic opt-in emails that come with each list in MailChimp, you can only send one “Welcome” email containing your freebie per list. By now you know that I like to maintain just one list with lots of groups and segments, rather than lots of lists. Now, let’s say you want to send someone a gift if they land on one page on your site, and a different gift if they end up on another. When you use Gravity Forms, they can be automatically re-directed to any “thank you” page that you create in your website, which would house your unique downloadable files. And if you funnel people into groups, you can trigger automated emails when someone is added to a new group.
Sold! Now How Do I Do It?
If this all sounds great, but your head is starting to spin thinking about making it happen, relax. Let’s make this easy. To use Gravity Forms for your lead forms you need three things:
1. MailChimp account
2. Gravity Forms Pro installed in your WordPress site (at least $99 level)
3. MailChimp add-on installed and set-up on your site WordPress site
Once you have the three pieces in place:
1. In your MailChimp list, go to Manage Subscribers, Groups, and add a hidden Group.
2. Add a form in your WordPress site.
3. Add a page to put your form into (or add it to an existing page or post).
4. Add a “Thank you” page to direct people to after they hit submit.
5. Set-up your automation campaigns in MailChimp
Free Video Tutorials!
Need a little more direction? I have a series of 5 short videos to walk you through the process so that Gravity Forms and MailChimp start making your email marketing life easier!
Just fill out the form (yeah, Gravity Forms at work here) to get access to the videos.