7 Free Forms Automation Tools to Collect Quality Leads For Your Business

HubSpot: Top Form Builder

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Imagine your web form acting like a threshing machine that separates kernels from husks with ease. Forms are your gateway between you and quality leads. Placed on a strategic landing page, forms can be automated to churn out leads after leads and, ultimately, the seeds to grow your business.

But forms aren’t a standalone tool, they capture information to be fed into a sales funnel. You want a form automation tool that can be easily hooked to your lead generation pipeline. In this context, we analyzed dozens of free form automation tools to help you discover how they stack up as a lead threshers and came up with 7 awesome free form builders.

What are the best free forms automation tools to collect quality leads?

  1. HubSpot
  2. Zoho Forms
  3. Google Forms
  4. Jotform
  5. Wufoo
  6. TypeForm
  7. Formsite

When you’re done reading this article you’ll know the free stuff you’ll get from each of popular form automation tools. They all have drag-and-drop ease, wide integration, customizable options, templates, themes and secure connection. 

Are they all the same? Yes and no. Where this article is useful is helping you identify the unique features you’ll find in each app, the little things that matter like a millisecond difference in Olympics. 

Top B2B Goals

Lead generation is second in the most important goals of B2B companies, according to a Content Marketing Institute study. This makes forms, a critical landing page component, a good starting point to sharpen a lead marketing plan.

Source: B2B Content Marketing Trends (North America, 2015)

Factors that make a free form builder awesome

Just because you’re getting something for free doesn’t it mean you settle for cheap. These form automation tools aren’t your second-rate variants; they offer free features, albeit limited, that can help you optimize lead generation. Surely, these factors won’t automatically help you achieve up to 672% conversion rate with forms, as New York Times best-selling author and web marketing influencer Neil Patel had shown to be possible. But they put you on the right track and can easily adapt to the anatomy of a high-performing lead generation form.

Here are the key benefits of form automation software:

  1. Great customization. They have plenty of these, such as, layout, design, editable fields, custom reporting or any other resources that you can play around.
  2. Easy to use. They have plug-and-play, drag-and-drop simplicity, no HTML, JavaScript or any other coding, what you see is what you get. They’re easy to embed onto your website and newsletter.
  3. Templates. They’ve got themes, standard forms, frequently used fields and other out-of-the-box features that’ll let you launch the form in a snap when you need to.
  4. Security. They’ve got this covered, including the general features like 256 bit SSL connection, encrypted forms and spam filters.
  5. Analytics. At baseline they can track views and filled-up forms and hone in on geolocation and  other demographic sets.

7 Free Form Builders to Help You Collect Quality Leads for your Business

1. HubSpot

Key characteristics of this solution:

  • Free version: Unlimited forms, up to 1,000 fields, special features
  • Paid plan: From $50 per month
  • Unique feature: Integration with other free HubSpot CRM, Sales and Marketing tools

The HubSpot form builder isn’t only great for what it is, but for the company it keeps. It’s part of a robust free lead generation ecosystem of the vendor renowned for lead gen and inbound marketing, and in this respect, it tops our list of 7 free tools to collect quality leads for your business.

This form builder is available in HubSpot Marketing free plan and works closely with other free tools, such as, collected forms, lead flows and CRM. Submitted data is routed to HubSpot CRM contacts base, one of the most robust free CRM software. If you get know how great the free HubSpot CRM features are in managing contacts, tracking leads and deals, all the more you’ll appreciate the form builder. Using a special feature called collected forms, submitted data is automatically organized in the CRM database.

You can easily sign up for a HubSpot Marketing free trial here.

So what do you get from HubSpot’s form builder? With a few drag-and-drop, point-and-click  steps, a form is created in a snap. The form is hosted by HubSpot and can be embedded in your websites by simply copy-pasting the JavaScript code. Any change you make on it is reflected across your websites, an awesome convenience and one which ensures campaign consistency.

You also get up to 1,000 form fields across a dozen different categories. Likewise, you can edit or clone forms, view submission rate and export submissions. Plus, you get hold of Lead Flows in the free plan. It’s a pop-up form that can be customized by question, type, image and display formats.

The form also connects to HubSpot Marketing’s free lead insights for the first seven days, enabling you to view lead activities across a timeline for a better grasp on your prospect’s buying journey.

For more advanced features you can upgrade to HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic, Professional and Enterprise for smart forms, featuring progressive profiling and auto-filling of questions. The form can also be triggered to send follow-up emails and notifications.

Don’t let the simple interface fool you. HubSpot form is just the surface of a powerful lead pipeline that’s easy to use, deploy and optimize.

2. Zoho Forms

Key characteristics of this solution:

  • Free version: 3 forms, 500 submissions per month, unlimited reports, 200 MB file storage
  • Paid plan: From $8 per month
  • Unique feature: Part of Zoho ecosystem

As part of a suite of over 40 Zoho business and productive apps, the form builder merits plus points for native integration. But it’s in automation where the app truly excels, where you to upgrade.

Zoho Forms has great approval workflows for a variety of processes such as notifications, calculations, payments and thank-you messages. For instance, the Add Formula tool allows you to enter formula to grade quizzes or add up costs and set it up with triggers. For online payments, the form integrates with PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout and other widely used secure payment gateways.

You can also set rules based on what you want respondents to see or to trigger emails and display messages based on inputs. Using automation you can create key messages to direct leads to specific web sections like ecommerce and knowledge base. You’ll have a field day creating web visit-to-lead paths that support your marketing and sales goals.

The glaring drawback, of course, is you only have up to 3 forms for free. For what it’s worth, the free plan is a good jump-off to one of the most affordable paid plans. At $8 per month (billed annually), the features are greatly expounded to, among others:  unlimited forms, 10,000 submissions per month and payment integration.

The formula tool as seen in Zoho Forms, which you can set to automatically calculate items.

3. Google Forms

Key characteristics of this solution:

  • Free version: Unlimited forms, submissions
  • Paid plan: From $5 per month (G Suite)
  • Unique feature: Part of G Suite

It’s what you’d expect from a Google app, reliable, tech-intuitive and, perhaps its winning factor, extensive reach across the Google ecosphere. If you’ve already bumped off Microsoft Office for Google Docs, using the form editor becomes more seamless with your documents and files. Submitted data can be auto-saved to Google Sheets, where you have plenty of charts and tools to interpolate data. Though, if you lack for even basic data analytic skills, it can be challenging to optimize these tools.

Had we been talking about forms in general, Google Forms would have been a top choice. Its reach and technical integration with its other widely used apps and online channels make it tough to beat. But the form builder works more for surveys, questionnaires and quizzes and less for lead capture where you’ll need to integrate with a better pipeline than a spreadsheet to nurture prospects.

The form builder features standard tools like create/edit/format, cloud access, customization and email notifications. You can spruce a form up with images and videos and customizable templates.

For advanced features, you get real-time results, smart suggestions and apps script for deep customization and real-time collaboration tools for analyzing data, just to name a few.

A generalist form builder, Google Forms is popular for a variety of uses like event feedback.

4. JotForm

Key characteristics of this solution:

  • Free version: 5 forms, 1,000 views per month, 500 total submissions, SSL secure, 3 payments, unlimited reports
  • Paid plan: From $19 per month
  • Unique feature: Quick setup, super easy and intuitive, rich free feature set

In a field where ease of use is a norm, JotForm seems to up the ante with a highly intuitive design flow. It now requires sign-up, but it’s still has, arguably, the fastest process to create a form.

Simply enter your username, email address and password and you get on boarded to the form editor. You get walked through across three simple steps: create the heading, create settings and, voila! publish. You can share or embed the form in popular platforms such as Wordpress, Joomla, Google Sites and Facebook.

Creating and publishing forms is even made faster with drag-and-drop, copy-paste and link share. Perhaps its most complex step, setting up conditional logic is nothing more than clicking specs from drop-down menus using If-Do logic. These include show/hide field, enable/disable fields, skip to page and change thank-you message and email recipient. And with neatly outlined vertical and horizontal navigation layout, it’s difficult to get lost inside the editor.

Jotform is ideal for general leads, order payments, customer surveys and event registration. We’ve even known companies that use it for job hiring.

Creating If-Do logic is made simple with a dropdown menu in JotForm editor.

5. Wufoo

Key characteristics of this solution:

  • Free version: 1 user, 5 forms, 10 fields, 100 submissions per month, unlimited reports, 100 API requests
  • Paid plan: From $14.08 per month
  • Unique feature: Part of SurveyMonkey suite

Wufoo has got fill-in-the-blank ease and elegance, the form builder divided also by three major steps: add fields, field settings and form settings. You get standard field elements, mostly for collecting answers, registrations or payments, such as, single-line text, paragraph text, multiple choice, checkboxes and dropdown.

It’s dressed up fancy pants, too, for additional lead data, such as rating, price fields and a file uploader if you require image, document and other attached submissions. The form builder has  around 40 templates and themes to get you up to speed for standard surveys.

But it’s the powerful report generator that got our attention. It helps you create reports fast and with cool visual ticklers for KPIs. You can track traffic, conversions and, via a paid plan, layered submissions on Google Analytics for deeper data interpolation. And you can check these entries from a desktop or mobile device.

WuFoo’s editor UI is neat and easy on the eyes.

6. TypeForm

Key characteristics of this solution:

  • Free version: unlimited forms, 10 fields, 100 submissions per month
  • Paid plan: $30 per month
  • Unique feature: Gorgeous frontend

On the average the TypeForm editor is easy. But it’s a little more complicated than most of the form builders here. The form builder has plenty of field elements staring at you at once. It can overwhelm the least tech savvy.

For instance, you’re immediately asked how everything should look like — dropdown, long text, yes/no, number, rating, legal, file upload and about ten more other options — for the welcome screen alone. This is nice and great, you get to customize the form along your needs. But one wonders if, in fact, the options could have been better presented as categories outside of the editor interface, so when you click on a category, the options are focused and far less confusing inside the builder.

There’s a reason for the complexity though. TypeForm is beautiful and we mean literally. The settings allow for a design that’s one level above what most form builders can churn out. You can lace the welcome screen with engaging pop-up GIFs and videos on a gorgeous backdrop and professionally done layout.

Fancy the free app for basic question types with answer piping, metrics and reporting, email notification and API integration.

Not your usual form layout, but the editor can be a bit complex at first.

7. Formsite

Key characteristics of this solution:

  • Free version: 5 forms, 10 submissions per form, 50MB storage
  • Paid plan: $149.95 per year
  • Unique feature: secure fields

Formsite comes with pre-built PayPal or Authorize.net payment processing and can also accept credit card details and cheque payments via its secure fields. This makes the form builder appealing for online transactions. It allows you to encrypt specific text fields and forms for added flexibility.

Beyond security, the app is adaptive to a variety of forms and surveys. You can style it, create and link multiple forms, embed forms, calculate values and scores and customize the look using over 40 items. Standard features include image upload, reCAPTCHA for anti-spamming and API.

With pre-built payment gateway integration, you get a feeling this form builder is designed for online transactions.

Beyond Forms

The form builders above are all  great free tools to collect quality leads for your business. They will help you create forms fast, embed or share them across your digital channels and customize fields that you only want. With careful lead marketing planning they’re likely to capture the data you need.

But there’s the rub, what’s next after data capture? Where will you store the leads? How will you process them into qualified marketing leads and, later, sales-qualified leads? How will you, in fact, turn them into deals? On this the HubSpot form builder has an advantage because it’s backed by HubSpot CRM, Sales and Marketing infrastructure. It really isn’t just a form builder, but a lead generation form. You can check its features closely and how it gives you a full lead pipeline when you sign up for HubSpot free app here.

But why not  give the others a try for better comparison? After all, they’re free lunch waiting for you.

Category: B2B News, Featured Articles

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