A good marketer understands the power of a well-placed, well-designed, and well-executed email.
A good marketer also understands the absolute treasure trove of data a form can be––whether it’s used for generating leads, gathering feedback, or otherwise collecting customer-submitted information for the purposes of understanding and/or segmenting your audience.
So, what should that very good, very smart marketer do when they find themselves faced with the task of combining the two for maximum impact?
Short answer: they definitely shouldn’t slap a URL in the middle of an email and expect it to be enticing enough for subscribers to engage.
Long answer: read on to find out how to properly embed forms in email to create a more seamless experience for your readers and increase engagement.
In today’s competitive marketing landscape, email senders are constantly seeking innovative ways to engage with their audience, learn more about them, and optimize their email strategy to better meet their desired email metrics. One highly effective strategy for collecting crucial customer information is embedding forms directly into marketing emails, a technique that offers several benefits for capturing user data. By seamlessly integrating data collection within the email content, marketers can expect to see the following benefits.
Traditional data collection methods often direct users to external landing pages, introducing friction in the user journey. In contrast, embedded forms keep users within the email, streamlining the process and reducing drop-offs. This simplicity encourages more users to complete the form, increasing the likelihood of conversions, whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, registering for an event, or participating in a survey.
Accurate data is the lifeblood of successful marketing campaigns. By integrating forms within emails, marketers can ensure data accuracy is at its highest level. When users engage with the form within the familiar email environment, they are more likely to provide accurate information, as opposed to navigating to external pages where distractions and errors may occur.
The direct embedding approach also reduces the chances of data input errors caused by manual transfers from one platform to another.
Engagement is the lifeblood of email campaigns. As a result, marketers are encouraged to capture their subscribers’ attention immediately to incur a swift response (see our thoughts on Send Time Optimization vs. View Time Optimization here).
Users are more likely to engage when the process is seamless and takes just a few clicks within the email itself. The convenient and time-saving nature of embedded forms prompts users to act quickly, leading to higher response rates.
Understanding audience preferences and behaviors is crucial for targeted marketing. Embedded forms allow marketers to collect specific and relevant data directly from their audience. With well-crafted forms, marketers can gather insights that enable data segmentation based on demographics, interests, or behaviors.
This in turn empowers marketers to leverage email personalization to create content that resonates with individual recipients, thus increasing overall engagement and conversion rates.
Traditional data collection methods can be time-consuming and cumbersome. By integrating forms directly into emails, marketers simplify the data collection process for both themselves and their audience. The streamlined approach requires minimal effort from users, increasing the likelihood of participation. Additionally, with data submitted directly through email, marketers can collect and store information efficiently, saving valuable time and resources.
Different types of embedded forms in emails cater to different user preferences and campaign objectives. Namely:
This is a fixed form that is included directly within the email’s content. It appears as a self-contained element and doesn’t change regardless of user interaction.
Recipients can input their information and submit the form without leaving the email. Note: While static forms are simple to design and implement, they may have limitations in terms of customization and interactivity.
These forms are more versatile compared to static forms and are designed to update in real-time based on a user’s choices. For example, as users select options within the form, subsequent fields may change, revealing relevant questions or information.
The dynamic nature of these forms enhances user engagement and allows for a more personalized data collection experience.
These forms seamlessly blend into the email’s content, appearing as part of the text or layout. They are strategically placed within the email to capture user data while maintaining a natural flow. Inline forms are effective for gathering specific information or feedback within the context of the email’s message. Their unobtrusive design makes them more likely to be noticed and completed by recipients.
These forms offer a rich and engaging user experience and often include elements like sliders, drag-and-drop features, or clickable buttons, making the data submission process more enjoyable for recipients.
The interactive nature of these forms encourages active participation and can lead to higher response rates. However, it’s essential to strike a balance between interactivity and simplicity to avoid overwhelming users.
In short, by choosing the appropriate type of embedded form, email marketers can optimize user data capture and enhance campaign performance.
In case you’re in need of a refresher, to embed a form in a marketing email, follow these steps:
That said, incorporating the below best practices ensures that your embedded forms are effective and offer a positive user experience.
Craft a strong and persuasive call-to-action (CTA) that clearly communicates the purpose of the form. Use action-oriented language and ensure the CTA stands out visually to encourage recipients to engage with the form.
Keep the form concise and focused on gathering essential information. Minimize the number of fields to reduce user effort and increase completion rates. Avoid unnecessary steps or complex instructions that might deter users from filling out the form.
Today, 81 percent of emails are consumed on mobile devices. With the prevalence of mobile email users, optimize the form’s design for mobile devices. Use a responsive layout that adapts to various screen sizes, and use legible fonts and appropriate button sizes for easy interaction on smaller screens.
Design the form with an appealing layout and visual elements that align with your brand’s aesthetics. Use clear labels, intuitive icons, and contrasting colors to guide users through the form and make it visually engaging.
Reassure recipients about the security of their data by including a privacy statement near the form. Clearly communicate how their information will be used and protected. Implement security measures to safeguard data, such as SSL encryption for data transmission.
Embedding forms directly into marketing emails is a powerful strategy for capturing user data quickly and effectively with the main benefits being increased conversion rates due to a seamless user experience, enhanced data accuracy, higher response rates, personalized campaigns through data segmentation, and a simplified data collection process overall.
However, to maximize the impact of these forms, marketers should carefully consider the type of form to use depending on their campaign goals and user preferences. Additionally, implementing best practices like keeping forms simple, visually compelling, and mobile-friendly with a clear CTA, is essential to the success of these forms.
By adhering to these principles and leveraging the advantages of embedded forms, email marketers can elevate their campaigns, strengthen audience connections, and achieve greater success in achieving their marketing objectives.
Are you curious to find out how your email program stacks up against your competitors? For actionable tips and global insights, download Validity’s 2023 Email Deliverability Benchmark Report today.