One of our favorite things about the inbound ecosystem is probably something that others love ... but also kind of hate at the same time. This wild...
2 min read
Hey, everybody! It's Liz here, your friendly, neighborhood content strategist and co-host of the HubHeroes podcast. Now, you may be wondering why I'm...
Look, there's been some speculation that this particular charismatic HubHero (with volume control issues) was unable to attend HubSpot's...
Meet your HubHeroes
Agency vet, content therapist, messaging strategist, HubHero wrangler.
HubSpotter, partner enabler, strategy wizard, BLACK@INBOUND.
HubSpotter, senior solutions engineer, CRM evangelist, a millennial on TikTok.
George B. Thomas
HubHeroes leader, growth catalyst, guardian of humans, HubSpot expert.
[00:00:00] George B. Thomas: So,
Not only an employer, but uh, or employee, but mc of partner Day coming up in a
[00:00:06] Liz Moorehead: What? What? Yeah, Devin,
[00:00:09] Max Cohen: Let's go.
[00:00:10] Devyn Bellamy: Yeah, they told me I'm
[00:00:11] Liz Moorehead: go buddy.
[00:00:12] Devyn Bellamy: Janet Jackson headset mic, so I'm geeked
[00:00:15] George B. Thomas: Oh, I
[00:00:15] Liz Moorehead: Are we gonna be a part of a Rhythm Nation? Are we gonna be a part of a
[00:00:18] Devyn Bellamy: I'm, I was considering it, but I figure the first time a black guy's on the big stage, he shouldn't be dancing, so I'm gonna,
[00:00:26] Liz Moorehead: Oh my
[00:00:26] George B. Thomas: Hey, I would pay good money to see Devin dancing on the main
[00:00:31] Liz Moorehead: I've got, I got two whole
[00:00:33] Devyn Bellamy: We, I'm going to every single party, every night at inbound, I'm going to the speaker party. I'm going to the v i P party. I'm going to all the parties.
[00:00:44] George B. Thomas: Yeah.
[00:00:44] Liz Moorehead: fancy. I love it. You know what I would like to lobby for though, George, at the end of that safe harbor statement, uh, I would love for it us to just add and George and Maxim Liz are employed somehow just.
[00:00:58] George B. Thomas: Or they do. They do stuff.
[00:01:00] Devyn Bellamy: They get money from people for
[00:01:02] Max Cohen: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
[00:01:04] Liz Moorehead: stuff in things, but that's a little bit more of a nuanced discussion, much like the discussion we are gonna be having today. Wasn't that segue flawless? Look at that. I'm a swan.
[00:01:14] Max Cohen: Good transition.
[00:01:15] George B. Thomas: that was, yeah. That actually deserves a, you know, a little,
[00:01:21] Liz Moorehead: Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am soci. Actually, I am very excited for today's conversation. I know I say this every week. But one of the reasons why I'm particularly excited about this episode is because I know the moment I say out loud what it is that we're talking about, I'm going to hear people falling down as eye rolls in the back of their head because they're not going to see immediately off the bat.
Why this topic is important. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Hub Heroes, national Lampoons. Wild wacky winning HubSpot Forms Adventure, everybody get in the station wagon. We are going cross country to Wally world and we are talking about forms because in a world where HubSpot and inbound and content reign Supreme, it's easy to overlook.
Probably the most essential HubSpot tool that exists. Not the blogging tool. Not the email tool, not all the marketing capabilities. No, no, no. Not even the C R M. And I'm not saying those things aren't important, but my point is is that the form is the nexus. The form is what makes all of those other things valuable.
That's where all of your contacts and your leads come in. Or more specifically, George, they're not contents and contacts and leads who are, they really
[00:02:38] George B. Thomas: Oh, I love the setup. I love the setup
[00:02:40] Liz Moorehead: do it. Let's do it. Are we ready, max, are you
[00:02:42] George B. Thomas: Humans.
[00:02:43] Devyn Bellamy: Oh yeah.
[00:02:44] Max Cohen: Oh, that's
[00:02:46] George B. Thomas: Ah, buddy. Yeah, I'm just saying I love the setup.
[00:02:48] Liz Moorehead: That was so beautiful. But likely without forms, actually not likely.
There is no inbound. It does not exist. So whether you're new to HubSpot or you've been slinging HubSpot forms for years. You gotta consider this episode mandatory listening. I'm serious because we are not gonna sit here and be like, well, so you drag and drop the different fields and that's how you get a first name in front of the last name.
We're not talking about that. We're going bigger, we're going deeper. And I'm just gonna say by the end of this episode, you are not gonna look at forms the same way again. I'm saying it now. I'm making the declaration. What do
[00:03:22] George B. Thomas: happen. Yeah, absolutely. It's gonna happen. Do you, there will be one, if not many things, where your brain starts to tweak and change and think.
[00:03:30] Liz Moorehead: So George, actually, I wanna start this conversation with you because typically the way I begin all of these episodes is I start by going, gentlemen, start your mindset engines. What do people need to be thinking about? But I wanna take a step back from that. You're welcome, max. Happy Friday. But I wanna take a step back from that for a moment because I wanna ask you, quite frankly, a leading question based on something that you said that blew my mind open.
When you and I were throwing around this topic as an idea for the podcast, you said to me, and I quote, I actually wrote it down. The moment you start thinking about your forms as conversation points rather than conversion points, everything changes. And that's one of the things where I'm like, wow, he sounds so smart.
What does that, what, what does that mean? So, so first for a friend of mine, me, what does that mean? Tell tell us about
[00:04:23] George B. Thomas: Yeah, absolutely. So, First of all, you know that it is for me about the humans and the humanity of it, and like, treat me like a human, not like a customer. And, and you also know a little bit about me is that I like to simplify the complex and I like to get down to the root principles of why things actually work.
And so, If you talk to a marketer, it's about conversion rates and it's c R O, and it's the mechanics of it all. And what I want everybody to realize is when it comes to your HubSpot forms, it's less about the conversion, but more about the conversation that happens afterwards. Now, this could be an automated conversation with a workflow in three emails, or this could be a sales conversation that happens after this.
But when you start to think about conversation versus conversion, it enables you to lean into the human side of doing business and, and as my buddy, mark Schafer says, the most human companies will win. So while this sounds like a very small word, It is a massive mind shift or change in the way that you think about what's happening now if it's a conversation.
We created the content to start a conversation. We created the content to be valuable and helpful to start a conversation. We've got the form. We've got the lead intelligence of the human that we can use during the conversation to help them. Through the hurdle or to the aspirational? It like it's, it's fundamentally different than, yeah, it's 25.7%.
[00:05:56] Liz Moorehead: Max and Devon, what say you, what do you think most people are thinking about incorrectly or misunderstand? When it comes to HubSpot forms, whether we're talking about mindsets or anything, a little bit more granular. Devin, I see you nodding. I saw that nod. You ready? You
[00:06:11] Devyn Bellamy: Yeah. Um, the, one of the most common misperception about HubSpot forms or forms in general is that you only need one, one form to capture them. All Yeah, man. That, that ain't gonna cut it. Um, Uh, like the whole thing, and I'm sure people who have been to inbound scene talks on the, uh, conversion paths, all that stuff.
Taking the courses is that information is like currency. The more valuable of a thing you're giving them, the more information you can ask of them. If you're asking 'em to sign up for a newsletter and you're asking for anything more than your email address, uh, you're going to get. Like not much. If you are asking for like, their whole life story and all you're doing is giving them an ebook, it's like, nah, man.
Uh, different forms, different flavors, uh, for different pages. Um, so depending on how valuable whatever's on the other side of that form is, that should determine, How much information that form is asking for. you can also, if, if you want to get more granular without, you know, getting overly detailed, what you could do is you could start using, you know, the, uh, the, the, the smart fields.
Um, and, and you know, if you have one bit of information, then all right, well instead of that, let's ask for another bit of information. but your form shouldn't just be the same static contact us form. On every page for everything. And it's like, that's, that to me is a, is a huge mistake in something.
Like, I was literally on a, a, a friend's client's website last week and it's like, what? What's going on with this form? You're literally just saying, reach out to us, but you're asking what their net worth is. Settle down.
[00:07:54] George B. Thomas: Yeah, let's get married. Devin, I'm so glad that you dove into this and I'm, I just want to throw in a couple pieces here and then I'll sit back and enjoy the, uh, Melodies of Max Cohen and what he has to say around this topic. Um, one, I'm glad that you brought in this idea of the form needs to be contextual to the experience that the human is happening on the page of your website.
Therefore, one form. Doesn't capture 'em all, but because there's gonna be different questions that need to be asked if you're asking them out on a date or if you're asking them to marry you. You can ask more and you can ask fewer and you can ask different. But also, I love that you dipped your toe into the waters of dependent fields and something that I lovingly have been calling for about the last nine years.
Second, smart questions. In a conversation, if you're talking about something and something comes to mind, what do you do? You ask that person a question. When they give you the answer to that question, what does it do? It breeds more questions and understanding that if the forms are about conversations, that the conversation can start on the form and based on the information that they have provided you, you can ask the next, you know, two, three second smart questions.
To then really empower the true human conversation that happens after that conversion. Now we're getting somewhere.
[00:09:16] Max Cohen: I think like in. If you're looking for more of a philosophical take here versus like a very tactical, you know,
[00:09:24] Liz Moorehead: Talk to me,
[00:09:25] Max Cohen: features, things, um, you know, I think, uh, there's too many people that think like the form is just the form, but like the form is also the landing page. It's on. And the accompanying context that's surrounding that form.
It's also what happens after you submit it. Right? It's the, it's the thank you page after that sets the right expectations about what's happening now that you just clicked that scary button. Right. And, and what you're kind of telling people after they've made this choice to sacrifice some of their information to you.
Right. Um, you know, it's a lot more than just the fields that you're asking for. Um, I think also a lot of people still are just like, you know, they. They, they don't know how to balance, like not asking for too much. you know, I think that probably tanks a lot of folks, you know, conversion opportunities there.
Um, you know, 'cause you're asking for information you don't need at that time. Right. But we can probably get into that like a little bit more later. But like, just know it's, it's so much more than just the fields. It's everything around that form is part of that form. Right. And not enough people kind of take that into consideration.
I don't think.
[00:10:27] George B. Thomas: Max. I love that you bring this up. Again, I'm dipping in because my boys are spitting fire. Fire today. I'm just gonna throw this out. The fact that
[00:10:33] Max Cohen: Dip it. Daddy.
[00:10:35] George B. Thomas: that you dipped into that, whoa, that's a little bit funky. Weird,
[00:10:38] Liz Moorehead: Okay. Do we need to call the, okay, do we need an adult? Do we need another adult? I
[00:10:43] George B. Thomas: need somebody to do some adulting right now, so, but here's, I don't wanna lose a track of where we're going. I love that you brought it down to a customer experience, the whole thing. It's a piece of the puzzle that you're creating. More importantly than that, I love that you dipped into this idea.
Of you're trying to ask too much. And many times I've found that they're trying to ask too much because they're not asking things along the way. And to put your comment and Devon's together the fact that there aren't more people using queued fields across multiple forms to actually stop asking the same dumb five questions on every form you create.
First name, last name, email, job title, company name. Thanks. Have a nice day. No. If they fill out one form or five forms, you still know the five dumb pieces of information. Instead, if you're using cued fields, you'd have like 15, 20, 25 pieces of information 'cause you're automagically replacing something that you already know with something that you need to know.
[00:11:41] Liz Moorehead: Okay. So George, I wanna chime in here for a moment and I actually, I'm gonna throw this out, this question out to all of you. But George, I want you to start, one of the things that Devin brought up right at the beginning as a big misconception is that people rely, will rely on one form as. Opposed to creating multiple forms.
Now, sometimes that's because people be lazy and they just don't want to make a bunch of forms. But in other cases, it comes from a genuine lack of understanding around what a form strategy is. But also, most of all, we have already been throwing out a bunch of terms that people might be listening and they're like, what are you even talking about?
So we've talked about smart field, we've talked about queued fields. George, could you give us a quick primer? Um, maybe including those two. Just a few of the different types of features that people may be missing with forms if they're new to it or they just get a little bit skittish when they start thinking about getting a complex.
[00:12:32] George B. Thomas: There's three that I'll just bring up. There's probably more, but there's three right now that I wanna define. The first one that we did talk about was dependent fields, and this means that you can show or ask other questions based on a response that somebody gave you. Um, let's say it's personas and are you a marketer?
Are you sales rep? Are you the, uh, other, oh, I'm none of the above. Oh, then how would you describe yourself? That's a dependent field that could be thrown in there because they didn't actually have an answer that they could have picked. the other one is queued fields. This is where it lives at the bottom of your HubSpot forms tool, and you can drag the five to seven arbitrary numbers, seven to 10 pieces of information that your sales team tells you.
If we were able to collect that information along the way, man, we could close more deals. Then you actually drag those five to seven, seven to 10 properties in that bottom part of your form, and you turn on the feature in things that like, if we already know the job title, we don't need to ask it again.
If we already know the company name, we don't need to ask it again, ask new information. The third one that I'll say that people need to be paying attention to is Hidden Fields, because if we already know the answer to the question, we don't need to ask the question. If this form is literally sitting on a landing page for residential.
Roofing. You don't have to ask, are you a business or an individual? You freaking know they're on the page. For residential roofing,
[00:13:55] Liz Moorehead: what if there were roof?
[00:13:56] George B. Thomas: Oh God, here we go with needing adulting
[00:13:58] Liz Moorehead: I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
[00:14:00] George B. Thomas: like here, but that's the thing, right? So like you can answer some of your own questions, but also you can get real ninja with it.
And you can start populating information from like U t m parameters out of the U r L into these like hidden fields. So hidden fields, cued fields, and dependent fields are three things that if you're like, oh, you've never heard of these things before, go to your local Google. Search for the knowledge articles and start to figure out how you can implement those in your strategy.
Or hey, just call George B. Thomas, l l c too. You could do that. I mean, just it's, it's like the easy button and we'll help you.
[00:14:33] Liz Moorehead: am sorry. I'm sorry. Look at that shilling for what? Big.
[00:14:37] Max Cohen: Gbt
[00:14:38] George B. Thomas: chilling
[00:14:38] Liz Moorehead: Big G B
[00:14:39] Max Cohen: G B T, baby.
[00:14:41] Liz Moorehead: chat, G B T. Okay. Now, since Devin did us all a fantastic service by being like seriously, you should just go back and listen to his first answer of this episode. 'cause he covered like 18 really critical talking points to the point where we're actually gonna go back to another one that he brought up.
So, We've talked about the humans on the other side of this equation, right? We've started dabbling a little bit into like you want, you don't want one, you want many, and you could do all of these different things. And again, just like anything you can do in HubSpot, it is so easy to get stuck in the me, me, me, I, I, what do I want?
What do I need? What? But Devin brought up a great point that people react. Positively or negatively, depending on how you're formulating your strategy to the ask for personal information. 10 years ago when inbound was just starting out and people weren't trained to think like, oh, that content may be bad.
Oh, that content may suck. Oh, what are they gonna do with my information? Like people were probably a little bit more open about giving their information. Now people are a lot caer, right? So I wanna talk about this. What is important to remember when it comes to how. People react psychologically to requests for personal information because George, I could make the most complex question asky form of all time just using all three of those powers combined, but I shouldn't.
So talk to me about that. I'm gonna throw that open to the group.
[00:16:03] Max Cohen: Right. Yeah. I want to talk about this. So the, the,
[00:16:05] Liz Moorehead: this home.
[00:16:06] Max Cohen: the
[00:16:06] George B. Thomas: me and coach.
[00:16:08] Liz Moorehead: I saw it. He was literally, he, he did the mic pull and the lean forward, which means we're going to church. Sir.
[00:16:15] George B. Thomas: Hallelujah.
[00:16:17] Max Cohen: thi this was my, this was my favorite. This was my favorite, like, bit of advice that I used to, that when I, when I did new hire training, I loved talking about this stuff because like, forms seem like these very simple things. It's like, oh, it's fields when you're getting information and someone hits to submit button, but there's like a lot of psychology behind it.
All right? And, and everything is like a very tactical choice, right? So, giving away your information on the internet is, Terrifying, right? Uh, just because of all the identity theft, you don't know how businesses like misuse your information. Do they sell your information? Could they get hacked and then someone has access to your information?
Um, is someone gonna contact my boss when they know that I work at some company? Is everyone else gonna start getting, know, uh, uh, calls or from sales reps? You know, are they gonna start cold calling into my business? Right? Like, You know, is, is this form gonna take a long time for me to fill out? Do I have time to do this?
Right? Um, so like, you gotta remember, it's like when you're exchanging personal information, right? For something, that stuff that you're giving them has to be like super valuable, right? And I think everyone, like if you've, if you've been like studying inbound in any way, shape or form, and you know, you grew up putting eBooks behind landing pages, like you understand that there needs to be like, A good value exchange there.
Right. Um, but the other kind of way I look at this too, and this is the, the calculus that I I, I always encourage people to deploy when they're building forms is every single time you add another question or another field to a form, you need to balance the risk and the reward. the risk of someone not filling it out because it's just too much information or just, you know, oh, I'll fill out three fields, but four fields is kind of pushing it, right?
Like it's, it's the risk that someone won't fill it out. Maybe that question's a little bit too personal. Maybe they don't want to give out that information, right? Um, so there's risk there when you ask a question. And that risk could mean no submission whatsoever, right? No conversion at
[00:18:20] Liz Moorehead: I gotta throw shade at Big Sprocket here for a second. I can't tell you how many times I
[00:18:25] Max Cohen: Yo, be careful. That's my, that's my dog. You know what I mean? That's my dog. Go ahead. Sorry.
[00:18:30] George B. Thomas: roll. Slow your roll.
[00:18:32] Max Cohen: Hold me back, David. Go ahead,
[00:18:34] Liz Moorehead: are we all right? Are we all right? Do we need a nap? Are we okay? No.
[00:18:37] Max Cohen: like, that's my boy. You know what?
[00:18:39] George B. Thomas: on the next words that come outta your mouth if we're fine or not. I'm just gonna
[00:18:43] Liz Moorehead: Wow. Wow. As if I'm the first person to throw shade or do a hot take toward big sprocket. Come on. Come on.
[00:18:50] Max Cohen: Just messing with you.
[00:18:51] Liz Moorehead: they were messing with a little while with the idea of we're gonna give you a seemingly simple form, and then you'd click a button and then they give you like 18 other fields to fill out.
And I'm like, my dude.
That's gonna be a no. They've since stopped doing that. Or I at least don't see it more often. But the reason I bring that up, max, is exactly what you just said. It was this thing where I'm like, I'm fine. This is totally fine. So why do we need to know? Why do you need to know my revenue right now?
This is a top of the funnel offer for a really broad audience. Why are we getting into revenue company size? I'm like, no, I, I, at some point I'm just like, you have not earned this.
[00:19:26] Max Cohen: used to ask like, if you were providing marketing services to figure out if you were a partner on like every single forum too. That one was fun. But anyway, the, the, going back to like the risk and reward thing, right? So like, The risk. Yeah. Every single time you add another piece of, you know, another question on there, like the risk goes up that someone's not gonna fill the form out.
So if you're taking the risk, there must be a reward for you as the marketer. Right? So the question is, is like, what's a reward? Right? The reward would be, this information is valuable for me as the marketer. To either market to this person better or to enhance their experience or to help with something else that we got kind of going on on the inside, right?
That's the big thing, like you have to make sure the information is. Valuable because you are risking an extra question in the form that might tank the conversion completely, right? Um, so just always kind of be balancing that. Can I use this information? Either create a better marketing experience for them, right?
Or to like enhance something that my team needs at this moment, right? I e if you're just like, if, if you're offering a newsletter or a frigging ebook or something and you're not passing this person on to a sales rep, why are you asking for their phone number dog? You don't need it. You don't need the phone number.
Don't ask for it. You don't need to know the social security number of their firstborn child in order just to like, give 'em a piece of content. Like, like only ask for what you need at that moment, right? Because there's, if there's, if there's, if you're not going to use the information in any valuable way, there's no sense in risking the entire submission to get it, so.
[00:21:04] George B. Thomas: Yes, yes, and yes. And, uh, first of all, four words that you need to write now, grab your little notepad. In your little pencil, your iPad, or whatever you use, you need to write down risk and reward, and you need to write down value in time. There is a matrix between those four words that came out of Max's mouth that I want you to be able to focus on.
And I want you to realize too, I've talked about this stuff so much that I fundamentally said something and it probably skirt skirted right past everybody. When I was talking about second smart questions. If you rewind this, I said, and you might ask two or three. I. Questions. I didn't say you'd all of a sudden ask 18 questions, right?
The form goes from two fields to 18. No shame on you for even thinking about doing something like that because it's about adding context. Two or three questions, one or two questions based on what you just learned. Because what we're talking about here and what I need, everybody and, and Liz, you even said there's like psychological things, ladies and gentlemen, when they come to your page, when they come to that experience.
There is one thing that you need to pay attention to, and that is the hurdle that the human has to go over. There is a psychological hurdle that you need to pay attention to if they at for any moment say, I have to give away my firstborn child, my right arm, or any other piece of body part, if they feel that way.
To actually start a conversation with you, that form is gonna be dead in the water, which is, by the way, I go back to why, if you use cued fields, dependent fields, and hidden fields, you can ask less questions during the time of that psychological hurdle and create a better experience. And even still ask maybe, you know, 4, 5, 7.
But now because you got over that hurdle and it's. Part of the journey. They're not like, oh, well yeah, that makes sense. It's just part of the process. Let me go ahead and fill that in real quick.
[00:23:03] Liz Moorehead: I love that. Devin, do you have any other thoughts you wanna add here on the psychology piece of this? Because I know this is something that you led with and I, and I know it's important to you when we think about the humans.
[00:23:14] Max Cohen: Mute.
[00:23:15] Devyn Bellamy: am. Okay. Um,
[00:23:25] Liz Moorehead: Leave it in. Noah, leave it in.
[00:23:31] Devyn Bellamy: yeah, I don't have my button set up, so I feel left out. Um, we need to
[00:23:35] Liz Moorehead: don't have any buttons. I'm so sad.
[00:23:37] Devyn Bellamy: but. so here's the thing. Filling out forms gives me anxiety. I hate doing it. I'm a huge fan of ungated content. If I want, if I'm gonna fill out a form, I'm assuming it's going to be because I'm either registering for someone or someone's gonna try and sell me something, like please.
Please put an opt out for, uh, button on the thing. Um, or, or, or you can have an opt-in button and leave it unchecked so that way people aren't accidentally signing up to be heard from you. if that's not why they're here, it's like all I want, if an ebook on how to find a good podiatrist in my area. I don't want you to reach out to me with your podiatrist searching services.
Like you, you should really just, uh, just, just be good and, and, and don't pester people. And, uh, the whole, uh, thing around the inbound methodology is not interrupting. And the, one of the biggest ways of interrupting someone's life is trying to talk to them about something that they don't care about or didn't ask you for.
[00:24:44] Max Cohen: Mm-hmm.
[00:24:44] George B. Thomas: Yeah. Which by the way, there's a pro tip in there. There's a pro tip in there. your feet are important. People. Make sure you make a Petya appointment. Your feet are important.
[00:24:53] Max Cohen: especially with inbound
[00:24:54] Liz Moorehead: love? You know what I love? Love
[00:24:56] George B. Thomas: Yeah. With the amount of walking, like go, go to inbound and then get home and make a pet. Just appointment and get your feet
[00:25:02] Liz Moorehead: we are here to make sure that uh, your HubSpot is healthy and your t tootsies. You're welcome guys. We are a full service
[00:25:10] Devyn Bellamy: after those dogs.
[00:25:11] Max Cohen: it was a big F Big Foot. Big Foot
[00:25:14] George B. Thomas: yeah, we're,
[00:25:15] Liz Moorehead: shell, she for big foot.
[00:25:16] George B. Thomas: hey, we're, we're trying to be holistic for those humans.
[00:25:20] Max Cohen: Mm.
[00:25:21] Liz Moorehead: Okay. Yeah, that was good. That was good. That was good. All right, so we've talked a lot about the humans, but let's, let's be honest here. The mindset is important, right? Going into this conversation, understanding that these are conversations, right? That every time a form is initiated, you are beginning a human to human interaction.
And with that said, these are technically conversion. And I know the listeners at home are interested in how you can optimize it. We've talked about how you can accidentally turn forms into buyer repellent, but let's flip the script here a little bit. Right? Let's talk a little bit about how you can optimize for those conversational conversions.
What are some of your favorite powerful tips for that?
[00:26:07] Max Cohen: I it, well, I don't know if this is like specifically optimizing conversational conversions. Um, well, I guess one way you could think about that is like, take a look at like what the names of the fields are when they get put on the form and like maybe turn them into like actual questions, right?
You know, like instead of maybe it just saying email, you could say, what's a good email address to reach you at? Or, you know, instead of like, uh, You know, writing, having like message as the field, it's like, what can we help you with? Like prompt them with what would be a helpful response for them to give you, like in a field.
Right. I think the other thing too, when I think, at least when I think of like, More of like starting a conversation with a form. I think typically that's happening when you're filling out a form where you explicitly know you are requesting some kind of conversation with someone, right? So something towards the, uh, you know, going into that tail end of the engaged phase or bottom of the funnel as we like to call it, and things like that.
Um, but like if you're setting up someone for a conversation, That form shouldn't just be saying like, give us all the possible contact information you possibly have, right? It should be what can we do to set our sales rep consultants, solutions engineer, whoever is going to be having a conversation with this person.
What can we actually do to like one. On because again, it's just, it's more than just the fields. Remember, it's everything on that page that like has to do with the form. What can we do to like set the right expectations around what that conversation's actually gonna be? Is it a demo? Is it more of an introduction?
Is it more of a discovery call? Is it more of a consultation? Right? Like, what can we get people to do to put them in the right, right mindset when they're filling a form out, going like, I know what I'm asking for. Right? And then what questions can you ask? That will actually set that person to have set that person up for success to actually have a worthwhile. conversation with your mouth and words and audio over like zoom or a phone or a phone, huh. Over Zoom. Right. Um, yeah. Right. Imagine that. you know, so like, think about, it's like this is leading up to a conversation. Am I doing a good enough job setting expectations with that person? Right.
Including after they fill the form out, right? Like are you saying. Is someone gonna reach out to you to book something? Is someone gonna call you within a certain amount of time? Like, what are you expecting? But also like, get the conversation started by, you know, asking a couple questions that that person should know going into the conversation versus wasting time figuring it out on the call, right?
'cause your time is, time is money,
[00:28:44] George B. Thomas: I, I want a yes. And again on this episode. Um, max, I love the fact that you were like, instead of just email or business email, maybe it's like, what's a good email to reach you at? Like actually turning it into a question, humanizing it. I don't know how, uh, the demographic exactly of the podcast, I, I might be able to use the example of like, you know, the Justice League or some people might be old enough to remember like Wonder Twins where they would activate their power and, you know, form of an
[00:29:18] Liz Moorehead: trend powers activate form of a
[00:29:20] George B. Thomas: Yeah, exactly.
[00:29:21] Max Cohen: Oh yeah,
[00:29:22] George B. Thomas: become water. the fact. That I go into hundreds of portals and nobody is using placeholder text and nobody is using help Text. This is literally your League of Heroes for each property, the label, the help text, and the placeholder. If you wanna create a good user experience, if you want to do what fundamentally max, I feel like you are banging against the door of like, how do you simplify it all?
How do you help them just not have to think and fundamentally understand it? Then activate the fricking wonder twin powers that actually live for each property that you have. Here's the other thing though, I'm gonna challenge people with, actually, I'll ask you guys. You get on the internet. You go to a website, you land on a page that has a form.
What are the first three things that you see in that form? Tell
[00:30:18] Max Cohen: name, last name, email.
[00:30:20] George B. Thomas: First name, last name, email. Why is that the first thing that we're asking? I'll tell you because
[00:30:26] Max Cohen: Generally, 'cause we're gonna Oh, go on.
[00:30:28] George B. Thomas: 'cause we're selfish as shit. And we want their
[00:30:31] Liz Moorehead: Whoa,
[00:30:33] George B. Thomas: We want their, Hey, I'm just gonna keep it real deal, holy field for a second.
We want their information so that we can achieve our tasks.
I have challenged many businesses with what if the first question on your form was, how would you best describe yourself? And they could actually pick a persona that they fit into. And from that, you could then ask a second or third smart question based on that.
And, and the, but guess what? The first name and last name and email now live at the bottom of the form because now that we know who you are, Now that we know the hurdles that you're facing, now that we actually have context to the fact that we can help you or not, by the way, we just need your first name, last name, and email so we can send you the information that's gonna help you with that.
[00:31:22] Max Cohen: here's, here's, do you need last name?
[00:31:25] George B. Thomas: Probably not.
[00:31:26] Max Cohen: Do we really need last name? Like, honestly, like if someone gives you their email, you could probably get it from there, but like until like you're getting them on a sales call, right? You probably don't even need last name,
[00:31:36] George B. Thomas: my podiatrist,
[00:31:37] Liz Moorehead: to
[00:31:37] George B. Thomas: podiatrist calls me George. He doesn't call me George Thomas. He doesn't need my last name at all.
[00:31:41] Max Cohen: yeah. And like
[00:31:42] Liz Moorehead: this is quite a turnaround from a few episodes ago when you and I kind of duped it out about whether or not you actually needed to have a name in the
[00:31:48] George B. Thomas: Hey, I listen and learn. I listen and learn. I listen and learn. When these
[00:31:52] Liz Moorehead: In the pocket of big form. In the pocket of
[00:31:55] George B. Thomas: I'm just saying, I listen and learn people I.
[00:31:57] Liz Moorehead: No, I love it. All right, so quick question for you all. Obviously HubSpot Forms cannot do everything. George, I know you've got a few locked and loaded ready to talk about this because you've got feelings about some of the capabilities that HubSpot does not have when it comes to their forms.
But you do have a couple of outside of the box hacks that you like to teach folks. You wanna share a few of those little secrets,
[00:32:20] George B. Thomas: well, first of all, yeah, I don't mind sharing that at all. Um, I think that HubSpot forums can almost do everything, by the way, like it just needs a little
[00:32:28] Max Cohen: Big update. Big update today. Yep.
[00:32:31] Liz Moorehead: Wait, what? Tell me the dets. Tell me
[00:32:33] George B. Thomas: So, so first of all there's a, a beta, I, I think it's still in beta, but being able to route to meeting links on the actual form is like a, core piece of the new functionality that's happening.
So if you've ever wanted to like route to a special rep based on the fact that it was like a vertical or something like that, Now you have the option to actually set that, uh, natively again. I think it's beta, but it'll be coming out soon.
[00:32:59] Max Cohen: it's public beta. Yeah. It should be out to everybody.
[00:33:02] George B. Thomas: the baby steps to being able to do what we now do for clients with just an extra little bit of code.
And that's what I hope everybody realizes. If you talk about HubSpot forms and you go like V two level up on this bad boy, if you're using HubSpot landing pages or HubSpot c m s, you now can look at it as less of just about the form, but the form module. And whenever you look at it as a four module, now, you can develop a four module that if, let's say we've done this for client where they had seven different territories based on what they would select in a dropdown, we would send them with this four module to the landing page for that territory.
Right, not native out of HubSpot, but can be done if you're thinking about a module, multi-step forms, not native out of like the the features, but if you treat it as a module and code it, now you can build a multi-step form module. And so that's the thing that I love about HubSpot, is you've got these fundamental things.
I need a form, I need to embed it on a website. Good. Go for it. I have a form. I wanted to do these special things. Cool. Call up your local developer or partner agency and we're gonna make magic happen for you. So, so like that's the thing. You can do these special things. The, the funny part is people just aren't curious and they're not asking the question to the right people.
Hey, is there a way that we can do this? Because many times there is like, there's so many things. Like I know when we got excited about doing this episode, I reached out to Max. Max went, gorilla Bananas, ape crap on it forms a p I.
[00:34:40] Liz Moorehead: Yeah, that. I have a literally a question here that I have keyed up here. Let's talk about this Mac. What the BLEEP is Power HubSpot Forum's. A P i.
I don't have a button so I have to say it.
[00:34:49] Max Cohen: yeah. Um, well, wait, one, one thing before I do the A forms a p i, the one thing I wanted to also mention about that beta that George is talking about. So not only does it let you use like conditional fields to pass. to like basically set a dynamic thank you page for which, like, which, uh, meetings link to go to.
But the other thing that it does is it packages up and passes along the values of the form field. I. Into the meetings tool or into that meetings page, so it will auto-fill anything that came from the original form submission. Now that sounds like, oh, it should just do that, right? But if you've ever like built a form and then set up a meetings link for a thank you page, right, that has some of the same information on that form.
It never auto-fills if the person hasn't already been cookie before, because the database doesn't have enough time to update with all the new information from the form submission and then go there. So like oftentimes you'd have to put like a buffer page in between or some sort of script that like delayed it for a little bit and it's just like, you know, it's not cool.
So with the new beta, Intentionally part of that beta is that it's got some mechanism in there that passes that information onto the meetings tool, and it's not waiting for it to update in the database and then get inserted by the cookie. So like that is huge. Um,
[00:36:05] George B. Thomas: this is where we insert. The music, it's a whole new world. Like we
[00:36:10] Max Cohen: such a magical place.
[00:36:12] George B. Thomas: there. I'm just
[00:36:13] Max Cohen: Yeah.
[00:36:14] Liz Moorehead: The chaotic energy of this episode.
[00:36:17] Max Cohen: Yeah. Yeah. So forms a p i forms a p i, here's, here's where you should, um, say, Hey, maybe we should use the forms a p i, right? So oftentimes, like with any other website, um, or another really cool feature of HubSpot forms that we haven't even mentioned on this, uh, broadcast, is that you can embed.
HubSpot forms on other websites or other C M SS platforms that aren't HubSpot, right? So if you are a WordPress website and you've got a bunch of like marketing forms on your WordPress site, you can rip those out, build forms in HubSpot and go embed them on your outside, you know, webpage now. So that's a common thing that people will do when they start setting HubSpot up for the first time.
They'll go. Replace all your other forms with HubSpot forms. Great. That was like one of our big things we did during onboarding, right? And so you go and you replace 'em all. However, sometimes you come across a form that is not appropriate to replace with a HubSpot form. So there's generally two situations.
[00:37:16] George B. Thomas: HIPAA compliance
[00:37:17] Max Cohen: Yep. Yeah. And also apps, right? So like if you have, yeah,
[00:37:22] Liz Moorehead: I am also screaming.
[00:37:23] Max Cohen: All right, so here's the deal. If you have a form that you can't replace with a HubSpot form, maybe someone's like registering for a product and that form submission has to go somewhere in a backend and build someone an account, or like whatever, right?
So you just can't replace a form with a HubSpot form. Maybe you have a marketing form that's collecting information that's not appropriate to hold in HubSpot. and you only want to get some of that information into HubSpot, but the form still needs to collect everything. There's this wonderful A p I called the forms a P I, and what the forms a p I does is you go and create a form in HubSpot so you can get this little global unique identifier number, and that just acts as like a dummy form, right?
Because one of the best parts about HubSpot forms is when they get submitted, you can trigger automations, you can report on it, you can build segmentations. Like there's so much you can do. By knowing a specific form got filled out. But if you're not using that form on this other form that you need to use, and it's still an outside form, how do you do that?
So you build a dummy form in HubSpot, you don't even have to fill out all the fields and everything that this form has on it. You just build it so you can get this global unique identifier and you have a form to kind of act. Like that outside form and represent that form inside of HubSpot. Then what your developers can do, and I'm not a developer so I don't know how to write the script or anything, but they go and write some script on this other form, right Where when that other form gets filled out, You're basically hitting HubSpot's forms a p I and saying, Hey, HubSpot, tell this form to act like it got filled out.
So the dummy form that you built inside a HubSpot, and what happens is that form goes, oh, I got filled out. Right? And it fires off a submission as if it was an actual form getting filled out. Right? And then, I don't know if it's through the forms a p i or if it's having you use the contacts a p i for this or something, you can then pass that information in and it'll look like it's a form.
It'll look like it's part of the form submission essentially. I'm sure there's like some developer going, well, that's not technically how it works, but that's basically what you do, right? And, and you can, you pass the information through and you tap this form on the shoulder and say, Hey, act like you got filled out that way.
The information can still be going through that other form. That other form remains intact, but you have a HubSpot form and HubSpot acting like it got filled out. So you could do all the cool analytics reporting and automation stuff with it. And that information that is getting into HubSpot. And the best part of it is you can isolate it.
So only the information you want to come in actually comes in. Maybe you don't wanna store that password on the login page, but you wanna know someone hit that login. Maybe you don't want to pass that HIPAA compliance information in, but you need like their email and stuff to do, I don't know, marketing shit, like whatever it may be.
Right. So forums API is huge. When you have a form you can't replace with a HubSpot form, of course you need developers or a partner to get it done, but you know, it's, it's all possible.
[00:40:12] George B. Thomas: so it's super powerful, but I have to, I have to go sideways for a second here.
[00:40:17] Liz Moorehead: Uh
[00:40:18] George B. Thomas: HubSpot, HubSpot people. HubSpot commercial people. I need you to just listen for a second. Uh, if you remember, uh, schoolhouse Rock, there was a cartoon character. He is a bill. He's an only a bill. You know, it was
[00:40:31] Liz Moorehead: just sitting there in Capitol Hill, man, mind
[00:40:32] George B. Thomas: it was super dope.
Um, we need a Schoolhouse rock version. HubSpot Forum's character. petition right now. I petition right now that the voice of the form character would be done by Max Cohen because, uh, oh, I just got filled out. Probably made me just pee myself a little bit. Uh, here on the podcast. I'm gonna throw that out there.
[00:40:55] Max Cohen: That's worse than I said when I said, dip me daddy earlier or dip it.
[00:40:58] Liz Moorehead: guys, guys, guys, guys.
[00:41:01] Max Cohen: I.
[00:41:02] Liz Moorehead: And when I'm sitting here being the responsible one, you know, we have crossed a threshold because usually I'm the one who has to get censored out by George's son.
[00:41:11] George B. Thomas: edits by Noah are usually have
[00:41:13] Max Cohen: one's gonna, this one's gonna straight up. This one's gonna straight up traumatized, and I'm, oh my God.
[00:41:17] Liz Moorehead: I know I'm so well, he's gonna love it. Anytime. Haven't you heard the new rule, max? And I don't mind pulling back the curtain on this. Noah, if you're laughing, cut it, didn't we?
[00:41:27] George B. Thomas: if Noah finds it funny, it gets removed from the podcast just
[00:41:30] Max Cohen: He's gonna start saying, dip it daddy to you. I guarantee you. Please do.
[00:41:36] Liz Moorehead: If you haven't cut at least 25% of Liz's dialogue, we've got a problem. All right, Devin, save us from ourselves. What are some of your favorite, just general best practices that you want people to keep in mind after they're leaving this episode? Because we've talked a lot about technical stuff. We've talked about a lot of, like we wish that we could have this.
We've talked about if you have WordPress website and conversions and conversations. There's so many things other than not having one form to rule them all. What are your other best
[00:42:05] Devyn Bellamy: All right. So something I've mentioned in other episodes, uh, that we haven't covered in this one, is that forms don't just have to be for leads to fill out. Forms are an excellent way for people who you don't want to have access to HubSpot, but still need to get data into your c r m, wonderful way to do it.
case in point, if you are dealing with an archaic sales team and they just, uh, can't get their stuff together. Then, alright, fine. I'm gonna make a form that's password protected that only you guys can get into and this is where you're gonna enter information. And then, you know what, I'm just gonna take it from there.
I'll just take it from there. another example is I worked with this, uh, one, uh, organization, uh, when I was, uh, still in the agency world. Uh, one of our clients was using a call center. Whose database was basically locked. Uh, it didn't, there was no way to do a p i connections in or out of it, and so the only way they can log their calls was into HubSpot.
Well, I'm sorry. I'm not giving 300 people in a foreign country access to my C R M, but what I will do is I'll create a form for them that, again, is password protected, that has all the fields and everything that I would need them to enter. So they can log all of their calls, get everything in the system, and then that way what I can do is take every entry that came in through those forms and run 'em through my cleanup filter because I don't understand how they don't get that all caps is not allowed.
Stop writing everything in all caps. But you know what? It's cool. It's
[00:43:42] Max Cohen: Operations hub.
[00:43:42] Devyn Bellamy: gonna, I, I, I got that tool. I got that thing that does that thing, so don't even worry about it. Um, but at the end of the day, um, you got, you can think outside of the box with how data gets into your c r m. Uh, most people are familiar, you know, with, uh, APIs and they're familiar with app integrations.
Um, but it can be just as simple as using a form, uh, for someone who you don't want to have access to your c r m or. At the risk of insulting some people, it's idiot proofing data entry. I'm, I'm just gonna, you know what, don't, don't even worry about where to click. Don't worry about where to go. Don't worry about this button.
Don't worry about that button. Go to this website, fill out this form, hit submit, then do it again.
[00:44:24] Max Cohen: Yep.
[00:44:24] Liz Moorehead: Okay. I actually have to chime in here. I have to chime in here because I actually have a tip. Um, and it's based on something that Devin just said that that kind of bummed me out. Um, I'm gonna be honest. All right. I have to stand because this is something that I find very
[00:44:37] George B. Thomas: Oh my gosh.
[00:44:38] Liz Moorehead: Hello? Greetings.
[00:44:40] George B. Thomas: you literally have to stand for this. It's that big a deal.
[00:44:45] Liz Moorehead: If you are in the Hub Heroes community, you can see how aggressively close I am getting to my screen right now to talk
[00:44:51] George B. Thomas: Yeah. You should
[00:44:51] Liz Moorehead: you need to stop making your buttons. Just say submit. You are not a robot taking over the earth. You are not here going, submit. Resistance is futile. That's my job.
My buttons can say that. Your buttons can't say that. Do things like, get it now. Listen now, get your copy. Literally anything. Stop putting, submit. Oh my God. It makes me freaking bonkers. Like, why, why, why? And not only that, can you just stop making? Yeah. Thank you.
[00:45:22] George B. Thomas: subnet.
[00:45:26] Liz Moorehead: Now if you, when you click submit it did that, that would be amazing.
But like, oh my God, the, it, it, it kills me. How many websites do we go to George, where they're committing the two cardinal sins of buttons, cool toned colors, so blues, greens, grays, things like that. Stuff that fade into the background and psychologically creates no urgency and submit. Change it to something human.
Make it red, make it orange. Make it something where there's good contrast between the text and the button color, but make it warm colored. One of the things I remembered from,
[00:46:02] George B. Thomas: We just broke
[00:46:03] Liz Moorehead: that unbounced it.
[00:46:03] George B. Thomas: the way, just so you know, you just broke the internet. There's hundreds of thousands of marketers. Well, we don't have hundreds of thousands of listeners yet, but there are marketers listening to this going, oh God.
[00:46:14] Liz Moorehead: Yeah, I'm mad at you. I am mad at you. I am. Stop it. Anyway, so that's my suggestion. Um, max and
[00:46:23] Max Cohen: I Plus, can I Can, yes. In both of both of you. Um, so the, the, the submit thing, yes. And this kind of goes back to like when someone's filling out a form, it should be a hundred thousand percent clear. Of what they're actually doing. They're not filling out a form.
[00:46:41] Liz Moorehead: They're not submitting to your will.
[00:46:42] Max Cohen: yeah, they're getting a piece of content.
They're asking for a conversation. They're expecting a specific thing in return, so the button should match what's actually going on. Right. So they know what they're getting when they hit the button. Right. Request that consultation. Get in touch with sales, get like, you know what I
[00:47:05] Liz Moorehead: Dip it, daddy. Yeah, exactly.
[00:47:08] Max Cohen: daddy,
[00:47:09] George B. Thomas: here's, here's the
[00:47:09] Max Cohen: Um, dude, he's gonna, dude, he's gonna bring you like a thing, a queso one day and you're gonna grab a chip and he's gonna go dip it, daddy. And it's, it's gonna be, no, please do it Anyway.
[00:47:18] Liz Moorehead: Do it. Do it, do it. Do
[00:47:19] Max Cohen: Hold. But, and before I forget the, the dev, what Devon said about using forms for things other than lead generation or like whatever everyone uses forms for, like using forms internally is awesome.
there's a big setting you wanna make sure you turn on though, if you do that. And it used to be called Disabled Cooking Tracking. Now it now it's called Create a new submission for every new email address or something. Yeah, new contact for every new email address or whatever.
[00:47:46] Liz Moorehead: Ew.
[00:47:47] Max Cohen: But essentially does the same thing.
It rips off the cookie. Now, why do you wanna rip off the cookie? Well, because the person that you're filling this information out for is not you on your computer that you're using, and probably filling out that form multiple times from the same place. This is also something that I highly recommend people do for.
Any page that signs people up for events, and here's why. Oftentimes if you are like saying, oh, register for an event or whatever, and it's like one person at a time, which you're kind of limited to doing when it comes to like HubSpot forms, right? I. Someone will sit there, whether it's like the boss signing up everybody for an event, or the secretary signing up everybody for an event or an operations person or whatever, and they'll sit and they'll refresh the form and they'll fill it out for each person and then you and the marketer go in there, oh, this one person filled out the form seven times and their name changed seven times.
What's that about? Well, it's 'cause you didn't disable cookie tracking. So like in some cases like where it makes sense, you know, if you don't care about where that conversion came from and you think more than someone might submit multiple times. Rip off that like cookie tracking option and save yourself the headache.
[00:48:54] George B. Thomas: Okay, I wanna double click. Hang on. I wanna double click on a word. everybody rewind a what Max said, 'cause there's a lot of gems in there. Um, but the word expectation,
[00:49:05] Liz Moorehead: Yes. That's where I was gonna go too. I was ready to underscore that.
[00:49:08] George B. Thomas: is so important, your expectations, but more importantly than that, their expectations, what they, they expecting, because expectations is like the, cousin, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa.
I don't care what term you want to use to experience and, and the great experience that you're trying to provide them through whatever
[00:49:28] Max Cohen: thank you page is so freaking important, right? Someone just gave you their stuff. And the very next thing you need to show 'em is, Hey, thank you for giving that your, giving your stuff. Give me, giving me your information. Okay. Rest assured this is what to expect now and make sure it's in line with what you said it was before they hit that button.
[00:49:51] George B. Thomas: There's probably a whole episode on the Power of a Thank You page, to be
[00:49:55] Max Cohen: Mm-hmm. Oh
[00:49:56] Liz Moorehead: Okay. You know what we got? Okay. That's officially going in the hopper. The other thing I wanna mention here, uh, because Max. You had that incredible thing that we needed to talk about, but I wanna make sure I give the data point that I heard from Unbounce at Marketing Profs forum like a few years ago.
I don't remember the specific percentage, but they're like, it's a marked increase. Just changing the button color from a cool color, people warm color. Like it's, it's, it is such a simple thing. 'cause psychologically something red makes me wanna click it. It's urgent. You wanna touch, click it, touch it, do the dip it, bop it, whatever it is that we're
[00:50:28] George B. Thomas: Oh, that's a cool old game, by the way. The bop it bop bop it. Yeah.
[00:50:32] Liz Moorehead: Pop it, twist
[00:50:33] George B. Thomas: of bop, it, I've got like, we got like three minutes left. Time flew. Holy crap. How do, how did this
[00:50:39] Liz Moorehead: I know, George, I don't know, but that's why we're going into our, our closing
[00:50:43] George B. Thomas: oh, okay. Okay. It's like you're wrangling cats or something. You're doing a great job at it.
[00:50:47] Liz Moorehead: Thanks
[00:50:48] Max Cohen: Cool, cool cats.
[00:50:49] Liz Moorehead: zip it.
[00:50:50] Max Cohen: Hmm.
[00:50:50] George B. Thomas: Dang.
[00:50:51] Liz Moorehead: If people remember only one thing from this episode, one thing, nothing else. Only one. George B. Thomas. One thing. What is it?
[00:51:02] George B. Thomas: I gotta go
[00:51:02] Liz Moorehead: Devin, you follow the rules? Nope. Nope. Devin's gonna go first because he follows the rules. George, you need to wait and paret down from
[00:51:09] Devyn Bellamy: Don't be afraid to create more than one farm.
[00:51:12] Max Cohen: go, go find your, your, uh, your stupid, your stupid con uh, contact us page on your website and nuke it into oblivion. Go full Oppenheimer on that thing. and just replace it with forms that actually have a purpose. Um, and also like, just stop being like, so butt hurt when people give you fake email addresses.
But we can talk about that later. I have a whole theory on that.
[00:51:38] Liz Moorehead: All right. Mine before George chimes in with his 20 different one things is do not put submit on your form. I will find you. I will find you not for cupcakes, not for hugs, not for
[00:51:51] Devyn Bellamy: just the cuffs.
[00:51:53] Max Cohen: Murder.
[00:51:54] Liz Moorehead: George.
[00:51:57] George B. Thomas: Submit resistance child.