What comes to mind when you hear the word “form” in the context of magazines? You probably think that I’m talking about an order form, a subscription form or an entry for a contest, in a printed magazine.
After all, that’s how most of us have interacted with forms in magazines. It’s probably hard to even think of another way of using forms.
But there is.
Now, when you think about online forms, you think websites. Not wrong, but you can use online forms in online publications. Intrigued? I hope so. I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about using forms in online magazines. There are a few things you need when using forms:
- you need to be able to customize the form and ask for anything you want
- forms have to be interactive – the reader has to be able to fill in their responses
- readers you have to be able to send you their responses/ orders
How to use forms in online magazines
Marketers love forms, and use them in so many ways.
That’s no surprise, given their versatility: they can be used for so many things:
1. Ebook, guide or magazine download form
We’ve all seen free ebooks used as a marketing strategy. You offer a free guide or a short publication on a topic of interest for your target and you ask for a few personal details in exchange for the download. Readers are more likely to give you their contact details if you offer them something valuable in exchange.
2. White paper download form
A whitepaper is a report, study or guide backed by scientific research. If used as a marketing tool, it tries to persuade customers to buy or sign contracts by using logical arguments, facts and statistics. Many people are interested in using data from whitepapers, so they’ll want to download it. The solution is to publish your white paper online in view-mode to give readers an idea of what it is about, and if they want to download it, they have to fill in a form. The download form can be placed directly inside the publication, to make it obvious.
3. Event registration
For public events that require registration, you should make an online brochure that presents the schedule, event details and benefits. You should also give people an opportunity to sign up for the event, right then and there. Hello publication forms!
4. Newsletter registration
Every marketer and business owner wants to grow their email list, because each new contact is a lead who might become a customer. A great way to do that is to use subscription forms in all your online publications: newsletters, brochures, magazines and other marketing materials.
5. Consultation for professional services form
Free consultation forms pair fantastically with portfolios, business presentations and other promotional publications. The advice of an experienced professional is very important to small and medium sized businesses, so many will sign up, sharing with you their contact information.
6. Coupon request forms
Everybody loves sales and discounts, including me. Sometimes I buy products just for the sake of a discount, and I’m certain that many of you can resonate. Coupons forms get filled in because people want to get that discount. And once they get it, they will use it to buy.
7. Contest entry
You can organize a contest right inside your publication. You’ll be able to download all entries in a CSV file from your account. Pretty neat, right?
8. Notifications of product updates or new products
If you already have a community interested in your products, you should reward them with early email notifications about things that matter to them. Give them a chance to submit their emails through a “be the first to know about…” form
9. Survey forms
Survey forms are fantastic from a marketer’s point of view. If you plan on using them in your publication, you should limit the survey to 1-5 questions. For a more in-depth survey, use a professional tool, outside the publication. While people are reading, they will not want to be bothered with a long questionnaire.
10. Free trial registration
This applies to fewer businesses, but if your business model is based on free trial requests, your should go for it. Use free trial registration forms in your promotional online publications. It’s more efficient than sending people to an external website to complete the form, and it’s more effective.
What tool should I use to insert forms in online publications?
Use Flipsnack because it has the whole package: it makes any publication look good, and it supports all these interactive forms that we’ve talked about.
Need a few other good reasons?
- You can embed the publication into your website
- It’s super easy to use
- Works with PDFs
Are there any other things you’d like to know or suggest? Leave us a comment.