A quick tour of forms

Last updated: July 6, 2018


HubSpot forms make form creation easy. Forms are one of the most essential lead generation tools a marketer will use on their website, allowing your company to find out more information about those visiting their site, and upon submission, provide the visitor with the promised offer. This transaction provides value to both parties; the visitor receives valuable information intended to help them discover why you are the best source for their needs, and the company finds out more information about their leads to in turn generate more content to encourage the visitor to reconvert. Form design in tandem with landing page layout has a significant impact on converting leads.

Keep in mind that forms should reflect the value of your offer; if your form asks for too much information for a top-of the-funnel offer, it will likely cause visitors to abandon your form. In turn, if your form asks for too little information for a bottom-of-the-funnel offer, you're not receiving the valuable information you need to help your visitors know why they should turn to you.

HubSpot provides some excellent tools that will help you in your nurturing process such as calls-to-actionlanding pages, and forms designed to encourage visitors to convert, complete with smart fields to keep forms short and progressive profiling so you can slowly ask for new information without being overwhelming. HubSpot forms are a simple yet powerful tool and can be used in both HubSpot and non-HubSpot pages.

The questions asked on your forms should be questions that both marketing and sales need, asking the right questions at the right time which allow both teams to:

  1. Immediately qualify a lead.
  2. Bucket those leads into a persona.
  3. Learn about the needs and concerns of those converting on your site.

From the forms tool, you can create custom contact properties to gather industry-specific or persona-specific information, view submissions data and conversion rates, generate lists and landing pages directly in the tool, and more.

Navigate to Forms

To access your forms tool, navigate in your HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic, Professional, or Enterprise account to Contacts > Forms. In your HubSpot CRM or Marketing Hub Starter account, navigate to Lead Capture Forms.

Forms dashboard actions

The forms dashboard contains data such as the form name and the HubSpot pages it appears on. It also contains the number of views, submissions, and submissions rate to provide a holistic view of your form's performance. From the dashboard, you can:

  1. Filter data to a specified time frame.
  2. Create a new form.
  3. Open/edit existing forms by clicking the name of the form.
  4. View submissions data for a particular form.
  5. Open up the landing pages that your form appears on in a new tab.
  6. Edit, clone, and delete a form or export submissions data.

Sorting form views

At some point, you may want to view data within a certain range, such as this past week or this year to date. The default view is this month to date, but can be changed to accommodate the time frame you'd like to see. From the forms dashboard, you'll find a filter near the top left. Select this filter and change your view to suit your preference.

You can also choose a custom time period and input your preferred range.

Create form

Once in the forms dashboard, create a new form by clicking Create form in the upper right-hand corner.

Form tab

When you first create a form, you'll be brought to the Form tab in the form editor. There are three default properties included: First Name, Last Name, and Email. Change the form name for internal use by clicking the pencil icon at the top of the form.

Please note: an email address is not required to create a contact record in HubSpot via a form submission. In order to create contacts without emails, you need to enable this option in your account settings. 

To change the text on the submit button, click on the submit button to bring up the Configuration for submit button sidebar menu. Type in new text for the submit button in the Label field in this sidebar menu. You can learn more about creating forms in this article

Adding form fields

You can add fields to your form by clicking on a form field in the Add form field sidebar menu on the left and dragging the field to your form on the right. You can drop the field in the area outlined in blue either above, below, or to the left or right side of an existing field. 

Other form elements

Under the Other form elements section in the Add form field sidebar menu, you have the ability to add space between fields and add text. For example, if you wish to display a message above your email field such as, We will never share your information outside our organization. Please view our Privacy Policy for more information, then you can use the Rich text area to add this text above the Email field. Click the Rich text area field from the Add form field sidebar menu and drag it into the desired location on your form.  

In this section, you can also click the Captcha (SPAM prevention) switch to toggle this feature on. Captcha helps prevent SPAM submissions by prompting contacts to select a radio button entitled I'm not a robot.


Progressive profiling

For Marketing Professional and Enterprise users, you have access to progressive profiling capabilities. Progressive profiling allows you to replace previously answered smart fields and ask more questions as you gather intelligence on your leads.

For example, a lead converts on a TOFU offer and provides their first name, last name, email, and location. They come back at another point for more resources and land on an offer. This time, the previously captured fields are replaced with new questions so that you can get a little more information. You might ask more qualifying questions such as company name, company size, and industry. When the contact comes back another time, since they've already answered those previously qualifying questions, they're then asked another series of questions to further qualify them in some way, for example by asking questions that can segment the visitor into a persona.

The number of questions that appear each time the lead returns is based on the number of questions they've answered. If they've only answered three questions and all three fields are smart, only three new questions will appear. If from those three new questions they only answer two, then upon next visit, only two new (and the one they have not yet previously answered) will appear.

Queued questions are placed below the form in the Queued progressive fields section and appear in the order they are listed. To make a field a progressive field, hover over it and click Edit. In the left sidebar menu that appears, select Replace with queued progressive field from the Progressive field options dropdown menu. 

To learn more about smart fields and progressive profiling, check out this article

Dependent form fields

Within your form, you can set up dependent form fields which allow you to show more fields depending on how the visitor answered an earlier question in the form. For example, if someone enters HubSpot in the Company Name field, then you can show another field, such as Sales Category. To do so, hover over the form field and click Edit. From the left sidebar menu, click Dependent fields to expand that section. Select which options the contact must select in order for another custom field to show, and then click Add.

Form actions

In the upper right-hand corner of the form, click the Actions dropdown menu. Here, you have the following options: 

  • View submissions: see a list of all the contacts who have submitted your form, along with all-time views, submissions to date, and the conversion rate.
  • Clone form: make a copy of your form. The clone will live in the forms dashboard along with all your other forms.
  • Export submissions: export a list of contacts who submitted the form. You can select a CSV, XLS, or XLXS format and specify the email address you would like the export sent to.
  • Embed code: grab the form's embed code to use on your external website. To learn more about embedding a form on an external site, take a look at this article from later in this guide.
  • Delete form: delete your form so it no longer exists in your forms dashboard.

Options tab

When you're done editing your form under the Form tab, click the Options tab at the top of your form editor. Here, you have the following options: 

  1. What should happen after a visitor submits this form: decide whether you would like form submitters to see a thank you message or be redirected to another page.
  2. Follow up options: select the checkbox if you'd like the form submitter's HubSpot owner to be notified of the submission.
  3. Send submission email notifications to: select specific users or teams from the dropdown menu if you'd like them to be notified of the submission.
  4. Error message language: specify the language you'd like for your form's error message.
  5. Cookie tracking: toggle the switch on if you'd like visitors to be tracked with a tracking cookie upon submission.
  6. Pre-populate fields with known values: toggle the switch on if you'd like visitors to see their information already filled in if their information is known.

To learn more about customizing your form options, check out this user guide article.

HubSpot Help article screenshot

Test tab

The Test tab is the last step in the form editor. Here you can fill out your form as a test submission so you get a feel for how your contacts will interact with your form. If you're using progressive profiling on any of your fields (Marketing Professional and Enterprise only), you can click Preview form behavior, which will bring up a sidebar menu on the right where you can select a specific field to see how the form will change for a visitor who has already filled out that field. For example, if you have Pre-populate fields with known values enabled, then selecting a field from the sidebar menu will populate the test form's matching field to Known value.
HubSpot Help article screenshot

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