A quick tour of Forms

Last updated: June 15, 2017

Available For:

Marketing: Basic, Pro, Enterprise
Sales: N/A

HubSpot forms make form creation easy. Forms are one of the most essential lead generation tools a marketer will use on their website. In fact, 56% of marketers consider optimizing their website's form logic to have important and significant impact on their website. Forms allow 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-action which draw attention to one of your offers, landing pages, and forms designed to encourage visitors to convert, smart fields, and progressive profiling intended to keep forms short with the latter allowing you to 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.

What are the features of the Forms tool?

Forms are simple, yet there are a variety of features you may not be aware of in the tool set.

Navigate to Forms

To get into your forms tool, head into your forms dashboard by going in HubSpot Marketing to the Contacts menu navigation then selecting Forms.

Forms dashboard

The Forms dashboard contains data such as the form name and the HubSpot COS pages it appears on, but 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, Delete, 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, you'll find a button to Create a form.

Forms editor

When you first create a form, there are three default properties included: First Name, Last Name, and Email. Since creating a new contact depends on an email address, this field is already marked as required. From this screen, you also have the ability to change the Form Name for internal use and change the text on the submit button in the Submit Button Text field. For example, if this form is intended to register contacts for a webinar, instead of saying "submit" you could say "register for webinar." You can learn more about creating forms in this article.

From this view, you can also view the Landing Pages which the form appears on by clicking View Landing Pages, or clicking on Create new landing page, to make a new page. This view also allows you to view the submissions tied to your form by clicking View Submissions. Beside this option you can also create a list of submissions by clicking on Create list from submissions. You can learn more about reading submission data, in this article.

Adding form fields

You'll add fields by clicking the Fields tab on the left to get access to your available fields. Here you also have the ability to create new fields.

Smart fields

All accounts allow smart fields in forms. When a field is marked as smart, it removes this field from the form as the information has already been gathered. As a good practice you may not want to make the email field smart, but you can use this in tandem with pre-population of fields (see next section for more information).

To make a field smart, mark the smart icon, depicted below.

Progressive profiling

With Professional and Enterprise editions of HubSpot, 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 her first name, last name, email, and location. She comes back at another point for more resources that can help her, and land at an offer that is exactly what she is looking for. This time, the previously captured fields are replaced with new questions so that you can get a little more information from her (instead of her simply clicking "Submit" on the form). You might ask more qualifying questions such as company name, company size, and industry. When she comes back another time, since she's answered those previously qualifying questions, she is then asked another series of questions to further qualify her in some way, by asking questions that can segment her into a persona, or asking what is her biggest ______ challenge that your company can address for her (e.g., marketing challenge if you are a marketing agency, etc.).

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 questions" section and appear in the order they are listed.

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

Form options

You also have the ability to add space between fields and add text. For example, if you wish to say above your email field something like "We will never share your information outside our organization. Please view our Privacy Policy for more information," then you can use the Rich Text separator to add this text above the Email field.

In addition, you can allow for fields with known values to be pre-populated. This reminds the visitor that they've already visited your site and filled out this information, in addition to verifying that their information is up-to-date. It makes it very easy for them to simply click the submit button to receive their offer with little effort on their part.

At times, you may want to change the cookie tracking settings so each submission creates a new contact (still contingent on a new email address). By default, HubSpot deduplicates contacts based on both cookie and email address. So if multiple contacts submit on the same device, their contact records will be merged. Checking this option ensures that each submission creates a unique contact, but you also lose the analytic information associated with that contact. This is an ideal option when the form is used in a trade show scenario, or when you expect multiple contacts within the same organization to fill out a form (such as a webinar registration that multiple contacts will fill out the same form on a single device). This option should not be used for your online lead generation forms. To learn more about creating non-cookie tracking forms, check out this article.

Here you can also dictate who would be notified when that form has been submitted. This is useful when you want to know when your forms have been filled out so you can take the necessary follow-up action, such as contacts submitting a Contact Us form. For more complex internal notifications, you'll want to turn to workflows.

To access these options, click the Options tab in your form. Form options are covered in depth, in a later article from this guide.


Accessible from any tab inside your form is the Embed item which allows you to 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.

Dependent form fields

Within your form, you can setup dependent form fields which allow you to show more fields depending on how the user answered to an earlier question in the form. Say someone chooses United States as their country on your form - dependent form fields will automatically show US states once US is chosen. If they choose Canada, instead you can choose to show provinces.

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