Harnessing the power of contact forms
Receiving new enquiries is great because it means that your marketing’s working well and people want to work with you! If you install one of Light Blue’s contact forms on your website, all of the useful details of your new enquiry will flow straight into Light Blue – no need to type anything into your database! Your client can get an immediate, automated reply, and you can follow it up with a personalised email or text message template as soon as you’ve checked your availability.
This guide will help you to:
- Create your own form templates
- Understand the different types of fields available for your forms
- Install a form on your website
- Set up an automatic reply to your clients who’ve completed a form
- Send your clients to a special “Thank You” page after making an enquiry
- Handle the submitted contact form
- Change the fonts and colours in your form to suit your branding
- Download and use some example forms to help you to get started
You can build as many different forms as you like in the Form Templates preferences. You might like to have a very simple contact form for some parts of your site, and then a more detailed form elsewhere. Or perhaps you offer different types of photography and need to gather different details.
To add a new form, click on the Add Record button and give the form template a name. Then you’re ready to start adding fields.
When you’re editing a sample form, or creating a new template, there are preset fields for you to choose from. We split these into three types:
Firstly, it’s possible to gather information about the shoot:
As well as information about the contacts who will be involved:
The Main Contact field will ask for details about the primary contact who is associated with the shoot. It’s a good idea to have a Main Contact field in contact forms; if you’re using an automatic reply to the form submission then it’ll be sent to the main contact.
The Wedding Couple field will gather the details of the two partners who make up a wedding couple for a wedding shoot.
The Roles field will allow you to gather details of additional contacts and assign roles to them within the shoot. This is useful for getting details about other family members, additional participants, or suppliers that you are working with.
The Other Contacts field works in a similar way to the roles field, but does not require you to set any roles.
When you add one of these contacts fields to a form, you will be given the option to choose which pieces of information you wish to gather, for example name, email address, phone number etc.
The “Other” fields allow you to add headings and text boxes, to section your form and give information to the person filling it in. You can also include fields that are not matched to fields in your shoot / contact records. For example, information typed into the single line or paragraph text fields, the checkboxes, pop up menus or upload fields is all stored within your form once it’s been submitted, but not within the fields of a shoot or contact record.
Installing a contact form on your website
To install your Light Blue contact form into your website, we’ll give you some special HTML code that you can paste into the right part of your site. You can add the form code wherever you’re able to add your own custom HTML.
First of all you’ll need to go to the form template and click on the Install Form In Website button. From there you’ll have a choice of how you’d like the form to appear:
Pop up forms display as a clickable link which then makes a form appear as a pop up within the design of your site. These are useful as ‘call to action’ buttons.
Embedded forms site within the layout of your site and work nicely on contact pages.
Simple links will take your client to a special page on our website (which has your branding on). This option is helpful if your website provider has placed restrictions on the sorts of custom code that you can add to your site. When your client submits the form they could be directed back to another page on your website.
Sending an automated reply with the ‘Contact form submitted email’
If you’d like your client to receive an immediate automated reply to their form submission then you can write a message in the Contact Form Submitted Email tab of the form template.
This is a helpful way to acknowledge the enquiry and provide some immediate basic information, like pricing information or answers to frequently asked questions.
Redirecting clients to a thank you page
After your client has completed your contact form, they can be taken to a special Thank You page on your site. You can choose the URL of that page in the advanced options tab of the form template.
This is useful if you want to provide some more details to clients who’ve made an enquiry (like a sample gallery, for example). If you’re using Facebook or Google tracking pixels to measure the success of your marketing campaigns and for retargeting, then you could embed those in your page.
Dealing with the submitted form
When the contact form has been submitted you’ll see the new data in Light Blue’s inbox. Double clicking on the submission will create new records in Light Blue using the information from the form.
You can control the look and feel of your contact forms by setting up your client portal branding via your account page.
You will find some sample form templates when you first sign up and download Light Blue. You can tweak them to suit you or you can create your own templates from scratch.