How “No More Forms” Can Unlock Unprecedented Growth

Okay, let’s address the 800-pound gorilla on our homepage.

The other week at a company off-site, one of our customers jokingly pointed out we had a form on our homepage, even though we preach “no more forms” in our marketing.

I’ll be real: this isn’t the first time someone has brought this up.

It’s a fair point.

So I thought now would be a good opportunity to explain a bit more about our “no more forms” mission.

First of all, when we say “no more forms”, what we really mean are these forms:

When a potential customer comes to your website for the first time, if this is the hurdle they need to jump through to buy your product – or just to talk to you – you’re creating a bad first impression.

Imagine you’re in a store and before you can buy something, or even ask a question, you have to fill out paperwork. Painful.

We actually made a video satire to explain the pain point:

That doesn’t make any sense, right?

So, why would you do this on your website?

You might say: “Well, people are filling out our forms, so I don’t see the problem.”

Once upon a time at Drift, we had forms too. And then our CEO made a call to Dave Gerhardt and told him to ungate all our content and let conversations fuel our pipeline.

That freaked Dave out since he’s the person responsible for generating leads for the company, and no one had ever done this before.

But guess what? Removing forms from your website doesn’t hurt, it actually helped us.

Here are some of the results:

Why We Hate On “Forms”

Our issue with forms isn’t how they look, or the fact that they’re not inside chat windows. It’s that forms don’t feel human, and they definitely don’t feel like the beginning of a good relationship with a prospect.

In general, we believe:

  • Forms feel wrong. Asking a potential customer a bunch of questions before you’ve provided them with answers just doesn’t feel right. So we don’t do it.
  • Forms introduce friction. When prospects land on your site, they’re looking for information now – not in 5 days, or a few weeks. But more often than not, when people submit a form, that’s what we make people do – wait.

For your customers, using a form to contact a vendor and waiting sometimes days to hear back is a bad buying experience.

Everything is becoming on demand and in real-time.

Think about Blockbuster vs. Netflix. You want to watch a movie anytime, anywhere, instantly. When was the last time you visited a Blockbuster store? (That’s supposed to be funny).

The Addiction to Forms Is Killing Growth

In theory, form submissions provide sales with leads that they can turn into conversations. Or, they can be put into a nurture track and qualified later.

As sales and marketing people, we’ve become addicted to collecting this information, addicted to shifting the burden of collecting intel and buy cycle information onto the prospect, and not the sales rep. But that leaves your would-be customers with a terrible buying experience.

At my last company I sat in a meeting with our sales team that illustrates our addiction to forms perfectly.

My sales team wanted me to add three more questions to a lead form that already had twelve questions in it. Twelve!

The form was for people on our website to request a demo of our product.

The sales team wanted to know what timeline the prospect had for purchasing our product, and how much budget they had to work with.

Imagine filling out a twelve-question form on a website when all you want to do is find out more about a product. It’s a huge barrier to entry. It’s like running up to someone when they walk into a store, and asking them to show you their credit card.

Ridiculous. No store would ever do that.

Listen, our intentions are good. But the execution is all wrong.

Let’s turn the tables.

Instead of asking the buyer to do all the work, why not make better use of the right tools to get the information you need in the background, so you can delight the buyer right from the start?

The Future Of Sales and Marketing Is About Removing Friction

Today, the buyer has all the power. And it’s up to businesses to get as close to them as possible, so they can understand how to solve for their biggest pain points.

Drift helps you do that – and without annoying forms.

But it’s not about Drift. It’s about helping you create better buying experiences for your customers.

So as we continue to build new features and products that connect to our platform, you’ll notice that every single one of them is built with the customer in mind, and lets marketing and sales teams deliver the buying experience that delights. A few examples:

Drift Sequences. It’s the first sales email tool that’ll help customers buy, rather than spam them with emails. And, with the help of machine learning and natural language processing, we’ve made it possible to automatically unsubscribe recipients based on their replies.

Lead scoring with Clearbit Reveal. Instead of sticking a fat form in front of people on our website and asking for their information, we score in the background without having to ask the lead any annoying questions.

Drift ABM. Based on that information from Clearbit, we can then send a specific and personalized message, and roll out the red carpet to prospects.

In 2018, we’re working hard to arm our customers with the right tools so they can remove friction and provide the right buying experiences for their customers.

If you want to join the no form movement, you don’t have to throw out all your forms today. Get a free assessment from someone on our team to show you how to take the first step in unlocking growth without forms.