by Juan Robin II
Are you in the market for a new online form builder?
There are hundreds of options to choose from. But in business, return on your investment is important. You need to make sure that any new tool you’re thinking of purchasing is worth it—something you’ll need to prove to your boss, too.
We put one of the most popular online form builders, Paperform, to the test.
The goal? To find out whether it’s worth splashing the cash on.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
What is Paperform?
Before we dive in, let’s quickly iron-out what this software is.
Paperform is an online form builder. The difference to other form creators is that you don’t need to use a drag-and-drop interface. In Paperform, you can add question-fields, images, video and text anywhere on the page, just like when writing an online doc.
Think of it like the Canva for forms. Paperform has templates for every form you could think of— from wedding invitations and dinner reservations, to client on-boarding forms.
What can I use Paperform for?
There are hundreds of templates you can use within Paperform. Businesses can use them for a variety of uses, including:
Create interactive content
Are your marketing team struggling to engage potential leads? You’re desperately trying to put a lead on your email list, but no matter how hard you try, they’re not biting.
Interactive content—which encourages your reader to do something—could be your answer… Especially as 66% of marketers say their audience engagement increases with interactive content.
You can use Paperform’s quiz templates to create your own:
Simply put together a list of quiz-style questions, then customize the form’s settings to make it mandatory for people to enter their email address to view their results.
It’s the best way to grab your audience’s email address—and nurture them towards a sale.
Survey your existing customers
Do you know what customers think of you? Where your product fails? The most impressive features you can play on in advertising campaigns?
The answers to those questions are invaluable for businesses. That’s why companies that successfully implement customer experience projects begin by focusing on how they collect and analyze feedback.
Get to know your customers by using Paperform to survey people once they purchase your product or service. There’s a bunch of templates specifically designed for this:
Requests from your staff come in from all angles: email, Slack, and in-passing in the corridor.
Instead of forgetting who asked what (and disrupting everyone’s workflow by finding out), use Paperform’s feedback templates to funnel their requests into one place.
You can use this for any type of internal request, such as:
- PTO or leave requests
- Expense reimbursement requests
- Payment or purchase order requests
It’s predicted that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator in 2020.
Paperform has templates for customer feedback that you can link-to from your purchase confirmation emails. That way, support is always available—and your new customer doesn’t need to scavenge around your website to get some extra help.
But it’s not just improved customer service that these templates will give.
You can use them to find ways to improve your product/service, get testimonials, and calculate your NPS.
One of the most frustrating things about onboarding a new client is the constant back-and-forth. You’ve got tons of documents you need to send, contracts to sign, and things to approve.
Paperform has a selection of client onboarding templates to get everything you need upfront, making the entire process smoother.
The best part? According to Harvard Business Review, this perfected onboarding process “offers significant or moderate positive impact over the life of the contract for revenue, client renewals, and client referrals.”
Is Paperform any good?
Now we know what Paperform can do, there’s one important question: does it work?
Here’s what is great about the tool (and the things that could do with some improvement):
Paperform was designed for non-coders, and it does a great job at it. Users rave about its simple and easy-to-use interface—something that impressed me, a non-techie, when I started using it.
This might be down to the fact it has lots of customizable templates. But even if you’d prefer to create a form from scratch, the tool has a WYSIWYG editor. It’s easy to add content to your forms and customize how you want your form to look (and more importantly, to say.)
Plus, Paperform uses conditional logic. It uses the answers from previous questions to alter the following questions—something bound to make it easier for people to submit their answers.
It’s an ideal tool for businesses, too. Paperform offers over 1,000 integrations with popular tools like:
- Google Sheets
You don’t need to manually copy the answers to any other tool you’re using; the integration will do it for you.
But arguably one of the biggest advantages of Paperform is that it has a 14-day free trial—no credit card information required. You can sign-up and start using the tool in a matter of minutes, for free.
We’ve covered the things Paperform is good at. But where does it fall? I could only find two negatives.
The first: There’s no free plan once the 14-day free trial expires. It’ll set you back a minimum of $12.50 per month to access your forms after that timeframe.
The second: Paperform is only available in English. There is an option to translate the content of your form for your readers, yet you can’t build the form in another language. That means it likely won’t be the best form building option for companies who employ non-English staff.
How does Paperform stack up against the competition?
Search the term “online form builder” into Google, and you’ll see over 397 million results:
Granted, some might not fit the bill—but there are still thousands of options for you to choose from.
Here’s how Paperform stacks up against the most popular:
Paperform vs. Typeform
Typeform is one of Paperform’s biggest competitors. Both have a simple interface and are easy to customize forms.
However, there are some things that mean Paperform pips them to the post.
One of those? The fact you can send emails directly from Paperform once a submission is received. With Typeform, however, you need to use another tool—like ConvertKit or MailChimp— to send automatic emails.
While that might not sound like much, it could mean you just need to pay for one tool. That’s usually a huge factor for smaller businesses or marketing teams.
Paperform vs. Google Forms
You’ll have access to a free form builder if you have a Google account: Google Forms. But again, it comes up short when compared against Paperform.
Why? Because you can collect payments through Paperform, but not Google Forms. The latter needs another integration (or worse, manual payment recording) if you’re creating forms like event registrations, for example.
Plus, Paperform has more in-depth analytics thanks to the option to add your Facebook Pixel or Google Analytics code to the form itself. This means you can track people who’ve submitted or clicked the form—maybe even remarketing to them on social media, in the future.
Paperform vs. JotForm
Finally, let’s take a look at how JotForm compares to Paperform.
Admittedly, there isn’t much difference between the two. Both have hundreds of excellent templates, post-form customizations, and offer very similar features.
The only major factor I could find was the pricing.
JotForm has a free plan (limited to 100 form submissions per month.) Paperform doesn’t… But that doesn’t mean Paperform works out more expensive for everyone. For 10,000 submissions/month, Paperform is the most cost-effective option. It costs $12.50 per month versus $32.50 per month with JotForm.
How to create a form using Paperform
Ready to start using Paperform to build forms for your business? It’s simple and easy to get started.
Here’s a quick-start guide to get you going:
1. Create your account
To use Paperform you’ll need to create an account. Click here to grab your 14-day free trial. Remember: You won’t need to add your credit card details, so there’s no worry about being charged once your trial ends.
Use the two-week trial to play around with the tool and start customizing form templates.
2. Find a form template
You can choose to create a form from scratch, or customize one of their professionally-designed templates.
To do so, hit the “Create Form” button and press “Use a template”:
You can search for a specific template you’re looking for, or scroll through their range:
Once you’ve found the one you want to customize, press “Use.”
You customize the form on the next screen—by adding your own questions, or changing colors and fonts. Just use the blocks to do so.
3. …Or start from scratch
Fancy creating your own online form from scratch?
Instead of hitting “use a template,” you can create a completely unique form by hitting “Start from scratch”:
On the next screen, you’ll see a plain form.
Use the icons at the side of the form to add a photo, video, spacer, or question:
You might notice that the interface has a similar concept to WordPress’ Gutenburg editor; using blocks to add images, questions, and breaks. This makes it extremely easy to use if you’re already familiar with WordPress.
4. Configure your form
After you’ve designed your form, it’s time to set-up how your form actually works.
Hit “Configure” to give your form a title, description, and cover image:
You can also customize the URL—ideal if you want a catchy link to send to customers without having to search for it.
If you want to configure payments through your form, you’ll also do that here. Bear in mind that you’ll have to add a payment method in your account settings, first:
On the Analytics and Form Behavior tabs, you’ll also see options to: add your Facebook/Google Analytics pixel, enable CAPTCHA, and limit your form to a certain amount of submissions.
All of these things give you greater control over your form.
5. Control what happens post-submission
What happens after someone has completed your form? Leaving them a message that says “thanks, we’ll get back to you” probably isn’t the most effective thing—especially if they’re a hot lead.
To customize this, hit “After Submission.” You can choose to:
- Automatically direct people to a success page
- Give them a custom PDF to download
- Configure integrations to make things happen automatically in another tool
For example: You can set-up your form so that when someone registers to your email list, they’ll get a piece of bonus content as a downloadable PDF.
They’ll be sent to a page that gives them a limited-time coupon to say thanks, and your CRM automatically adds them as a lead.
It’s much easier than doing all of those steps manually, right?
6. Share and start tracking
It’s wise to test your form before sending it out into the world. To do this, copy your form’s customized URL and plug it into an incognito tab. Fill in the answer to each question, and check the right things happen once you hit “Submit.”
If it does, you’re ready to share your form—be that through the URL or by embedding the code into your email or website content.
Go back to your dashboard and hit the “Submissions” tab to view responses.
You’ll be able to see an overview of how many people have viewed and submitted your form.
Or, you can get more granular and press “X submissions” to see their individual responses:
How much does Paperform cost?
We’ve already mentioned that Paperform doesn’t have a free option once your trial expires.
However, it doesn’t cost the earth to continue using their online form builder.
The following plans are available:
- Basic: $15/month ($12.50/m paying annually). With this plan, you’ll get up to 10,000 submissions and 100 integration actions per month. It’s ideal for freelancers or bloggers.
- Pro: $39/month ($32.50/m paying annually). You’ll get unlimited submissions, be able to remove the Paperform branding, and gain access to advanced themes/customization. This plan is geared towards small businesses.
- Agency: $99+/month ($82.50/m paying annually). With this ultimate bundle, you’ll get unlimited submissions, views, and embeds. Plus, you’ll get custom domain support, and Pro/CSS themes. It’s ideal for agencies or large businesses.
There’s no doubt that Paperform is a great tool for any business to have in their toolstack—regardless of whether you’re a one-man band or large agency.
With their free 14-day trial available to anyone, judging for yourself is a no-brainer.
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