You could argue that forms are the single most important element on a website for marketing teams. They act as a beam of light in a dark room, piece by piece revealing a bigger picture of your clients and prospects. There are many situations where forms can come in handy, but sometimes it can be difficult to tell what kind of form you should use for a particular situation. Today we’re going to take a look at two options for marketers who need to collect certain kinds of information from their prospects: Pardot forms and form handlers.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, what’s the difference?
The difference between the Pardot forms and form handlers is actually vast. Form handlers allow you to continue using forms you’ve already built, and from there, Pardot will extract the prospect’s information. However, these aren’t the best fix long-term. With Pardot forms, you have access to built-in features like progressive profiling, data tracking for form views and completions, dependent fields and use of the slick “thank you” messages. Since you can build form templates that look exactly like the original, there’s no real reason to use form handlers long term.
Some B2B marketers do though – and the reason is usually ‘because we always have’. To put it in context: just because you always use your mobile phone to take photos, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a camera that can zoom. Like this guy…
When should you use form handlers vs. Pardot forms?
Like the gentleman above, sometimes the process you’re used to is unnecessarily complicated and not as efficient as it could be. The idea behind using form handlers is that they’re usually temporary. As you introduce Pardot into your organization, form handlers can act as a great temporary transition into Pardot forms. Once you start utilizing the benefits of Pardot forms, you’ll be thankful that you decided to change over.
The only exception would be where forms ask for personal information like passwords. In this case, it’s best to use a form handler to extract any of the non-confidential prospect information that you need.
Key benefits of Pardot forms not available from form handlers:
- Prevents data duplication in the CRM
- Includes progressive profiling
- Invisible bot protection
- Tracks form views and logs error data
- Can be embedded in a Pardot landing page
- Can set up automation rules based on form views
- Displays “thank you” content after form submission
Connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more help with making sure that your forms look great and work correctly.