Like any other CMS platform, users can build up a Contact Form within Sitefinity. One thing I love about Sitefinity is its flexibility with email network. We don’t need to buy any extra plugin nor third-party tools as in WordPress for conducting email marketing.
In the digital world, acquiring customer’s data is crucial, it helps the page owners grow their business and fill up the revenue pies. Contact form is a traditional way but essential for any website, imagine a web page without a gateway to let the customers interact causes bleeding resource which gives you tons of benefits in regards to marketing.
In the conversion funnel, recording the customer’s information can result in sale conversion which refers to the very last step of the funnel chain. This tends to be the goal of every business to drive the success of making profits or secure them for remarketing strategies.
As you know, Sitefinity harnesses the power of MVC (Model View Controller) pattern for the integrated widgets so that we can dissect the development process. In other words, the widgets have their own user-interfaces to style and control separately and connected to other features. This includes Form feature.
Let’s put it in a simple manner, you created a widget, any feature associated with it has the ability to look up this widget within Sitefinity platform plus visualizing this MVC widget separately as you wish.
Because it is one of the most powerful features of Sitefinity so it’s cruel for not approaching this method for your business.
Data can be driven in varied ways. In this guide, you are learning how to establish the use of data for email marketing purpose. Email marketing is a great way to keep your old customers engage with your services and raise the loyalty as well as prolong the retention relationship with your site.
At the end of the line, you will get the idea of how to create a contact form to record customer’s data, create a page to contain the form and generate a contact list for email campaigns.
Before getting started, you are required to have Sitefinity installed. If not, you can go back and revise your knowledge in the previous guides to have a glimpse at how to host and configure your project within a local environment.
2. Create a Form
Assuming you have done setting up your Sitefinity, locate the Form section on the top panel Content > Forms.
If this is your fresh start, click on the big icon and you will be addressed to the configuration page.
Give your form a title and expand the Advanced tab at the bottom, this will give a couple more options. Make sure the MVC only is checked.
As I mentioned earlier, we are using the power of MVC – a design pattern helps you develop these widgets more flexible.
The MVC has been assigned. Next, we need to add fields to this form. Click on Create and go to add fields, this is where you determine how you’d like to record the data from the customers (name, phone, email…).
The greatest thing about Sitefinity is the power of Drag and Drop elements feature, zero code involved if you are a non-developer.
On the right sidebar, a list of available widgets allows you to customize the form. Depends on which data that your business goes after, we don’t need that complication for this exercise. I will be setting up a form with First name, Last name, Email, and Phone number.
Giving a head start with First name, drag the Textbox and drop onto the canvas section, click Edit and you will see a control panel for that particular widget.
On the Label and text tab:
- Label: Give this field a name, because I wanted to record the First name so normally name it as flat as possible
- Placeholder: A short description indicates what this field is about, keep it short and meaningful.
- Predefined value: you can leave this blank, it’s used to set the default characters if you want their names to contain a suffix.
- Require field: Check this box if you want this data is a prerequisite
On the Limitations tab:
- Type: Currently Sitefinity gives you 14 format options, pick the one that suits your need such as email, phone, text…
- Range: minimum and maximum character allocation for that field. For instance, you’d like to limit the phone number to 10 digits.
- Error message: The field will return an error if the expectation is not met.
As expected, I used 4 widgets, the Submit button will be automatically added when you drag your first widget in.
When you’re happy with the structure, Publish the form and you’re done. This form, however, requires a page to contain it and show it to the customers, next step we will create a simple page in which collaborates with this form.
3. Create a page
Navigate to the home dashboard, click on Pages on the top menu > Create A Page.
Now you are probably drowning in a lot of settings but mostly we leave them as default as creating a page is not the main goal of this guide. However, you do need to give this page a name, something plain like Contact Me.
Go to the next screen, a familiar page appears like you created the form earlier. Notice the widgets on the right, there are many of them now, under the Content drop-down button, navigate to the MVC Form widget and drag it to the desired section.
Make sure the form is MVC type by looking at the blue icon that contains MVC letters on it. If you use a standard form you will not be able to integrate to the email marketing system.
Click Edit to connect the form, you should have got the option to select your MVC form.
In the Settings tab, you have an ability to show custom message when a successful message is sent or redirect the audiences to a different page like Thank You page for tracking purpose.
After that, you can safely finish and return the Pages interface, click on View to open the page and see your result in action. Test your form as soon as you see this screen.
The form initially has no style, if you work with the developers or you’d like to style your own form, locate the form CSS class when you first tried to create a form. Use Visual Studio to manipulate the form as you like.
You will know the MVC Form is installed correctly by viewing this form by going to Content > Forms. The test data is recorded as you see 1 responses. This indicates that the form works properly on the Contact Me page.
Click on the form, you will see all the fields from the customer following the rules.
We now have the Contact form set up, from time to time the database will be flushed with a lot of data. A page may contain more than one form, this can be a popup, a subscription. Although you can download the list, however in order to use email marketing within Sitefinity, a mailing list is needed.
4. Create a mailing list
Return to the main dashboard, locate to Marketing > Mailing Lists > Create a mailing list. Give this list a name and expand the Advanced tab, at the very bottom click on Add connection.
The connection enables access to the mailing list and pull all the data down to different application logic and solely used for email marketing. In other words, if you erase the data from the mailing lists, this function sinks with it.
- Connection source: Select Sitefinity forms module, this represents for MVC form.
- Connect this list to: Select the MVC form, this establishes a connection between the features.
- Connection title: Leave as default or you can name the connection.
- Map required fields: Select the appropriate fields with the initiatives respectively.
After that, go ahead and Save, you are pretty much ready for establishing an email campaign. Go back to the Mailing list dashboard, you should now see a list with the indication of how many subscribers associated with it.
Lastly, you can validate the feature by trying to create a new email campaign (Marketing > Campaigns), when you’re asked to select the Mailing list, all the lists should be included.
There are numerous ways to capture the customer’s data, a Contact form is simple and yet extremely essential for marketing. In Sitefinity, this feature is even more powerful with the email marketing and CRM integration systems that harness the advantages of data.
To achieve the same benefits in the other CMS, we may end up with a gigantic pool of budget whilst in Sitefinity, all you need is just a few clicks to set them up.
As we know how valuable the data is, every user data count toward the success of the business and has a role in a conversion funnel. By using email marketing that inherited the data from a singular form, you have drawn a great strategy of lowering the cost, saving time and producing valuable data.
Depends on your business, the customers’ data may be hard to achieve especially the real estate or medical treatment fields. These data by time will flush your system and you definitely wouldn’t want them leaked nor stolen. I was one time tasked to spend a budget of 2000$ for digital advertising and ended up with about 1000 leads. However, each lead with a successful sale output could produce $500 in revenue and presuming the conversion rate stays at 15% cap.
Data acquisition is a thing, secure them is another crucial layer to assure your business growth.
By now, you should be able to:
- Create a form within Sitefinity CMS
- Attach a form to a single page
- Create a mailing list for email marketing
Now, you can practice it over, this time, not necessarily a contact form, try to create a popup instead. Stay fluent because the business relies on it. If you are confused at any stage, question me down below.