Spotlight on... Zoho Forms

Mark Thurman
17 September 2020

Welcome to the first in a series of posts that put the spotlight on various Zoho applications.  With close to 50 applications on offer and 50+ million users, Zoho is incredibly powerful solution and almost all apps are offered in one handy offering called Zoho ONE

We’ll begin our journey through the Zoho app landscape with a look at Zoho Forms for Data Collection.

Everyone is familiar with web forms, and will have used them either to contact a company, make a purchase or perhaps as a questionnaire.  Web forms are ubiquitous and yet under the surface they are certainly not all the same. 

Zoho Forms is a cloud based service that lets you create simple and complex forms to collect data for a wide variety of use cases and with great control over how you do it.

But before we get into how to create forms, there are some considerations to keep in mind...

Businesses obviously need quality data to make informed decisions. The journey towards this data isn’t explicit though—instead, it differs based on audience, geography, available resources, and more. Before anyone embraces digital data collection for their business, it’s essential to understand the basics, planning methods, and data security involved.

Decide what type of data you want to collect

Before you even create a form, ask yourself the following: What do you want to collect with your form? Images from your construction site, resumes from your job candidates, assurance signatures from your employees, or something else?

Answering this will give you an outline of the form and its fields. As you brainstorm further, methods to store the data, extract it, and share it will also become clear.

Plan how you’ll analyse responses

One of the main benefits of collecting information digitally is that you can quickly view and organize data in one cohesive space as reports, which can later be shared and exported to the team for collaborative work. In addition, using smart integration options that automate transferring responses, you can conveniently analyze these responses in your favorite applications—CRM, Sheets, and more. Marketers can also analyze the reach of a campaign, and thereby its success, by tracking leads and measuring goals right from within digital forms software.

Figure out how much data you require

How wide and far are your forms going to travel? Think about the number of audiences and the different, multiple ways forms are shared. Based on available resources, your team can decide on which platforms to showcase and host forms and choose a subscription plan accordingly.

You also have the power to limit both the number of submissions you receive for a form based on a specific date and the submission of multiple entries from a single IP address.

Making a form

Build a form in minutes

Creating forms is very simple using the form creator software that's designed to accommodate users with no coding experience. Add and personalize form fields according to your individual needs. Generate custom reports to view and analyze all your form submissions.

Pick from an array of fields

Collect data efficiently with the help of 40+ field types. Each field in the form maker has customizable properties that make your forms unique. These fields are optimized to protect the privacy of your respondents and safeguard any sensitive information.

Validate data entry on the fly

Urge respondents to avoid duplicates or repetitions in their responses. Field validation clearly indicates fields that may be marked as mandatory, such as name, terms and conditions, and more by pointing them out to respondents.

Apply additional validation and logic using a simple, easy to learn script language.

Split forms into multiple pages

Simplify complex forms by sectioning them out onto multiple pages. Structure forms to contain relevant fields or questions on each page and ensure that respondents are directed to the pages with questions that pertain to them.

Save now, resume later!

Give your respondents the freedom to save partially filled forms and complete them at their convenience. Ensure that no data is lost so form filling is an easy task instead of a tiresome one.

Skip unnecessary steps with conditional logic

Redirect your respondents to the relevant question or page based on their answers. Set rules to hide irrelevant information in the form, and provide a customized form filling experience for each respondent.

Create repeating sections with one subform

Allow respondents to add multiple entries and line items within a single section. Create simple online order forms by applying values and formulas to elements in your subform and ensure a seamless shopping experience for your customers.

We've only scratched the surface

For an in depth look at the features of Zoho Forms and what it can do for you I suggest you check out the features matrix (opens in new window).

The possibilities are endless

The possible uses for Zoho Forms are mainly limited by your imagination. Here's a few ideas:

Contact forms Complaint forms Employee evaluation Event registration Testimonials Free trial request Service booking Feedback form Work tracking Status updates

Capture of example application

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