Are you one of the 268 million people who shopped online in the US last year[i]? If yes, there is a great chance that you’re familiar with web forms. Brands use these forms to capture lead information and keep track of customers’ personal information.
And when it comes to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (previously known as Pardot), it offers two great options for capturing prospect data – forms and form handlers.
In Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, you can use form handlers when you want to keep the same process before they are implemented in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE) and they can keep the same style forms with minimum effort.
Form Handlers connect your external forms to your website so that you can funnel prospect information into Account Engagement.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything about Account Engagement Form Handlers and how to create and use them to drive more business value.
What are Account Engagement Form Handlers & When to Use Them
Form Handlers are an alternative choice to hosted forms that you create in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. You can use a form handler to integrate your 3rd party or custom forms into your website and track submission data. The form handlers act like a bucket that will collect successful prospects after submission.
You can use a Form Handler instead of a hosted form when you want to:
- Publish form submission data to more than one database
- Completely control the way your form looks and operates
- Map out a login form, which includes confidential information like financial data or passwords
- Integrate Account Engagement with your existing forms
- Use a third-party form tool
- Accommodate your existing form infrastructure
- Upload attachments
Let’s understand this with a business use case. Joe Smith is working as Content Marketing Manager at a company. The company is using Salesforce web-to-lead form to generate leads from their corporate website.
The company’s web-to-lead form is highly customized to represent its brand identity. Therefore, it doesn’t want to migrate Salesforce web-to-lead forms to Marketing Cloud Engagement hosted forms even though Account Engagement forms offer a wide range of features in comparison to a third-party form.
However, they want to pass the prospect data to both Account Engagement and Salesforce, once a prospect submits the third-party web-to-lead form. For this reason, the company decided to use Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Form Handler.
Things to Remember Before Using Account Engagement Form Handlers
Before using form handlers, keep the following things in mind:
- Use bot protection on your forms when implementing form handlers. Otherwise, you could be deceitful in subscription bombing.
- For server-side posts, activate Kiosk/Data Entry Mode on the form handler to avoid tracking your server as the prospect.
- Conditional fields are not available on the form handlers because they don’t work on external content.
- Marketing Cloud Account Engagement form handlers integrate with forms using an empty enctype attribute or an enctype of application/x-www-form-urlencoded. Form handlers don’t accept multipart/form-data.
Benefits of Marketing Cloud Account Engagement/Pardot Form Handlers
Account Engagement Form Handlers are a great marketing automation tool to use when you want to use your own forms rather than Account Engagement iFrame (forms created and managed entirely from Account Engagement).
Here are the benefits of using Marketing Cloud Account engagement Form Handlers:
- Transfer any form data/information that is captured in the lead form
- Customize the complete look and feel of your form
- Upload attachments directly without using a third-party platform if you’re requesting documents or images from prospects
Creating Account Engagement Form Handlers – What Does the Process Look Like?
Form Handlers work in a similar way to a web-to-lead form. You generate a snippet of code that you paste into the external form’s code. Form Handlers allow you to fully customize the look of your form and create forms that can be used to capture visitors’ information. To create a form handler:
1. Open the form handler page
- In Account Engagement, select Marketing>Forms>Form Handlers
- In the Lightning App, choose Content & then choose Form Handlers
2. Click and add a Form Handler
3. Then name the Form Handler
4. Select a folder and then select a campaign
5. If the data from the form is redirected to another service, enable data redirecting to the success location.
- To return prospects to the page that holds the form handler, select Referring URL.
- To redirect the prospect data to another database or enter another webpage, select Specific URL.
6. From the Error Location dropdown menu, choose where to redirect prospects if an error occurs.
7. Add completion actions
8. Add and map form fields
- Click + Add New Field
- Enter the name attribute from your external form field’s input tag for External Field Name. The external field name is case-sensitive
- Select the related prospect field and select a data format and save your changes
9. Click Create Form Handler
After you create a form handler, integrate it with an external form to track submissions in Account Engagement/Pardot.
The Bottom Line
While using Marketing Cloud Account Engagement/ Pardot Form Handlers has great advantages, always consider performing complete testing before setting any changes live so you do not disrupt your day-to-day business operations.
Ready to Take Your Account Engagement/ Pardot Operations to the Next Level? Let’s Talk!
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