How Bento approaches forms moving forward
For the longest time, I put off implementing forms as I thought it wasn't a big enough pain point and just leaned on our global fancy scripts that would pick up form submissions in other products (login pages, contact forms, other ESPs forms, marketing apps, etc).
For a couple of unique customers, I even wrote custom scripts to capture this information (hello, Diggy!).
I thought forms were a thing of the past and could auto-detect my way to success.
Boy was I wrong!
Whilst I thought auto-capturing was enough for 99% of use-cases, for two years, we started to get major push back from new customers who were primarily using Bento for email newsletters and not just analytics or live chat.
These customers were migrating from ConvertKit, Klaviyo, MailChimp, and Substack.
They'd ask questions like:
"How do I easily set up automations based off a form's submission?"
"Can I update my visitor's custom fields based on a form?"
"Can I subscribe or unsubscribe via forms?"
"Can I auto-tag visitors via forms?"
"Do you have landing pages I can send people to?"
"Do you offer multi-page forms?"
"Do you have pop-ups or toasters?"
Our customers wanted something they could copy and paste into their website that just worked out of the box that did all of the above.
They wanted forms to be the entry point for their marketing.
They didn't want to fiddle with scripts like they were doing now.
We listened and got to work building a new type of form product.
Those familiar with TypeForm will understand where we went with this; Bento Forms is a survey-powered form builder enabling our users to ask detailed, multi-page questions that sync perfectly with visitor profiles.
It is entirely configurable so can fit any workflow from just a simple newsletter opt-in to a multi-page feedback form to a user onboarding survey. We're already seeing some crazy implementations of this in accounts.
We've made it so:
- Forms can be one-off OR repeatable. We find that one-off is important if you have an opt-in on the sidebar and want to show different content (i.e an ad) to subscribers who have already opted-in.
- Form answers sync perfectly with a visitors custom fields. Each answer is logged on the visitor record so you can use it in your email marketing or web personalisation.
- Forms can trigger any automation. Perfect for if you want to send an email, chat message, or update details on the visitor record based on their answer.
- Forms can be conditional. Meaning you can change what questions show based on previous answers.
- Forms can be exported. Dump all answers into a CSV to do what you want with them. It's your data!
- Forms can be accessed via custom API. This was designed specifically for users who are running feedback surveys or product review programs who want to show captured answers on their website.
- Forms have a public page to access them. Don't have a website or want to send an email to a survey to personalise a list? Each form has a public URL that you can send traffic too!
We didn't want to be like everyone else in the ESP space and wanted to create a form experience that was truly unique and empowered users to get creative with what they can do in the product.
Our focus now that it's shipped in accounts is to make it more extendable, better designed (see: more themes), and faster. We believe that our form product backed by Bento's powerful analytics suite make it unmatched but we acknowledge we need to make things prettier.
We're VERY excited for the future of Bento Forms and can't wait to see what you do with it.
If you have ideas please send them to us!
I left this out in the original post, but worth mentioning that Bento Forms is powered by entirely by Bento.js. We've done this vs. a traditional form endpoint to add a few additional checks to reduce the risk of spam and bot submissions. This will keep your list clean and protected as well as ensure that web crawlers don't render it at all. There are plenty of bad actors out there who love to bomb lists and raise your costs and we want to protect you from that.
The embed code is also entirely configurable so you can make it work exactly how you want it to.
// Embed into the page and make it repeatable <bento-survey-form id="unique-identifier" repeatable="true">Loading ...</bento-survey-form> // Delay a toaster pop-up by 10 seconds <bento-survey-form id="unique-identifier" delay="10" type="toaster">Loading ...</bento-survey-form> // Takeover the whole page and only do it once <bento-survey-form id="unique-identifier" type="takeover">Loading ...</bento-survey-form>
We're going to continue expanding the functionality of the snippet over the coming weeks so any early feedback would be fantastic.