Before you stop reading because of the name 123ContactForm, keep calm and carry on. They have a lot more different form types in store than just simple contact forms. You can even build a purchase form with a payment provider glued to it. Let’s taker a closer look, shall we?
123ContactForm: Whatever Form Your Heart Desires
I admit that I did not know 123ContactForm before I did the research for this article. As a designer, I should probably have known them before. But accept my apologies as I am generally not involved in too many projects requiring elaborate form functionality. What I can promise is, that I will be much more likely to throw in a form or two in any given project as I have learned how easy and uncomplicated this can be done using 123ContactForm.
Besides more or less simple contact forms, you can create order forms, event registrations, online surveys, quizzes, polls, job applications, file up- and downloads and lots more. There is nothing form-related that cannot be done. All of this is achieved by using a powerful real-time form editor that saves you from having to fiddle with code. If you insist, you can always fiddle with the code, however. It’s only that you don’t need to ;-)
There is no doubt that 123ContactForm does not primarily address professional designers. You could have guessed from its name that their goal is to make form creation as easy as one-two-three. And they deliver.
Still as a professional designer there is no reason to avoid the service. As time is money and even more so with increasingly less to earn in increasingly more time, using a service such as 123ContactForm speeds up your workflow, saves you time and shortens the development cycles of your projects. You win, your clients win, 123ContactForm wins – satisfaction galore.
123ContactForm’s Bread and Butter Features
I don’t want to bore you walking you through the benefits of the common contact form. I guess you know that. Let’s just mention that 123ContactForm can integrate particular form fields such as Google Maps as well as images to support your users optimally while they fill out your form. Forms can be multi-page, too.
If you want, you can attach a simple workflow to any form. First you could send the visitor a confirmation with a copy of what was submitted. That’s relatively common. But it doesn’t end here. You can also create multiple and custom email notifications. Establish conditions that need to be met to trigger delivery of a message to individual recipients only.
All the messages can be populated with additional HTML and styled using custom CSS. There is not much left to wish for.
The whole form can be translated into whatever language you can translate to. Your visitors can then choose which language they prefer to work through your form. 123ContactForm’s UI itself is available in English and Spanish.
Forms that React on Input
I already mentioned the possibility to control forms according to conditions to be met during input. Depending on what your customer chooses in the form provided different departments of your company might need to get involved. Is it a sales question? Is it a complaint? You might want to have that form reach the correct recipient automatically.
It is also possible to show and hide forms during input depending on choices your visitors make. Should you ask your visitors whether they own a cat and they choose „No” it wouldn’t make much sense to ask them for the name of that cat. This is only a simple and obvious example, but you can surely think of a few much more useful tasks to perform that way.
A Look at Some of the Less Common Form Types
What fascinates me more are the forms that actually do something. 123ContactForm even lets you integrate payment providers such as the whole range of PayPal products, Authorize.net and a few others. If you want to sell a small variety of products off of your website, 123ContactForm in cooperation with a capable payment provider might just be all you need.
Collecting data is also as easy as one-two-three with the integrated database in the back of your account. Data can be exported as CSV from there. If you want more advanced data management, you will be glad to hear that 123ContactForm has quite a bunch of Third Party Apps to work with.
Send all form submissions to a spreadsheet over at your Google Drive or populate your MailChimp mailing list from a form created with 123ContactForm. Further integrations enclose Zoho, Zendesk, SalesForce, AWeber, Twitter and half a dozen more.
It is even possible to accept file submissions which is useful for an online job application for example. You can also offer the other way round. Create a download form with an integrated counter to control the distribution of your latest free ebook or other goodie.
When it comes to publishing your forms, 123ContactForm does not limit you in any way. You can integrate your forms easily into any online location you can think of. WordPress users even find a plugin to do the job.
123ContactForm: Security and Analytics
123ContactForm offers SSL encryption as well as password protection. You could even want to limit submissions to be accepted only from certain countries. Just do it.
Fighting spam is done through Captcha form validation. Furthermore, you can certainly expect all the standard form validation techniques to be in place. Multiple reports enable you to keep track of exactly what is important around all your online forms. This includes measuring performance but also data mining capabilities.
The Pricing on the Cake
You can start checking out the service with a free subscription. The free plan will allow you to create five forms with 100 submissions per month. There is no storage for uploads, and the 3rd party integration sees only Nation Builder and Wix. But as the real-time form builder is in, and you will be able to access the template collection with mobile devices support even, there is everything you need to judge whether this service is for you or not.
Once you decide to go with 123ContactForm professionally, the Platinum plan will be the best value for your bucks. With around 300 dollars per year, the service cannot be called cheap but the value provided is massive. With unlimited fields in infinite forms and 20k submissions per month, you shouldn’t run into capacity problems too quickly. Platinum also provides you with payment support and has almost all available 3rd party apps in place.
Judge for yourself and register for the free plan.
How do you build your online forms? Do you prefer the old-fashioned way or do you already use a visual form builder? Let me know in the comments below!
Dieter Petereit is a veteran of the web with over 25 years of experience in the world of IT. As soon as Netscape became available he started to do what already at that time was called web design and has carried on ever since. Two decades ago he started writing for several online publications, some well, some lesser known. You can meet him over on Google+.