5 Simple Ways to Use Forms to Improve the Member Experience
I’m a big fan of the WordPress plugin Gravity Forms, which allows you to add all kinds of different forms to your website, from basic contact forms to multi-step forms or forms including conditional logic (where the next questions shown depend on previous answers given).
Whilst you may think about using a contact form plugin such as Gravity Forms to add contact forms on your membership site, it’s actually capable of so much more than this and in fact has a whole host of powerful features and add-ons that can be used to further enhance your membership site.
Gravity Forms is actually a bit of a ‘secret weapon’ of ours when it comes to memberships, as this one plugin can form the base of so many more advanced features that provide a better experience for both you and your members.
So, here’s just a few of the ways that you could use Gravity Forms (or similar options such as Ninja Forms) to improve your membership…
Streamline Customer Service
It goes without saying that you could use Gravity Forms to create a contact form or support form for your membership. In fact you could create different forms for different purposes, or make use of Gravity Forms conditional logic features to display different questions based on what someone is contacting you about.
If you’re not already familiar with how Gravity Forms works, then usually when someone submits a form you are emailed the information and a copy is also stored on your WordPress site too (really handy in case any emails go AWOL!).
However you can take this even further, particularly if you have a team working on your membership site with you and want to ensure the right messages get to the right people.
You could integrate your forms with a CRM system such as Agile, Capsule or Zoho to add people to your CRM system, open tasks based on what they’ve submitted on the form, set due dates for these tasks and even assign specific team members to those tasks. This is quick and easy to set up but can be really useful in making sure that nothing ‘slips through the net’ and all customer enquiries are dealt with quickly and by the correct member of your team.
If you use Slack for team communication and project management then you could also have notifications sent here every time a form is submitted, and you could choose which channel a form is sent to based on the answers given. So if you have a specific person on your team who deals with tech issues for example, you could ensure any form submissions to do with technical difficulties are sent straight to your tech channel in Slack for the appropriate person to deal with.
You can even have forms sent directly to different boards on Trello if you’re using this for project management or simple to-do lists.
Whilst I’ve focused on the possibilities of using these features for teams here, they can be just as useful if you’re running your membership solo, allowing you to keep form submissions out of your inbox and ensure they are dealt with quickly.
Engagement is king with a membership site, but also one of the hardest things to consistently achieve.
Whilst your content and your community will be your main sources of engagement, you can use Gravity Forms to add some additional features that will not only increase engagement but also enable you to check that members are actually learning from your content.
The easiest way of doing this is by using the ‘Quiz’ add-on that is available for Gravity Forms. This enables you to create as many different quizzes for your members as you would like.
You could do some fun quizzes periodically, or you could have standard quizzes after each module of content, or a full blown assessment at the end of a course.
These quizzes are easy to set up and change around using the Gravity Forms quiz modules and drag and drop interface and you can event set both questions and answers to display in random orders as well if you would like to.
When it comes to marking your quizzes then this can be done automatically using either pass/fail percentages or letter grades – for both of these options you can set the percentages needed. Results can be displayed automatically to members or you can have them sent to yourself to confirm.
If you’re not using an LMS plugin, which will typically have quiz features inbuilt, then Gravity Forms provides a nice option for adding this kind of interaction to your site without needing lots of complicated plugins.
You could also set up Polls for members using the ‘Polls' add-on, either for fun or to ask members to vote on things like upcoming content or new site features.
Generate New Content
Many membership sites are built on content and it may be that you actually want members to be able to contribute new content to your site.
You might want members to submit their own recipes, top tips or even full blog posts that can be displayed either in a member generated content area or even on your public blog.
With Gravity Forms you can allow people to create fully formatted blog posts on your site, without them ever needing to log in to your actual WordPress admin.
You can simply set up a Gravity Form with fields for them to add the content title, upload a featured image, select categories and tags and add their actual content (complete with WYSIWYG editor for formatting) and this will be automatically created as a post in WordPress (or custom post type if you’re making use of these).
You can set user generated content to be published immediately, or you can have it created as a draft for you to edit and tweak before setting live.
If you want to allow members (or even guest experts) to be able to contribute content to your membership site then this is a great way to do it. It’s very easy for your members to complete, and easy for you to manage.
Throughout running your membership site there are going to be various times when you want to gather feedback from your members. This could include:
- Feedback from cancelled members
- Feedback from existing members about what they do and don’t like
- Feedback on future content or features
Whilst you can use a service such as SurveyMonkey, TypeForm or Google Forms to create these surveys, if you’re already using Gravity Forms, why not just use this and keep everything on site?
The Survey add-on for Gravity Forms allows for a wide variety of survey style questions, including rankings, likert scales, open ended feedback and more.
Not only do you have survey results emailed to you directly, but you also have them stored on your site and Gravity Forms will even collate entries so that you can easily see an overview of all the survey answers.
Sell events or coaching
You can easily turn a simple form into an order form using Gravity Forms and take payment via options such as PayPal, Stripe or Authorize.net.
This is ideal if you’re creating additional products for members, such as live events or 1-2-1 coaching options, where you don’t need payment to be taken via your membership plugin and it’s also not ideal to install a full ecommerce plugin just for this.
You can create forms for one-off payments, subscriptions and even donations quickly and easily, with no complicated setup.
We find this ideal when tied in with an application form, where you may need to collect a certain amount of information first and then collect payment after the form is completed. This also ensures that nobody can skip the ‘information’ stage of the sign-up process.
The beauty is that it also keeps things easy for your members – they don’t need to login to another account or set up a new membership, they can simply complete the form, go to payment and they are done.
As usual you’ll be emailed any form submissions as well as them being stored on your site, and Gravity Forms will also provide ecommerce reporting on site so you can see how many sales have been made and the income generated.
So, there are just 5 ways that you could use Gravity Forms for more than just contact forms in your membership site. Whilst you do need the developer package for most of the add-ons mentioned here, it’s more than worth it for streamlining your membership and adding a number of features all from one core plugin.
If you’d like to take Gravity Forms even further then the third-party Gravity View plugin will also allow you to display any form submissions on the front-end of your website, which is ideal for creating things like a member directory or even allowing members to create and update ongoing progress logs.
There really are near limitless options for using Gravity Forms in your membership which is why we’re such big fans of this plugin. Are you using it on your site? Let us know how in the free Facebook group.
Membership Academy Extra
Access your “Enhancing Your Membership Site with Gravity Forms“ course in the Membership Academy.
Discover how to take payments and obtain signatures, set up different types of quizzes, polls and surveys, streamline customer service, register people to your site, allow members to upload their own content and create a member directory, all with Gravity Forms.
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