Forms are everywhere in today’s digital world. You see them on websites and fill them out without even thinking twice about it. Every day you log in to apps, and those fields where you type or tap in your information are considered forms.

 

For businesses, there are many different types of forms that lead to conversions. Some of these forms may include contact us forms, forms for gated content, or registration forms. The search function on websites is also technically a form, even as you begin to filter for specific products or services you are interacting with form elements. Ecommerce sites have more uses for forms than most other types of websites.

 

Why Track Forms?

So why is it important for businesses to track their forms? At Cognetik, we have many clients that use forms as their primary conversion metric. It’s how companies generate leads, learn about their customer, sell or deliver products, and ultimately increase their revenue which leads to growth. It all comes from a potential customer or user filling out the required information in a form.

 

There are even marketing sites where their whole purpose is to convert customers through forms. Most forms boil down to the customer’s information and tracking something specific about the user, like an email address or phone number. When looking at data management platforms, most of the information that is being collected can be tied to that user to identify patterns and behavior. This information can also be sold to other advertisers if not utilized by that company for creating personas and serving more relevant content.

 

The main example of this is when you fill out a form, add a product to your cart, and purchase a product. You may go to another website that shows advertising for similar products or even uses retargeting to bring you back to complete the purchase. It’s important for the businesses to gather and collect data to so they can better understand who each customer is and what drives conversions.

 

4 Steps to Tracking Forms in Adobe Analytics

Step 1: Track the impression.

 

When using Adobe Analytics to track forms, the first thing that should be tracked is the impression (also known as when the user first views the form). There can be many ways a user comes to a form. They can scroll up or down to view a form, they can click on a button that directs them to one, or they may navigate to a contact us page where they fill out their information.

 

Step 2: Track your interactions.

 

The next step is the first interaction, which is also known as “form start.” Some other interactions may include filling out a field, checking a box, or clicking a submit button. When tracking those interactions in a funnel analysis, it’s important to track which field they interacted with first.

 

When looking into implementing form tracking, it’s important to keep in mind that this step is probably the most complex part of form tracking. There can be many potential hiccups along the way since there are many variables at play.

 

For example, it may be important to know why someone fills out the password form before filling out the username or email address. If that’s the case, there may be a flaw in the UX design or a bug in the browser that is causing the username field to be unusable. The potential reasons why are endless. With this stage in tracking, you identify why something like this is happening and why users are clicking on the password field first. In this way, you can actually learn things about your website through Adobe Analytics tracking solutions.

 

If you have a wizard form, which is basically a multistep form, tracking can be even trickier. A great example of a wizard form is when you are purchasing something online and your first step is to log in. Then, your next step would be to select the item and fill out your credit card information. After clicking a “next” button or a button that moves you forward in the process, you may move on to filling out a mailing and shipping address. Tracking each step of the wizard including starts, interactions, and completes is valuable to understanding the user’s journey.

 

Autofill can greatly complicate the interaction tracking because it automatically fills in your entire form at once. Browsers are smart enough now where they can remember your form-filling information, but in your tracking, this can give a blind spot from an implementation standpoint.

 

Step 3: Track your submissions.

 

Submitting the form is the next step of tracking, which is basically when you hit the “send” button when it is not truly complete. A business user of Adobe Analytics may want to know how many time’s a user submitted the form and either completed successfully or failed during data entry. This can be a complex step to track because if using a TMS, you may not know if the user submitted the form completely or if there were errors, like an incorrect password or the format of the phone number was written incorrectly. There are multiple ways to basically listen for the error, either through JavaScript validation or HTML5 validation. This is a scenario where you could end up writing custom code and further complicating the data collection into Adobe Analytics. You have to keep in mind that there are different failure points for different forms because each form operates differently from the next.

 

Step 4: Track your form completions.

 

Form completion is truly the last stage of the funnel analysis when tracking forms in Adobe Analytics. It can be very telling what the last field the user interacted with, or how many items a user purchased when completing a checkout flow.

 

The challenges here, as well as the previous step, means you may need to use custom code during data collection. Today you have forms that are Ajax enabled, so when a form gets submitted, the user never navigates away from the page. If tracking needs to be implemented by utilizing a TMS, it may impossible without custom logic in place. Here is where the use of Cookies, JavaScript, and a lot of custom coding comes in.

 

Page loads can also pose a potential problem. For example, if a customer clicks complete and they are on a form order complete page, what happens if that page is reloaded by the user? The completion page reloads, showing another completion, and the form could be tracked as having  completed again. In Adobe Analytics, you can use a special event called a serialized event. The best way to track this here would be to use the order number, because order numbers are the unique identifier assigned to each purchase. These order numbers are then assigned to the serialized event so it doesn’t get counted twice. Adobe Analytics tracking events with the same unique identifier are not counted more than once, and it would not throw off any funnel analysis being done on this data.

 

Summary

Form tracking is a great way for businesses to understand their customers and the user journey throughout the funnel. With this gained knowledge and understanding, businesses are able to optimize forms to accelerate purchase decision-making, increase company revenue, and learn how to better serve their customers.

 

Tracking forms is no easy task though, and there are many pitfalls that can occur. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to bounce back from any issues and learn how to navigate what can be a complex topic.

 

By focusing on the above tracking steps and completing each using Adobe Analytics, you’ll be able to meet your own company’s goals, recognize your KPIs, and transform the way you do business.

About the author

Mike Plant