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HubSpot’s form builder is one of the easiest to work with – but its narrow focus on marketing means that it is quite limited. If you’re looking for a tool that offers step-by-step form building and will help you manage your customer lists, then HubSpot is a good, risk-free option, thanks to its free plan. If you need more than that, read on to find out which alternatives I recommend.
Build Online Forms with Seamless CRM Integration
HubSpot’s online form builder comes free as part of HubSpot’s all-in-one inbound marketing platform, which includes other essential marketing tools such as customer relationship management (CRM), email marketing, live chat, and marketing reports. It’s geared toward lead generation, so if you’re looking to grow your business, HubSpot could be a promising option.
There’s a free plan as well as a range of paid plans. As the paid plans are pretty pricey, it’s worth exploring the free version before you commit! Either way, HubSpot is a popular choice, with over 64,000 users (including global giants Casio and Suzuki) in 100 countries.
It supports 18 languages in addition to English (including Spanish, French, German, and Chinese), so it’s ideal if you have a global target audience. All great so far – but it does have some downsides, and there are cheaper options you might want to consider, like JotFormand Cognito Forms.
The question you’re asking, though, is whether HubSpot is right for you. Keep reading to find out!
Great Templates for Lead Capture, but There Are Only a Few
If you’re looking for a form builder with lots of professionally designed templates, I’m afraid HubSpot isn’t it. It only has five templates (even on the paid plans), with a promise to add more “soon.” At least the existing ones are mobile-responsive and nicely designed.
The templates available are focused on marketing and lead generation. You’ll find templates for Registration (so customers can register for product updates or sign up for a service, product, or program), Contact Us, Newsletter Signup, E-book Download, and Event Registration.
The templates aren’t all that different from each other – and they’re very basic. Compared to JotForm, which has thousands of templates, HubSpot is very limited.
Form Features to Grow Your Business
Most of HubSpot’s form builder features are geared at marketers, so they’re not suitable for surveys, quizzes, or job application forms, for example – but they are good for customer relations.
There are lots of contact information fields – including many that you might not have even thought about using. For example, there are form fields for the preferred language, salutation, military status, and Twitter username. There are easy options for GDPR (European data privacy) compliance, too.
You can also create new fields in HubSpot Forms, with options including multiple checkboxes, dropdown lists, text (single/multi-line), date picker, and file upload. If you work with international clients and need to translate your forms into other languages, HubSpot has a translation function with support for English, Spanish, French, German, and Chinese – plus other languages in beta mode.
Easy WordPress Integration
When you sign up with HubSpot, you’ll be asked if you use WordPress for your website. If you do, HubSpot will offer you the option of a free HubSpot plugin, which allows for seamless integration with your website so you can add your forms to your pages with ease.
If you don’t use WordPress, however, you’ll have to either use a “share link” or HTML embed code to publish your forms on your website.
Create Pop-Up and Smart Forms
The Pop-Up Forms feature can help you grow your mailing list. These are primarily for signing up for email updates in a variety of formats (e.g., pop-up box, drop-down banner, or slide-in box).
Smart Forms use what HubSpot terms “progressive profiling” to decide which forms to display to your website visitors depending on their locations (geotargeting)or whether they’ve previously visited your website. This can be a great way to gain new customer leads and ensure that returning visitors aren’t bombarded with signup, registration, or contact forms each time they visit your website.
Automatic Follow-Up Emails
You can schedule up to three follow-up emails to be sent after a form is submitted, helping you nurture potential leads. You have a range of options for your follow-up emails, including customizing the email footers, adjusting the delay between emails, and customizing the subscription type.See full list of features
Ease of use
Step-by-Step Form Building – Perfect for Beginners
HubSpot has made its whole marketing management platform super simple to use, so it’s no surprise that the forms aspect of the marketing hub is very beginner-friendly. If you’ve never built an online form before, you’ll appreciate the step-by-step process and the built-in help options, too.
Adding, removing, rearranging, and creating new form fields is simple in the drag-and-drop editor. Once you’ve placed a form field, you just have to click on it to bring up the form field settings panel. Click a button to make the field required, or choose to add a CAPTCHA with another click.
If you’re not tech-savvy or are finding the options available to you in HubSpot confusing, there’s a handy drop-down Learn more in the top left of the editor that will take you directly to knowledge base articles with instructions. Or, click the help button at the bottom right of the screen to search the knowledge base yourself.
Click to Chat
If you’re stuck on something and can’t find the answer in the help section, and the tooltips in the settings panel aren’t working for you, there’s a Chat button for paid plan users on the bottom right, next to the Help button, that will connect you to the HubSpot bot. If the bot can’t give you the answer you need, it will connect you to a support agent for real-time human help.
Now, let’s get to building! To add a preset form field, you just have to click on it, then move it where you want it on the form. It’s that simple. If you want to create a new form field, just select the field type and a Create a new field box will pop up. All you have to do is name your field and adjust the settings.
Changing colors and styles is a matter of clicking on the appropriate option and inputting your brand colors in place of the default HubSpot colors. If you’re a free user, you can only apply global color changes (i.e., all of your forms have to have the color scheme you select).
HubSpot support is separated into support for free-plan users and support for paying customers. If you decide to stick with the free plan, you won’t be able to get help from the customer support team – though you can, of course, consult the knowledge base or post a question on the community forum.
If you choose one of HubSpot’s paid plans, you’ll benefit from these support channels (depending on which plan you choose):
Ticket submission – Response within one working day; available to all paid plan customers
In-app support – Via the HubBot live chat feature; available to all paid plan customers
Call-in support – With both US and international numbers to dial, but only if you choose a Professional plan and above
When you first sign up with HubSpot, you’re automatically placed on the free plan. The Starter plan is the lowest-priced option and is paid monthly on an ongoing basis.
When you compare the difference between the Starter and free plans, however, the only real form-related benefits of the paid plan are the removal of HubSpot branding and the ability to customize the style of your forms. In fact, HubSpot sales agents actually recommend you stick with the free plan unless you absolutely need to have the style customization features.
The Professional and Enterprise plans have very pricey monthly fees that are difficult to justify, even considering the addition of smart forms. These plans are ideal if your business is growing rapidly and you have a large budget. When you upgrade, you have the option of paying monthly or annually, and all major credit cards are accepted.
HubSpot’s free form builder is a great tool for lead generation and general marketing, but its focus may be too narrow to make it an all-around great form builder. It is incredibly easy to use, and the free plan is sufficient for most marketing-specific form needs. The fact that you have to pay a hefty monthly fee to customize fonts and colors on individual forms, however, is disappointing.
Signing up with HubSpot is free and you don’t need to enter any credit card details, so there’s really no risk in trying it out. If you’re thinking of upgrading, though, you may want to consider whether other form builders, such as JotForm, could give you better value for your money, unless you’re looking for the kind of CRM integration that HubSpot offers.
Ari is passionate about web hosting and design and has been building websites with WordPress for over ten years. When he’s not testing web hosts, you’re likely to find him trying (in vain) to train his three beagles (who are better at training him than he is them!)