WhatConverts
Avatar photo Alex Thompson
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May 31, 2024

Form tracking is the process of 1) capturing a visitor’s form submission information and 2) tying it to the marketing that brought that visitor in. 

Many tools can handle the first part of form tracking, but marketers need specialized lead tracking tools to see where leads come from.

Web forms are one of the highest-converting lead generation tools online.

They’re also one of the simplest to track.

That said, form tracking isn’t just about collecting the info leads fill in. It’s about tracing those leads back to the marketing that brought them to your site in the first place.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at this foundational marketing concept by examining the following:

  • What is form tracking
  • Benefits of tracking forms
  • Three ways to start tracking forms

Form Tracking Tip

 

Use a lead tracking tool like WhatConverts to track form submission data and attribution data. That way you can see what marketing is actually driving leads.

What Is Form Tracking?

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    Form tracking is a way to capture data from one of the most common conversion actions—forms.

    Forms are used to collect contact info, request quotes, sign up for newsletters, and so much more.

    With form tracking, you can gather information on who submits a form, what they’re interested in, and what marketing drove them to fill out the form in the first place.

    A form tracking tool collects two essential groups of information:

    1. Form Submission Data – What was actually entered in the form fields (e.g., name, email address, service they’re interested in, etc.)
    2. Attribution Data – Info that helps marketers understand where that user came from (e.g., which ad they clicked on, keywords they searched, pages they visited, etc.)

    Combined, these two types of data give marketers more insight into who their audience is and what marketing is bringing in leads.

    Benefits of Tracking Forms

    Prove the Value of Your Marketing

    One of the top challenges marketers face is proving the value of their marketing.

    How can you show clients your ad, article, or email sequence is generating leads?

    Form tracking lets you tie form submissions back to the marketing that brought those visitors to your client’s site in the first place. As a result, you can clearly show the value your marketing generated (e.g., 21 requests for quotes, 47 newsletter signups, 18 trial signups).

    Depending on your lead tracking tool, you can also see what marketing drove the click according to different attribution models.

    For example, a first-click attribution model is great for proving value because it shows what marketing brought in new leads. A last-click attribution model, on the other hand, would show the conversion rates of individual marketing assets.

    Optimize Your Campaigns

    Proving value is one thing. Getting the performance data you need to optimize is something else altogether.

    With proper form tracking, you can see which marketing is performing well so you can iterate and improve your campaigns.

    Let’s say you’re driving traffic to a single form using 50 different ads—some branded, some service-specific, some focused entirely on pain points, etc.

    Your client is seeing plenty of leads come in, so it’s clear your marketing is working. But how do you know which campaigns (and therefore which techniques) are working better than others?

    Lead tracking tools give you the data you need to answer these questions.

    Each lead that fills out a form is attached to attribution data that shows what marketing they first interacted with. You can find detailed data like:

    • Source and Medium
    • Campaign
    • Content
    • Keyword
    • Landing Page

    Here’s what that data looks like in WhatConverts:

    You can even run birds-eye view reports to see which keywords or campaigns outperform others.

    And with that data, you can double down on what works and cut what doesn’t.

    Better Understand the Customer Journey

    Last but not least, form tracking lets you understand all the touchpoints visitors make before converting—a.k.a. the “customer journey.”

    With the right tools, you can see everywhere a lead interacts with your marketing before submitting a form.

    With this information, you can answer questions like:

    • Which pages are leads interacting with the most?
    • What sequence of pages drives leads to convert quickest?
    • Where are leads dropping out of the funnel?

    WhatConverts lets you clearly see every touchpoint for each lead you collect:

    And that makes it easy to gather insights and make better marketing decisions.

    How to Track Forms

    There are three main ways to track forms on your (or your client’s) website.

    1. Use a form builder
    2. Use lead tracking w/ form tracking (recommended)
    3. Use Google Tage Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

    Let’s go through how to set up each.

    Use a Form Builder

    If you’re looking to collect form data and don’t need to track marketing attribution data, there are plenty of form builder options.

    These make it easy to create and collect data from a custom form.

    Some of the best form builder options are:

    Problems With This Method

     

    The problem with using form builders alone is that many don’t give marketers the data needed to get all the benefits of form tracking.

     

    For example, most third party form builders can’t show which keyword, ad, or marketingchannel brought in a lead that filled out a form. And that means you can’t prove the value of your marketing or optimize campaigns.

     

    Lead tracking tools like WhatConverts let you fill that gap. 

    Use Lead Tracking w/ Form Tracking

    With lead tracking tools like WhatConverts, you can get precise attribution data on all your form leads.

    For instance, say you’re running campaigns targeting keywords related to home inspection and driving visitors to fill out a form for a quote on your website.

    With a form builder, you can see how many people filled out the form and their details. But you can’t trace those details back to the keywords that brought them in in the first place.

    WhatConverts, on the other hand, shows you all the attribution data behind each form fill:

    You can even go a step further and translate those forms into revenue earned.

    For example, say you wanted to know how much value those 35 forms from “commercial inspectors” brought in. You can see that aggregate information in WhatConverts:

    Tracking form leads with tools like WhatConverts also opens up a wealth of individual lead data. Data like:

    • Contact information
    • Customer journey
    • Conversion action data

    And all it takes to view that information is clicking on the Lead Details page:

    How to Set Up Form Tracking in WhatConverts

     

    Simple:

    1. Enter the URL of the page with the form you want to track
    2. Find and select your form
    3. Click “Finish”.

    As you can see below, the process takes under a minute to do.

    Once you’re tracking your form, you can capture detailed attribution data, customer journey touchpoints, and detailed conversion action info.

    Google Tag Manager (GTM) & Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

    You can also choose to go the GTM and GA4 route.

    This method uses tags and triggers from GTM to report form conversions in Google Analytics 4.

    The downsides here are:

    • It’s complex and easy to make a mistake
    • It takes time
    • You need a fair amount of experience and expertise to do it right

    On top of that, the main GA4 problem still stands—you can only get aggregate data. That means no zooming in on leads to assess quality or value, no customer journey, and limited attribution data.

    For a detailed walkthrough of this process, check out the resource below.

    Resource: Analytics Mania Walkthrough of Form Tracking w/ GTM & GA4

    Wrapping Up

    Form tracking is just one piece of the larger lead-tracking puzzle.

    You also need tools (like WhatConverts) that let you manage these leads, understand their quality, and report on so you can gather quality insights and prove your marketing value.

    Ready to get more insights from your forms? Try WhatConverts for free for 14 days!

     

    Read WhatConverts reviews on G2

     

    Avatar photo
    Alex Thompson

    Alex Thompson is a professional copywriter and content writer with a passion for turning complex ideas into digestible, educational content that keeps readers engaged. He specializes in content marketing, SEO, and B2B marketing.

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