Lately I have been hearing a lot of people talk about ways they are using blind forms. I think this tool has either just come to light for many marketers or it is enjoying some kind of resurgence. So, for the uninitiated, what are Blind Forms? Blind forms are a mechanism that allows an email click to translated automatically as if the recipient hit “submit” on behalf of the recipient (they are identified by their email address). Blind forms allow a known contact to be send directly to an asset/landing page/etc. without requiring data entry but still allows the same processing steps behind the scenes (such as the sending of a confirmation email or thank you email). Sounds powerful, right? Well they are, here is a small list of the benefits:
- It directly ties clicking a specific url inside an email to the submission of a form within your automation platform
- It mirrors existing form actions (i.e. if you have a form submission trigger the sending of an email or adding someone to a different campaign a blind form can achieve the same end)
- It appends campaign response to a contact record
So, what is a good use of a Blind Form?
- Sharing knowledge with existing customers
- Moving late-sales stage deals through the pipeline with additional nurturing
Conversely, what is not a good use of a Blind Form?
- Sending to 3rd Parties Lists/Vendor
- Any program with potential reach outside of your known audience (known meaning, email addresses that currently exist in your Eloqua database)
- Opt-In campaigns (this would not only be very inappropriate but also is likely outside legal compliance
There are some caveats to the use of Blind Forms. They are only applicable in scenarios where a URL is driving from an email to a single asset or landing page. They cannot be used to monitor traffic/clicking inside of landing pages or between landing pages. Additionally, using Blind Forms is likely to break the way that out of the box reports in your Automation platform work. Be prepared to do your own, custom reporting on Blind Forms if you plan to use them. You should also be cautious about how you leverage them if your lead scoring programs are simple in that they score “form submit” vs. submission of specific forms. While Blind Forms are an immensely powerful tool they also come with a big flashing yellow caution light because you need to consider a lot before you forage ahead in using them.
Do you have a creative use for Blind Forms that I haven’t mentioned?