Marketers love surveys and contests. And other ways to collect information. Or a tool to RSVP a meeting. Marketers aren’t the only ones who often need a tool to build a form for event registration, online contest, accept payments… in fact to collect any kind of information. Usually, the first tool that pops up is Google Forms.
Google Forms is great for – should we say – standard set of features. But if you need more, like dynamic calculations, logic, and automation, you may realise that these aren’t so-called standard features.
Luckily entrepreneurial services have seen the gap in the market and provide a service for creating forms. And, you can do all sorts with them, not just collect and analyse the data. Cognito Forms offers a cloud-based service concentrating on giving you tools to build forms so that you can solve your problems without waiting for the IT team.
- Pros and cons of Cognito Forms
- Who is Cognito Forms for?
- How easy is Cognito Forms to use?
- Cognito Forms design and templates
- How to manage your ecommerce store in Cognito Forms?
- Cognito Forms integrations
- What marketing and SEO tools does Cognito Forms have?
- Payment options
- Cognito Forms security
- Cognito Forms customer support
- Cognito Forms pricing
- Is Cognito Forms the right tool for you?
Pros and cons of Cognito Forms
Cognito Forms is a subscription-based service. It allows you to solve your problems with its form builder so that you can handle all kinds of form-related issues yourself. Its offers
- Security and compliance
- Data encryption
- Conditional logic and automation
- Dynamic calculations
- Secure payment
- Multipage forms
- PDF and Word generation
If you know or have access to a web developer, you get to use CSS to customise the styling and JSON webhooks for your own applications.
- Forever free plan
- Accept payments with Paypal, Stripe, and Square (Only Stripe is available on the free and Pro plan)
- Forms can be in many languages: German, Danish, Dutch, even non-Latin languages are supported such as Thai or Japanese
- Support for different currencies
- Support for different time zones
Cogito Forms slaps a 1% transaction fee if you want to receive Stripe payments with the free and Pro account
Who is Cognito Forms for?
If you need to collect any kind of data online but your website doesn’t provide for that, then Cognito Forms is very practical. You can use it to create
- A questionnaire
- A survey
- An event registration
- A reservation, document, meal request
- An application form
- An order form
You can create all kinds of forms, even multistep and multipage forms. With Cognito Forms, you can do complex calculations based on user input. You can also create forms with conditions, so that if a user fills in with a yes, another question section gets displayed which is not shown if the user answers.
If your users leave a form unfinished, no worries. You can allow your users to pick up right where they left off. You can also allow them to update their entries after they’ve already submitted the form.
I dare to say that if you can dream it up, you can create it in Cognito Forms – without a single line of code. You can build your firms in a matter of minutes with the drag-and-drop editor. It also provides you with a gallery of pre-built form templates.
How easy is Cognito Forms to use?
Cognito Forms gives you a drag-and-drop editor to build your forms. Its interface is really easy. If you’ve used any kind of drag-and-drop editor, you’ll get the hang of it in a snap. It has a well-designed, uncluttered interface where everything is clearly labelled.
It’s easy to add conditions to show a field and you can even limit quantities for your order forms. It’s just as easy to define settings for your forms, for example when to show the link or which currency or language to use. The same is true for submitted entries: You can determine if you want to get notification and confirmation emails, use the JSON data in another web application, and more.
You may find it a bit quirky if you want to customise the CSS: The style editor is not found in the Build but in the Publish tab.
Once you’re happy you can embed the form to your site or share the link to the form hosted by Cognito Forms.
Cognito Forms design and templates
It’s really easy to create a form from scratch with exactly all the form fields and logic as you’ve planned. To help you speed up the building process, you can also use one of the predesigned templates.
Depending on the template, they have repopulated entries such as coffee price or blend. They can also be connected to a specific list, for example for inventory.
How to manage your ecommerce store in Cognito Forms?
With Cognito Forms, you can build something like a window showcase of the shopping cart software. That is you can build an order form that is even connected to your inventory list, but you don’t get all the features that are needed in the store backend to manage things.
You can still cobble together a store backend with the help of services such as Zapier, Power Automate, or Make. Just know that you need to be subscribed to a paid account to get inbound API calls.
Cognito Forms integrations
Aside from the mentioned data integration services Zapier and co, you can use its outbound JSON webhooks to send the entries to other services or your own application.
What marketing and SEO tools does Cognito Forms have?
Cognito Forms is not an all-purpose website builder, so it doesn’t provide a blogging feature.
For your analytics, you can connect your account with your Google Analytics to complement the inbuilt reporting.
Since Cognito Forms provides integrations to services such as Microsoft Power Automate and webhooks, you can build your marketing funnel and send your audience the next message or to the next step.
Depending on your account, you get to connect with Stripe, or you can also connect with Paypal and Square to accept payments. If you’re subscribed to the free or Pro account, Cognito Form wants 1% of each of your transactions.
Cognito Forms security
As a hosted service, Cognito Forms takes care of maintenance and security. You can choose to encrypt the form entries, although you need a Team account or higher.
Cognito Forms customer support
You can always submit a support request but it’s not quite clear when the office hours are. If you don’t want to patiently wait for the answer, you can trawl the comprehensive self-help user guide.
Cognito Forms pricing
The pricing is based on how many entries you plan to get in a month. So, the more entries you get, the higher your plan should be. Higher plans also unlock more features.
Is Cognito Forms the right tool for you?
No matter which industry you are in, if you need a tool to
- Collect leads
- Accept payments
- Aks to download a file
In short, if you need to collect information of all kinds, Cognito Tool can help you. This is especially helpful if your website is not using a CMS or even just for your social media presence. It goes beyond just collecting data: You can
- Analyse the collected data
- Request the to sign a form with an electronic signature
- Make forms with logic, almost like an app
But since it’s a hosted service, it’s always a good idea to export the entries and keep it somewhere safe. Even if it seldomly happens to cloud-based services, it can go down, lose its data, and other shenanigans.