Marketo Forms 2.0: From Skeptical to Believer in 30 Minutes or Less

January 15, 2014 | Justin Gray | 3 Comments |

A plethora of LeadMD clients have complained over the years about Marketo forms. They were labeled too rigid, too boring, too ugly, too uncool to use by many users. Luckily, I’ve always had a coding wizard in on my team to make my wildest form fantasies come true – so I didn’t feel the pain. Agreed, they were not beautiful, but I’m a data person. I’ve preached that the key to forms is not how the form looks but the data you’re asking for in exchange for an asset. If you have crummy content, no one will give you their digits. A basic rule of thumb in Marketing Automation (MA) is if it doesn’t make sense in dating, it doesn’t make sense in MA.  No amount of good looks (rounded corners, two column layout, fancy rollover popups) is enough to mask a lack of substance.

With this nay-say attitude, I attended a preview of Forms 2.0 last week, and I have to admit, it’s pretty badass. Here are the highlights:

1.    Dynamic Follow Up Pages:  Imagine you have a form with a “Buying Timeframe” field on it. Do you want to send people who reply “Buy Now” to a landing page that says, “Someone will contact you shortly,” while sending people who reply “I’m good for the next 6 months” to a landing page that says, “Be sure to check out the following assets before you make your decision in 6 months?”  Of course you do! Because it’s smart and great marketing. Well, forms 2.0 makes it a breeze.

2.    Slider Field Type: This made me go “Ooooooh!” Look how awesome and interactive this simple slider looks! So much better than picking a range, I’ll tell you EXACTLY how many employees my company has. Imagine using this on a survey to gauge happiness…My mind is swimming with possibilities!


3.    FINALLY! Search for Fields: For anyone that didn’t know the EXACT name of the field to find it in the alphabetical listing of Forms 1.0, this is what you’ve seen in your dreams.  The same, simple field search that you see everywhere else in Marketo has come to forms. I can hear the Marketo Marketing Nation rejoice!

4.    Hint Text (AKA Infield Label): This just looks cool and it makes your forms less “bulky.”  I’m sure that’s one of those words marketers use that designer, UI/UX people hate… but it really is pretty. The only thing I don’t like here is the name – not very intuitive.

5.    Easy Two (or… GASP!… three) Column Layout:  I think every new client I teach about forms asks me if they can be two columns. And my answer no longer has to be, “Well, with a little code, we can do that.”  It’s now part of the editor and, as a bonus, SUPER easy to manipulate.

6.    Auto-Populate per Field: This one is for my dirty database friends. Often, you want to pre-populate the email address, but not the first name, because you have immature data enterers putting things like, “fat guy next to the printer” in the first name field.  Oh the horrors of an open text field. Now you can keep those problem fields from pre-populating on your forms.

7.    Mask Input: For data integrity nerds, the lack of formatting ability in Forms 1.0 drove you nuts! Well, with Forms 2.0, you now have the ability to add masks to fields like phone numbers – so all your data comes in like so: (XXX) XXX-XXXX.

8.    Field Dependency: The biggest use case for field dependency usage is the Country/State condition. But, because that’s boring, let’s pick something else… say you want to collect details about all partners filling out the form that you wouldn’t want to collect about end users. I’ve struggled my way through dependent field code before, but I’m glad those days are over. Simply build that logic directly in the Form Editor.

So, out of a short 30 minute demonstration, I found eight things and probably more that I’m forgetting, to turn me from feeling “meh” to being a total believer.  I can’t wait to amp up our clients’ forms in the coming months. What’s your favorite upgrade in Forms 2.0?


  1. MaryFirme on January 22, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Andrea – We’ve already got ReachForce SmartForms code ready to roll on Forms 2.0 and I’m ready to be a true believer and I want to take advantage of all the new features; this overview is super helpful. But I feel like I remember in the summer ’13 roadshow that Forms 2.0 hinted at being able to include an image in the form. Is that part of the initial roll-out?

    • andreaelbee andreaelbee on January 22, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      Hi Mary – You’re a good hint picker-upper! There is indeed an option to create a Rich Text section – and that can include an image, hyperlinks, etc. What’s your use case for that feature?

      • MaryFirme on January 23, 2014 at 12:22 am

        ‘Cause if you can deploy an HTML 5 Marketo form on any landing page with SmartForms and a munchkin, and a you can include an offer image, you can have a mobile lead collector to deploy easily to wordpress etc, control your ads through snippets etc. To use a technical term: “seems pretty bitchin’ “

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