How to create a pre-order form for your website

Olga Chatay Olga Chatay 6 min read

If there is one kind of form that sparks excitement, it’s pre-order forms.

For a buyer, a pre-order form means they will be among the first to get the item. For a seller, a pre-order form means they can estimate the expected volume of orders or validate an idea.

Besides, pre-order forms are essential if you’re selling made-to-order items or if an item is currently out of stock.

In this article, we’ll show you how to place a pre-order form on a website and encourage customers to fill it out.

Don’t worry if you’ve never worked with website forms before. The template above is powered by Getsitecontrol – a no-code website form builder. It works on any website platform, and once you register an account, you’ll be able to create a similar form within minutes.

Those who fill out the form on your website will receive an automated follow-up email with a custom message from you. You can include a purchase link or information about the order in that message. You can also integrate the form with Google Sheets, your CRM, or any other software that helps you manage orders.

If you don’t have a website, we recommend using Getform to create a pre-order form and link to it from your social media, messenger, or email.

Let’s take a quick look at how to create a pre-order form and customize it to your needs.

Here is how to create a pre-order form in Getsitecontrol

The fastest way to create a pre-order form is by using a template. Below we’ll walk you through the process step by step.

Step 1. Select the template

There are two common formats used to display a pre-order form: slide-ins and panels. Here is the difference between the two. Slide-ins pop up on a page right away or after a visitor has spent a certain amount of time on your website. For example, the template featured at the beginning of the article is a slide-in.

Panels look like tabs saying something like ‘PRE-ORDER NOW’. They sit at the bottom of the page and expand into a form only if a visitor clicks on it. To see a panel in action, click on the template below 👇

Go visit the template gallery for more options.

Decide which template you’d like to use for your website, open it, then click the Take this template button.

How to add a form template to the Getsitecontrol dashboard

If you haven’t created a Getsitecontrol account yet, you’ll be prompted to do that. From there, you can adjust the form to your needs and publish it on your website. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to do that.

Step 2. Adjust the copy

From the Design tab, you can edit the copy, fields, and image of the form. To change the title, description, or field name, simply click on it and type the new text.

How to change text on the pre-order form in Getsitecontrol

This template contains 3 pages. Go to the top right corner to switch between pages and edit their content. For instance, this form requires buyers to type their shipping address on the second page 👇

How to edit the second page of a pre-order form in Getsitecontrol

If you want, you can add or delete pages, change the field order, delete existing fields and create additional ones.

The last page of the form is typically reserved for the submission success message.

Submission success message example for a pre-order form

The submission success message confirms order placement and tells buyers what happens next. In this case, whoever fills out the pre-order form will receive an automated follow-up email with a payment link and instructions. We’ll show you how to create such an email in a moment.

Step 3. Change the image and theme

Getsitecontrol allows you to easily change the color theme and image. To do the former, just hit the Theme button at the top and adjust the settings.

How to change the theme of a pre-order form in Getsitecontrol

You can also switch the font to make it match your website’s design better, or apply one of the pre-made themes to save yourself some time.

To change the image, click on it and proceed to choose a new one by hitting the Change image button. You’ll be able to search for alternative images using the built-in gallery or import your product photos.

How to add an image to a pre-order form in Getsitecontrol

Repeat this procedure for every page of the template where there’s an image.

💡 Want to remove the image from the form entirely? Then click on it and hit Remove image. Keep in mind, however, that in this case you might need to adjust the spacing from the Container section of the dashboard.

Step 4. Set up a follow-up email

Once you finish with the design, switch to the Targeting tab and move on to Follow-up. The follow-up feature enables you to send an automated email to everyone who fills out the form.

Use the follow-up email to confirm order placement, send the purchase link, and provide instructions.

You don’t need to have an email marketing platform to send follow-up emails with Getsitecontrol. Just click the + Add follow-up email button and start putting together your message.

For starters, add the subject, pre-header (Email preview), sender’s name, contact email, and unsubscribe link text to the menu on the right.

The subject, pre-header, sender, contact email, and unsubscribe link fields

Then, proceed to type the body of the email.

When you have finished working on the copy, complete your email with an image or GIF and a CTA button that redirects your customers to the payment page:

The email preview with image and CTA button

You can also add a coupon box for your early birds and use the dynamic text replacement function to add variables that will make the message more personal.

When you are satisfied with the result, click Done to save your follow-up email.

💡 If you want to receive notifications about new form submissions in your inbox, go to the Integrations tab, click the + Add notification button, and type your email address.

Once you set up and activate the form, it will appear on every page of your website. Should you decide to display it on selected pages only, include the URLs of these pages in the first field under the Targeting tab. Check out this article to learn about more targeting options.

Step 5. View order submissions in a convenient format

You can view order submissions in bulk and individually. To access them, open the Responses report in your Getsitecontrol dashboard and proceed to Details.

How to view pre-order form submissions in Getsitecontrol

However, if you’re using 3rd-party software for your business, such as CRM, Google Sheets, or any other app, you can connect it to the form and automatically send the collected data to it. To implement that, go to the Integrations tab and click +Add application:

The Integrations tab of the dashboard

Choose the app you want to send data to from the dropdown menu and follow the prompts to set up the integration. For more detailed instructions, check out our guides on integration setting.

3 tips that will encourage your visitors to place pre-orders

It takes a lot of effort to launch a successful pre-order campaign, and the volume of orders will mostly depend on the demand for your product. However, there are some common practices for nudging those customers who are already on your website but are hesitant to fill out your pre-order form.

Use minimum fields

Nobody likes long and sophisticated forms. Moreover, every extra field lowers your chances of getting that pre-order you’re looking for. So, as a rule of thumb, you want to avoid unnecessary questions and ask the bare minimum, such as contact information, shipping information, and information about the desired product.

The fewer fields a customer has to fill out, the higher the chances they will complete the form.

Use incentives

Including incentives is a good practice that helps encourage pre-orders. They are especially effective if you want to create hype about a new product on social media. Consider offering one of the following to your first buyers:

  • Limited quantity or time discounts
  • Free shipping
  • Swag packs
  • Samples

Or any other perks your customers may enjoy.

Use scarcity

If you’re collecting pre-orders for a limited-quantity item, make sure to mention that it’s scarce. The scarcity principle is a proven tactic to get more pre-orders, because most people like the idea of owning something exclusively or being among the first to own an item.

Create your pre-order form today

For some businesses, pre-order forms are essential. For others, they are a clever marketing tactic that helps forecast the demand, validate an idea, and create anticipation. When you have to pre-order something, it often makes the item more desirable.

Place a beautiful pre-order form on your website today and start collecting orders. With Getsitecontrol, the process is straightforward even if you are a complete non-techie.

You’re reading Getsitecontrol usecase collection where we talk about the best practices for using website popups. This usecase is a part of Request forms section.

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