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.

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

In this article, we’ll show you how to add a custom pre-order form to your website. Here is an example of what it may look like 👇

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 confirmation email from you. You can use it to include more detailed information about the order or a payment link. 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 shareable pre-order form and link to it from your social media, messenger, or email.

Let’s now move on to the tutorial.

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

There are two common ways to display a pre-order form on a website: via panels and via slide-ins.

A panel looks like a tab attached to the side of the screen, often at the bottom of the page. It says something like ‘PRE-ORDER NOW’ and expands into a form when a visitor clicks on it. Here is an example:

If you want to be proactive and display your call to action without waiting for a visitor to click on it, you can choose a slide-in. All you need is to decide when and where exactly you want it to appear. Here is an example:

Click on any of these templates to see them in action and decide which one you’d like to use for your own form.

Step 1. Pick a template

Once you’ve picked a template you like, open it, and click the Take this template button. For this tutorial, we’ll go with a panel-style form.

Adding a form template to the dashboard in Getsitecontrol

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 before publishing it on your website.

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 better match it with your website’s design or apply one of the pre-made themes from the menu.

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 these steps for every page of the template where there’s an image.

Step 4. Set up targeting and order notifications

By default, the form will be displayed on every page of your website as soon as a visitor reaches it. Should you decide to display it on selected pages only, include the URLs of these pages in the first field under the Targeting tab.

Targeting settings menu in Getsitecontrol

Note that you can add other conditions, such as the delay-trigger or a scroll-trigger for the form to appear after some time. Head to our Help center to learn about more targeting options.

Finally, 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.

The email preview with image and CTA button

At this point, your pre-order form is ready, so you can hit Save & close in the top right corner. Once you do that, you’ll be prompted the main dashboard where you can set up an order confirmation email.

Step 5. Set up a follow-up email automation

The Follow-up feature enables you to send an automated email to everyone who fills out the form, tag your customers, and even set up an automated email sequence. To get started, select the Follow-up option on the form card.

Follow-up button on the form card in Getsitecontrol

You don’t need to have an email marketing platform to send follow-up emails with Getsitecontrol. Just open the +Add action menu and select Send email.

Creating a follow-up email automation for a pre-order form

From there, you can choose to create an email from scratch or pick one of the pre-designed templates. Regardless of your choice, you’ll need to edit the text, replace the image, add your URLs, and fill out the meta data on the right.

Getsitecontrol built-in email editor

You can add a coupon box to your email to reward early-bird buyers and a countdown timer to encourage prompt payment.

💡 Want to build a relationship with those who’ve ordered from you? Then consider creating a sequence of emails that will be sent automatically at the pace of your choice. Use this sequence to introduce your brand, showcase other products, share your behind-the-scenes experience, or product care recommendations.

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

Activating the form in Getsitecontrol

Step 6. View order submissions in a convenient format

You can view order submissions in bulk and individually. To access them, open the Responses report right on the form card and proceed to Details.

How to view pre-order form submissions in Getsitecontrol

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 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.

Create a sense of 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 great 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.

Minimize the number of fields in the form

Nobody likes long and complex website forms. In fact, 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.

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.

With Getsitecontrol, you can place a beautiful pre-order form on your website today to start collecting orders and developing a relationship with your buyers via email marketing.

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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