Small Business Software: Build Your Own Web Forms

by Andrew Lock

Need a contact form for your Web site? Do it yourself with Wufoo.com. Plus, a tool for adding streaming audio and Google Alerts as a marketing tool.

Andrew Lock


If you don’t currently use a service like Infusion to handle opt-in or contact forms on your Web site, and you’re not quite ready for that level of sophistication, here’s a resource that will help you create forms quickly, easily and cheaply.  It’s called Wufoo.com — what a great name.

The entry-level package is free, and it's incredibly simple to use.  So what can you create with Wufoo?  Well, apart from the standard opt-in style request “for more information” form, you can create surveys, invitations, registrations and much more.  There are hundreds of pre-designed templates to choose from, you just tweak them to suit your own needs.  So check it out at Wufoo.com and let me know what you think of it.

Google Alerts

Anyone who’s serious about marketing oneself or products on the Web needs to be aware of Google Alerts, Google’s e-mail alert service.

Simply type in the words or subject that you are interested in following into the search box and whenever anyone on the Web uses it/them, you'll receive alerts via e-mail.  Choose if you’d only like to be alerted when it’s in news stories, in blog posts, in videos, in news groups; or you can choose a comprehensive search that includes all of the above. 

Choose how often you want to be alerted — as soon as Google picks up on its usage or opt to receive all the alerts in a digest version e-mail at the end of the day or at the end of the week.  You fill out an e-mail address where you’d like the alerts sent to, then click “create alert” and then every time that Google encounters your search phrase with the scope and the time interval that you’ve chosen, it will send you a link to the appropriate blog post or news story. 

If you already have a Google account — and if you don’t you should — you can always sign in and further manage your alerts, changing them on the fly as circumstances warrant.

BYO Audio

As with so many things online, there’s a hard way and an easy way.  I always look for the easy way because it saves a lot of time, energy and frustration.  When it comes to adding streaming audio messages to your Web site, the easiest tool I’ve found is called BYO Audio.

You don’t need any technical experience or know-how, it’s super-duper easy and you can record your audio over the phone, with a microphone attached to your PC, or by uploading a file.  They give you some html code to paste into your Web page and voilà, the play button and the other controls appear as if by magic.  It’s very affordable, which is nifty indeed; you’ll like it a lot.

You'll find lots more marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business Essential series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!
This article was originally published on Monday Feb 22nd 2010
Mobile Site | Full Site