See the functional form-embedded ad below.Whether they're used to capture lead information, solicit feedback, or simply log in, forms are one of the most commonly-implemented features on Websites. But since directing users to a microsite to fill out a form interrupts their site browsing experience, advertisers have increasingly looked to instead embed forms directly within the ad itself. Without having to abandon the site users are more likely to fill out the form, improving response rate and obviating the need for building a landing page.

While form widgets for use on blogs and other site pages have been common for years, embedded forms in ads are a relatively new feature of paid media publishing, and require a bit more sophisticated coding on the backend. I'll be using Flite Ad Studio 3 to showcase display ads with embedded forms, and Ad Studio's mobile counterpart, Touch Ad Studio, to demonstrate forms in ads developed for phone and tablet browser and app environments.

Forms in Display Ads

Flite Ad Studio's Form Component allows a number of form field types to be inserted into an ad:

  • Choice list (drop-down or radio buttons)
  • Email field (includes basic email format validation)
  • Text field
  • Text area (includes text wrapping)
  • Checkbox

Notes and separators can also be added for explanation and organization, and any field can be designated as required. The thank-you can also be customized.

Returning to my Talk Like Shakespeare Day ad, I've made a rudimentary proof-of-concept form that demonstrates its utility fairly nicely:

I've put the form tab in the default position of this three-tab Tab Set ad, but in many cases you'll want to feature more attractive and engaging content front and center.

Forms in Mobile Ads

Mobile environments naturally suffer from more constrained dimensions, but forms can still be integrated into ads, most effectively through a user-initiated expansion. The ad I developed below uses a standard 320x50 banner that expands to a 480-pixel high form upon click (you'll need a WebKit-enabled browser, like Safari or Chrome, if you're viewing in a desktop environment):

Since drop-down menus are notoriously difficult to use on small screens, I opted for a radio-button format instead. I also included a (required) email address field to show how the validation works.

Display and mobile ads with an embedded form provide a simple way to capture valuable user information without derailing a user's Webpage (or app) navigation. And Flite's platform allows a designer to develop them without programming.