What is a Paperless Business Form? (+ How to Make One)

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Going paperless is becoming increasingly popular for businesses of all sizes. Paperless offices help save money, time, and the environment. An important part of transitioning to a paperless system is using digital forms instead of traditional paper forms.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explain everything you need to know about paperless business forms, including:

  • What are paperless business forms?
  • Benefits of using digital forms
  • Common examples and use cases
  • How to create paperless forms for your business
  • Choosing the right form builder
  • Step-by-step tutorial on making a digital form with WPForms
  • Tips for going completely paperless

So if you want to modernize your business and make the switch from paper to digital forms, then keep reading.

What Are Paperless Business Forms?

A paperless business form is a digital form used to collect information from customers, employees, vendors, or other people digitally instead of using traditional paper forms.

These online forms serve the same purpose as physical forms. The key difference is that paperless forms are easier to access, complete, and submit since they are online.

Some common examples of paperless business forms include:

  • Contact forms
  • Employment applications
  • Order forms
  • Customer surveys
  • Registration forms
  • Information request forms

Instead of printing out piles of paper forms and manually processing each one, you can use digital forms to instantly collect submissions online.

This saves a tremendous amount of time, money, and effort in your business. We’ll discuss the major benefits next.

Benefits of Using Digital Forms for Your Business

Here are some of the biggest reasons businesses are switching over to paperless forms:

1. Save Money

Printing paper forms is expensive when you calculate the costs of paper, printer ink, maintenance, and printing equipment.

With digital forms, you eliminate all these recurring costs and only pay a small one-time fee for the form building software.

2. Save Time

No more wasting hours printing, organizing, and processing paper forms by hand. Digital forms are automated and submissions are instantly collected into spreadsheets or databases.

You save time spent printing, sorting, filing, and manually inputting form data.

3. Increased Accessibility

Online forms can be accessed by anyone, anywhere with an internet connection. There are no geographic restrictions.

This makes it easier for people to find and fill out your business forms.

4. Faster Processing

Digital forms are processed instantly. You get real-time alerts and submissions are automatically collected.

With traditional paper forms, you’d have to wait days or weeks to receive responses by mail.

5. Better Analytics

Digital forms allow you to view detailed analytics on form performance. You can see how many submissions you received, conversion rates, abandonment rates, and more.

6. Higher Conversion Rates

Studies show that online forms have higher completion rates because they are more convenient for users.

7. Eco-Friendly

Paperless forms help reduce paper waste and your business’ carbon footprint. This is better for the environment long-term.

As you can see, there are numerous benefits of switching to digital forms for collecting information. Next, let’s look at some examples of how businesses use online forms.

Common Examples of Using Paperless Business Forms

Here are some of the most popular ways that businesses use digital forms:

Contact Forms

Contact forms allow customers and visitors to your website to easily get in touch and send messages or questions.

This replaces having people email you separately or fill out paper information request forms.

Employment Applications

Instead of having job applicants physically come to your office and fill out an application, they can complete it digitally from anywhere.

This makes it faster to apply and easier for you to sort applicant information.

Event/Webinar Registrations

If you host events, seminars, conferences, or webinars, using online registration forms is much easier than paper.

People can instantly register from anywhere via any device.

Customer Surveys

Survey forms help you collect customer feedback and data digitally rather than calling customers or sending physical surveys.

Online Order Forms

Allow customers to complete orders and checkout digitally rather than faxing or mailing paper order forms.

Information Request Forms

Collect prospect information and questions through online request forms instead of paper lead generation forms.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to the different ways you can use digital forms for your business needs.

Now let’s go over how to actually create paperless forms for your business with the right tools.

How to Create Paperless Business Forms for Your Company

When it comes to creating digital forms, you have two options:

  1. Hire a developer to custom code forms
  2. Use a form builder plugin

We recommend option #2 since it’s faster, easier, and more affordable than custom development.

Form builder plugins allow you to create beautiful online forms in just minutes without any coding required. They also handle storing submissions and integrating with other software.

Let’s go over how to choose the right form plugin for your business.

Choosing the Best Form Builder Plugin

There are many WordPress form plugins available, but the most popular choice among businesses is WPForms.

Here’s an overview of WPForms key features:

  • Drag-and-drop form builder – Easily build any type of form just by dragging and dropping fields – no coding needed.

  • Mobile responsive forms – Forms look great on all screen sizes and mobile devices.

  • Instant form notifications – Get notified immediately when someone submits your form.

  • Data collection and storage – Submissions are automatically collected and stored for easy access. Integrates with CRMs, email marketing software, and more.

  • Anti-spam protection – WPForms utilizes smart CAPTCHA and other features to prevent spam form submissions.

  • Form templates – Use pre-built form templates to save time for common needs like contact forms, appointment booking, and more.

  • Conversion optimization – Boost form completion rates using page breaks, multi-page forms, and other advanced options.

  • Form analytics – See total submissions, conversion rates, abandoned form rates, and more with detailed analytics.

  • 100% free version available – You can get started and build unlimited forms for free with the WPForms Lite plan.

  • Trusted by over 6 million websites – Including major brands like Microsoft, ESPN, and FedEx.

Overall, WPForms is the most beginner-friendly and feature-packed form builder available for WordPress sites today.

Next, we’ll show you how easy it is to use WPForms to create an online form for your business in just minutes.

How to Make a Paperless Business Form in WordPress

One of the fastest ways to create digital forms for your business is using the WPForms plugin.

Let’s go through a simple step-by-step tutorial on how to build a form with WPForms:

Step 1: Install and Activate WPForms

First, install and activate the WPForms plugin on your WordPress site.

You can search for it via Plugins → Add New in your WordPress dashboard:

Search for WPForms plugin

Or download and install it manually from wpforms.com if needed.

Step 2: Create a New Form

Once you have the WPForms plugin activated, click on “WPForms” in your WordPress admin sidebar menu.

Then click the “Add New” button to begin creating a new form:

Add New WPForms

This will open up the form builder interface.

Step 3: Build Your Form

To add a form field, drag it from the left Fields sidebar and drop it anywhere on your form canvas:

Drag and drop form fields

WPForms allows you to easily add all common form fields like:

  • Text input
  • Email address
  • Dropdown selections
  • Radio buttons
  • Checkboxes
  • And more…

You can also customize each form field, like changing labels, choosing required vs optional fields, and much more.

Keep adding whatever fields you need to build your form.

Step 4: Customize Form Settings

Once you’ve finished adding fields, the next step is to configure your form settings:

WPForms form settings

Here you can:

  • Add a form title and description
  • Customize the submit button text
  • Set notification email preferences
  • Configure confirmation messages
  • And more.

Set up your form settings according to your needs.

Step 5: Publish Your Form

After customizing your form, all that’s left is to publish it on your WordPress site.

Go back to the post, page, or widget where you want to display your form. Click the “Add Block” button and search for WPForms:

Add WPForms block

Then select your form:

Select WPForms

Update or publish your page and your digital form is live!

That’s all there is to creating powerful paperless business forms with WPForms.

Tips for Going Completely Paperless

If you’re looking to fully transition to paperless processes, here are a few final tips:

  • Start small – Don’t try to overhaul everything at once. Begin with just 1-2 key processes or departments.

  • Train your team – Explain the benefits of going paperless and make sure everyone understands the new digital systems.

  • Add eSignature capabilities – Use tools like WPForms Sign for electronic signatures to remove paper trails.

  • Automate workflows – Use addons like WPForms Payments to accept online payments or Zapier to automate follow-up.

  • Go mobile – Supply company tablets or devices to access digital documents on the go.

  • Digitize old paper documents – Services like Adobe Scan can convert your existing files into digital formats.

  • Set company policies – Institute company-wide rules against printing forms, memos, etc unless absolutely necessary.

Following these tips will ensure a smooth transition from paper forms over to digital.

Next Steps

Going paperless provides tremendous benefits for streamlining business operations, saving money and time, and helping the environment.

Replacing old paper forms with online digital forms is one of the best ways to start reducing reliance on paper.

Now over 6 million businesses trust WPForms to easily create high converting paperless forms for their websites in just minutes without any coding.

So give WPForms a try today and take the first step towards going paperless!

Written by Jason Striegel

C/C++, Java, Python, Linux developer for 18 years, A-Tech enthusiast love to share some useful tech hacks.