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Engage Users via Twitter & Facebook to Increase Form Conversion

FormSmarts allows you to better engage with your user community by adding a social component to your online forms. The assumption with social networks is that a user is more likely to perform an online action such as filling out a form, registering for an event or sign up for a class if she knows that her friend or colleague has already done so.

Online Forms Get Social

For each form, FormSmarts allows you to set up a message template that will be used to post an update to social networks when the form is submitted. The message can incorporate any information entered on the form.

The user’s expectation when filling out online forms is that the information submitted will only be disclosed to the form owner, and you clearly need to ensure you don’t leak personal information (more about this in the last section). We define two types of input fields on a form. Those which will be populated by information which—taken out context—is so general that it can be safely disclosed, and those which should be kept private. In the example below, we deem First Name, City and Country as public, while all other fields are deemed private.

Post a Twitter Update When Online Form Submitted

How to Set Up FormSmarts to Post Twitter Updates

First connect your Twitter account with FormSmarts to allow FormSmarts to post tweets on your behalf. You will be taken to Twitter for authentication and asked to authorize FormSmarts to post updates using your account. You will only need to do this once. Note that FormSmarts will not have access to your Twitter password. Once this is done, Twitter will send you back to FormSmarts.

Next click on Twitter Feed Setup in the Form Details screen of the form builder. Enter a short text using placeholders $1, $2, $3,… where you want the value of the corresponding input field to be inserted. Use $1 for the value of the first input field, $2 for the second, etc., in the order fields appear on the form.

The Online Form Creator's Twitter Setup Screen

Posting Updates to Your Facebook Wall

When someone submits a form, FormSmarts can post an update to your Facebook wall via the Twitter App for Facebook. First set up FormSmarts to post updates to Twitter as described in the previous section, then add the Twitter App to your Facebook page or profile. We will add native support for Facebook if there is demand—please let us know here. (Note: if you ended up here while looking for information on integrating an online form to Facebook, read this).

Respecting the Privacy of User Information

Protecting the information of your users is of paramount importance. When someone submits his information via an online form, he does it with the implicit understanding that his personal information will not be disclosed.

  1. Add a privacy note on the form (like on this demo) to ensure people understand that some none-personal information will be posted to social networks. Say what information will be published.
  2. Make sure you’re using the correct placeholder (e.g. $1, $2,…) in the message template. Remember that $1 will be replaced by the value of the first input field in the order they appear on the form, $2 will be replaced by the value of the second input field, etc.
  3. If you change the order of fields on the form, don’t forget to update the message template with the correct placeholder name.
  4. Always test the form after setting up a Twitter feed or changing field order.

To further prevent the leak of confidential information, FormSmarts will not publish Twitter updates for SSL secure online forms, even if this has been set up through the online form builder.

How to Disable a Twitter Feed

If you no longer want FormSmarts to post a Twitter update when a form is submitted, simply erase the message template in the Twitter Feed Setup screen (pictured above) and save changes.

Posted on December 13th, 2011 in form builder.
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Form Confirmation Page & Redirects

We’ve added two options to complement the default confirmation page that is displayed after a form is submitted. You can now:

  • Redirect users to the Return URL of the form
  • Show a detailed confirmation page where users can choose to receive a confirmation email or download a PDF receipt.

Redirection

Select the redirect option in the Form Details screen of the form builder to automatically redirect users to the Return URL of the form instead of showing them the confirmation page.

This feature allows you, for example, to redirect users to a download URL of your site after they’ve entered their information.

Redirect With Embedded Forms

If you have embedded a form onto your site and set it to redirect to the Return URL, some browsers may load the URL in the iframe that was containing the form. If you want the page to consistently load in the top browser tab/window, follow these instructions.

Note: Do not choose this option if your form includes a payment, as users would be redirected instead of being led the page where they are asked to make the payment.

Detailed Form Confirmation Page

The detailed confirmation page shows a summary of the data submitted and allows form users to:

  • Have a confirmation email sent to them
  • Download a PDF receipt
  • Print a copy of the form data.

Feel free to try this demo.

The form generator allows users to get a PDF or receive an confirmation email

Use the detailed confirmation page whenever you want users to be able to keep a copy/proof of the data they’ve submitted. This feature is only included with Business accounts.

Note: PDF receipts won’t display correctly in non-European languages (Russian, Chinese,…) unless the language is set explicitly with the lang parameter.

Setup Instructions

Set up form confirmation email

Visit the Forms Tab of the form builder and click the icon showing a pen to edit the corresponding form. Towards the bottom of the Form Details screen (pictured above), change the On Submission action to ‘Show summary with print, email & PDF options’.

Posted on October 12th, 2010 in form builder.
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How to Build a PayPal Form

FormSmarts PayPal Integration is your best option when you need to collect data and get a payment on a form. It makes it very easy to include a PayPal payment in your forms, while giving you the power, flexibility and ease of use of a full-featured online form builder.

For example, you can easily build:

Tip: The demos above are hosted on FormSmarts, but you can also embed a form on your own website with the code snippet given by the form builder.

Do you need help making a PayPal form?
Ask a PayPal Integration Specialist Now

Requesting a Payment on a Form

To requesting a payment on a form:

  1. Sign up for a FormSmarts Business account and create a form with the form builder
  2. In the Form Details screen, set the On Submission option to Show Confirmation & Integrate with PayPal
  3. Add radio buttons, a drop-down list or a checkbox, and enter the description and price of products formatted as My Product Description ($30 USD), as shown on the screenshot below.

Web Form Then Paypal: Order Form, Booking Form, Registration Form,...

That’s all you need to do. We’ll pick up the products and quantities that were selected, and we’ll redirect the user to a pre-filled page on Paypal for payment. Payments will be sent to the PayPal account matching your FormSmarts login. You can change your login if needed.

Billing Multiple Items on a Form

You can as easily charge for several items within a single form submission by adding other drop-down lists or radio buttons formatted as just described.

Adding a Product Quantity Box

Paypal Forms

If you’re building an order form, you will need to allow the user to enter the quantity or number of products they want to buy.

This can be done as follows:

  1. Position the quantity field immediately after the one listing products for sale
  2. Set the field type to Positive Integer.

With advanced integration, you can alternatively allow the buyer to select a quantity in a predefined list using radio buttons or a pull-down list, like on this demo.

Creating a Subscription Form with Recurring Payments

A subscription involves a recurring payment at each billing cycle until the subscription is canceled. This article discusses how to create a subscription form. Recurring payments can also be used to allow the buyer to pay in installments. A payment by installments is a recurring payment where the number of payments is fixed. The syntax is Payment in 12 Installments (12x$9.99 USD/month). See this sample form.

Building a Donation Form

FormSmarts Payment Integration also supports PayPal Donations. To create a contribution form:

  • In the Form Details screen of the form builder, set the On Submission option to Show Confirmation & Integrate with PayPal
  • Add a field to your form with the field name formatted as My Donation ($ USD)
  • Set the field’s data type to Number
  • Set the field’s widget to Text Box.

You may add multiple donation boxes to a form to allow contributions to several project in a single donation like on this demo (requires a Business account set up for advanced integration).

Offering a Discount

FormSmarts allows you to offer three types of discounts on your online payments forms: fixed amount discounts, discount percentage and discount codes. The two latter discount schemes only work with advanced integration.

Handling International Payments

To request a payment in a currency other than US dollars, simply change the currency code in the item’s description. For example, use (€60 EUR) to receive a payment in Euros, (£60 GBP) for a payment in Sterlings, and ($60 CAD) to request a payment in Canadian dollars. Note that the 3-letter currency code is required because a currency symbol may be used by more than one currency. For example, USD, CAD, and AUD will all use the dollar sign ($).

The text of the button inviting the user to proceed to payment is displayed in his preferred language, in any of the supported languages.

Reconciling Form Responses & Payment Data

With Advanced PayPal Integration, the order form is only sent to the seller after the payment went through. However with the Standard PayPal Integration that comes with FormSmarts Pro, the seller has to manually reconcile order forms and payments.

If the name and email address submitted as part of form data don’t match those in the Paypal account that was used to send the payment, you will need to reconcile each form submission with the corresponding payment using the FormSmarts reference number.

The FormSmarts reference number is the 25-character ID that is given to users on the confirmation page, and is shown in the subject of the email notification we send you. The same reference number will appear in the payment details in your Paypal account (Transaction Details screen, under the Custom heading).

How Payment Integration Works

To ensure money is sent to the correct PayPal account, your primary PayPal email address must match your FormSmarts login. You can easily change your login. You may receive payments to multiple PayPal accounts with Advanced Integration and a compatible FormSmarts account.

To avoid users having to enter the same information twice if paying by credit card (on the form and on the payment screen), we will attempt to pass their first name, last name, email, postal address, and country to PayPal.

  • Make sure you name the First Name and Last Name fields exactly like this.
  • To allow FormSmarts to recognize an address and populate the billing address on PayPal (Advanced Integration only), name the relevant fields like on this form or this one.

PayPal form / PayPal integration features are only available to FormSmarts Pro and FormSmarts Business members.

Redirecting Users to Your Site After Payment

To redirect users to you website after they have completed payment, visit the Form Details screen of the form builder and set the Return URL of the form to your site’s URL.

We welcome your feedback about payment integration.

Advanced vs. Standard PayPal Integration

Business accounts include both the standard PayPal integration described on this page and advanced PayPal integration. Pro accounts only include standard PayPal integration. Advanced integration offers many benefits over standard integration.

Posted on May 5th, 2009 in form builder.
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Personalize the Confirmation Message Shown After a Form Submission

FormSmarts allows you to personalize the confirmation message that is displayed after a form has been submitted successfully.

To personalize the confirmation message of a form, visit the Forms tab of the form builder, and click the Edit icon. This feature is only available for Pro and Business accounts.

Default Confirmation Message

Like all messages shown during the form submission process, the default confirmation message is localized. If you change the confirmation message, users will see your personalized message instead of the default confirmation message in their own language.

You can always revert to the default confirmation message by erasing the text in the Personalized Message box.

Links & Formatting

You may insert links in the confirmation message and add basic formatting with this wiki-like syntax.

Posted on April 11th, 2009 in form builder.
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Attaching Multiple Email Recipients to a Form

With the new version of FormSmarts, Pro users can now subscribe to form results using one or more of the following mechanisms:

A notable change is of course the ability to send forms to several email addresses. The allowance of one email recipient per form for users of the free service stays unchanged.

The new subscription mechanism should best fit the needs of most users. We welcome your feedback about this development.

Posted on January 20th, 2009 in form builder.
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About the Form Builder Blog

The Online Form Builder Blog is published by FormSmarts, a web form service providing all you need to create a form and publish it online in minutes. FormSmarts makes it easy to build a form and embed it on your site. You can then get form submissions by email or store them on FormSmarts and download an Excel report. Learn more about the many other benefits of FormSmarts.