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Automated Form Confirmation Email

FormSmarts autoresponder allows you to send an automatic email confirmation when someone submits one of your forms.

Toggle on form email confirmation in the Submit Actions tab of the Form Builder

To start sending a confirmation email to form respondents, sign in to the form builder, edit the form, and toggle on Send confirmation email in the Submit Actions tab shown above.

Form Confirmation Emails

The confirmation email option is only available with the default Show confirmation message Submit Action and when you redirect form users to your site. Other types of email confirmations are sent with other submit actions.

Payment Forms

When someone submits a registration form or any other form that involves a payment, FormSmarts sends instead a payment & submission confirmation email. A payment confirmation email is always sent as soon as the payment goes through, there is no need to set it up. You can customize the message text as discussed in the section below.

Confirmation Email On Request On the Summary Page of a Form

The Summary Page option (Show summary with print, email & PDF options in the On Submission drop-down list) allows users to choose whether they want to request an email confirmation or download a PDF receipt.

Edit the Email Message

No matter what types of confirmation emails (autoresponder, payment confirmation or opt-in email confirmation), you can modify the text at the top of the message.

The confirmation email also includes a copy of the information submitted (this is optional for autoresponder messages) and a QR code. You can scan the QR code with your phone to check in attendees at an event or access the form response on FormSmarts to review its payment status and associated notes, check it’s authenticity, etc.

Calendar Invite for Event Registration Forms

ICS iCalendar invite email attachment

When you create a registration form, please remember to add the details of the event to your form so FormSmarts can include a calendar invite in the email notification.

A calendar invite is an email attachment in a standard format (ICS) that allows the email recipient to easily add the event to their calendar. Invites are supported by Outlook on Windows, Apple mail and Calendar on Mac OS X, and the Gmail (pictured above) and Google Calendar apps on iOS and Android. Feel free to try this demo.

Note: Payment confirmation emails will only support calendar invites from mid-May 2021. We will announce the release on Twitter and Facebook, please follow us for updates.

How to Share a Form with Others

If you ever shared your password with a collaborator so they can download form attachments or view a report, read on. You should instead invite them to your account and share the form with them.

Create a user in your account for each collaborator in your organization
Create a sub-account for each user, don’t share your admin password with others

How Do I Invite Someone to My Account?

You invite others to join your account by creating a user for them. Once someone has joined your account, you can share a form with them and allow them to perform actions like:

To create a user, first add the person’s email address to the Settings tab of the form builder. Once they’ve verified their email, head to the user management dashboard of your account.

Enter the user’s first and last name, select their verified email address, and click Create User. We’ll email them to let them know they can now log in to FormSmarts, but we won’t give them their auto-generated password: please send it either by IM or voice call.User Management Dashboard

How Do I Share a Form With a User?

To share a form with a user, tap Edit Permissions in the Actions menu corresponding to the user, as shown on the screenshot above.

Select the form you want to share at the bottom of the Edit Permissions screen (shown below) and click Share.

Toggle permissions on/off as needed to allow the user to perform specific actions only.

Share Forms with a User and Set Permissions

How Can Users Sign In?

To sign in to your account, a users must select Log in as Invited User on the log in page and enter your Account Alias in addition to their email and password.

Your Account Alias uniquely identifies your account on FormSmarts. You need to create an account alias to allow users to log in.

Enable or Disable a Form at a Scheduled Date

The form builder allows you to configure a date and time in the future when a form will be enabled or disabled.

Click the ‘pause’ or ‘play’ icon corresponding to the form you would like to suspend/restore. Select the Schedule option:

  • Choose whether you want to enable or disable the form
  • Set the date and time when you want to the form to be enabled or disabled (form changes can only be scheduled at the top of the hour)
  • Select a timezone if the date & time you’ve entered are in a timezone different from the timezone of you account. You can update your timezone in your account.

Schedule Form Suspension/Restore

A few uses for this workflow:

  • Configure a registration form to open and close registrations for an event at a preset date and time
  • Specify an application period for an application form
  • Set up a form so it is only available online at specific hours (e.g. weekdays 9am-10am) or days (e.g last day of the month) to support workflows, policies, and internal reporting requirements within your organization

The form builder interface currently only allows us to schedule events at a specific date and time, but FormSmarts also supports recurring scheduled actions. Consider a policy that expense claims must be submitted weekly every Friday from 12pm to 5pm. We can configure the expenses claim form to be enabled every Friday at noon and disabled at 5pm via the API Console. If you need help with this, please contact Support.

How to Capture a User’s State or Province on a Form

FormSmarts' Country Subdivision selector allows you to easily capture a visitor's state, province or other administrative country subdivision on a form.

  • The person's state, province, county, etc. is automatically preselected from their approximate IP address location, so the form control requires no or minimal action from the user
  • The Country Subdivision (CSD) selector works in all countries and territories worldwide
  • The country subdivisions listed are those in use in each country: state in the US, India and Australia, province in Canada, prefecture in Japan, land in Germany, county or borough in the UK, …
  • Please try this demo.

How to Select a Subdivision of Another Country

When we ask a user to provide their state or province on a form, we usually want to collect their state or province of residence, which is most likely (but not always) a subdivision of the same country they are submitting the form from.

For instance, if we need to get a visitor's country of birth or travel destination, this might not be the case, so we need to allow users to select an administrative subdivision in another country. We do this by adding a Country Selector before the Country Subdivision selector, as illustrated below.

User Management Dashboard

If a user changes the country selected, the list of subdivisions is updated accordingly. To allow more than one set of country & subdivision selectors on a form, a country selector is associated with the closest country subdivision selector it precedes.

For example, if a user changes their Country of Birth above, only the country subdivisions in the State/Province of Birth selector will be updated, those in the State/Province of Residence won't be affected.

To ensure a form works in all scenarios, we recommend you always add a Country Selector on a form whenever you include a Country Subdivision selector. Remember: because the country is automatically preselected, adding a Country Selector adds little if any friction/complexity to a form.

Introducing the New Account Dashboard

A major refresh of the account section of the site introduces several new tools and capabilities:

  • Easily create sub-users and share forms with them with the User Management dashboard
  • Review activity in your account in the new Account Activity pane
  • Invited users now have their own account dashboard

User Management Dashboard

Contact Information

Many customers rely on FormSmarts to receive timely form notifications critical to their organization. Unfortunately, we’ve been in the past left without any ways to contact some members after all email addresses in their account bounced our emails.

The Contact Information panel of the account dashboard now allows you to set a secondary email address and mobile phone number we will use in situations were we are unable to contact you via the primary email address associated with your account (i.e. your login email).

To set a secondary email, select one of the verified email addresses in your account, or add a new email in the Settings Tab of the Form Builder, verify it, then go back to the account dashboard to set the new address as your secondary email.

If your organization gets its email service as part of a web hosting package, we recommend using your personal email (e.g. Gmail account) as a secondary email.

To set a phone number, enter your cell phone number including the international dialing code (e.g. +1, +44,…). FormSmarts will send you a text message with a code to verify your number. Enter the verification code in the space provided and tap Verify to verify your number, then Update Contact Info to save the new number.

User Management Dashboard

The User Management Dashboard illustrated above allows you to view and manage existing users in your account, create new ones, and change their permissions on individual forms.

Click the button showing a vertical ellipsis to access the Actions menu for the corresponding user.

You can:

  • Edit a user’s permissions on your forms and share new forms with them
  • Change the email address associated with a user
  • Reset a user’s password
  • Suspend a user
  • Permanently delete a user
Security Note: You can sign a user out and view their recent session history in the Account Activity panel.

Create a User

To create a new user, enter their name and select their email address in the list of verified emails in your account. If needed, click the button showing a plus sign to add and verify a new email address.

Click Create User button.

The newly created user doesn’t have any permissions on any of your forms but has implicit permissions. They can, for instance, submit Private Forms.

Share a Form with a User & Edit Form Permissions

Tap the Edit Permissions option in the Actions menu of a user to launch the User Permissions settings.

Share Forms with a User and Set Permissions

To allow a user to access submitted data for a form, first share the form with them: select (or search for) a form in the list and click Share.

FormSmarts will give the user the necessary permissions to view a single form entry online, download a copy in PDF, view uploaded documents (form attachments), and add notes and tags to a form entry.

You can adjust permissions to additionally authorize the user to edit a form submission and generate a spreadsheet with aggregated form responses.

Account Activity

The new Account Activity panel allows you to review and audit the session history of all users who have accessed your account in the last thirty days.

A separate table lists Administrator Sessions and User Sessions.

Sign a User Out

Should you suspect or become aware of an unauthorized access to your account while it is still taking place, you can immediately sign the user out and invalidate their session with the Log Out of Other Sessions and Log User Out buttons.

  • Click Log Out of Other Sessions to immediately invalidate all administrator sessions other than the one you are currently using
  • Select a user in the list of users with an active session and click Log User Out to immediately log them out

Invited User Dashboard

FormSmarts sub-users can now also access the account dashboard to view information relevant to them. They can mainly:

  • View a list of forms you’ve shared with them and actions you’ve allowed them to perform
  • Review their recent account activity to control no one else has accessed their account

How to Set Up a Conditional Form Notification Email Based on a User’s Answer

Conditional Notifications allow a form owner to choose when to receive an email notification based on the value of a field or other conditions on the answer the user provides on a form.

Let’s see how we can benefit from this feature in practice with two examples.

First, consider a questionnaire where we ask customers to rate and give feedback about their experience with various aspects of a service. We’re going to send out invitations for customers to take part in the survey and collect their responses on the cloud. When the survey period is over, we’ll generate an Excel report with the aggregated answers of all participants for analysis. In this scenario, there is clearly no point in sending an email for each and every form submission.

Send form notification email based on answers on the form

But we wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to talk to a customer promptly if they indicate on the form they have unfulfilled needs or concerns to address. This is where Conditional Notifications come handy: we want to send an email notification to the Customer Support team only when a customer indicates they need to speak to someone.

Email notification conditional to field value

We can define the Conditional Notification rule to send an email if a specific checkbox is checked as illustrated above, or when at least one aspect of the service is rated ‘Bad’.

When Should You Use Conditional Notification?

Online forms typically support one of two workflows:

  1. Form responses are collected “unsupervised” then the aggregated data set is processed or analyzed: this workflow relies on FormSmarts’ Excel report feature to generate a spreadsheet, it doesn’t involve email notifications
  2. Someone needs to attend to each and every form response, which is time-sensitive, must be processed individually and for which a reply must be sent to the submitter.

Conditional Notification allows FormSmarts members to add an exception to the first workflow by specifying a set of situations where a notification is sent, providing a bridge to the second workflow.

Rules can apply to any properties of a form response: value of input fields, type of form control (e.g. ‘radio button’), field ID, etc and may include logic operators, conditions, boolean operations,… to support a wide range of use-cases.

Second Example: A Screening Questionnaire

In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, an employee screening questionnaire provides us with another practical example of a situation where we can use a Conditional Notification to help screen employees prior to returning to work.

The screening questionnaire lists a number of questions describing COVID-19 symptoms to which employees have to reply by ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. All employees have to submit a screen questionnaire, but the sponsor of the questionnaire should only by notified by email if an employee replies ‘Yes’ to any of the screening questions.

When an employee submits their screening questionnaire, the Conditional Notification rule checks the value of all radio buttons on the form and sends a notification if at least one has the value ‘Yes’.

How to Set Up a Conditional Notification

To set up a Conditional Notification:

  1. Define a Rule: Conditional Notification rules are defined with a formal language for which there is currently no visual rules builder. Until we provide such a tool, contact Support with details of the precise conditions under which you want to receive an email notification so we set up the conditional notification rule for you. Please remember to provide us with the URL of the form.
  2. Enable conditional notifications: Once we’ve set up the rule for you, edit the form and tap Update email routing policy in the Submit Actions tab of the form builder. Select the Conditional Notification routing policy and save.

Set up a conditional notification rule

Other Email Routing Policies

By default, all destination emails you’ve set up for a form get a copy of every form response. You can change this behavior by setting a different email Routing Policy.

FormSmarts currently has the following Routing Policies:

  • Multicast: Every email subscriber gets a copy of every form entry (default).
  • User-Selected Recipient: User selects the recipient on the form. Typical use: sending customer inquiries to the relevant person or department.
  • Round-Robin: Each subscriber receives form entries in turn. Typical use: sharing workload between collaborators.
  • Conditional Notification: Only send a notification if conditions you’ve set on form data are satisfied.

How to Add a Waiver, Liability Release or Other Agreement to a Form

The Agreement form widget allows you to add a waiver, liability release, agreement, or any other contract (terms & conditions, privacy statement, policy) to a form.

Add a liability release, waiver or other agreement to a form

The Agreement widget is intended to be combined with a required checkbox and an e-signature to capture a person’s consent on an online registration or membership form. Please try this demo.

  • A user can read the agreement inline in a scrollable area
  • The text can be popped out to a larger window and even launched full screen
  • We provide print and download buttons in the pop-up window
  • The text shown in agreement widget allows links and basic formatting: bold, italics, underlining, ordered and unordered lists. Here is a waiver example with formatted text.
  • Agreements are initially limited to 15,000 characters, please contact us if you need more.

Agreements are only available with the new generation of FormSmarts forms. You can set your account to the new forms in the Settings tab of the Form Builder.

Checkbox List vs. Checkbox

The form builder provides both standard checkboxes and a dedicated checkbox list widget. Let’s review when you should use one or the other.

Checkbox List

As illustrated below, a checkbox list is made of a question (field name in the form builder) and a number of checkboxes. Use a checkbox list whenever multiple choices are allowed in a list of items, as often occurs in online surveys and many other types of forms.

Checkbox List widget in the Form Builder

Checkbox

When you only need a single yes/no answer, a simple checkbox is all you need. For example, the field Subscribe to FormSmarts Demo mailing list on this mail list signup form uses a checkbox rather than a checkbox list to allow the user to subscribe to the mailing list.

Required Checkbox for Disclaimers & Waivers

Use a required (non-optional) checkbox whenever the form must have a disclaimer/waiver area where the person must “check” that they “agree to” before the form will allow for success submission. The checkbox text supports links and basic formatting.

Required check-box in the Form Builder

How to Organize Your Forms in the Form Builder

As the year ends, we’ve updated the form builder to improve how users can organize their forms.

Form Filter Drop-Down in the Forms Tab of the Form Builder

  • Forms can now be classified into categories. You can set a category both when creating a new form and editing existing forms.
  • A new function allows customers to filter forms shown in the Forms Tab of the form builder by category or enabled/disabled status.

We know those FormSmarts members who have created a number of forms along the years will appreciate this new feature. As always, we would very much appreciate your thoughts and feedback.

Happy holidays from the FormSmarts Team. We wish you a wonderful upcoming 2015.

Introducing Multi-User Accounts

FormSmarts supports accounts with multiple users, allowing an account owner to give invited users access to selected online forms.

Multiuser accounts with FormSmarts online form builder

How to Enable Multiple User Accounts

  1. Set up an account alias
  2. Create users
  3. Manage user permissions

Set Up an Account Alias

Before allowing sub-users to sign in to FormSmarts, you first need to set up an alias for your account. The alias must be unique and easy for users to memorize. A good choice is probably your organization or department’s name. Users will need to enter the account alias on the log in screen.

To create an account alias, visit the Account Overview panel of your account.

Create a User

To create a user, head to the User Management Dashboard.

  • Users sign in to FormSmarts with their email address, account alias and password
  • Before creating a user, add their email address to your account in the Settings Tab of the Form Builder and verify it
  • Users can’t change their auto-generated password at this time, they need to ask the account administrator to reset it for them

Manage User Permissions

For each form, a user can be granted permission to:

  • access individual form entries online or download a PDF (e.g. from the link in email notifications)
  • download form attachments (file uploads)
  • generate Excel reports
  • add tags and notes to a form entry
  • edit or delete a form entry

How to Sign In as an Invited User

We’ve updated the log in screen to allow all FormSmarts members to sign in on the same page. Account owners (aka account admins) can sign in in the usual way with their email address and password. Invited users also need to enter the account alias provided by their account admin as shown in this video.

Multiple users are available with our Business Plus package and above.

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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.