The Wufoo Blog

Archive of Tips & Tricks

Form templates to get you through the holiday season

By Nicola Plate · November 18th, 2016

RSVP form template invitationHey there form fans and HAPPY HOLIDAYS! It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, where the days get shorter (in the northern hemisphere at least) so it’s dark at 4PM, but that’s okay because the lights from Christmas trees and menorahs light up the world! Whatever holiday fits your fancy, the world smiles just a little brighter this time of year.

And of course the best parts of the season are all the holiday parties you’ll be having! If you’re like me, you’ll throw a small family holiday party and then a gigantic New Year’s bash complete with the three Cs: champagne, confetti, and the karaoke (I know… just go with it).

Are you now thinking, “Sure, that sounds great! But how will I organize it all?” Have no fear – that’s the real best part… Wufoo’s here to meet all your holiday party needs.

First & foremost: The holiday event invitations

You better get these out soon! People need to time to plan their outfit! Fortunately, we’ve got a pre-made Party Invitation Form Template so you can send them out ASAP:

new-years-party-invite

Not only will this give you all the information you need to plan your party, but you can also include a map to your party venue right on the form! We’ve even got a great blog post on how to embed that map.

Now we have to admit it… that template’s a little plain. Think of it as a blank canvas if you will! Hop over to our Theme Designer for all the features you need to paint a Picasso-esque picture on it. It’s time to snaz it up with colors and images and fonts and graphics–the list is endless. You can create something to fit YOUR party’s theme.

… You do have a theme, right? What’s a party without a theme! My New Year’s Party Theme is black tie casual (it’s a thing, look it up) and we’re serving hot dogs with caviar.

It’s a potluck celebration!

Now that you’ve got everything in order for your New Year’s Party, let’s back up just a tiny bit – HOLIDAY PARTY (We’ve got a template for that, too)!

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, another holiday, or just want to throw a family party, everyone needs to contribute. You can’t thoroughly enjoy your holiday and open presents if you have to cook all the classic holiday food. After all, food is basically what the holidays are for, right? No worries! Have a pot luck! And yep, you guessed it! We’ve got a template just for that, too – check it out here:

Get even more creative with Max Quantities on your form so you don’t get five salads and no mashed potatoes (remember our Thanksgiving example?) and you’ll have the perfect holiday feast.

New year, new you!

Now pretend it’s January 2nd: Ah, that was a fun holiday season, wasn’t it? After all the partying is said and done, it’s time to get your head back in the game. It’s a new year and Wufoo’s here to help keep your New Year’s resolutions on track. Set a resolution, give it  a goal date, and then get ready to make 2017 the best year ever. Check out our New Year’s Resolution template here.

new-years-resolutions-template

Then set up a notification email so you have email proof of your resolutions and keep yourself accountable!

There you have it—Wufoo forms for all your holiday needs! While we’re making things easier for you, you have more time to spend with friends and family. Happy Holidays from the Wufoo Team!

How to keep your return customers happy by pre-populating form fields

By Kane Stanley · November 2nd, 2016

holiday_marketing_tips_wufoo

At Wufoo, we’re all about simplifying processes. Especially everyday efforts that don’t seem like a big deal. In this case, it’s our autofill feature, which pre-populates form fields with information from your repeat customers, requestors, or anyone else.  

It’s a fairly common occurrence for someone to fill out a form multiple times. If they’re being asked for their contact information every time, it can be a rather frustrating experience. Fortunately, it’s possible to use URL modifications, templating, a basic hyperlink and a confirmation text or email to pre-populate that information after they initially fill out the form.

For this example we’ll use Papa Steve’s Pizza online order form (because everyone knows it’s acceptable to order your favourite pizza four times a week. Right?)

1

Papa Steve is passionate about making the ordering process as easy as possible for customers and would like to save returning customers the agony of re-entering their basic information every time they want to order delicious pizza.

To get this done, Papa Steve creates an email that includes a brand-new link to their form, which customers  can use every time they want to order. When they visit the link, their name and email will already be populated.

First we must find the API ID of the name and email fields. To do that:

  1. Click Forms at the top of the page
  2. To the right of the form, hover over More and click API Information.

2

Using our little GIF as reference, we can see the API IDs we need to use are 1, 2 and 3 or field1, field2 and field3. We’ll use these to create the modified URL that we’ll plug into the confirmation email. Here’s the standard URL to the form:

https://wufooblogs.wufoo.com/forms/z2nkmqj1pf87lj/

Here’s our new URL:

https://wufooblogs.wufoo.com/forms/z2nkmqj1pf87lj/def/field1={entry:Field1}&field2={entry:Field2}&field3={entry:Field3}

Using URL modifications and some templating, we’ve said that field1 (our first name) will be equal to the answer to field1 when the user filled out the form. The same has been done for the last name and email address. Now we can simply grab that URL and create a hyperlink to place in the confirmation email. A hyperlink is just a bit of HTML that will create a clickable link inside your own words. Here’s what ours will look like:

<a href=”https://wufooblogs.wufoo.com/forms/z2nkmqj1pf87lj/def/field1={entry:Field1}&field2={entry:Field2}&field3={entry:Field3}”>Use this link</a>

All that’s left to do is lob that hyperlink into your confirmation email text along with the rest of your message.

3

When the customer fills out the form, they’ll be sent an email asking them to use the new link for the future. When they click to use that link, they’ll be taken to the form with their initial contact information filled out for them by default.

4

Of course, this method isn’t limited to pizza order forms. If you have any form you wish your users to fill out multiple times, this little trick could definitely be useful for you.

Test mine out here to try it out yourself! And although we can’t claim that our form autofill feature is the best thing since sliced bread, we’d like to think it’s pretty close.

Winter is coming! Holiday marketing tips for your business

By Cody Curry · October 31st, 2016

holiday_marketing_tips_wufoo As a Portlander and a native to the Cascadia region, of course I enjoy spending my free time cultivating bonsai hazelnut trees.

But how to share these miniature orchards with the ravenous holiday shopping crowd?

As the holidays approach, it’s the perfect time to learn a bit more about what makes my customers tick! And here’s how you can too—with Wufoo!—whether you’re gearing up for a holiday sale, or getting a head-start on your strategy for 2017.

Engage customers on your social channels

When you’re planting the seed for your holiday offerings in your customer’s mind via social media, one option to help increase engagement is to include a link to your Wufoo form to learn more about your customers’ holiday plans, seasonal budgets, or just their favorite colors! You can share your form on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or through Email automatically within Wufoo in the Share options for each form.

shareYourForm

Get to know them and keep ‘em warm

Year after year, customer feedback echoes in my ears, “Make those hazelnut trees smaller Cody, smaller!”

“Ask and ye shall receive”, I say! And I would pour over my bonsai literature yet again.

Once I had curated a lovely newsletter illustrating my tree miniaturization process, I turned to Wufoo to help sign people up. Whether you’re using MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, or a number of our other integrated email marketing solutions, you can invite all of your fans to your mailing list by sharing your Wufoo form. Each form can be connected with a variety of other services using our integrations to help keep your data consistent and up-to-date.

integrationsJPG

Send them targeted campaigns and coupons

To automate one step further, you can use fields in Wufoo to automatically segment your MailChimp subscribers into interest groups in MailChimp. Using this method, I’ve customized content to each of my hazelnut-loving demographics to help give them what they want to see most—tiny tiny trees, as far as the eye can see.

Since I’m processing payments through my Wufoo form, and I know the only thing that hazelnut-lovers love more than hazelnuts are amazing deals, I’ve used Wufoo’s Rule Builder to create a special coupon code just for my newsletter subscribers. Take a look at this guide on using Rules to add a coupon code to your forms for your holiday promotions.

soManyTrees

Once you’ve collected your customer opinions and suggestion from all of your social marketing channels, take a look at how your data stacks up in our Report Builder.

helpUsHelp

Yet again, with a concise and unified voice, my customers have demanded that I, “Make them smaller, Cody!”

I suppose it would be nuts not to listen. I guess I have a hard row to hoe in the coming months, as I imagine you do as well! I wish the best of success to you and your business in the holiday season, and best of luck in the new year.

If you are in the market for miniature hazelnuts, well, we’re back-ordered until May.

 

How to accept recurring payments with Wufoo

By Nicola Plate · September 24th, 2016

BLOG_Story1_paymentsHey there Wufoo fans! Now as most of you know, you can collect payments with Wufoo forms. But did you know that you’re not just limited to one time payments? With Wufoo, you have the option of collecting recurring payments as well. That’s right, we’re just that cool.

But what if you want to collect both recurring and one time payments for the same form? That’s where it can get a bit tricky. With our current integration, it’s not possible to collect both types of payments on the same form.

Lucky for you though, we’re form experts over here. We’ll show you how to do this using three forms (it’s not bad, I promise) while making it seamlessly look like a single form to your users.

You’ll accomplish this thanks to a landing page.

Step 1: Create your 3 Forms

So, just so we can paint a clear picture—let’s say you’re collecting donations for your non-profit organization. You want to give your donors the option of either making a one time donation or making recurring donations. The first thing you’ll do is create your landing page form with that one question:

landing_page

Now you’ll want to create two separate additional forms: one form for the one time donations and one form for the recurring donations.

donation_forms

Pro tip: if you need to collect all the same info on the forms, consider creating one and then duplicating it to create the second. You’ll cut down on your form building time.

Step 2: Connect the forms

To seamlessly connect these forms, we’ll visit our lovely friends, the Form Rules. Specifically, we’ll set up a couple redirects on our landing page form to take the user to payment forms.

rules_donation_forms

And you’re all set—you can start collecting donations.

But wait a minute…we forgot a little something.

Step 3: Setting up Payment Integration

You can’t really collect donations without Payment Integration, now can you? Well here’s how you’ll do that. Since the landing page form just sends the person to a separate form, you can leave that form’s Payment Integration alone. But you will need to set that up for both the recurring donation form and the one time donation form.

For the one time donation form — You can set up this Payment Integration just like any other one time payment form. Select your merchant, edit your settings, and add the donation price field to your Assign Prices section. All our merchants (except Chargify) will let you collect one time payments.

Next step? You’ll set that up for the recurring donation form with one of our recurring payment merchants—there are three to choose from:

Stripe Subscription PayPal Standard Chargify

To make things easy on yourself, we recommend using Stripe or PayPal Standard. Since you can collect recurring payments and one-time payments with the same merchant account, this will allow you to keep all donation in one merchant account.

Just like that, you’ve got a landing page form to help you collect both recurring and one-time donations. For those people filling out your form, it will appear as if it’s one seamless form.

See for yourself.

As always, let us know if you have questions or comments!

Watch how simple it is to build a form with Wufoo

By Kayte Korwitts · August 26th, 2016

We loooove videos here at Wufoo and of course, we love how-to videos especially. Who doesn’t love to learn, eh?

So getting back to basics a bit, our resident Martin Scorsese, Kane, has created yet another screencast on the fly for you on our favorite thing ever—form-building. Last time, he went through a quick dive, this time he’s going in even deeper.

Hold your breath, here we go.

Questions, comments? Let us know!

Psst! How to track your forms with SurveyMonkey

By Kane Stanley · August 4th, 2016

story1_blog-aug2016If you want to see who has filled out your form, you can simply ask for a few bits of information from your users, such as their name and email address.

Let’s say you already have that information though. It’s not particularly helpful to ask for information you already know, so it would be fantastic if you could track exactly who’s filled out your form without having to ask for it. Fortunately, with the help of our survey creating cousins, SurveyMonkey, there’s a rather cheeky way to get this done.

SurveyMonkey is a beautiful tool that’s perfect to use if you’re creating a customer satisfaction survey, gathering employee engagement data and so on.

If you use SurveyMonkey, you can take advantage of their Email Invitation Collector.

This lets you send your surveys to a specific email list and track exactly who’s responded. We’ll go through how to embed a Wufoo form into SurveyMonkey so you can track who has filled out your forms through their email collector.

To kick things off, we’ll need to create our survey in SurveyMonkey. If you don’t have an account with them, check out their plans and prices. Once you’re signed in, click +Create Survey to get started. They give you options to use a template or copy an existing survey, but we’ll create one from scratch.

Create Survey 1

Create Survey 2

Once the survey has been created, you’ll notice it doesn’t look too different from Wufoo. You can create a survey using the different methods on the left side of the page. If you click Builder you can start adding questions to the survey.

We’re not too interested in adding many questions. Our interest lies in wanting to embed our Wufoo form into the survey. To do that, add a Text question. Once you’ve done that, you’ll notice a very mini video camera on the question. Give that a click and then click Embed. It’s here where you’ll put the iFrame embed code from your Wufoo form.

That can be found in the share section within Wufoo. Save when you’ve done that and you’ve created your survey. Easy as pie! Feel free to change the look and feel of the survey through their Themes tab. Otherwise, we’re ready to share.

Insert/Edit 1

Insert/Edit

To set up the email collector, click the Collect Responses tab in the top right corner of the page. Then choose the Email collector. It’s all mega straight forward from here. You can manually add your recipients at the top of your page, or click +Add Recipients to upload your own email list from your email client.

You can also change the subject of your initial email and edit the body of the email as well. Then just click Next and follow along until you can send the email. Once it’s sent, you’re all sorted. Each person will now receive an email asking them to fill out your form.

At any point, you can check your SurveyMonkey account to see who has replied to the survey and who hasn’t. You can even send reminder emails to the people that haven’t replied yet. Pretty nifty stuff.

When you view the survey, the form will be nice and comfy inside of the survey. It’s easy to fill out the form and simply click Done on the survey to complete the process.

We hope this trick is helpful! Questions for Kane? You know where to go.

Top academic templates for educators

By Nicola Plate · August 3rd, 2016

Education templates Fall is just around the corner and you know what that means, form fans. Yep—-it’s back to school season! We’re big supporters of all things academics at Wufoo and if we can make your lives as educators a little bit easier? Well, then A pluses for everyone because that’s our goal.

And as just a small token of our huge gratitude to all of you, we’ve compiled a shortlist of top educational templates designed to make your life in the classroom easier.

So get this—there are over 300 templates that you can pick from. And now that our Template Gallery is totally revamped and lovely to look at, that’s the best place to go when you’re just starting out.

We don’t doubt your form-building skills, but we know sometimes you’re in a hurry and need forms fast. With these templates, we’ve covered the first few steps, so you can do just that and get back to teaching.

Gradebook

Grades. It’s one of the few unchanging things about at teacher’s working life. You need to keep track of how everyone’s doing and this can sometimes mean a lot of busywork.

Rather than (gasp!) writing down grades into an actual gradebook or entering them into Excel, why not go with an online form instead? This will save you time and allow for easy filtering and tracking of the data once it’s in the Entry Manager.

Emergency Contact Info

Emergencies sometimes happen. And when they do, you want to be prepared. This template has pre-made fields for names, email, phone, address, and just about everything you’ll need to contact a guardian in the event of an emergency.

Pop Quizzes

Save on some paper by giving all your quizzes online. These are quick, fast, and your students can’t pretend the dog ate their homework.

Now, you might be thinking that these particular templates seem more suited for elementary, middle, and high school…but that’s not all we have available so no worries. For the college and upper level educators out there, here are a few templates to make your classroom life feel less hectic.

Seminar Scheduling

Any college will have some great guest lectures and seminars, but since they’re not part of the standard curriculum, you’ll definitely want to document all of them. This will help keep track of all your visiting profs giving those awesome seminars.

Change of Major

Don’t know about you but changing majors in college happened pretty frequently so it would’ve been nice to have a quick and easy online form to do that in a snap. Well? Try this out and we bet your students will thank you (and the Admissions department too).

College Application

We know the school year may just be beginning for most students, but for those high school seniors planning ahead, college application time will come around sooner than about time for those college applications. Paper applications just aren’t the way to go anymore. They take a long time, they might get lost in the mail, etc. Online applications are super fast, they’re a cinch to evaluate and help keep things organized.

And there you have it, dear educators. Hours of work saved by using templates. Spiff it up with one of our themes and then be sure to clear some space on your desk—you’re about to get a ton of apples from some happy students.

Questions for Nicola? Let her know in the Comments below, we check daily!

Doing something dangerous? Get that liability waiver ready!

By Cody Curry · June 28th, 2016

story2_blog-july2016You’ve set up an awesome, fun, and extremely dangerous event. You want everyone you know to participate, but you don’t want to shoulder this massive liability (smart thinkin’!)—enter the waiver form.

A waiver is a document that illustrates an individual’s surrender of particular rights. Similar to a disclaimer, waivers are a complex document and they shouldn’t be taken lightly. Talk to your lawyer when drafting a waiver. We’re not lawyers so don’t assume any of our examples here represents legal advice in any shape or form. Got it? Good. Let’s get to building a form then, eh?

When signing a waiver, it’s important to include a copy for your terms and the rights that the individual is surrendering when they sign. Generally, we would suggest using a Section Break field for this. Section Break fields let you include text or HTML without adding an extra input field to your form. An unfortunate side-effect of using a Section Break on a waiver form is that the text you include won’t be sent along to your user, and won’t be included in the Notifications you receive.

To make sure you and your users get a copy of the waiver for both of your records, we suggest using our CSS keyword cloak. Cloak is and often misunderstood CSS Keyword. “Hide an input field?! Why would I want to do that on a form, y’all crazy”.

Well, sometimes yes. We’re going to use the CSS Keyword cloak to hide the input field for a regular old Single-Line-Text field. First, paste all that text you had in your Section Break over in the Field Label of a Single Line Text field. Once that’s done, add the CSS Layout Keyword cloak.

waiverimage1

Field labels will always appear within the Notification emails, as long as that field’s input field contains data. To ensure it always contains data, add a bit of pre-defined text to that single line text field to ensure it shows up in every email. Since that field is hidden, your users won’t be able to see or change it. We usually use something like [placeholder] so it’s easy to identify. Another option is to simply include a period as the pre-defined value.

waiverimage2

This will give you a section of static text without an input box, kinda like our Section Break. The text will be included in Notification emails, as well as within the Entry Manager.

To include a copy of that waiver for your users, click on the Form Settings tab, and enable your Confirmation Email. When customizing that email, check the Include copy of form data checkbox. Your customer will then receive a copy of the waiver and all of its juicy legal pitfalls.

waiverimage3

That’s the gist of how to create a waiver form in Wufoo! Here’s the example we just created for your reference too.

Stay safe out there, form fans and see you next time.

Questions for Cody? You know where to go.

8 Ways to collect more form entries - for free

By Praveen Chandran · June 27th, 2016

story1_blog-july2016You took time to design a great form. You applied the right colors, logo, background image. You tried out our new themes to make your forms even more smashing.

But, wait.  You don’t have enough entries. Ugh, how can this be?? Don’t worry, you’re of course not alone.

All of us share our forms to whatever channels make the most sense to us—whether it’s to our website, our company’s website or social media. How do we know when and what channels to use? And are we also using the channels the right way to get more form entries? Well, you’re in luck because that’s what this post is for, ladies and gents.

Let’s review—consider this a cheat sheet if you will, of form distribution channels at your fingertips. *Pro Tip: Not every channel in this cheat sheet is applicable to every type of form. In other words, treat this as a reference list only.

  1. Email – An oldie but a goodie. One of the best ways to grab immediate attention to your form is by sharing the link in a personalized email to your friends and target audience in your contact list.  As you share your form with your friends, make a subtle request to share your form with any email groups that they see fit.  Additionally, if you are aware of targeted email groups that are closed for public access, reach out to your friends who are part of those groups and request them to post it on your behalf.
  1. Messaging apps – Running a personal event? Organizing the company holiday party and need to get RSVPs faster? Look no further than the set of messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Each have a huge user base and chances are that most of your friends and colleagues use at least one of these apps.
  1. Facebook – Facebook groups and Facebook business pages have recently taken over email groups. Are you part of a Facebook group with a large group of members? Do you or your friends own a Facebook page with a good number of followers? Consider posting in these groups or Facebook pages, just be sure your form’s purpose is relevant of course.
  1. Twitter – The little blue bird is a great channel to promote your form. But before you do, conduct a quick analysis first on popular hashtags that are relevant to your form’s goal. For example, if you are running an event, look for hashtags relevant to local events that have a lot of posts in the recent past. Use these hashtags in your tweet to get the most number of views for your tweet and your form. Before you tweet, reach out to friends in your network and request them to like and retweet your original tweet.  Don’t be shy either. Post your tweet during different times of the day (8 a.m., 2 p.m., 8 p.m.) A lot of people tend to login to Twitter only during specific times of the day like say, on the commute home or when they first wake up. Posting multiple times a day gives your tweet a better chance of being viewed and even better, shared.
  1. LinkedIn - LinkedIn groups are a great way to reach professional audience for lead gen campaigns and for promoting professional events. It’s usually a good idea to give out something (like a downloadable case study or a free e-book) to increase the chances of LinkedIn members filling out your form. Make sure groups and discussion forums are still active. Always read the group’s guidelines before you post your request. Some groups have explicit instructions to post such requests only under “promotions” category. Other groups frown upon such promotional posts altogether. Violating group principles is a great way to get banned from the group permanently—don’t be one of those guys. Learn more on how to share your forms on LinkedIn.
  1. Influencers – One of the best ways to get a lot of entries is through influencer marketing. If you know of any major influencers in a niche within your network, request them to share your form link on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. When you make a request, give the influencer a strong reason to promote your form (for example—help out a charity group by promoting a charity event). Influencers are rare gems so you don’t want to reach out with trivial requests. Also, chances are your request will be promptly turned down or worse and far more likely, ignored.
  1. Reddit – Reddit has become the go-to-place for a lot of readers for everything from getting latest news to reading content on topic of their choice like startups and marketing. Identify one or more channels that your target audience is likely to frequent. Never been on Reddit before? You need to “Karma” which is equivalent to credits, before you can start sharing posts of your own. Reddit clearly wants you to contribute to the community before you can reap the benefits. Reddit users also have the ability to “downvote” a post. So! Read the channel guidelines before you share a form to avoid being banned. As long as the form is relevant to the audience, you’re likely to get a good number of entries.
  1. Be viral – Add a social sharing widget in the form’s end page (AKA Thank You page of your form) and encourage your users to share your form’s link. Often, users look forward to sharing with their friends and colleagues on social media that they’re attending an event immediately after they sign up. Enabling this possibility by embedding a social sharing widget would let users do the work for you and bring in more form entries. Here’s how you can add social media sharing options to your confirmation page.

Keep this cheat sheet by your side when you’re ready to share that sweet form of yours. We’ll update as we go too, promise!

Have your own best practices for each channel? Help out your fellow Wufoo form creators and leave a comment below.

Using CSS to Maximize Your Form’s Max Quantities

By Kane Stanley · June 2nd, 2016

The Max Quantities feature is one of our more recent releases and we reckon it’s a bit fantastic. It’s a nifty little one that allows you to limit the number of times an option can be picked in a form. If a customer is filling out a field with this applied, they’ll see exactly how many times that option can be picked. It’ll look a little bit like this:

MaxQuant

Not too shabby, eh? However, not everyone would be a fan of showing how many t-shirts they have left. It’s not possible to directly get rid of the text showing this, but being the superhero that it is, CSS is around to save the day. With CSS it’s possible to target that piece of text, shoot it with some laser eyes and send it fleeing from the form. Or to avoid the action scene metaphor, it’s possible to hide it. The CSS is mega simple as well. Check it out:

Wufoo CSS

Not a massive amount to talk about with that. The colour of the text has just been made transparent, which will make it disappear from the form. When applied, it’ll look like this:

Wufoo CSS

Looks like CSS has defeated the villain with one swift and beautiful move. All of those options still have the max quantities applied, but only small shirts, which have run out of stock will show the amount remaining. That way the user isn’t a bit confused when they can’t pick the small shirt they so desperately want. The same fate would be in store for the other shirts, if they were to run out of stock.

What’s that? You want the text for out of stock options to be gone as well and you need CSS to cancel its holiday to help you again? That’s chill. Just add a tiny bit more CSS. Check it out:

Wufoo CSS

You will notice when the option has been disabled and will once again hide the text from the form. When applied, it’ll look like this:

Max Quantities

Another job well done for CSS. Saving lives one character at a time!

Questions for Kane? You know where to go!

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    The Wufoo Blog is the official online publication written by the developers of Wufoo about their online form builder, form-related technologies, and whatever else may fit their fancy—like robots.

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