The Wufoo Blog

Archive of Tips & Tricks

How to Choose a Payment Processor from Our Integrations

By Aubriane Taylor · April 10th, 2014

If you’re still collecting checks and envelopes of wrinkly dollars from friends and family, you might be curious about how to automate the process with Wufoo. You may also be sniffing around Wufoo for event registrations and order forms, but you just don’t know which payment processor to choose. Well, friends—this is the WuBlogPost for you!

On the Bona Fide plan and higher, Wufoo offers a payment integration feature that allows you to redirect your users to submit their payment. The list of integrations can be pretty intimidating to consider, but here’s the quick-and-easy breakdown:

For Simple Payments

Stripe

Stripe is super simple. Super super simple, in fact. They have a really easy, fixed-rate pricing model (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction in USD), and you can sign up right from the Wufoo Payment Settings page.

With Stripe, there’s no requirement to have an extra merchant account. The money you collect will be deposited in your bank account on a rolling 7-day basis, so you’re, like, always getting paid.

PayPal Standard

If you haven’t heard of PayPal, you’re likely living under a rock that blocks WiFi. PayPal has a simple pricing model too, and you won’t need a separate merchant account. Plus, it’s extremely easy to set up. Just try. In the time it took you to read that last sentence, we bet you’re already gtg.

One neat perk to the PayPal integration is the option to set up recurring billing. If you’ve got an Us Weekly magazine subscription on offer, you can automatically debit your users’ PayPal account every seven days, or charge ‘em for four issues a month.

For Businessess

Braintree

Braintree is basically the Stripe for businesses - simple pricing (no monthly fee!) and simple sign-up. Unlike your Simple Payments solutions, you’ll need a merchant account for handling the money side of things, but Braintree has bundled a merchant account into their standard pricing.

Check out the Braintree 101 to get a feel for things.

PayPal Website Payments Pro

If you’ve got lots of cash flow per month, and you’re a business in the US, Canada, or stately Great Britain, Website Payments Pro is a solid solution for you. Unlike PayPal Standard, payment is all integrated with your Wufoo form, creating a really seamless ordering process.

The good news: you won’t need a merchant account with WPP. In other news: you will need a Business or Premier account, which can take a day or two to set up. More details here.

PayPal Payflow Pro

If you’re a business in the global market (aka not the US, not Canada, and not stately Great Britain), you’d be better off checking out Payflow Pro.

Payflow is gateway-only, meaning you will need a separate merchant account. It can take a few (to several) days to set up with Payflow, so it may only be worth it if you’re bent on sticking with your own merchant. If you are, though - full steam ahead!

Authorize.net

If you’re ever Googled “trusted payment provider for small businesses”, Authorize.net should be ringing a few bells. You’ll need a merchant account if you want to get paid, but Authorize.net has a directory of merchants for you to choose from.

If you’re looking to accept payments through bank transfer, take note! Your form’s integrated payment page can be enabled to accept eCheck payments with Authorize.net, and you’ll be eReady to eRoll.

USA ePay

If I had to call USA ePay by any other name, it’d be “Old Reliable”. USA ePay’s been around since practically the dawn of the Internet - or at least the dawn of PCI compliance.

You’ll need your own merchant account to get started. Whenever you’re ready to go, you can sign up to use USA ePay as your payment gateway through a respectable list of resellers.

For Customer Management

Chargify

To put it simply, Chargify is your subscription management center. You can create a product and specify a subscription period, and users connecting to Chargify can submit their payment info for recurring payments through your chosen gateway.

Chargify is not a payment gateway or a merchant account, so you will need your own. The good news is that you can leverage Stripe (our favorite friend), Braintree, Authorize.net, PayPal, or any of their other partners to get that money.

Freshbooks

If you’re looking less for “pay now”, and more for “sign up and pay later”, Freshbooks is your best bet. You can collect all the details needed to generate an invoice - no CC required - and let the customer pay up later on.

Payment can be collected online through PayPal (all flavors), Stripe, Authorize.net, Braintree, eWay, and a number of other payment providers. You can even weigh the benefits of your options (in even greater depth than this here blog post) on Freshbooks’ site right here!

The Conclusion

And there you have it—little more sense to the dollars and cents. Of course, let us know below in the comments if you have any q’s.

Fear Not, Form Fans! Import Those Predefined Choices

By Jen Bjers · April 8th, 2014

Have a lengthy list of choices for a Drop-down or Multiple Choice field? Does the thought of typing each selection one by one make your soul cry? Enter Wufoo’s ‘Import Predefined Choices’ feature. If you have a text list or even an Excel list on hand, then copy and paste that list directly into the Import Predefined Choices utility. Magically, Wufoo converts that list into choices in your Multiple Choice or Drop-down field.

Let’s see it in action!

Suppose you’d like all entries to select the country they’re contacting you from, but find no need to include an entire Address field. A quick Google search for “text list of countries” returns a short list of hits (~66 million). I find that the OpenConcept text list of countries works well for this.

Add a Drop-down field on your form and click on the Import Predefined Choices button in the Field Settings.

You’ll find a list of Predefined Categories such as Gender, Age, Employment, Continents, Income, Education, etc. And, you’ll notice an open area to the right of the categories to paste your own custom list.

Copy the text list of countries from the OpenConcept page and paste that list directly in to the custom choices area of the Import Predefined Choices utility. Click on the Add Choices to Field button.

Bask in the glory of your own awesomeness. Relish in the fruits of your labor. You’ve just added 195 countries to your Dropdown list in less than 2 minutes.

image

Predefining a Checkbox field is certainly possible as well. Since Checkbox fields are stored a little differently in the database, you’ll need to set it up as a Dropdown or Multiple Choice field first. Once you’ve predefined the choices, change the field type to Checkbox and well, that should do it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of Wufoo Tips and Tricks. As always, we’re here to help if you need anything!

Back To Basics: Getting Down And Dirty With Rules

By Johan Lieu · April 4th, 2014

Okay, maybe not so dirty. But if you’re new to Wufoo and haven’t yet ventured into the infinite (maybe not infinite but it’s a lot) possibilities of Rules yet, you’re missing out. Rules are that extra something that take a fairly simple form and use case and supercharges them to allow you to use Wufoo to solve some fairly complex use cases and applications.

As always, if you consider yourself a Wufoo Vet (and given how many users we have, there are plenty of you out there!) this post may not be for you. The Back To Basics series of posts are aimed at the newer Wufoo users who want to learn more about the wide assortment of Wufoo features and fully unlock the infinite (again, probably not infinite but close) possibilities of their Wufoo accounts.

Let’s get to it.


1. Make The Form!

Before we venture into setting up rules for our form, we first need a form. When setting up a complex form, I like to first create the entire form with all fields and pages, and from there, add rules and make them dynamic.

For our purposes, I’m using a form that I’ve created that uses Stripe with global currencies (a recently launched feature enhancement that allows Stripe users to accept payments in various currencies) so that people can send me bribes for various tasks they want me to do. In this form I have:

A. Price Field: This field allows people to input how much they want to bribe me with.

B. Text Field: This field is an arbitrary field that I want to be shown only if the bribe amount from the Price Field is more than 50.00 GBP.

C. Multiple Choice Field: This field allows the user to let me know if what I need to do is simple or elaborate. If it’s simple, we don’t need a long explanation (I mean, if it’s a simple bribe, why have it in writing, amirite?) so we’ll skip the page with the paragraph box and just get straight to payment. But if the task is elaborate, the user should see the second page, shown here in D.

D. Paragraph Field: This paragraph field appears on the second page. The second page will only be shown to users if they selected “Something much more elaborate” from the multiple choice field in C.

There, we have our form with all of the possible fields and pages. Now it’s time to add Rules and make it really sing.

2. Add A Touch Of Rules

To add rules to our nifty new form, just head to the Form Manager which lists all of your forms. Find your form, click the “Rules” button and you’ll be taken to the Rule Manager for your form. Now it gets fun!

3. Creating A Field Rule

The first rule we’ll be creating is the rule where we’d like to show the text field only if the price is higher than 50.00 GBP. Since this is a rule that will simply show or hide another field on the same page, it’s considered a Field Rule. Simply click the “Create A Field Rule” button and the first field rule will appear.

To make our rule, you select which field you want to monitor, in this case the “What’s your bribe amount?” field. To do this, you click the first drop down menu which lists all of the fields on your form then select the field which you want to create this rule for.

Next, we choose the rule criteria. In this case, we only care if the amount inputted into this field is more than 50.00 GBP. So we choose the criteria drop down and we select “is greater than”. Now we move over to the next input field where we’ll enter in 50.00. Note: for price fields and rules, you’ll need to specify out to the cents (or pence in this example).

Finally, we want to show the text field in our example form, so we’ll choose the last drop down menu and select the field we want to show, in this case we’ll select the “Shown only if the bribe amount is more than 50 GBP!” field. Click “Save Field Rules” and your first rule is all set.

You can see that the rule matches what we are trying to do by simply reading it in the Rule Builder:

If “What’s your bribe amount?” is greater than 50.00 show “Shown only if the bribe amount is more than 50 GBP!”.

Pretty cool huh? Now, let’s tackle that Page Rule.

4. Creating A Page Rule

Remember that we only want people to clarify their bribery task on the second page of the form only if the task is elaborate. So we’ll need to make a rule that only shows the second page of this form if the value of the multiple choice field is “Something much more elaborate.” For that, we need to create a Page Rule. To do that, simply hit the tab labeled, “Page Rules” click the “Create a Page Rule” button, and your first page rule will appear.

Like creating a field rule, we’ll first need to select which field we’ll need to monitor. In this case, it’s the “What do you need to get done?” field.

This is where things get tricky, so pay attention. In the third drop down, instead of selecting “Something much more elaborate.” we’re instead going to select “Something simple.” as the option. We do this since Page Rules allow for skipping pages and we only need to skip the second page in our form if the task is simple. Hence, we choose “Something simple.” here as our option.

Finally, we then close the loop by saying if the option selected is “Something simple.” then we’ll skip all the way to the Payment page, skipping Page 2 altogether. This way only people with elaborate tasks need to describe their task and those with simple tasks can get to paying us our bribe!


And there we have it, a fairly simple form that utilizes Field Rules and Page Rules to add complex functionality to the form and make it super powerful. There are endless possibilities and applications of using Wufoo with Rules to create really elegant solutions to hard, complex problems and workflows. If you want more in depth information about rules, you can find them here in our handy dandy Help Docs about the Rule Builder.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, leave them below. We love to hear from our customers and readers and hope you found this guide useful!

Get a Wufoot-hold on the Name Field: Tips on Sizing.

By Kane Stanley · March 7th, 2014

Have a burning question or three about your Wufoo forms? Never fear, Kane is here! Kane’s part of the ace customer support team at Wufoo. He moved to the grand United States from Leeds, England so if you’re a weekend early riser and avid soccer (football) fan, don’t be surprised if you run into him madly cheering on the mighty Manchester United.

The floor’s all yours, Kane.

Aren’t names brilliant? We all have them, we often need to know other people’s and we can make great name pun memes on the Internet with them. So while we’re on the subject of names, let’s have a chat about the name field, shall we?

Just have a look at that beauty. So simple and easy going. It just wants to know your name and leave it at that. It doesn’t want to kick up a fuss or be fancy, but sometimes there could be an excuse to change it around a bit. The problem with that is that there isn’t too much customization you can do with the Name field at first look. Yeah, you can change the format from Normal format to a super fancy pants extended format and you can change the language, but after that, you have to think outside the box.

We often get asked if it’s possible to make all the boxes in the name field the same size. It is if you think outside of those boxes. While the name field generally likes to stay calm and carry on, the Single Line Text field takes a bit more after Bear Grylls. With some cheeky use of CSS keywords and a couple of single line text fields, you can ask for a name and have it look like this:

That’s quite nice. How did I do that you ask? Let me show you. First, you’ll want to create your form, add two Single Line Text Fields and give them their respective names—nice and easy.

Hang on a sec. Those fields are on top of each other. That’s not cool. You want them to be next to each other just like in the Name field. Easy. CSS Keyword to the rescue. You can add CSS keywords to any field you’d like and they’re perfect for putting fields next to each other. Let’s say we want to have each field take up half the page. We’ll need to use “leftHalf” for the first name and “rightHalf” for the last name.

Now let’s see how that looks.

A bit too big for your taste? That’s cool too. Let’s change the CSS keyword for each field.

Let’s have another look shall we?

Boom! Looking suave and fancy. What’s that? You’d rather stick with the actual Name field, but still make the boxes the same size? Well, if you insist. For this we’ll need some help from proper CSS. First we’ll need to figure out the ID of that First Name and Last Name section of the Name field. We can just inspect the element when viewing the form to check that out:

Cool. Our ID for the First Name happens to be Field4 and the Last Name is Field5. Yours will most likely be different so definitely check it out. Now we just need to create the simplest of CSS and apply that to our theme.

After creating your own stylesheet like this, you can apply it to your theme using the Theme Designer. Let’s look at the full finished product!

Beautifully simple, right? You can even use more CSS to change other bits like the font size and even the shape of the box. So get out there, collect those gorgeous names of yours and customize, customize away.

Questions for Kane? Leave ‘em for him in the Comments below!

Back to Basics: Use Section Breaks To Make Your Forms Easier To Fill Out

By Johan Lieu · February 26th, 2014

It’s time for another installment of the totally irregular (really sorry for my delinquency!), but super useful (hopefully!) Back to Basics series. This time we’re going to tackle the unique and incredibly handy Section Break field type.

As always, these series of posts are meant for newer Wufoo users who are not as familiar with the incredible breadth of Wufoo features. If you’re a Wufoo Vet, then this might not be for you. If you want more Tips & Tricks, check out this archive. Super helpful.

Onward to section breaks!


The basic, but still the best use, of Section Breaks on forms is similar to what I talked about last week regarding long forms. Last week, we showed how breaking up a long form into multiple pages is crucial in reducing user anxiety and increasing completion rates. The same goes for section breaks. If you don’t want to break up your form into multiple pages, you can still get a lot of the benefits and keep to one page by using section breaks.

Let’s take a look at the following example.

This is a relatively simple form for a fundraising event looking for people to sign up, work it, and find out who’s bringing what. Asking for people’s personal contact information is also a must in the case that something comes up and we need to contact folks. We also need to know what days they’re planning to work, whether mornings, afternoons, or both are best, what dish they’re bringing, how many people their dish will feed and on and on. Simple enough, right? But after asking all of our questions, we end up with a fairly long form. Long enough that some people might see it and not fill it out.

But what if we summoned the courage and decided to use, GASP, section breaks? Well, we know we’ll need some contact info from people when they sign up for the event, so we’ll group those questions together in the same section. We also know we need to ask people some basic information about the event, like when they’ll be able to work it, so we can place those questions in a different section. Throw some section breaks in, add some salt, stir, let simmer for 10-12 minutes, and, well, look at that. Super delicious awesomeness.

Now instead of one super long, daunting form, it now looks like two super short forms. When used, section breaks quickly allow users the ability to scan the form at a very high level and get an idea of what they’re about to get themselves into. The first version of this form didn’t allow them the ability to do this as all of the form questions kind of bled into one another. But the section breaks in the second form act as waypoint markers for users so a) they know at a high level what’s going on in each section, and b) can figure out what’s going in the form without having even answered a single question. Now that’s what we call effective.

If you’ve been following along, you’re now well-versed in the most important function of the section break. Which is? The ability to help break up long forms into logical sections so that it’s easier to see what’s going on and thus easier for users to fill out their forms. Questions or comments regarding section breaks, when or how to use them, or just want to say “Hi!”, leave a comment below!

Also, if you’ve mastered the primary use of the section break and you’re interested in doing more advanced functions with the section break, you can check out the esteemed Mike Wong’s two part post (Part One, “Hyperlinks & Image Embeds”. Part Two, “Movies & Maps) detailing the advanced and super secret life of the section break.

Top Common Rule Builder Mistakes & How to Avoid Making ‘Em

By Aubriane Taylor · February 24th, 2014

Hello, WuFriends! As we close down our Valentine’s Day forms (hope yours was sweet) and begin building forms for St. Patrick’s Day (Shamrock Shuffle anyone?), you might be thinking about revisiting our Rule Builder. While it’s not all that complicated, there are some common rule building mistakes that you may encounter. Today we’re going to blaze through a few, and by the end you’ll be an expert Rule Builder yourself in no time.

Part 1: SHOW, don’t HIDE

Let’s say you’ve got a field in your form that needs to be shown in a number of different circumstances, but hidden in others. You might think that you need to set up a rule for the “show” scenarios, and a rule for the “hide” scenarios—but it’s simply not true. Just one rule will do the trick.

If you set up a condition to SHOW a field, it will only show if that condition is met. Say this is your form:

We only want to show the question about macarons if people choose macarons, right? So we set up a field rule to SHOW it:

And that’s all you need. Your users will only get to see the number of macarons if they actually choose macarons.

Part 2: Don’t double up

Now, we need to let folks choose how many dozens they need for cupcakes and apple turnovers. This is important: Make sure you don’t add a rule for both. If you do, the form might start acting funny, since rules are evaluated from top to bottom. There’s no way to satisfy both rules at the same time, so it’ll go with the bottom rule every time.

We’ll try to warn you not to use two rules for the same result, with an alarming little exclamation point on the two that conflict:

Click on one of the exclamations, and you’ll see a big scary red warning that lets you know there’s danger ahead:

When you see that, you’re not in trouble yet. Just delete rule #2, and now it’s time…to use two conditions in the SAME RULE. Like so:

And voila! No conflict—just smooth, conditioned sailing.

Part 3: Keep to the path

When you dive into the rules, you might find yourself losing track of what needs to happen when. For example, three macarons takes a week, six macarons takes two weeks, and nine macarons takes three weeks:

(I’m a really slow baker)

Set up to make sure users see the right message based on the number of macarons they choose.

I like to call this a “cascading rule” - if X happens, do Y. If Y = 3, do Z. Remember when I said that rules are evaluated from top to bottom? This also means you need to keep things in the proper order - X, Y, Z. If my rules start with Y, I’m going to run into trouble when it comes time to tell X what to do.

Just make sure your rules are listed in the order that things should be happening. X, Y, Z:

1, 2, 3:

The ordering process is smooth and simple—til they have to wait two weeks for half a dozen macarons. Promise you—I’m working on getting a better oven.

There you have it, form fans. Get started on building your rules and as always, give us a shout-out below with questions or comments.

3 Things You Definitely Should NOT Do On Your Forms

By Johan Lieu · February 21st, 2014

I usually share handy tips and tricks you should follow to help make your Wufoo forms better but today I decided to go in the opposite direction and share three things you really should NOT do when creating your Wufoo forms. These mistakes might seem like common sense to some of you but I still see these mistakes far too often in the wild.

Worst of all, these mistakes prevent your users and potential customers from filling out and completing your forms, and if they aren’t finishing your forms, you’re not getting the data you need. There are plenty more things you ought not to do when creating your forms, but we felt these three are the most egregious offenders. Our goal here at Team Wufoo is to empower you to make your forms as easy as possible for folks to fill out and complete.

With that, onward!

1. Put All Of Your Fields On One Really Long Page

You’ve experienced it. You’re cruising along on a site, really moving at breakneck speed on whatever you’re working on, and the site needs you to enter in some information. You click through to the form and then you see it. The One Form To Rule Them All, And In The Darkness Bind Them. This form is massive. It just keeps going. And going. How many fields are there on this form? They, they can’t be serious, can they? Oh man, they are. Oh forget this, I’m outta here.

This is the absolute worst thing that could happen. Your users were totally into the site, jetting along, getting stuff done, but when they got to the form, they were like, “Thanks, but no thanks” and closed the window. They went from highly prospective customer to nothing, all because of one ridiculously large one page form. Having all of your fields on one page fills your users with dread and kills any momentum they had to complete the form. What you need to do is use a Page Break. Break that crazy long form into multiple pages!

By using page breaks and breaking down your fields into logical chunks per page, you’ll help your users more easily understand what’s going on, and make it feel like they’re making progress. Additionally, by breaking down your form into multiple pages, you’re basically seducing your users into finishing the form by cultivating their innate momentum to finish the form. You get your data, and your users don’t feel like they’ve run a marathon after finishing your form. Everyone’s happy.

2. Add Totally Non-Essential Fields On Your Form

Say you’re a freelancer and you’re using Wufoo to allow prospective clients submit their data so you can contact them and follow up on their projects. Of course, you ask for all the normal types of information like name, an email address, maybe even a phone number.

But then it starts to get out of control. You’re thinking, “Wait what about (insert information type here)?” You’re like, it can’t hurt to ask for it. It’ll be useful to have!

Then all of a sudden, you end up with a form that’s asking for a nickname (so you know, you can talk to them like you’re friends), whether or not they have a pet (since you need to know if they are a dog or cat person and tailor your pitch, right?), what color their car is (people with red cars are totally willing to pay more), or what their maternal grandmother’s maiden name was (hey, maybe you guys were related).

Don’t do it. Think long and hard about every single field you’re adding to your form and ask yourself, “Do I REALLY need this field?” If you don’t, remove it. Even if you’re 50/50 on whether or not you need, remove it. Too often we fall into the mind trap of thinking that this MIGHT be useful if we had it and then some how end up with a 19 field Contact Us form. That’s crazy.

Back to our freelancer example, why did we need a phone number? Are we ever going to contact a potential client by phone? If not—remove it. Removing fields has shown that people complete them far more often (to the tune of 120% better completion rate in one study!)

Only add fields for stuff that you DEFINITELY need. If you’re on the fence about something, remove it and see if you actually do need it later on. If you do, you can add it back in since you know you’ll need it. But I’ll bet you won’t even notice it was gone in the first place.

3. Ridiculously Long, Wordy, Meandering, and Confusing Field Labels

“The name given to you at birth by your father and mother.”

“The family name given to you at birth by your father and mother.”

“The date when you were born.”

“What place would you prefer to travel to if given the option and money were absolutely not a concern and if you’d never traveled there previously.”

These are horrible field labels. Seriously, don’t do these things. These are extreme examples (btw, one of those above is real) but the lesson here is simple: just be simple and direct. Instead of asking, “The date when you were born” ask, “When is your birthday”. Be concise, clear and people will find it easier to enter their information into your forms.

Much like #2 above, you need to take the time to give a long look at each of your field labels and make sure you’re being as straightforward as possible. Microcontent and editing is as important now as it was back in 1998 when Jakob Nielsen wrote about it. If you think it’s good enough, try again to see if you can remove more words while still retaining the essence of the message. The smallest of changes could make a world of difference in the number of people who start and complete your forms.


If you follow (err, or, uh, NOT follow) these tips, I think you’ll find that your forms will be easier to digest, easier to understand, and easier to complete. More of your users and potential customers will find themselves at the finish line of your form, and you’ll collect more and even better data.

Stay tuned here for even more form Do’s and Don’ts to come. And don’t forget, if you’ve got some DON’Ts that people should avoid when making their forms, share them below!

Using Rules to Show Fields Dynamically on a Registration Form

By Andrew Gosnell · February 3rd, 2014

Hey, everyone! In this edition of Tips and Tricks, we’re going to look at how to display a varying number of fields in a registration form. We’ll do that by using Wufoo’s Rule Builder to create dynamic logic in the form.

Suppose we have a registration form where we want to allow multiple people to sign up, but the number could vary between entries. To start out, we’ll put five Name fields in our form, enough for the registrant and up to four additional guests:

But what if someone is registering just two people total? It’d be nice if the form could show the appropriate number of Name fields. So let’s add a new drop-down field and find out how many guests our registrant will be bringing along.

Now that we know the number of fields we should be displaying, let’s go to the Rule Builder and create field rules on our form. For each of the name fields, we want to consider the conditions where the field should be shown.

First off, the ‘Name 1’ field. We know that they’ll always be registering at least one person, so we don’t need a rule for that field—we want it to always show.

For the ‘Name 2’ field, it should be shown if the registrant chooses the option for registering 2 people. But we also want to show the ‘Name 2’ field if they choose 3, 4 or 5 people. For this, we’ll use multiple conditions to create the rule.

Similarly, we only want to display the Name 3 field if the registrant chooses 3, 4 or 5 people.

And we continue on thusly for the Name 4 and 5 fields.

And that’s all there is to it! When our registrant chooses the number of guests, they’ll see the appropriate number of Name fields thanks to our fancy new rules.

if you need to allow for more fields, no worries, this technique can be extended further. Just remember the general concept—start with the field you want to show, and figure out the lowest number where you should show that field. Make a condition based on that number, and continue making conditions for every number higher than that.

Have fun making your dynamic registration forms!

The Skinny On Wufoo’s Automated Emails

By Jen Bjers · January 14th, 2014

Happy New Year, form fans. We’re ready for another great year of tips, tricks and form wisdom here on the blog so be ready. If you’re a newbie, then today’s installment is a great tutorial on the various automated emails you can send using Wufoo. If you’re a seasoned pro, then this will be a nice refresher course.

Let’s begin…

In Wufoo, there are several automated emails that can be sent once an entry is submitted. If you’re collecting payments, then you’ll have the option to customize a receipt email as well. *Note: Wufoo was was not designed for email marketing. Thus, it’s not possible to compose and send custom emails out of Wufoo. This is where our powerful integrations come in. We integrate with MailChimp and Campaign Monitor so that you can get your email marketing campaign off the ground in a snap.

Here’s a breakdown of our different email types.

Standard Emails:

Notification

The Notification email is intended to notify form admins of new entries as well as new comments appended to entries in the Entry Manager. You can add multiple recipients to the Notification email if you’d like; simply separate each email address with a comma. *Note: This type of email cannot be customized. The email will contain the form name and entry information for all fields that have input. If a field is left without input or hidden with rules then it will not be included in the body of the Notification email. Customization options are available for the From Name/Company Name and Subject line.

Sample Notification Email

If you have a long list of admins that should receive the Notification email, then it’s important to know that there’s a 255 character limit for the number of email addresses you can input in the setup. You may need to trim the list of “need-to-knows” to fit within the character limit. As a workaround, consider creating a forwarding group address on your email server and curate your email list there. Last step? Add that single group address within Wufoo.

Entry Email

You can email the entry data directly out of the Entry Manager to the recipient of your choosing. This email is similar to the Notification email and will contain all entry data: the submitted data, IP address, date created and a permanent link to the entry in the Entry Manager.

Confirmation

The Confirmation email is intended to confirm with the person that has submitted the entry that the entry was received. The email body is customizable for you to add your message. Styling the email, including adding a logo or other images, is possible using HTML. You have the option to Include a Copy of the User’s Entry Data as well. Furthermore, you can customize who the email is being sent from – using either your name or the name of your company, organization, school, team, etc.

The email is always sent from no-reply@wufoo.com or apache@wufoo.com. *Note: The origin email address is not customizable. Additionally, it’s not possible to customize the subject line of the Confirmation email either. The standard subject line is Form Name and the Entry ID. If you’d like to have customizing capabilities for the Confirmation email then you’ll want to set this up using a Form Rule Confirmation.

Sample Confirmation Email

Important: The Notification and Confirmation emails are sent when the entry is submitted. This happens prior to payment processing. Be careful with wording in your Confirmation Email not to confirm that payment has been received. It’s possible for the person to submit the entry but not complete payment. Your confirmation email should note that a receipt email will be sent once payment is processed.

Payment Email:

Custom Receipt

If you’re integrating for payment with Stripe, Braintree, PayPal Pro or PayPal Payflow Pro, Authorize.net, or USA ePay then you can fully customize a receipt email sent to the user once the payment has been processed. Your Name/Company Name, Subject Line, Message, Reply To, and Footer are fully customizable. The email will also include the transaction information (Purchase Total, Date, and Transaction ID). The theme applied to your form will pass through to the styling of the receipt email as well.

Sample Receipt Email

Form Rules:

Via Form Rules, you can create Custom/Conditional Confirmation emails as well as Conditional Notification emails. For example, say you’re providing a contact form to your customers. You have three departments that customers may need to contact: Sales, Marketing, and Support. If the customer selects Sales from a drop-down or multiple choice field then you can send a custom confirmation email specific to a Sales lead. You’ll also be able to send the Notification email to the Sales department so they’re aware of the incoming lead. Follow suit for the Marketing and Support departments.

It’s important to know that you may send one confirmation email to one email address input in the form (both standard Confirmation setup or via Rules). Additionally, only one rule (the last rule met in the list) will fire off the Confirmation and/or Notification email. For example, if you have a checkbox field for Sales, Marketing, and Support it’s not possible to send Notification emails to each department if more than one box is selected.

The last rule that meets the required condition will be the one that sends the email. If Support is the last rule in the list, then the Support department will be the only one to receive the email. Finally, Form Rules trump the standard Confirmation and Notification setup in Form Settings and Notifications.

And that’s a wrap, form fans. Before we sign off, I leave you with this little gem…until next time!

Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

Tips From a Wufoo Developer: How to Organize & Optimize Your Client Data

By Adam Lichtenstein · January 10th, 2014

Impress your clients from the start with your project prowess

Before I came on board as an engineer here at Wufoo, I was a freelance developer for about seven years. Most days, I’d tell you I had the best job in the world. Others, the worst. That’s just how freelancing works. Sometimes you get great projects and great clients. Other times, you’re stuck adding jQuery animated snowplugins because your client “really wants the site to pop”.

As I progressed through my freelance career I learned a lot of lessons that made my projects go more ‘smoothly’. Smooth projects means happy clients. Happy clients almost always means more referrals, more money and best of all, more free time to improve my coding skills.

Improvements

After each project, I looked back and asked myself—What could I have done to make this project even smoother?

Simple things like:

  • Coming up with milestones for myself as well as the client

  • Only communicating with one person for the approval process

  • Giving the client direct access to my tickets system so they could see my progress on any task

And MOST IMPORTANTLY:

Be organized from the very beginning

It’s important that your clients know that you have a structured way of doing things, and aren’t just making it up as you go. You’re the expert so be sure they know it too. They rest easier knowing that you’ve done this before.

Using Wufoo As A Developer

Long before I starting working at Wufoo, I used Wufoo for any client looking to collect data on their website. Why?

  • I didn’t want to manage a database and forms for them

  • I knew their data was always accessible and safe

  • Generating reports on their data was easy

  • They made it ridiculously simple to take payments for the clients that wanted it

Before long, I was using Wufoo for everything—creating client tickets, getting content from clients, even for my own wedding. Yep, our RSVPs came in thanks to a Wufoo form. One of the things that helped the most was creating a form for all new client projects to get all the info they had for the upcoming project. A Web Project Starter Form helps in so many ways.

  • It forced clients to know how prepared they were when we started a project

  • It gave us something to refer back to if the scope changed

  • It gave me instant access to all of their setup info

Web Project Starter Form

Before sending out the form, I always sent a message beforehand to the client. Here’s an example:

I’m really excited to get started on your project. In the meantime, I’ve made a form that will really help us get off to a solid start. I know it will take a little while to get through it, but it will save us tons of time on the project itself.

Looking back now, I can’t believe how easy it was. I got a solid idea of the type of client as well as the scope of project I was working with. After creating the form once, all I had to do was send them a link—Bam, done. You can see the form in action here.

Behind the Scenes

I designed my page and embedded the form with a Javascript snippet so it used my own URL. All of Wufoo’s plans are on SSL. So, I’d subtly mention—You can fill out this secure form on my site. Adding a password to the form confirmed their trust and sense of security even further. I used tons of field rules and page rules to keep the form as customized and as short as possible. Not only did this make the form appear smaller and showed off the customizable features, it proved to the clients that I had thoroughly thought through all processes with the information given me.

Page & Field Rules in Wufoo

Sometimes I’d give them a custom URL that pre-populated their name and company. I always finished up with a customized response email using a Wufoo template.

Customized Email Template in Wufoo

Creating a Web Project Starter Form was just one of the ways I used Wufoo to make my life as a freelance developer easier. But there’s always new ways to make your projects go smoother…In a future post, I’d love to show you how we could use the API to take this form and Customize a new Github Repo, create Asana Tickets, Evernote Notebooks and more.

Got ideas for how to improve the form? Let Adam know and he just might whip it up into a reusable template for everyone!

Adam Lichtenstein is a front-end engineer and designer for Wufoo. He’s terrible at Ping-Pong but plays it anyway. Questions for him? 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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