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?)
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:
- Click Forms at the top of the page
- To the right of the form, hover over More and click API Information.
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:
Here’s our new URL:
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:
All that’s left to do is lob that hyperlink into your confirmation email text along with the rest of your message.
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.
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.