Approval Workflow with a Single Formsite Form

Formsite approval workflow

A popular use for the Workflow features is to collect an approval for a form submission. The approval Workflow begins with the initial form submission, triggering the Notification email. The email contains the link for the approver to view the request and approval items.

Creating a copy of the form just for an approval can take up valuable form space, though. Using the same form for the approval Workflow is possible using Rules to show the approval items.

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Add Transaction Fees to Credit Card Payments

Formsite add transaction fees

The payment integrations offer form owners the ability to collect payments with their order forms. By connecting to the payment processor, collecting payments makes online transactions much safer. Most services add a small processing fee to each transaction (although Formsite doesn’t), and some form owners ask how to add transaction fees to each order.

Most payment processing services charge around 3% for each transaction. While that’s not a large amount on individual amounts, those fees add up with many transactions. Other times the organization’s funding or reimbursements only cover the amount of the order. These cases may not be able to absorb extra fees.

Continue reading to see how to add transaction fees ›

Pre-populating Dropdown Items on Formsite Forms

The Pre-populate link works to load forms with values already entered. Using the form’s Pre-populate link, form owners can set the values of form items. Pre-populating Dropdown items and other multi-select items can be tricky for new form builders.

Formsite pre-populating dropdown

Multi-select items include Radio Button, Dropdown, Checkbox, and the Matrix items. These are pre-populated using the position of the answer, not the text. For most cases this isn’t a problem, but there are some situations where that’s not obvious.

For example, one popular use of the Pre-populate link is to send a Notification email with a link to repeat the form. This could be in response to an online order and the link labeled ‘duplicate this order’.

Another use for the Pre-populate link uses the Success Page’s Redirect URL format. The Success Page passes the visitor and their information to the second form after submitting the first. Both uses require adding pipe codes in place of the Pre-populate link’s placeholder text.

The problem occurs when trying to Pre-populate a multi-select item using a multi-select item. In other words, a Dropdown item’s pipe code will result in its text value. Pre-populating Dropdown items needs the choice position, not the choice text.

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Email Forms and Other Interactive Email Elements

Formsite email forms

Some form owners ask if it’s possible to send their forms through email for their recipients to complete. Instead of sending the actual link, the desire is to send the form in the body of the email message. Unfortunately, the short answer is no. The ability to email forms is not currently supported by most email clients.

Online forms in general appear as a graphical front-end to a database and need an actual web page to run the needed parts. For example, Rules to show and hide elements, multiple pages, Calculations, etc. need to track and respond to user input.

Email messages are simple text and basic HTML that are not able to perform these higher-level processes. In fact, many designers and email marketers know the struggle to design and develop email creative. Many styling and positioning techniques that seem simple are unusable in email creative.

Does that mean there’s no way to use forms with email? Not exactly, no.

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Share CSS with Embedded Forms

Embedding forms lets website owners display their Formsite forms seamlessly on the web page. Displaying like this is the easiest way to use a form on the site. Typically the form is added after the rest of the site is built and styled, and website designers often ask how to share CSS with the form.

Form owners access the form’s styles from the form editor under the Style link. The built-in themes and colors allow for quick styling with one click. The Customize link lets form owners further refine the styles of each aspect of the form. The CSS code for the form lives on the Advanced page, along with the HTML Head area.

Customizing the CSS to use the embedding site’s styles helps to display the form as part of the site. This is done through either the CSS or the HTML Head on the Style -> Advanced page.

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Email Attachments and Images in Notifications

Formsite email attachments

Form owners collect uploaded files through their forms using the File Upload item. These uploaded files display as links in the Results Table where they can be viewed and downloaded. Additionally, a convenient option for paid accounts includes sending an email Notification after each successful submission. These emails can contain the result information and a custom message, along with the uploaded files as email attachments.

Notification attachments can be either:

  • Email attachments
  • Images & links
  • Results as attachments
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Folders for Organizing Forms & Fast Workflow Access

Formsite folders

Formsite account owners with many forms can take advantage of the Folders feature to enhance form organization. Located in the My Forms page, the Folder dropdown lets account owners group forms into virtual directories for fast location.

Formsite folders defaultThe default folder settings shows 3 folders:

  • All forms
  • Uncategorized forms
  • Deleted forms

Along with the default folder settings appears a link to Manage folders, allowing owners to create and manage folders and forms within. Additionally, the folder features include automated Workflow support and custom folder tools.


Continue reading about Formsite form folders ›

Repeat Orders for Customers Through Email Links

Formsite repeat ordersFormsite order forms allow form owners to sell products and services and collect payments securely. A question frequently asked is how to allow customers to quickly repeat orders. The form owner usually asks how to edit and resubmit a previous order, which is possible using Save & Return but isn’t the best way to repeat orders.

Editing a result changes the information and unless the results have been exported and saved locally, the original order information is lost. Also, with payments it’s not possible to repeat the transaction for the same order.

The best way to offer a quick reorder is to send a Notification email with a Pre-populate link.

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Email Address Verification with Notifications

Formsite email address verificationVerifying the customer information can pose a problem for form owners. Many forms need valid email addresses and other contact information to successfully create the customer record. Email address verification serves as a fast and reliable method to verify the identity of the customer.

Some systems allow for real-time lookups to verify information, though Formsite has no built-in method for using these systems. The most effective method for verifying information is through email Notifications.

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