Email Notifications and the Auto-Responder
FormAssembly offers two distinct ways to send automated emails after a form response is submitted: Notifications and the Auto-Responder. The difference between these two features is their intended audience:
- Notifications are emails sent to the form owner, administrator, or other individuals you designate from inside your organization. They'll alert you every time a user submits a form response. The default notification template includes the submission date, completion time, and the full response text, but you can also customize notifications so that you receive just the information you need in the format you want.
- The Auto-Responder creates emails sent to a user after they submit a form response. In order to enable the auto-responder, you'll need to have a field in your form with email validation enabled to collect the respondent's email address. Beyond that requirement, auto-responses are flexible: you can provide a user with a copy of the data they submitted, a receipt for an order or donation, or just a message thanking them for taking the time to fill out your form.
Common use cases for notifications and the auto-responder include:
- Receive a notification about who is submitting responses to your form and send a copy of a user’s submissions to the form owner or manager
- Have your users receive a copy of their own form responses
- Send any next steps to your users
- Send a receipt to your users
- Send a thank you to your users for submitting the form
Both Notifications and the Auto-Responder are configured on the Notifications page. To get there:
- From the Form List, move your mouse over the Configure button for the form you'd like to modify.
- In the Configure dropdown menu that appears, click on Notifications.
- The To: field is limited to 10 email addresses
- The BCC: field is limited to 15 email addresses
- Sending an email to 10+ addresses exponentially increases the risk that the email gets marked as spam by one of the recipients. This increases the chance that FormAssembly email delivery is flagged as spam by an email provider, which means an increased chance that the form creator’s recipients may not continue receiving FA notifications. The best practice is to create an email group for those users and use that single email address in FA settings.
Notifications - Setup
- Find the Your Notifications section.
- Enable the notification with the Your Email Notification dropdown menu, choosing either text or HTML notifications.
- Enter your email address in the Email Responses To: field. You can enter multiple addresses by separating each address with a comma (and with no space). Additionally, you can use a field alias if you would like the "Email Responses To:" field to be determined by a field in your form response.
- In order to be able to reply to your form respondent, you will need to have the Email Collection section for your Notifications page set up by following steps 1 and 2 in Auto-Responder - Setup. Once this is set up, if you reply to an email notification, the reply will go to the form respondent (provided their email was collected in the form). This will override the "sender" email address and go directly to the form respondent.
- If you are not receiving email notifications, please check your spam folder. If you are still unable to receive them, contact our support team for assistance.
- The Notification sender should be listed as firstname.lastname@example.org which can also be used if whitelisting is required.
- For users who are still in their trial period, you can only use your FormAssembly account email address for email notifications and auto-response emails. The Sender Name will also be locked to "FormAssembly Notification" for the duration of the free trial.
Notifications - Customize
- Set the Email Template option to Customized Template.
- Fill out the requested information. In the Email Subject and Email Content fields, you can use the following aliases, which will be replaced by the actual value when the email is sent:
The name of your form.
The date and time when the response was submitted.
The time it took to fill out the form.
A plain text, simplified version of the data submitted with the form. You should not use this alias if your form collects sensitive information that should not be sent over an unsecured medium such as email.
An HTML formatted version of the data submitted with the form. You should not use this alias if your form collects sensitive information that should not be sent over an unsecured medium such as email.
The link to see the response on FormAssembly. A login is required to access responses.
The list of uploaded files (if any). Login is required to download the files.
To specify an individual upload field, use the field alias like so:
Same as the previous entry, but login is not required to download the files.
To specify an individual upload field, use the field alias like so:
A unique identifier for the submitted response.
The address of the page hosting the form (not the page used to reach the form).
The IP address used to submit the form.
Notifications - Attach Response PDF
If you have an Essentials plan or above, you can attach a copy of the response as a PDF to your notification emails. In order to enable this feature, you will need to check the "Attach PDF of form response" option under "Attachments".
You can also change the name of the PDF by editing the "PDF Naming Convention" field. This field uses the aliases for the form name, the response ID, and the submitted date by default. If you would like to customize this, you can use aliases or text to define your own naming convention.
Currently, it is only possible to send a PDF as a Notification, not an Auto-Response. However, Team plan users and above can send PDFs of responses through multiple emails by using FormAssembly Workflow.
Configure the Save & Resume Notification Reply-To Email and Name
Once you have enabled the Save and Resume feature, you will need to configure the Reply-To Email and Reply-To Name.
When your form respondent receives email directions about how to resume their form, this information will be used.
The default values of "email@example.com" and "Form Notification" will automatically be shown when you are configuring these fields. However, you can customize these fields to another valid email address. Some email domains are disallowed for security reasons. If a disallowed email domain is used, the Reply-To Email will default to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Auto-Responder - Setup
The auto-responder can be used to automatically send customizable emails to form respondents, provided they enter their email addresses in the form. This can be particularly beneficial any time you would like an automatic message to be sent to respondents upon submission of a form. Before you can set up the Auto-Responder, you'll need to make sure that you're capturing the respondent's email address:
- In the Email Collection section, set the Email question menu to the question in your form that collects the respondent's email address.
- If the question is not available in the menu, open the Form Builder and edit your form. Add email validation to the question.
Once the Email Collection section is configured, you can enable your Auto-Responder.
- In the Auto-Responder section, set the Auto-Responder menu to enabled (choose text or HTML email).
- Enter the Sender Email address and Sender Name (e.g., your name and email).
- As an added security measure, when configuring a Sender Email, the email address entered requires validation before the Sender Email is updated. Emails will be sent from "email@example.com" until the new email address is validated.
- If an email has not been validated:
- a pending validation message appears under the changed field
- the email address entered receives an email with a link to complete validation
- Note: The validation link expires after 24 hours.
- Email addresses are validated per FormAssembly instance.
- A Basic plan user, or a legacy premier or professional user, will only be able to use email addresses validated through their specific user account.
- Sender fields are locked for Free Trial users. These users are only able to use their own account email address for Sender Email configurations.
Enter the Email Subject and a message in the Email Content.
Auto-Responder - Customize
In the Auto-Responder, you can use the following aliases:
|The name of your form.|
|The date and time when the response was submitted.|
|The data submitted with the form. You should not use this alias if your form collects sensitive information that should not be sent over an unsecured medium, such as email.|
|The list of uploaded files (if any). You will need to log into FormAssembly to see the files. If you do not want to require the viewer to log in, you can use %%UNPROTECTED_FILE_LIST%% instead.|