The Wufoo Blog

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

By Kane Stanley · November 2nd, 2016

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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.

This entry was posted 10 months ago and was filed under Tips and Tricks. Comments are currently closed.

Comments

  1. This solution, creating links for each customer, is only feasible for a very small number of customers.

    Everyone else lets the Browser help filling out the form using a combination of the user’s contact information and previously entered values.

    The problem is that Wufoo explicitly disables the Browser functionality by setting autocomplete=”off” on the forms. Is there any way to prevent Wufoo from disabling the Browser autocomplete?

    This is very critical for everyone serving a large customer base.

    Actually, this very form supports autocomplete…

    Posted 10 months ago by Thomas Åkesson.
  2. Agree completely with Thomas Åkesson. It would be nice if this were an option we could turn off for certain forms.

    Posted 10 months ago by Kathleen.
  3. Is there a way of linking data from many forms…..we have four separate entry forms and would be helpful to be able to look up the customer data across all of them….

    Posted 10 months ago by Julian.
  4. I agree with the people commenting.

    This tutorial’s solution is a mediocre work-around to avoid doing a real auto fill.

    Sorry Wufoo, this is a misleading title for your article.

    Posted 10 months ago by Jorge Morales.
  5. The number one complaint of our form users is the lack of auto-fill. Expecting your end user to save and use a unique link is unrealistic.

    Posted 10 months ago by Cydney Bieber.
  6. Agree with other posters. Auto-fill and/or linking across forms would be useful.

    Posted 10 months ago by caroline.
  7. I am enrolling repeat people to multiple classes. As the class is always different, so is the form…so as with others a solution across multiple forms is the only solution that will bring happiness to our repeat students!!!!

    Posted 10 months ago by Julia.
  8. Is there a way to pre-populate/ generate a pre-filled links for “new” forms? eg returning students / customers get invited to a new course / event? Otherwise, more that a little time intensive and not always practical..

    Posted 10 months ago by Geoff.
  9. @Thomas Thank you for taking the time to read our blog, and for your constructive comment. Currently, we’ve chosen to make this sacrifice of convenience for the safety and integrity of your forms. One reason behind this is that Auto-fill is a highly used feature with spam-bot programs and other spamming agents. We definitely understand this would be a useful feature, and we’re sorry that it’s not something we’re currently able to enable on forms in Wufoo.

    Posted 10 months ago by Cody Curry.
  10. @Geoff Not at this time I’m afraid. Since we aren’t able to pre-fill data based on previous entries, or an outside source, the best bet is for the user to fill in their details with each submission. I understand that can be a bit tedious for multiple registrations, however it’s not something our platform is currently able to offer.

    Posted 10 months ago by Cody Curry.
  11. I am trying to send an email receipt to the user/buyer when the payment was completed (not on submitting the form). The Forms settings/payment integration part does not show me the check box to send email receipts.

    Refer: http://wufoo.com.mx/2015/06/01/4-steps-to-email-greatness/

    Can somebody help why the option is not available under my account?

    Posted 10 months ago by Parthi.
  12. I guess Thomas speaks for us all, please let us opt out from this option

    Posted 9 months ago by Jessica.
  13. @Thomas & Jessica This is definitely an understandable position, and it’s certainly worth while to let us know when you see something that needs improvement. While we don’t have plans to make updates to allow autocomplete currently, I’m happy to draw attention to these comments and discuss this with our product development team. Thank’s again, your input is appreciated!

    Posted 9 months ago by Cody Curry.
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