Sending bulk email invites to your respondents

Last Updated: Apr 03, 2019 09:11PM CET
The email invitation feature allows you to invite your respondents to fill your form through their email addresses. This feature is used for sharing your form faster, tracking submissions, preventing duplicate submissions and also bulk prefilling also known as Dynamic Prefilling. There is also an option to make each invite sent to each individual unique for the individual, such that an email invite cannot​ be used to fill out the form more than once.

The steps below will show you how to successfully invite your respondents using the Email Invitation feature:​
  1. Sign up or sign in to the Formplus application.
  2. Create your form and save the form you have created. 
  3. Head over to the Share page of this form.​​
 

4. Select the Email Invitation tab from the left navigation bar of the Settings page. This will display a page with an “Invite Respondents” button.
5. Click on this "Invite Respondents" button to display two options;
  i.
Send out email invitations to respondents- Select this option if you want to send out the email invite without prefilling any field on the form.
  ii. Send out email invitations to respondents and prepopulate form with existing data - Select this option if you intend to populate some of the form fields before sending out invites.
If you have selected the first option (i) on the Email Invitation page, i.e Send out email invitations to respondents, the sections as shown in the image below will be displayed on your Email Invitation page.




 

A. Add Contacts
This is the first step to sending out an invite email, regardless of the option you have chosen. This is the stage where you add the contact of the respondents you will like to send an email invite to.

To add your contacts (your respondent contacts): you can manually input your respondent's data in the space provided under the “Paste your Data” column, upload a CSV file of your contact or import existing contact. Learn more about importing existing contact here.

On the “Add contacts” section, You can add more than one data in the space provided so that the extra data you have added can be used in the other steps of the feature. Example, you can include data in this format - support@formpl.us, 2015550123, 24. These extra data are represented as additional data1, additional data2 respectively. 

Things to note about the Add Contacts step:

  • You can only add a maximum of 10 data column in a single response row.
  • When uploading data as CSV, headers (i.e column titles) should not be included in the file as this will throw an error when trying to upload the file.
  • The email address of your respondents should be the first data in all contact rows.
  • Each data for a contact should be separated by a comma (,).
  • Individual contacts should be separated by a new line.
  • If you do not have additional contact data, you can include only email addresses. Each email address should be on a new line.
  • The data you have inserted in different columns can be used in composing the email message. This is better explained in the next step/section of this feature.
  • You can only use one option in this stage. This means that you can either paste your data, Upload contacts as CSV, or Import existing contacts. You can not take up two options in this stage. However, if you choose to import your contacts from existing contacts, you can add more contacts from the Manage Contacts section of your dashboard before importing.

After you have added your contacts, click on the next button and head over to compose your message.
 

B. Compose Message

This is the stage/section where you compose the message which will be sent out to your respondents. The Image below shows the different segments of this stage.

                                         

  1. All Recipients - This shows a small part of your contact details added in the previous step (i.e all email addresses to receive the email invite). To view the whole list of recipients, click on the View all button below the displayed contact as shown in the image above.

  2. Sender Name- This indicates the name of the person sending the email. The default sender name is "your account email address via Formplus invite" e.g Support@formpl.us via Formplus invite. However, you can edit sender name to a more suitable name e.g your organization name.

  3. Reply to Email - This shows the email address a reply to the email invite will be sent to. The default email address is the email address associated with your Formplus account. However, you can redirect the reply to the email invite to another email address by editing the email address in the box provided below the “Reply to Email” sentence to a preferred email address.

  4. Subject - This is the title of your email invite. The default email subject is “You have been invited to fill a form”. You can edit this by clearing the default subject and input your preferred subject.

  5. Composing message - This is the message that will be displayed in the email invite. Composing this message is similar to composing an autoresponder message. You also get to use the additional data you have added in the previous stage to compose your message

  6. Click on the next button at the bottom right of the page to go to the next step. You can also go to the previous column - Add Contact by clicking on the “Previous” button.
     

C. Send

Getting to this step means you were successful with the previous two steps. You can then send your messages once you are sure the message is good to be delivered to your respondents,
At this stage you can perform the following actions;

 



 
  1. See the details of your message such as - Sender Name, Reply to Email, Subject of the message. If you are not satisfied with any, you can always go back (using the previous button) to edit them.
  2. You can preview your message before sending it out by clicking on the preview button as shown above.
  3. Make submission unique when you toggle the switch below Allow unique submission this will prevent your respondents from filling the form more than once. Switchng this button on (green) sends allows for unique submission i.e respondents can not fill the form more than once, while turning it off (grey) disables unique submission, allowing respondents to fill out the form as many times as possible.
  4. See a copy of the email invite when you toggle on the switch below the sentence Enable if you want to receive a test invite email. With this, a copy of the email invitation will be sent to your email address or any email you have inputted and you can see a copy of the email invite just as a respondent would.
  5. Save the invite to be sent later by clicking on the Save for Later button if you do not wish to send out the email invitation immediately.
  6. Click on the Send Now button once you are ready to send out the email invitation to your respondents.

The steps/ stages listed above shows how to send out email invitation if you do not wish to prepopulate or dynamically prefill the form with data. However, if you wish to prepopulate data, then you will need to select the second option (ii) displayed when you click on the Invite Respondents button, which is the Send out email invitations to respondents and prepopulate form with existing data option. Learn more on how to prepopulate/prefill form without email invitation here.



Selecting this option displays all the steps as seen and described above including an additional step known as the Pre-populate stage as seen in the image below. For this option (ii), the prepopulate stage is the next stage after you have added your respondents' contacts (After the Add Contacts step). This column allows you add values to fields in the form for your respondent such that these values are displayed on the fields when your respondents view the form through the invite email and hence do not need to fill out these fields again, thereby saving time when filling the form.

 



The data you added in the "Add Comtacts" step will be required in this step, as this is what will be used to pre-populate fields. The steps below show how to prepopulate a form field at this stage of creating your email invite:

  1. Locate the select box below Select contact data to map with field . Click on this select box to display a list of the contact data column you have inputted in the previous step. Select the column you will like its data to be attached/mapped to a field e.g Selecting Email address means that all the email addresses on the list have been selected.
  2. Locate the select box below Select field to prefill . Click on this select box to display a list of the fields on your form which can be used for mapping. Select your preferred field which will be mapped with the contact data column you have chosen in step 1. E.g If you have selected an email address in step 1, you can select an email field from the list of fields on your form to which the email address will be attached to so that email address will be displayed on email fields when respondents view your form.
  3. Click on the +Add map button to map your selected data to the chosen field. You can see the result of the data mapped to a field above as shown in the image above.
  4. Click on the Next button to move on the next step/stage which is the Compose Message stage. This stage has been described above.
Ps - The data mapping as described above should only be done once for a row of contact and every other contact details on the Add Contact stage will automatically take the format you have put in place for the first contact. ​You can map as many contact data column as you have included in your "Add Contacts" stage.

After you have sent the email invite, you can see the status of the invite when you click on the View Email invite history. From here: You can see if your respondent has filled out the form, the date the form was submitted. You can also hide this option using the hide button. See image below.


 

Please note that users on the Starter plan can only send out 300 email invites per month. On the Professional plan, users can send out 1000 email invites per month, while users on the Enterprise plan can send out unlimited number of email invites.