20 Feb

Why website forms are important and how we make sure you aren’t missing customers

Forms and Notifications.

For most people their website is their main point of contact. People can easily find it; it’s open 24 hours a day and it’s where most people will go to find out about a place, brand or person. As such contact forms and the notifications they send are very important to our clients (and therefore us). It’s worth reading a little bit about them so you understand how clients, customers or other important contacts might try to contact you.

Jump straight to the What do clients need to do section 


For forms and notifications we use an industry standard plugin called Gravity Forms. It’s used by millions of websites and has a 5 star rating. It is also one of the most secure form systems available as well as meeting accessibility guidelines.

How Forms Work

When you create a form you are doing two things:

  1. Creating a form with questions you want people to answer
  2. Creating a table where those answers will be stored

You can then add that form (using its ID) onto any page on the website. This means:

  • You can add it to more than one page
  • All of the entries go into one table
  • We can also connect forms to CRMs like Mailchimp
  • To do this we create a Mailchimp Feed which tells Gravity forms how the fields in the form match up with the fields in your Mailchimp audience
  • We also use tags to keep track of when & where that person added their email address to our contact list


Gravity Forms will also send Notifications

  • A notifications is an email that gets sent when someone fills out a form
  • This is normally so that a sales or customer service colleague can see when someone makes contact and then deal with the response
  • As such, notifications are normally sent to a customer service address such as hello@yourwebsite.com

Organising your Notifications

  • Notifications can be simple. Just tell it where you want the email to go; and it’ll send you a copy of the form seconds after the form is submitted
  • Each form can have a different notification. That means you can send sales enquiries to the sales team and customer service questions to a support team
  • Notifications can also be smart. This is called conditional logic i.e. if this; do this. For example:
    • If they have ticked the box that says they are interested in buying; send it to the sales team
    • If they have ticked the box that says they are offering a service; send it to procurement
    • If they tick both; send it to both

Plan it out

  • Before you start creating boxes, forms and notifications; it’s worth stepping away from the Plugin and thinking about the process.
  • This means, for each form thinking:
    • Who will fill it out e.g. a local resident
    • Why will they submit it e.g. they want to report a faulty street-light
    • Who needs to pick up that request e.g. maintenance team
    • What information do they need e.g. what is the problem, where is it located

Making sure the emails are received

  • Notifications can end up in your spam or junk folder
  • This is because when it sends notifications, your website is pretending to be your email-server.
  • Spam filters see that it’s not your mail server and think it’s junk.
  • They don’t know you’ve given it permission to send emails on your behalf.
  • We solve this using an SMTP service.
  • We can connect this service domain so that spam-filters can see it has permission to send emails on your behalf.
  • This means emails are much less likely to disappear into someone’s junk or spam folder.
  • To do this we need to add some code (a digital permission slip) to your domain records.
  • If your domain isn’t managed by us, you’ll need to put us in touch with whoever manages your DNS records. This is normally your IT support team.

The most important part…

What do clients need to do?

Simply answer the following questions for each form

  • Who will be filling it out?
  • What do they want?
  • Who will pick it up? (Email address please)
  • What information do they need?
  • Does anyone else need to be informed?
  • Do you manage your DNS?
    • Yes: Great we’ll send you some records to add
    • No: That’s okay; put us in touch with the people who do

And remember, if there’s anything you’re not sure about get in touch with our account handler and they can find the right person to answer any questions you have.