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How do I auto-populate a field through a URL in JotForm?  Using JotForm to let your customers update their details in OpenCRM.

Updated: 22 December 2016 09:54:36 OpenCRM::Emails

It is possible to send an email to your Customers that will direct them to a JotForm that already contains some of the details from their Contact record within it. For example, you could use a JotForm like this to ask them to confirm their current address details, which is exactly what the below guide will walk you through doing. 

Prerequisites:

  1. A JotForm Account. Click here to create a free one.
  2. JotForm - OpenCRM integration enabled.  Click here if you're not sure how to do that.
  3. It is important to read this guide from JotForm.

Let's Get Started

Step 1: In JotForm

You will need to create a JotForm with the fields you want your customers to update.  

In addition to the fields that you want them to update, you will need to add a hidden field for their Company Name.  We will need this when we link back to OpenCRM later.  

If you're not sure how to create hidden fields, please see Step 4 of this guide.  You will need to make a note of your new JotForm's ID number.

Step 2: In OpenCRM

Go to your JotForm Settings and click to Create your ield mapping to your new form.  

On the page that loads, start by choosing your module at the top.  This will be Contacts if you are going to email from a Contacts lists, Companies if your are going to send an Email directly from your Companies list etc.

Match up the fields from you Jotform with their reciprocal fields in OpenCRM.  

In the Existing Records column choose "Update If Not Blank".  For your Company Name row, tick the final tick box, "Dupe Check Field" so that OpenCRM known which JotForm submissions relate to which Company.

Step 3: Creating your Bulk Email

You will need to create an Email Template in OpenCRM.  If you're not sure how to do that, please click here.

In your Email Template we are going to add a link to your JotForm that includes merge variables.  What I mean by that is, when you see it in your Email Template it will look very impersonal, but when it is actually sent to a customer, it will be updated as it sends to include their personalised information. We have an FAQ that has all our email merge variables for reference.

When your customers click this link, they will be taken to your JotForm, but instead of seeing a blank form, they will see it pre-populated with their information.  They can then either make changes or leave things as they are.  Either way, when they click Submit, the details on their screen will be sent back to your OpenCRM system.  S

Building your URL 

Here is an example url:

http:// form.jotformeu.com/form/123456789123456789?postcode=$contacts_company_bill_code&companyName=$contacts_company_accountname

JotForm themselves have a whole FAQ on it, but it doesn't include the use of our email merge variables. So let's break this down:

form.jotformeu.com   This part of the link will change depending on which of Jotform's Data Centres you have opted to use.  If you have opted to use their European Data Centre, this part of the link will work fine for you.
form/123456789123456789 The long number of Jotform's Form ID.  This is unique to each form and can be found in their Site and in the JotForm Configuration section of OpenCRM.
? This question mark marks the start of the part of the URL that fills in your form automatically.  Don't forget it!
postcode=  In our example, we are asking customers to check to see if we have the right post code for them, so to keep things simple, in JotForm I called that field "postcode".  So now when I'm building my URL, that's all I need to write here.  If you need to call your field in Jotform something else, just change this bit.
$contacts_company_bill_code This is an OpenCRM Merge Variable.  They will always start with a dollar sign and multiple words will be separated by underscores.  You can find the full (and very long!) list of them here.  If you're not sure about the exact variable you need when you coming to building your own URL, just ask support (Support@opencrm.co.uk) and they will put you on the right track.
& So in the last two steps, we have told JotForm which field we want to add information to and which information to add to it.  We are now going to repeat this two step process for all the fields we need.  Since we only need one more field filling in, we only have two steps to go.  Every time we finish a pair and want to continue with another pair, we need to use an ampersand.
companyName= This is the name of the field in JotForm into which we are placing our customers' Company Name.  This is the hidden field that the customer won't see, but OpenCRM will see when the form is submitted back to us and this is the field that, in this example, we are using to match up our submissions to our customers, so we know who updated what.
$contacts_company_accountname This is just the OpenCRM Merge Variable you would use if you wanted to copy the Name of the Company linked to the Contact you are trying to Email.

  You can also now use Jotforms own URL creation tool, found here http://prepopulate.jotform.io/. Please remember though that you will still need to put the correct merge variables in as mentioned above.  

Some things to remember:

  • This link, when it is processes, could end up with spaces in it, so it isn't enough to just paste this link into your email template, you will need to add it as a Hyperlink.  if you're not sure what I mean by that, this guide will take you through it step by step.
  • This is a normal hyperlink, which means that some special characters will not work.  & for example, in a Company Name, will cause unexpected behaviour in your link.  This is just something to watch out for.

Ready to Go

With all that in place, you can save your Email Template and we can send some tests.  The easiest way to test things like this is just to create a Contact and a Company with your Email Address, then send this email a couple of times until you have tweaked your email template and your JotForm URL.

When you actually send your email template to your new contact, your JotForm URL will go from looking like this:

http://form.jotformeu.com/form/123456789123456789?postcode=$contacts_company_bill_code&companyName=$contacts_company_accountname

to something more like this:

http://form.jotformeu.com/form/123456789123456789?postcode=dl9%204qn&companyName=OpenCRM

And if you follow your new link from your the email in your inbox, instead of being taken to your blank JotForm, you should be taken to one that is already filled in and just needs confirming.

 

These un-merged links can be very powerful.  You could ask all of your customers to double opt-in to a new newsletter to fulfil regulatory requirements.  You could ask your customers to update their addresses regularly to make sure that invoices always go to the right person, or to confirm and update their current areas of interest with you, all with a simple form.

 

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