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We get a lot of requests here to build survey tools. However, as much as we love the calls to develop our own application, it certainly appears to be an uphill battle when powerful form-builders like Wufoo are doing the job exceptionally well already. What’s better, Wufoo synchronizes quite happily with Campaign Monitor and you can even conditionally add signups to your subscriber list. What’s not to love?

In this article, we’ll look at how you can optimize your surveys to play swell with your email campaigns. Finally, we’ll look at inventive uses for Wufoo forms.

Why should I be using Wufoo for surveys?

Well, I’ve scoped out a couple of survey apps in my time doing gumshoe work as an email marketer and I can confidently say Wufoo is one of the most pleasurable to work with.

Sure, Wufoo isn’t for everyone – it doesn’t have the sort of “If Question x is y, then skip to Question z” -type logic that many marketers consider to be essential. Plus, the in-app humor and toy-shop color scheme may not give it the appearance of a serious tool, but hear it out – it is. Depending on your pricing plan, you can collect up to 100,000 entries a month, have up to 60 users manage your account and even securely process payments. Plus its Report Manager not only does a great job at crunching the results, but downright looks good.

How can I get my email campaign to play nice with Wufoo?

Once you’ve created a survey

, here are some simple techniques to help you make the most out Wufoo’s features:

Conditionally sync entries with your subscriber list

Using Notifications, you can sync the names and email addresses collected from your Wufoo form with your Campaign Monitor subscriber list. What’s better, you can do so conditionally, meaning that subscribers are required to tick an opt-in box before they get added to your list. There’s your permission troubles put to rest in one – pretty cool, hey?

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Automatically populate fields with subscriber info

If you’re pointing your subscribers to a Wufoo survey, there’s no point getting them to fill in information that you already have on record, like their email address. The good news is that Wufoo allows you to dynamically populate forms. Say you have an ’email address’ field and a ‘Favorite widget’ custom field in your subscriber list. To embed these values into your email, you would use some code like this:

Hi, friend! Your email address is [email] and your favorite widget is a [Favoritewidget, fallback=gewgaw].

In your sent campaign, this would look something like:

Hi, friend! Your email address is widgets@widgetfan.com and your favorite widget is a detector.

So far, so good, right? To pass these values on to your form, Wufoo uses a technique called URL modification. Using Wufoo’s API information, you can link fields in your subscriber list to fields in your survey form. Here’s an example of a link that allows you to do just that:

To take our survey, <a href="http://youraccount.wufoo.com/forms/
yourform/def/field123=[email]&field456=[Favoritewidget, fallback=gewgaw]">click here</a>

Where field123 and field456 are defined in your API information. When you click on the link, you will see that your ‘Your favorite widget is a:’ and ‘Email:’ fields have already been filled:

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Use hidden fields for email addresses and tracking

So you may be thinking, “If I have this information on file, then why display it at all?”. Going back to our previous example, lets say that we wanted to add your subscribers’ email addresses to your survey for tracking purposes, but hide the email address field. No problem. The link would remain in the same format:

To take our survey, <a href="http://youraccount.wufoo.com/forms/
yourform/def/field123=[email]">click here</a>

In Wufoo, simply go to your Form Builder, and add ‘hide’ to ‘Add CSS Layout Keywords’ in your Email field:

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Just like that, your email field vanishes into thin air (well, not really):

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However the email addresses passed to the form will still be recorded by Wufoo.

Inventive uses for Wufoo

Now you’ve mastered some of the techniques in setting up an email-friendly survey, what else can you do with Wufoo? Here are two suggestions:

Alternative signup forms

If you’re only interested in populating your subscriber list with names and email addresses, an embedded or standalone Wufoo form is an elegant way to collect signups and perhaps a little more information on the side. Here’s an example of a competition signup form:

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Note that we’ve added an opt-in checkbox to this form – if the “I wish to receive ABC Widgets’ monthly email newsletter” checkbox has been defined as a signup condition, the person’s details won’t be synced with your subscriber list unless its been ticked.

Exit surveys

We’re often asked to add optional ‘Why did you unsubscribe?’ -type surveys to our one-click unsubscribe process. In so much as we don’t believe in making the act of unsubscribing any longer than instant for your subscribers, there’s nothing wrong with including an exit survey in, or as your unsubscribe confirmation page:

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If this sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve blogged about it before – give this post a read for inspiration on how to say sayonara with style.

Wufoo and Campaign Monitor are a great match if you’re looking for a quick and simple way to create a survey and collect email signups. Let us know about your experiences with Wufoo and other survey apps – sometimes the right tool for the job is right under your nose.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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