Using a form on your website to let visitors contact you, order products, or subscribe to a newsletter is an accessible and easy way to make all of these actions possible. On the other hand, it's inefficient if you only receive these data (the entries) in your mailbox. In the age of tools and platforms, it's much more efficient should this form send its entries directly to the right tool or platform.
The AppSaloon team prefers using Gravity Forms to create forms. This great tool, combined with our focus on automation, got us thinking… When the user fills out the form, its entries are sent by email, meaning, they end up cluttering someone’s mailbox. One of our clients uses Flexmail to send newsletters. Wouldn't it be great if the subscribers' data could be submitted directly to the Flexmail service?
After some research, we managed to create an add-on to Gravity Forms that made this possible, comparable to many other plugins which make it possible to send form entries to Mailchimp.
Why use Gravity Forms?
With Gravity Forms, it's easy to create unique forms and show them in any location on your website. The WP-admin uses an intuitive interface to create new forms. To embed a form in a page, you can use a block, for example. This block is available in Gutenberg when you install and activate Gravity Forms. By default, new entries are stored in the database. The Gravity Forms interface lets you define who will receive the notification email. Quite often, the notification email contains all the form's data. The mailbox user will need to copy and paste the data into the right platform or tool, in many occasions.
What does Flexmail do?
Flexmail is a Belgian company, that developed an email marketing tool, similar to Mailchimp, to help marketing professionals engage with their audience through newsletters. To review all features, you can take a look at their website.
Flexmail organises newsletter subscribers in a large contact list and allows you to create segments based on certain parameters. Segmentation can also be founded on a custom field related to the contact to make it a more powerful tool. However, this introduces some challenges to create an integration through their API. Luckily, the SOAP API is well-documented!
Let's link them
Gravity Forms provides great documentation on how to extend the plugin with extra features. The GF team developed many add-ons, and also allowed others to do the same. Yet, no add-on was available to link a Gravity Forms form to a Flexmail mailing list. We decided to develop this integration and have several clients use it.
To use its integration with Flexmail, you will need an activated installation of the Gravity Forms plugin. The GF Flexmail add-on can be installed like any plugin in WordPress:
- Go to Plugins > Add New.
- Click Upload Plugin to display the WordPress Plugin upload field.
- Click Choose File to navigate your local file directory.
- Select the WordPress Plugin zip archive you wish to upload and install.
- Click Install Now to install the WordPress Plugin.
- The resulting installation screen will list the installation as successful or note any problems during the installation.
- If successful, click Activate Plugin to activate it, or Return to Plugin Installer for further actions.
Activating the plugin results in an extra section in the Gravity Forms settings page called "Flexmail". The 2 available fields are shown above. The only purpose of these overall settings' fields is to authenticate the add-on actions through the API. The required ID and token can be found in your Flexmail user profile.
Once saved, initiate the integration of your form with Flexmail.
You can set up multiple feeds to fine-tune the distribution of the form data. Every feed can be disabled, if needed, which makes it ideal when using forms for marketing actions, storing the data in Flexmail. We added this field to make it look and feel similar to the Mailchimp integration.
More crucial are the settings to help you with the mapping of the fields. You will find them when editing a Flexmail feed.
The purpose of this form is to let you map the form fields to the matching fields in Flexmail. The first column shows a list of all available fields of a contact in Flexmail. The second column is a list of dropdowns, where every dropdown contains all the available form fields. This mapping makes the integration a very flexible tool.
At the bottom of the screenshot, you can see a label "Conditional Logic", indicating the option to send new data, only when it meets certain criteria. For example, when you create a list only for visitors wanting to participate in surveys.
When combining Gravity Forms with this add-on, you have a perfect combination to collect visitors' data and store them directly in the right location.
If you're interested in our Gravity Forms - Flexmail add-on, please don't hesitate to contact us through our contact form!