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Act-On Software

Form Composer User Guide


In Act-On, the forms you create are the workhorses of your system. It's easy to create forms for registrations, surveys, and more. You can include links in online ads to capture new leads or include links in email messages for webinar registrations or surveys.

Post forms on your website that redirect to document downloads, automatic response emails, and alerts to salespeople. You can link form fields to lead scoring, so that important data is included in lead profiles and in CRM contacts.

There's a lot to know about forms. This article explains the basics about how to generate, use, and track a form using Act-On.

To reach the new form builder, navigate to:

  • Content > Forms
  • Click the blue + button
  • Choose to create a form using either a New Form from scratch or a Template Form from a previously created form. 

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Form Properties

Provide a title and a optional description containing 150 characters or fewer. Use terms that will help you easily identify the form and its purpose. This will be useful as you build a library of forms that you reuse. The description will be visible when hovering over the form title in the form listing.

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Type a list name to create a new list or choose an existing list to add leads to by clicking the list icon. 

Once you've created the new Form Submissions list, you'll notice a checkbox called Always Append. By default, this feature is disabled. By keeping it disabled, the Act-On form will allow duplicate submissions based on the email address; however, Act-On will simply update the previous form submission with the new form submission. For example, if submitted the form twice, the form submission list will overwrite the first submission with the information from the second submission.  

Enable the Always Append feature to allow duplicate submissions based on email addresses. For example, if submitted the form twice, the form submission list will contain two entries for and treat them as unique submissions.

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In the Response Page area you choose what the user will experience after they submit a form. There are four options:

  • Redirect to URL – You can insert a URL or the URL of any media download and the user will be directed to it once their form has been submitted.
  • Landing Page – You can direct the user to an Act-On landing page you have created.
  • Classic Form – You can direct users to another Act-On form you have created. This is ideal for creating a multi-page questionnaire or survey.
  • Fragment Block - You can direct users to a content fragment block.
  • Text - Display a Rich Text message. Once selected a WYSIWYG editor will appear. 

You can also have a confirmation email sent to the user after they submit the form. One example might be to provide additional information to someone who registered for an event or to provide a document download to fulfill an offer made in the form for submission.

  • To create a new confirmation email, click the + sign and you will be redirected to the email composer.

Using Suppressed Domains allows you to reject form submissions from domains listed in the Domains Suppression List. When used, any form submitter using an email address with a domain that matches the domains in the Domain Suppression List will not be added to the Sign Up List and the submitter can be redirected to any URL, Act-On Landing Page, or form.

Select this option to place a limit on the number of people who can submit a form, such as a registration for an event. Once the limit is reached, users can be redirected to any URL, Act-On Landing Page, or form you define.

If this is left blank, the form will not expire. You can fill in an expiration date, and a URL redirect page, Act-On Landing Page, or alternate form that will be served instead of the form after expiration.

Fill in email addresses for those individuals who you want to be notified when a form is submitted. The email alert will contain all the form submission data for reference. You can also choose to send alerts submitted by a visitor that is in a Sales User's territory or owned by the user.

CRM Settings lets you set the system to automatically push submission data into your CRM. It is important that your form fields map to your CRM fields; the labels must be the same, including spelling and punctuation (watch out for variations such as 'e-mail' and 'email'). If, based on the email address, a respondent does not already exist as an entry in your CRM database, Act-On will capture the person's data as a lead. When selecting the checkbox to Push Signup Data to (name of CRM here) when someone submits this form, additional options will appear. The options you see depend on which CRM you use.

  • Overwrite existing Signup Data... – This option directs Act-On to find the existing record in your CRM database and overwrites its data with the form submission data. If you don’t want all fields to be updated, you can specify only certain fields to be overwritten by selecting Use signup list’s push settings to select fields.
  • Add a Note to... – When selected, Act-On will automatically document the user's activity history to note that this specific form was submitted.
  • Push to CRM – This option will push every form submission to your CRM as a new record, even when there is already a matching lead or contact with that email address,

Select this to post the form’s submission data to another URL; just enter the external URL here.

Sections are used to house the content of your form as well as format the layout. All content added to your form will need to be placed within a section.

Think of each section as a separate row and within each one you can add up to 12 columns of content, creating a responsive grid that scales on the fly depending on the device or screen size being used.

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To add a new section, click and drag the New Section block onto your form.

To edit either column or row settings:

  • Hover over the page section you will see the controls appear.
  • Click the Gear icon above the section to edit column settings.
  • Click the Gear icon on the right of the section to edit row settings.
  • To add additional rows, click the icon below the Gear. You can add up to 12 columns in each empty section.

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If you have already created a section that you would like to reuse, drag the Saved Section block onto your form and choose the section you would like.

The Rich Text block is the most versatile block in the form builder. You can input text, insert images, link to documents, forms, and websites, create tables, and much more. Click the block to access the Rich Text Editor inside the text block. Three rows of standard text editing icons help you customize your text. Six additional Act-On-specific icons assist you in accessing links to Act-On materials, insert personalization fields, and create layout structures for complex content.

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The Image block provides access to your Images library and allows you to insert a responsive image along with a description on any side of the image.

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Use the Text block when you want to ask a question.

  • Enter the label and indicate whether the field is required or not by clicking the asterisk in the edit window.
  • Provide a field name by either entering the name or making a selection.
  • Click Validation if input validation is required and complete the information.

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Hidden fields can be used to pass data in the background of the form. For example, the field name could be 'Lead Source', and the field value 'website'. This is useful information in your CRM. When linking the form to an email campaign, make sure the Hidden field has the same column name as your mailing list.

You can pull certain values into your hidden field using the personalization picker:

This magic wand icon will allow you to choose which standard field you would like to pull into your hidden field

Use the Paragraph Text block when you want to ask a question and give people the ability to respond in paragraph format.

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The Combo Box allows you to choose from three variations:

  • The Drop-Down list allows users to make a single selection. If you will use these same selections again in another drop-down list question, select the Save Template option. The next time you insert a drop-down list, simply select Load Template, select the template you wish to use, and your drop-down list, with its choices and corresponding values, will automatically populate.
    • The wording in the Labels field will appear on the form. The wording in the Values field is the data that is pushed into the signup list. Again, indicate whether or not the field is required and provide or select the column name.
    • To display a blank value as the default in a dropdown list, simply leave the topmost "Label" and "Value" fields blank. If the drop-down field is marked as required, the user will be unable to submit their Form until they've made a selection.
  • Radio buttons allow only a single selection and check boxes allow for multiple selections to be made.For both radio buttons and check boxes, first enter a label and then choose either a horizontal or vertical layout ranging from one to four columns.
  • The Checkboxes field allows you to choose how the values are shown in the list.

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Use the Captcha field to help catch spam bot submissions.

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Use the Date block to capture date entries. A variety of date formats and layouts are available.

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The Submit Button is required on all forms and allows you to choose a custom button the user will click to submit the form. Align the button to the left, right, or center, and move the button between content blocks to position it in the location you choose.

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If you already have a content block created that you would like to reuse, you can select it here and drag it into your form.

Form Properties allows you to control the control the overall look and feel of your form.

Layout tab

  • Dimensions - Set the max width of your form.
  • Spacing - Allows you to set the margin and padding of your form.
  • Background - Allows you to set the color or add a background image to your form.
  • Advanced - Toggle the icon to have your form be responsive.

Styling tab

  • Font - Choose from both web fonts and google fonts. Click the Family field to search if you don't see a specific font type listed.
  • Color - Choose the color for both your text and hyperlink colors. 

Validation tab

  • Styling - Choose the color and size of your validation text. 
  • Settings - Click the toggle to validate on blur. 

Field Mapping list columns allows you to tell Act-On which data fields on your form belong in which columns on your list. In this area, you will be presented with a set of columns that may differ depending on whether you are creating a new list or an existing list.

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Either upload a style sheet or paste the CSS into the editor and customize the CSS of the form itself.

  • From the Design tab, click the CSS drop-down.
  • You can either click the Upload icon to upload your style sheet from your computer or click the Folder icon > + sign to insert a style sheet that is already loaded in your Act-On Media Library.
  • You can modify the code as needed directly in the editor. If you need to clear the CSS to load a new style sheet, click the Clear icon.

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After designing your form, you will want to review it for accuracy and make sure it displays correctly on Desktop, Mobile, and Tablets.

From the Review tab you can view how your form renders on desktop, tablet and mobile. Additionally, you will be able to preview both vertical and landscape views for tablet and mobile.

Currently you can publish your form in two ways:

  • Act-On landing page - To do this, navigate to the landing page you would like to use, and use the form block to add it in. The "No CSS" option will exclude all CSS from the form for the selected landing page only.
  • 3rd party landing page - To use your form with a page external to Act-On, you must first add the domain name of that external page to the "External Domains" section located on the Embed tab. Find out more here. Once you've done that, you may copy the embed code and add it to your page. To prevent the form CSS from being applied within that page, select the "No CSS" option prior to copying.
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