Mar07
0

Form Stack and Web Merge – an amazing combination!

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Formstack Logo

Formstack – Online form creation

Form stack provides an easy to use form builder and links to many third party services. You can integrate the form with services like Mailchimp, Constant Contact and even add payment processing to your form. Create surveys, contact forms, contracts and more with this great service!

Webmerge Logo

Webmerge Document Creation

Web Merge is my savior! I was looking for an easy way to take data captured in a website contact form and merge it with a Microsoft Word or PDF document. This is not an easy task, but when you use Web Merge – this difficult task becomes a piece of cake. My life will never be the same!


Formstack and Webmerge

What do you get when you cross an amazingly simple to use Form builder like Formstack with the just as amazing service Web Merge?

An incredibly powerful way to save you gobs of money and tons of time!

I discovered these 2 online services when I realized that one of my clients was doing things the hard way, and pissing off his customers at the same time.  You see – this client had an online form his customers could fill out – and like most online forms – it would then email the data to him in a standard email.  The problem was that no one at his office was doing anything with the information!  When a customer would then come into the office, they would have to sit down and fill out a paper version of the form they just spent all that time filling out online.  How frustrating is that?

So I asked my customer, “if I could come up with a way, for a small fee, to take all that form data and integrate it into your service agreements, would you be interested in that?”   Of course he said yes and so my adventure began to find a solution.

It turns out that this is not an easy task.  There are lot’s of form builders out there that will let you download the data from the database in a .csv format.  This is nice, but it wasn’t really the solution that I was looking for.

I wanted a way to merge the online form data with the paper forms and email my client a filled out and signed PDF document

 

After searching high and low, I stumbled upon Web Merge – which lead me to Formstack.

 

How much to merge web forms with paper forms?

The real way to look at this is from an angle of how much will automating your forms save you?  When you look at all the man hours, paper costs, customer time etc involved in filling out forms the old way – it really adds up.

The price for the silver (entry level) package on Formstack is $39 per month

The price for the entry level package on Web Merge is $29 per month

Grand total to automate the merging of online form data with your paper forms and output them as a PDF? $68 per month.

Full Disclosure:  There are cheaper online form services out there but I highly recommend you use Formstack.  Their support was outstanding and their service was the easiest to integrate with Web Merge.

I tried 123ContactForms and after 4 days of troubleshooting why their service would not send the captured signature to WebMerge (they were just sending a “yes” or “no”) – they told me that it would be “custom work” to “code” the webhook to work that way. On the other hand, it took me 15 minutes to setup a test form and send the signature to Webmerge using Formstack. I told 123Contactforms this and gave them plenty of opportunity to save my business but in the end their support was slow and their online documentation was old and outdated.

Form Stack Learning Curve:

I am a very techie person, and I will admit, there is a little bit of a learning curve to integrate things like calculating fields, merging, styling and other things that you will inevitably want to do with your form.  However, the documentation on Form Stack is superb and their support is outstanding.

Web Merge Learning Curve:

It was surprisingly easy to integrate the merge capabilities of Web Merge with Formstack.  Jeremy was very prompt and helpful with his support and even helped me try to get 123 Contact Forms to work.  We did a lot of trouble shooting and in the end I decided to switch to Formstack.

(here’s a video I threw together showing Formstack and Webmerge in action)

If you need any help with either of these services, don’t hesitate to reach out.  I’d be happy to provide you with a quote to setup your form and get it working right.

About the Author

Chad Musgrove is the owner, janitor, receptionist, book keeper, website developer and internet marketer of Pro AD Insight. PAI is a website design and internet marketing company specializing in providing the small business owner with amazing websites and top notch pay per click advertising at incredibly low prices. Contact Chad today to learn how he can help you with your website.

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