Form Action Automation

Knowledge BaseExtend Formidable FormsAdd Ons → Form Action Automation

Use the Form Action Automation add-on to schedule your form notifications, API actions, and Twilio SMS messages. Each entry can have its very own set of scheduled form actions.

Download and install

  1. Download the latest version of the Form Action Automation add-on.
  2. In your WordPress admin, go to 'Plugins' → 'Add New' and click the 'Upload Plugin' button at the top of the page.
  3. Upload the zip file you just downloaded in step one. Once the plugin is installed, click 'Activate Plugin' or go to the 'Plugins' page, find 'Formidable Autoresponder' and click 'Activate'.
  4. In your WordPress admin, go to 'Formidable' → 'Global Settings' → 'Plugin Licenses' and add your license key.

Set up a form action

  1. Create a new form or go into edit an existing form.
  2. Go into your form's Settings → Form Actions. Set up an email notification or a Twilio text.
  3. Click the 'Setup Autoresponder' link. This will reveal all of the settings that you'll need to configure.
    Setup Form Action Automation
  4. The first setting you'll see is a dropdown allowing you to ignore or respect the 'Trigger this action after' setting in the form action. By default, the Form Action Automation will ignore this setting. This means that when an entry is created (and/or updated, deleted or saved as a draft depending on your settings) the form action will not be triggered. The form action will ONLY be triggered when the form action tells it to send. If you 'Respect' the setting, then the notification will send whenever the 'Trigger this action after' event occurs AND when the form action tells it to send.
    Form Action Automation Ignore/Respect
  5. Determine when your form actions should trigger. Set the number of years, months, days, hours, or minutes after the entry creation date, update date, or a date entered in your form. This determines when the initial form action will be triggered. If you use a date field from your form as the reference date, you can actually set the form action automation to send some amount of time before the entered date.
    Form Action Automation Send Notification
  6. You can also choose to repeat the mailer by checking the "…and then every" checkbox. This will allow you to specify the number of years, months, days, hours or minutes to wait to trigger the form action again.
    Form Action Automation Then Every...
    You can also use a Number field from your form to specify the number of years, months, days, hours, or minutes to wait to trigger the form action again.
    Form Action Automation Then Every...with Number
  7. Lastly, you can set a maximum number of times that the form action will be triggered.
    Form Action Automation Max

Reading the current queue

Once you have a form action set up, every entry that is submitted will be added into the current queue. There is a current queue for each form action that has the automation set up. You can view the current queue by going to the form action in question.
Delete Scheduled Automation
If you would like to remove an entry from the queue before the email notification or text is sent, you can click the trash can to the right of the entry, as seen below.
Delete Scheduled Automation from Queue

Examples

Create a weekly text reminder

One thing that most people have to do every week is take the trash out. You can follow these instructions to learn how to send users a weekly reminder text to take out the trash.

  1. First, create a form. We'll name it Weekly Trash Reminder.
  2. Add a Date Field for users to select their trash day.
  3. Add a Phone Number field and then update your form. It should look something like the image below.
    Form Action Automation Weekly Form
  4. Go into the form's Settings → Form Actions and click on the Twilio icon. Please note that you must have the Twilio add-on installed.
  5. Insert your Phone Number field ID in the To box.
  6. Insert your Twilio phone number into the From box. If it is an international number, you must include the country code.
  7. Customize the message that you would like to be sent via text.
  8. Click the 'Setup Autoresponder' link.
  9. Set up the form action automation to send '5 hours before your Date field' and then 'every 7 days after that'. This way, they will get the text at 7pm the night before trash pickup.
    Weekly Form Action Automation
  10. Lastly, update your form settings. Now you have a form that will send users a reminder text at 7PM (for your site's timezone) the evening before trash day.

Create a yearly email

That are many instances where sending an email reminder might be helpful from wishing someone happy birthday to reminding someone it's time to get a health screening. For this example, we will be sending out a Happy Birthday email. Follow these simple instructions to learn how to set up your own yearly email notification.

  1. First, create a form with a date field (for the user's birthday) and an Email field (so that we know where the email is going).
    Yearly Form Action Automation
  2. Next, go into your form's Settings → Form Actions and customize your Email Notification. If you need help customizing your email notification, you can review the email instructions.
    Yearly Form Action Automation Email
  3. Click the 'Setup Autoresponder' link.
  4. Set the notification to send '8 hours after your Date field' and then 'every 1 year after that'. This way, they will get the email notification at 8am on their birthday each year (if they are in your site's timezone).
    Yearly Form Action Automation
  5. Lastly, update your form settings. Now you have a form that will automatically send users a birthday email!

Send reminder until status is updated

This example will send a reminder email, using the Form Action Automation, until a status field is updated. This is particularly helpful if you have a form that gets submitted and another user needs to approve the entry. Follow the instructions below to set up a reminder based on conditional logic.

  1. Create a form or go into edit an existing form.
  2. If needed, add a Dropdown or Radio field and name it 'Status'. Then, you can set the choices to 'Approved', 'Pending' or any other choices you would like to use. Save your form.
    Form Action Automation Status Example Field
  3. Go into the form's Settings → Form Actions and create an email notification.  If you need help customizing your email notification, you can review the email instructions. For the email, we would set it to Trigger this action after Create & Update.
    Form Action Automation Status Trigger
  4. Add conditional logic to your Email Notification so that the email sends if the Status field is 'Pending'. This will make it so that the form action only sends if the status field is still set to 'Pending'.
    Form Action Automation Status Conditional Logic
  5. Click the 'Setup autoresponder' link and configure your automation settings. For this example, we would set up the Form Action Automation to 'Ignore' the email notification above and trigger the form action 7 days after the Create Date of the entry, and every 7 days after that.
    Form Action Automation Status Example

Send all entries in a Weekly Email

Is managing emails for every entry too much to manage? You can set up a digest of all entries for the day, week, or month.

  1. First, let's create the content for your email. You'll need a view for this. You can format the view however you'd like, but some email providers are picky about what styling they will use. It might be best to use a table. Click here for more detail on setting up your view. Any CSS you add will need to be inline (i.e. style="color:#666666").
  2. Now you've got a view setup that shows all entries in your form. Next, let's filter it down. You'll want to filter by the Entry Creation Date. Something like:
    Entry Creation Date is greater than first day of last month
    or maybe Entry Creation Date is greater than Sunday this week
  3. Next we'll need to send it out. Create a new form for handling the automated actions.
  4. Add a date field to this form to select the day you would like the digest email to start. Add any other fields to the form that you would like to change. This may include a field for the email recipient, ID of the view, or a number field for the repetition span.
  5. Go to the form's Settings → Form Actions and customize the email notification. Replace the default message with your view shortcode.
  6. Click the 'Setup Autoresponder' link.
  7. Set the notification to send '1 minute after your Date field' and then 'every 1 week after that'. This way, the email notification will send right after midnight each week, and include all the right submissions.
  8. Bonus: With a scheduled email like this, you'll want to be sure it comes at the right times in order to not miss entries. By default, WordPress fires off the wp-cron when your site is visited. We recommend adding a real cron to your site to trigger hourly or daily. You may need to find instructions from your host, but here's a good start from SiteGround.

Delete Entry after 30 Days with API

Sometimes, it may be helpful to use the Formidable API to edit your entries after some time has passed. Follow these instructions to learn how to automatically delete entries after 30 days has passed. Note: This example requires the Formidable API add-on.

  1. Create a form or go into edit an existing form and go into the form's Settings → Form Actions and create an API notification.
    Form Action Automation - API Delete Setup
  2. We will set the Notification URL to the following:
    [siteurl]/wp-json/frm/v2/entries/[id]
  3. Next, enter your API Key into the 'Basic Authentication' field. You can find your API Key in your Formidable Global Settings → API.
    Form Action Automation - API Delete Basic Authentication
  4. Now, we will set the method to 'DELETE'.
  5. Now that the API Notification is setup, we will set up the Form Action Automation. Click the 'Setup autoresponder' link and configure your automation settings. For this example, we would set up the Automation to 'Ignore' the action above and trigger the form action 30 days after the Create Date of the entry.
    Form Action Automation - API Automation
  6. Lastly, update your form settings.

Change Entry with API

You may find that changing an entry after a certain date passes is helpful in certain situations. In our example below, we have a form that allows users to create an event and set the date of the event. All new events have Status field set to 'Active'. The API & Form Action Automation will be used to change the Status to 'Closed' after the set date has passed.  Note: This example requires the Formidable API add-on.

  1. Create a form or go into edit an existing form and go into the form's Settings → Form Actions and create an API notification.
    Form Action Automation - API Change Setup
  2. We will set the Notification URL to the following:
    [siteurl]/wp-json/frm/v2/entries/[id]
  3. Next, enter your API Key into the 'Basic Authentication' field. You can find your API Key in your Formidable Global Settings → API.
    Form Action Automation - API Change Basic Authentication
  4. We will now set up the key and value that we want to be changed. For the key, we will use the Field Key of the field you want to update. For the Value, you can put in any value you would like.
    Form Action Automation - API Change Key | Value
  5. Now, we will set the method to 'PATCH'.
  6. Now that the API Notification is setup, we will set up the Form Action Automation. Click the 'Setup autoresponder' link and configure your automation settings. For this example, we would set up the Form Action Automation to 'Ignore' the action above and trigger the form action 1 days after the Event Date of the entry.
    API Automation
  7. Lastly, update your form settings.

Troubleshooting

If you are having trouble with the Form Action Automation, you can turn on debugging. This will create a log file created for every form action that the Form Action Automation triggers. NOTE: All log files will be located in the wp-content/uploads/formidable-autoresponder/logs/ folder.

To turn on debugging, simply check the option for "Turn debug on" on update your form.
Automation Turn on Debug
Once there are log files to see, you can click on them to View the log files, or click on the trash can to the right of the log file to delete it.
Automation View Debug Log

If you have tried using our debugging tools and are still having trouble, feel free to create a ticket in our help desk.

Change Default Time

This example changes the default time that the Form Action Automation will respond when it is responding in x days, months or years before or after a static date. The default is for it to respond at midnight on said static date. This example would change the default time to 10 AM.

add_filter( 'frm_autoresponder_time', 'change_default_autoresponder_time', 10, 2 );
function change_default_autoresponder_time( $time, $args ) {
  $time = '10:00:00';
  return $time;
}