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Creating an HTML Form Autoresponder email with results of the form inserted

Posted on 2013-11-22
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I would like the email that the user receives after completing a web form to have the same visual form that was on the web BUT with the answers in the form.
To be clearer, the email would look like the form from the web but with the answers inserted  So for example, instead of a blank field for the name in the web form, the email would have the form field with the name it that was entered on the web.  Instead of the blank radio buttons that was on the web form, the email would have the form with the chosen radio button selected.   Again the body of the email would look like the web form but with the users’ selections in the form.
Is this possible and how?
Thanks.
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Question by:b1dupree
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COBOLdinosaur earned 500 total points
ID: 39670608
Trying to do HTML email will produce results about as reliable as the weather.  Some user block anything but text,  Every mail client has different levels of support and depending on filtering you may end up in the spam folder.

That said this matrix will help you see what issues you will have to deal with:
http://www.campaignmonitor.com/css/

Cd&
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39670644
What you want Used to be a good idea except...  Any form you put up that sends email to external users will be used to spam as many people as possible until you take it down.  Or your web host shuts you down.

I have done what you are suggesting using PHP but only to send to the web site owner.  It's a lot of detailed work recreating the form and variables in an HTML email.
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 39670658
I'm with COBOLdinosaur on this one.
Is this possible ...
Maybe
... and how?
With hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of detailed cross-browser, cross-email research projects.  The problem you'll find is that there are no standards for email rendering software.  You may be able to get close on some systems, but you'll quickly get pulled off into the spam filter funhouse.  Or you'll find that hotmail.com will not accept any email that comes from a web site.  Email is a black hole for thankless and dreary work.  That's why services like Constant Contact make so much money -- they make a full time job of making sure email goes through, looks right, etc.  But they have tens of thousands of customers who pay them every month.  If you take on this task yourself, you will have one customer who pays you nothing and is a cost center.

Maybe consider Constant Contact?  It would be a lot easier than trying to do it yourself!
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Author Comment

by:b1dupree
ID: 39670676
Does Constant Contact do forms?
If yes, could they create a complex HTML email autoresponder with the visual form results?
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 39670714
I believe that Constant Contact can help with forms, and they have extensive templating capabilities for the emails.  Plus there is a free trial. They don't pay me to say this, I pay them.  Happy customer since 2008.
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