WordPress 101: Confirmations & Notifications in Gravity Forms

The following is a tutorial for users of WordPress who have Gravity Forms installed on their site. It is intended as a brief, simple walk through of how to manage the confirmations that are shown after a user submits a form, as well as the emails that are sent to them and administrators. It’s part of my larger WordPress 101 series.

If your website’s WordPress installation has a Forms section, which is also powered by Gravity Forms, this tutorial will show you how to control what is shown to users who submit those forms, both as a message on your website and any emails that may go out to them, or your site’s administrators.

Note that for all of my clients since 2009 who have forms on their website, those are powered by Gravity Forms.

How to Change the Confirmations that are Shown to Users on Your Website after they Submit a Form

example of a gravity forms confirmation message
A sample confirmation message displayed to the user on your website, after they submit a form.
  1. In WordPress, click on the Forms link in the left navigation.
  2. On the resulting page, locate the form you want to work with in the list. Hover over Settings, and then choose Confirmations from the dropdown that appears.
  3. There may be a list of multiple confirmations already setup, or there may just be one. You should be able to find the confirmation you want to work with by looking at the Content column. Click Edit below the forms name to edit this confirmation.
  4. You’ll see a text box with the existing confirmation message. Just edit the text to anything you’d like!

Skip to Email Notifications

Frequently Asked Questions about Confirmations

How can I add links or other HTML formatting to the text?

Gravity Forms doesn’t provide access to the Visual editor that you may be accustomed to using when creating posts and pages in WordPress, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a little formatting to your confirmation messages. Here is a quick “HTML 101” that should be able to get you setup with most of the formatting you’d want.

To add a link to another webpage:

<a href="http://thewebsite.com">your text</a>

Which results in your text

To add a link that sends an email to someone:

<a href="mailto://youremail@yourwebsite.com">youremail@yourwebsite.com</a>

Which results in youremail@yourwebsite.com

To make text bold:

<strong>your text</strong>

Which gives you your text

To italicize text:

<em>your text</em>

And that gives you your text

What about the three options, Text, Page and Redirect?

Text is what I usually set pages up to return. This keeps the user on the same page that they submitted the form, but replaces the form itself with the confirmation message.

Page allows you to select a specific Page in your WordPress site that you’d like to send them to after the form is submitted.

Redirect works in the same way, but allows you to choose any webpage, not just those on your WordPress site.

Both Page and Redirect have even more advanced options, but those aren’t applicable to this WordPress 101 tutorial.

What does Disable Auto-formatting do?

By default, if you hit enter twice and create a new paragraph, Gravity Forms will add in the necessary HTML to make your content look like two separate paragraphs to the user on the front end of the site, too. If you check this box, that doesn’t happen, and all text will appear as one long paragraph.

How to Create and Change Email Notifications that are Sent to Users and Administrators after a Form is Submitted

Aside from the on-screen confirmation, Gravity Forms allows you to send emails to various people once a form is submitted. Here’s how you can control those:

  1. If you’re still on the Confirmations page, just click Notifications. Otherwise go to Forms, find the form you want from the list, hover over Settings and then choose Notifications from the dropdown.
  2. There may be multiple notifications shown. You can either edit one of those by clicking Edit underneath its name, or you can click Add New to create a new notification.
  3. All notifications should be given a Name, which is only for your internal reference. This is the name that will be shown on the previous screen.
  4. The Send to field allows you to control where this notification email will be sent. Enter Email gives you the ability to manually define an email address, so you just type something in like design@clicknathan.com.
    Select a Field gives you the option to send the email out to someone based on what the user enters into a form. So if there’s an email field on the form where they enter their email address (for example), you can choose that field from the resulting dropdown on this page and the notification will be sent to them. This allows you to send an email to users who’ve submitted the form.
    Configure Routing is a more advanced option that allows you to determine who the email will be sent to based on options the user selected while completing the form. For example, you might have a form with a dropdown that allows users to choose something like “What kind of car do you have?” and if they choose “Chevy” from that list, an email goes to chevy@yourwebsite.com, whereas if they choose “Ford”, the email will be sent to ford@yourwebsite.com.
  5. From Name gives you control over the name that will appear when they receive the email in their inbox. It can be your name, your company’s name, or whatever text you’d like.
  6. From Email determines the address that the email will appear to have come from. If {admin_email} is displayed (or entered), then the email address will reflect that listed in WordPress’ Settings > General > E-mail Address field, aka the same address used to send notifications of new comments and user registration.
  7. With the Reply To field, you can change who recipients will email if they hit the reply button in their email client. Useful if you want an email to appear to come from one person in your organization, but have replies go to someone else.
  8. BCC works just as it would when composing an email in your own email client. Enter a comma-separated list of email addresses who will be copied on the email, but not shown to the recipient. Example: tim@mycompany.com, lars@mycompany.com, matt@mycompany.com
  9. Subject is required, and controls the subject line.
  10. Message is the copy that will be sent to them. You can enter {all_fields} to send them a nicely formatted email that simply lists all of the fields from the form and their labels, in a table, or enter in any custom text you want.
  11. Disable Auto-formatting will remove any paragraph breaks you may have created when entering text into the Message field.
  12. Enable Conditional Logic can be checked to determine if the notification should be sent out at all. Leave it unchecked for it to always go out, or you can use the various dropdowns to setup rules as to when the email should be sent. For example, you might have a contact form on your site which has two options, “General Inquiry” and “Emergency!”. If someone selects, “General Inquiry”, your receptionist might get the email notification, but if they select “Emergency!”, a particular notification might be sent off to your support team.

Also note that with both Confirmations and Notifications, you can use the little a small icon indicating more options icon to insert data from your form into any field it’s displayed next to. So while composing your message you could insert a person’s first name (if you ask for it in the form) somewhere or their address, etc.

More WordPress 101 from ClickNathan

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