This is the second part of a two-part tutorial on creating online surveys with the Gravity Forms plugin for WordPress. The first part of the tutorial series covered the basics of online survey services, survey planning, field selection and the beginning of field editing inside Gravity Forms.
In this article, we will finish the process, test the form, embed it, and make our survey go live for taking actual respondent data. As a reminder, this is what our survey will look like when we have completed the tutorial.
Editing and Previewing the Survey, and Setting up Admin Notifications
In this video, we finish editing the remaining survey fields, preview the form to make sure it is working correctly, and setup notifications so that the admin is sent an email each time a respondent fills out the online survey
Including the Form in WordPress
Unless you want the survey to be included as a post on your blog and show up in the loop, you should use a dedicated page to embed and display the survey. You’ll then need to alert your readers to the existence of the form, and there are several ways to handle that.
- Write a dedicated post explaining the survey and linking to the survey page
- Share a link to the page via social media networks
- Create a button that links to the page and place it in a widget on your website
- Include the form with a short code in PHP and place it on any WordPress template file
Embedding the Form in a WordPress Page
Gravity makes its forms available in WordPress pages via a shortcode and through an icon above the visual post editor. The latter is easier and doesn’t require you to copy and paste any short codes from the form editor page.
Here are both options at work.
Viewing and Exporting Entries to Your Survey
Gravity forms has a dedicated area where admins can view form entries and export the data to other programs. This is located under the Gravity Forms settings panel under “entries.”
The entries screen is setup to show you all the form entries, along with the answers to the questions included on that form or survey. The video below, shows how to access this area, and how to both view the data inside WordPress and to export and view the data externally.
Surveys with a large number of entries will be easier to work with by exporting the entries to third-party spreadsheet programs for analysis and manipulation. This will give you the ability to slice and dice the data in more ways than any online service can offer.
A Note on Sharing Your Survey
To increase the number of respondents it helps to get your survey in front of as many people as possible. One of the best ways to do that is to share your survey through social media streams. Chances are respondents to your survey will network with other people who might be interested in the same survey or be able to give feedback about your product too.
There are several ways to include sharing inside your gravity forms survey in WordPress, in order of complexity and ease-of-use:
You can use the user notification to include sample share snippets and links to social media network buttons. When the respondent has completed the survey he or she will receive an email with the information you supply. However, since email was not a required field in our survey, this method is not guaranteed to get information in front of your respondent after the survey. To guarantee they see your after-survey info, you’ll need to use another method.
The easiest way to get people to share your survey is to use the page redirect feature inside the survey settings. Rather than just give the user some simple text after the survey has been completed, you can whisk them away to an entirely different page. This was mentioned in the videos relating to offering your survey respondents a coupon or code for download.
In the form settings area of the form editor choose the “confirmation” tab and either the “page” or “redirect” option from the confirmation message selection.
Choosing page will prompt you to select a page already on your site. For this option you’ll need to have already created that page. It would be a good idea to make sure social sharing button are included on that page, along with some text asking your viewer to share the survey. Make sure the social share buttons link up to the actual survey page, and not the page being used as the after-survey redirect.
Choosing redirect will allow you to include any URL, whether on your site or any other.
Gravity forms gives you the ability to enter html code inside form descriptions, but you can also add separate fields specifically for displaying HTML. These are not fields that accept data, they simply display your messages. You can add social sharing button inside these areas with HTML, but if you do, make sure the links open in new pages because you don’t want a respondent to lose the information he submitted and have to redo it. That will surely make him abandon the survey before completion.
If you feel comfortable coding, you can add your social media sharing buttons and make them display with custom CSS inside the page which houses your form. You can also use this in combination with a page redirect to add even more functionality. Again, with this option, make sure the link being shared is for the actual survey, and not the redirect page or general blog pages.
Online surveys are the one of the best ways to get customer feedback, which can help you improve your products, return excellent customer services, and drive better sales. With the Gravity Forms plugin for WordPress, creating online surveys and hosting them on your own server is a snap!