I understand, Contact Form 7 is really not that user-friendly, not at all. But, it is the best and the most used WordPress form plugin worldwide, with over 5M installations and 4+ star ratings. Here’s the ultimate guide on how to set up Contact Form 7 email notifications & autoresponders.
Table of content:
- How to setup Contact Form 7 email notification
- How to setup Contact Form 7 autoresponder
- Sum up in a paragraph
How to setup Contact Form 7 email notifications
Email notification is the email you receive whenever someone submits a form on your website, in that email you want to get all the information they submitted.
Ok, I admit it, I took my first form live, I had only put in my email correctly, and it was only after a year that I noticed that something’s not right. I was getting notifications but there was absolutely no information there. This is all I would get.
So it appears there’s more to do than to simply add your email. You have to set up the information you want to receive in the email notification. The user’s input has to be in the mail body. WOW what a discovery right?
Here’s how to set up CF7 email notifications properly:
- Go to your form -> Mail
- Fill in the following information:
- To: The email where you want to receive the notification
- From: Who sends the notification (If this is for you, both can be the same email)
- Subject: Add the subject of the notification email (i.e New Subscriber!, OR, New form submission – [form name])
- Additional Headers: This is used for cc, bcc and reply to options.
- Message body – This is the tricky part, well it’s actually easy once you understand what you’re doing! In short you have to input all the user input variables, so you get actually what the user has entered.
Detailed explanation of Message body:
In the form itself, you add when you want to add an email you click on email, choose the name and then insert it. That name is the variable, [your-name], [your-email], [text-892],… You can find all your variables in the mail Message body part. If the variable is bold then you haven’t entered it in your Message body.
Inserting those variable names in the Message body is a must. So what this does, it sends you the email and in the body it contains all the entered values for the variables.
So, make sure you have your notes in the message body, and the variable values. Just like the example above. This way, whenever anyone completes a form on your website, you will receive an email that includes your note with what the user has entered.
I hope this makes sense, but to make sure it does, I will try and explain it in another way.
You want your customers to enter their names [X], emails [Y] and company names [Z].
Of course, if you’ve been listening to Mr. Smith, your math teacher, you know that X,Y,Z are variables, their values change. And it will change based on the value each user enters in your form.
So in the Message body, this is what you write (you change the X,Y,Z with the variables visible in the top section, highlighted in the screen shot)
A new subscriber:
Subscriber’s name: [X]
Subscriber’s email: [Y]
Subscriber’s company: [Z]
So if someone named Jack from Facebook fills your form, this is the email you will receive.
A new subscriber:
Subscriber’s name: Jack
Subscriber’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscriber’s email: Facebook
I hope this makes sense. And this is how you set up CF7 email notifications properly.
How to setup Contact Form 7 autoresponder
Now, imagine instead of having the notification email sent to you, you send it to the submitted person by adding their email variable ([your-email]) in the “To” field. And, of course, changing the Message body. You would get an auto-reply.
I get it, you want both of your emails set up, the email notification and the auto-responder… For that reason, all you have to do is to go to the bottom of the Mail section, check the Mail (2), and add your content there.
This way, you have the first email notification active, which is meant for you, and the 2nd email for the user who submitted the URL.
Here’s how to set up auto-responders in CF7
- Go to the Form -> Mail -> Scroll down to the Mail (2) -> Check the box
- Fill in the following fields:
- To: [your-email] – Or whatever the email variable is for the user.
- From: Your business email, or the email you want the auto-reply to be sent from.
- Subject: The subject of the auto-reply email.
- Message body: The auto-responder’s content you want your subscriber to receive.
Sum up in a paragraph
Set up both your email notifications and auto-responders from the Mail tab in the form. The process is simple.
For email notification (for yourself):
- Both the “To” and “From” addressed should be yours.
- In the Message body enter all the form fields’ variables with their field names (you can find them in bold in the top section of the Mail tab).
For auto-responders (the subscriber):
- Scroll down to the bottom of the Mail section, check the Mail (2).
- Add your subscriber’s email variable in the “To” field (usually [your-name]).
- In the “From” section add your email, preferably a business email of your domain so it doesn’t end up in the spam folder.
- In Message body section, add the content you want your subscriber to receive as an auto-responder.
This is how easy it is to setup Contact Form 7 email notifications & autoresponders.