10 Ways to Use Conditional Logic for Smarter Forms

/ 7 min read
Laura Wilson

Conditional logic is one of Paperform’s most popular features, and for good reason. It can improve the form-responding experience by making it personal and engaging, and by eliminating irrelevant questions.

According to a study by The Manifest, form length and unnecessary questions are among the top cited reasons for abandoning forms. By using conditional logic you can reduce the impact of both those factors.

So what is it? Conditional logic refers to a scenario where if something happens, then there’s a result. For example, if you scroll down the screen, then you’ll get to read more about conditional logic.

In your forms, it’s usually used so that if your respondent answers a question a certain way, then the next question will appear. Luckily for us, that’s far from the only way it can be used.

It’s one of those things that seems complicated. After all, it’s this kind of feature that makes our forms so clever. But even though it’s powerful, it’s surprisingly easy to set up. And once you do, you’ll find you can automate all kinds of processes, letting you ditch all the boring, repetitive tasks that keep you from loving your job.

Sound too good to be true? We can prove it. We’ve collected 10 clever ways you can use conditional logic on your forms, so you can apply them to your own forms.

1. Personalise your forms

When you send out a form to a diverse group of people, or use one form for multiple purposes, chances are that there will be questions that aren’t going to be relevant for every person. Not only can this lead to survey fatigue, but it can also be confusing. If a respondent sees a question that they can’t answer, they might question whether they’re even filling out the right form.

To make the form answering process as smooth as possible, it can be useful to hide away some questions so that they only show up when they’re needed. Conditional logic lets you do just that. When you hide irrelevant questions, you avoid overwhelming your respondents with a huge form, or alienating them by asking the wrong questions.

You can use this same method to showcase more information. For example, you might display products in more detail in an ecommerce form, or highlight individual event information in a broader registration form.

2. Level up your sales page

Whether you’re an artist, baker or yoga instructor, Paperform makes it easy for you to sell things online. You can add products, set prices and limits, and hook up your favourite payment processor. But that’s not all.

Logic can make your store smarter, particularly when it comes to displaying stock and product variants. For example, if you're selling a t-shirt you can opt for only the sizes you have in stock to be displayed, or for a more personalised experience you could suggest items based on a short quiz.

Additionally, by using a Calculation field, you can set up a number of automations. You can apply taxes or other fees, and provide discounts based on the items chosen or coupon codes. With logic you can also send out automated receipts to customers who've purchased your goods or services.

3. Trigger custom error messages

Sometimes you need questions to be answered in a certain way. You might do this for a number of reasons, like to make sure that your respondents are a certain age or to make them agree to terms and conditions in order to proceed.

Paperform makes it easy to customise an error message to provide more detail on what your respondent needs to do, and make sure you get the results you need. To do this, you just use a simple Calculations field and the "error" function.

For example, if you provide consultancy for medium-sized companies, you might create a form that calculates a company's revenue per employee. If you didn't want this calculation to apply to businesses with fewer than 10 employees, you could trigger an error message for when a number below 10 was entered into that field.

You can have an error appear automatically on selecting an option, or display it on a later page. Choose whatever works best for you.

4. Customise your goodbyes

Last impressions are just as important as first ones. After your form is completed, you have the option of showing your respondent a success page or redirecting them to another site.

Using conditional logic, you can customise your thank you page based on how they interacted with your form. You can pipe in their name for a personal touch, change up the colours, and make use of our Unsplash and GIPHY integrations to include great visuals.

You might want to do this to appeal to different demographics, or to adapt to their answers (someone who gave you negative feedback might not want to be redirected to your store page). It’s also really useful for quizzes, where you can create different pages for different results.

5. Simplify follow-up emails

With answer piping, you can send a copy of the respondent’s submission—or any other message—to them. Conditional logic enables you to send different emails depending on how they've responded to your form.

When someone receives an email acknowledging their actions, it makes them feel heard. It also gives them a handy record of the interaction.

If you're hiring for an important role and have included some questions to filter out unworthy applicants, you can set up one email that lets your applicants know you'll be in touch, and another that says thanks, but no thanks. The personal touch means that everyone is on the same page.

Paperform's custom email UI

6. Forward inquiries to the right place

How many times have you received inquiries in a contact form that you've then had to forward on to the right department, or member of your team? With conditional logic, you can avoid this frustration by automatically forwarding messages to the right place.

Simply set up a Multiple Choice question with the relevant department. Then, once this is done, you can set conditions where messages with certain subject lines, and topics, are sent to the parties most capable of addressing them.

Custom emails are one of the best ways to automate processes across your entire business. They allow you to make sure that the right people are notified when a form is filled out, but they can also be used for everything from relaying important results to sending out reminders for an event.

Paperform's email configuration page

7. Build custom PDFs

While you can include submission summaries within the body of an email, PDFs look a bit cleaner and are more convenient for downloading or printing. Plus, straightforward submission summaries are far from the only thing you can do with them.

With Paperform you can create custom PDFs that give you control over what information is in them. For example, your respondent doesn’t really need to see what they entered for their name or email address. Instead of sending a generic summary, you can customise the PDF to only relate the relevant fields.

Paperform's custom PDF editor

While your respondent might not need to know their name, you might need to for your company records. Luckily, you can easily make a second PDF with different information included for your own benefit.

8. Connect with your favourite apps

Paperform has over 20 native integrations and access to thousands more through Zapier, allowing you to connect with the tools you love. You can use conditional logic to trigger actions automatically, eliminating boring busywork.

You can input customer data to Google Sheets, ActiveCampaign or Mailchimp, set up tasks in Asana or Trello, or even add to your Spotify playlists. Integrations take your form data and kickstart your next steps, all without you having to lift a finger.

Paperform's integration manager

By setting up these automations that adapt to your respondents, you can say goodbye to the endless copy + paste, and free up your time for the stuff that matters.

9. Stay on schedule

Our Appointments field is one of our most powerful question types. You might already know that you can hook up your Google Calendar to your forms so your respondents can make bookings with you, but you might not know how versatile the tool actually is.

Every element of your calendar event can be changed—from the form and your guest’s name, to the title and the location. This is particularly handy for people with service-based businesses, as you can control how customers can book your time.

If you offer multiple services, you can vary your appointment length based on which one a customer chooses, and you can charge different rates based on a variety of factors, including when the appointment takes place. With this feature, you can manage even the most complicated schedule, or even automatically charge a surplus for public holidays.

10. Choose your own adventure

You may have come across Choose Your Own Adventure narratives in Goosebumps books, or in classic text-based adventure games. They operate on conditional logic, which means you can use Paperform to create interactive stories that adapt based on your respondents’ choices.

While we’re definitely not selling ourselves as a video game engine here, if you use Paperform already and want to bring something truly special into being, we’ve got you covered. Adding a story element to forms is an excellent way to boost engagement.

Over to you

With intelligent forms, you can set your processes up and let them do their thing. You can then rest easy knowing that everything is under control.

Why not give some of these examples a try? And if you have an idea for something not covered here or aren’t quite sure how to set something up, our expert customer success team is always waiting in that bottom-right bubble to help.

We’d love to hear about the cool ways you’ve used conditional logic to simplify your workflows and automate your Paperform creations. Let us know on Twitter and we can celebrate your creativity together.


About the author
Laura Wilson
Writer
Laura is a former Content Writer at Paperform.

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