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How to prefill form fields in ExactTarget?

The forms that you share through your ExactTarget emails can contain prefilled values. This will improve your subscribers’ experience, as information like their names or addresses will already be included in the form when they start filling it out.

First of all, here is what you need to know in order to share forms through ExactTarget, in case you don’t already.

And here are the steps required for prefilling a form in ExactTarget:

1. Log in to your ExactTarget account and select Channel AppsEmail in the dropdown menu from the top-left corner. Then, select ContentEmails or Simple Automated Emails in the top menu.

ExactTarget Content-Emails

2. Create a new template based email (CreateTemplate Base). In the HTML mode, click on the section where you want to add the form link and select Retrieve Content. Choose your form and hit OK.

ExactTarget - template based emails
ExactTarget - retrieve content
3. Now it’s time to prefill form fields. Click on the section where you’ve added the form and select Modify Content. Enter the HTML mode and spot your form URL. It looks like this:

https://live.123formbuilder.com/form-123456/ (123456 is your form ID.)

You will need to adjust the form URL and replace the default version with the new one in your email.

ExactTarget - html-mode

ExactTarget 123FormBuilder URL

4. Tweak your form URL to accept prefilled values. Here is detailed information on how to prefill form fields using the form URL. In short, here is how your URL should look like with prefilled values:


Copy this URL and go over the list below:

  • The first part remains unchanged (https://live.123formbuilder.com/sf.php?s=123formbuilder-).
  • Replace 123456 with your form ID.
  • control1111111=JohnDoe and control2222222=john@website.com represent the prefilled values assignment. control1111111 and control2222222 are the name attributes of the form fields. Replace them with your own ones. You can retrieve them by inspecting the form code. You can add as many value assignments as you want, connected through &.

5. Add the prefilled values to the URL. These need to be the field codes from your ExactTarget emails. Back to your ExactTarget account, switch to Text mode in your email editor. You can find the field codes in the Personalization dropdown list. For example, the code for the Email field is %%emailaddr%%. Assign these codes as values in your customized form URL. For example:


6. Finally, return to the HTML view and modify your email content. Replace the old URL with the new, customized one. Send your email and, when users click on the link to open up the form, the fields to which you’ve assigned values will contain their preassigned values, making the process easier and friendlier.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions. For more FAQs, please browse through the  FAQs page.

Is this service free?
Yes, we offer a free form builder service. Just sign up to the Basic plan and you are all set. This plan is forever free, but you are limited with a few features only, such as 5 forms per account, 100 submissions per month and you have to keep the backlink to 123FormBuilder on your forms. Check out our features matrix for more information.
How many forms can I create?
It depends on the service plan you are on. Higher service plans enable more features, including more web forms for your account. If you need more forms, go to the My Account section of your account and click the upgrade button. To create an unlimited number of forms, either upgrade to the Platinum service plan or higher. Consult our features matrix for more information.
How can I publish my forms?
You can publish your forms in many ways, by using their direct URL or HTML link, embedding them with a JavaScript code, Inline HTML or iFrame, using the Facebook app or the WordPress plugin, using popups, the Blogger code snippet and many more. Once you have created and customized your form, go to the Publish section to complete your work. Read more in our documentation.
How do I change my form design?
You can change the design of your form in the Themes section, which is located in your form settings. We offer a set of more than 30 predefined form themes for your forms, but you can also create your own from scratch. You can customize the submit button, the logo and more. To apply your own stylesheets, all forms come with a custom CSS editor.

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