For this tutorial, I will be using the following:
- WordPress (with Oxygen Builder – but you can use any builder)
- Fluent Forms plugin
- Google Sheets
- Email Parser by Zapier
For example, I have a blog subscription form below all of my posts so people can sign up to be notified when new posts come out. Every subscriber’s email address gets automatically pushed into Google Sheets on a new row which allows me to easily manage my email notification list. Likewise, if someone decides they do not want to be notified, I have a similar setup for removing email addresses.
In addition, as I am constantly changing my website, this method allows me to maintain a back up of email capture leads in case I delete the Fluent Forms plugin or something.
Just to keep things simple, the example for this post will be based on the above scenario – a simple email address submission form.
Note: I will skip the form creation and embedding process and jump straight to the settings.
To start off, locate the relevant form setting via wp admin > Fluent Form > All Forms > *relevant form name* > Settings > Email Notifications > Settings (blue cog) and then do the following:
Name –> set a useful name
Send to –> leave as default as this will be changed later on
Subject –> set a useful subject
Email Body –>
Settings should look something like this:-
Note: I will skip the Google Sheet creation process and jump straight to the setup
Note: You do not need to rename your Google sheet tabs but you can do if you have multiple form directories. The main thing is that you have headers for your form data.
I kept it simple and added the following headers:
Cell A1 –> Email address
Cell B1 –> Source URL
This is where the real fun starts.
Go to the Email Parser By Zapier page, sign up for free a Zapier account and then do the following:
Click “Create Mailbox” and follow the steps.
Copy the generated email address and go to the Fluent Form settings on another browser tab and paste that email address in the “Send to Email” field.
I already had my form embedded on pages but if you do not, I would recommend you embed it on a dummy page and make a test submission. Once done, carry on from here.
Back to the Zapier Parser tab, if you do not see a submission success message, click on “Refresh page to look for new email” which should now show a success message and the test submission.
At this stage you can change your mailbox address, but I would recommend leaving it as default.
Highlight the test submission email address in the email body and give it a useful name and then press “Save” – I called it “Email address”.
It should look something like this:-
Now repeat the same step as above for the submission source URL and in my case, I will call it “Source URL”.
Once happy, click “Save Address and Template” to save the mailbox.
Now log into Zapier and then click “create a new Zap”.
On the top left, rename “Untitled Zap” to a useful relevant name.
For the trigger, search for “Email Parser by Zapier“.
For the event, select “New Email“.
You may be asked to sign into Email Parser by Zapier – follow the sign-in steps.
For the mailbox, select the mailbox created in the previous section of steps.
For the action, search for “Google Sheets”.
For the event, select “Create Spreadsheet Row”.
You may be asked to sign into and connect to Google – follow the sign-in steps.
Under Drive, select “My Google Drive”.
Under Spreadsheet, search for the name of your desired Google Sheet and select it.
Under Worksheet, search for the name of your tab and select it.
You should now see the 2 parse fields you have named in the previous section’s steps.
Select the field called Email Address and search for “Parse output email address” and select the option.
Repeat the above step for the field called Source URL – I will search for “Parse output Source URL” and select this option.
Once you are happy, select “Test & Continue”. Now check Google Sheet and you should see that the test entry is now automatically added. If so, continue with the next steps.
Click “Publish Zap” and then “Publish & Turn On”.
Provided you have set up everything correctly, all new website form submissions should automatically be inserted as a new row in your specified Google Sheet!
I know there are many free and paid solutions to allow you to capture and manage form submissions. However, I love to use Fluent Form forms for my WordPress websites and I love to use Excel/Google Sheets to manage and backup data in general – so I figured I’d merge the two. I know I can rely on the free and secure power of Zapier to parse the data I choose and then add the entry to a secure “database” (Google Sheets) that only I have access to.
For many small to medium size websites, this is the perfect solution as it is free, safe, automatic, and scales fairly well for someone to filter data using Google Sheets, and of course to have a backup. If your website is receiving quadruple digit submissions a month, then maybe it won’t be a good solution – you may want to consider a paid solution such as Mailchimp.