We wrapped up 2019 with a bang! Here’s a list of all the things we accomplished since our last update in August.
- Added smart spam filtering
- Launched a bunch of new integrations including
- Started reporting detailed submission status
- Launched our Form Library
- Created “tag spam” and “redirect” actions for rules
Want deets? Read on!
Smart spam filtering
Spam is a reality for any popular website with a form. To help combat spammers, Formspree introduced machine-learning based spam filtering in November. We use a combination of Akismet and our own custom filters to categorize form submissions before sending notices or triggering plugins.
The way it works is that each form submission is first checked against our filters. If the message passes, processing continues — notifications are sent and plugins and rules are triggered. If the check fails, processing halts, and the message is flagged as spam. You can still find the message in the spam folder of the submission table, but no emails are sent nor plugins triggered.
Each time you flag a message as spam or unflag it, Formspree updates our spam model. This helps ensure that later messages will be correctly categorized.
Formspree launched several integrations in 2019. Some were requests from our customers, and some were based on internal needs. Here’s a rundown:
- The Stripe plugin allows users to add a custom payment flow to their static website. By using Stripe Elements, any website can collect credit card info securely, and Formspree will complete the charge with Stripe. No server code required! Read more from our announcement here.
- Our Slack plugin sends submit notifications to any Slack room with just a few clicks. With the slack plugin your team can receive notices and coordinate responses to form submissions.
- The Airtable plugin lets you sync your form submissions with a table. Setup your airtable first, then grab your api key to connect from Formspree. Once connected, each submission will add a new row. You can even sync existing submissions when you connect.
- The Zapier plugin lets you connect with hundreds more apps in the Zapier ecosystem. You can read more about how to set up Zapier here.
- Finally, we added opt-in checkbox support to our Mailchimp plugin. This is handy if you want to allow visitors to optionally sign up for your newsletter while filling out a form. It can also help when creating GDPR compliant sign-up forms. To learn more, read the Mailchimp integration guide here.
We began tracking the status of emails, plugins and rules, and presenting it in the form submissions table. This allows a Formspree user to check if email notifications and plugins are working at a glance. For agencies, this can be helpful when troubleshooting email delivery for your clients.
The Form Library
We launched the form library back in August with the goal of providing simple HTML form samples you could copy and tweak to create your own forms, whether powered by Formspree or not. Each example comes with a minimal stylesheet that inherits from the root fonts and colors. As a result, when you drop a form into your existing Shopify, Ghost, or static site, it will pick up the site’s styles and look seamless. The Ghost team included the Formspree library in their write-up on how to create a form on Ghost here.
“Tag Spam” and “Redirect” actions
For our Platinum users, the rules system received a big upgrade with the introduction of two new actions: Tag Spam and Redirect.
The Tag Spam action makes it possible to mark a submission as spam automatically based on the content of a message. This makes it possible, for example, to create a custom honey pot field, or flag submissions that contain certain oft repeated spammy keywords. If you have a high volume form, this is a way to react quickly to control spam and adds an additional layer to our existing spam countermeasures. Read more here.
The Redirect action will change the redirect based on a field value. Let’s say you want to redirect some submitters to a calendar page, but only if they’ve requested a meeting. By adding a Redirect action, you can check the value of a field, such as a “meeting request” checkbox, and re-route them to that page after they submit. See more here
…and that’s not all!
We also piloted our affiliate program, and refreshed our marketing website. Finally there are a few projects almost ready to ship that we’ll be announcing soon. Stay tuned, and if you have any feedback or questions, hit us up below!