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June 13, 2016

Create Customized PDF Reports from SurveyMonkey

Surveys can be a great way to collect data from your customers and learn from the feedback provided.  With a tool like SurveyMonkey, you can create easy-to-use surveys that will simplify your customer feedback loops.

With Formstack Documents, you can take your survey responses and automatically generate Word, PDF, and more types of documents.  From thank you letters to PDF reports, you can create customized documents based on the responses of your surveys.

In this example, we’re going to show you how you can automatically generate a customized PDF report of each survey response that contains specific information based on the answers to the survey.  We’re going to be using our friends over at Zapier as well to help with the integration between SurveyMonkey and Formstack Documents.

To get started, we’re going to setup the report template using a Word document.  Inside the Word doc, we’re going to add our boilerplate report info and then for the spots that we want our survey responses to go, we’re going to add merge fields that look like {$Name}, {$Email}, {$FavoriteColor}, etc.

Here’s what our report template looks like:

In our report, we want to show customized information based on the answers to the survey.  For this we are going to use “if” statements in the document that look something like this:

{if $FavoriteColor == “Red”}
Your favorite color is Red and that usually indicates you are a passionate person….
{elseif $FavoriteColor == “Blue”}
Your favorite color is Blue and that often indicates you have a calm and patient personality….

Here’s what our document looks like with some of those conditional if statements:

Once we have finished up our template, we’re going to upload it to Formstack Documents.  From the Documents page in Formstack Documents, click the New Document button and enter a name.  On the next step, pick Office Document as the document type and then pick the file from your computer.

After you have uploaded your document, you’re going to be sent to the Settings tab where you can modify various options like the type of file that you want to generate and the name of the file.  For this example, we’re going to generate a PDF and we’re going to include the name of our survey responder in the file name.

Next, we’re going to setup the delivery of our PDF report so that it is automatically emailed to our survey participant.  Under the Deliver tab, we’re going to edit the default email delivery that is already setup.  For the “To” address, we’re going to use the merge field for our participant’s email address.  If you don’t have an email merge field in your doc, pick <> from the dropdown and then type in something like {$EmailTo}.

After you have updated your email delivery, we’re done with the setup inside Formstack Documents and we’re ready to setup the integration via Zapier.

Inside Zapier, click the New Zap button.  For the Trigger we’re going to choose SurveyMonkey as the service and then New Survey Response as the trigger.

After you authenticate your SurveyMonkey account, Zapier is going to ask you to pick the survey that you want to monitor.  Go ahead and pick your survey.

Next, we’re going to pick the Action for our Zap.  For the service, we’re going to choose Formstack Documents and then Create Document Merge as the action.

After you authenticate your Formstack Documents account, Zapier is going to load a list of all the Formstack Documents documents in your account.  Go ahead and pick the report template that you just setup.  Once you pick the document, Zapier is going to load a list of all the merge fields in your document.

For each of the merge fields in your document, you need to pick the corresponding survey question from SurveyMonkey.  This tells Zapier how to send your data over to Formstack Documents so that it is populated in the correct spot on your template.

After you have matched up all of your merge fields, go ahead and save your Zap then turn it on.  You’re ready to run a test!  Login to SurveyMonkey and submit a response to your survey.  Zapier will detect this new response and send the information over to Formstack Documents and your report will be emailed.

Here’s what our report looked like after submitting the survey:

Congrats, you’re all finished!  You can now automatically generate all kinds of documents from your SurveyMonkey responses.  Can you think of any other ways that you can use Formstack Documents to streamline your paperwork process?

6 min read

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