Introduction

In this article, we will explore how to enhance workflows with Google Form Notifications. Google Form notifications are automated messages that can be sent to individuals or groups when a form is submitted. These notifications serve as confirmation or alerts, providing valuable feedback to respondents or form owners. However, the default notifications lack personalization and the capability is very limited. It led to the development of our innovative solution, xFanatical Foresight integration with Google forms.

In this comprehensive guide, we will unravel the power of Google Forms notifications, delving deep into pivotal Use Cases where optimization is the key.

Additionally, we'll showcase how the xFanatical Foresight workflow automation software seamlessly integrates with Google Forms, offering advanced functionalities to amplify notification strategies, automate processes, and elevate your overall form management experience. Explore these essential use cases for maximizing Google Form notifications:

  1. Send personalized confirmation notification to the respondents: Enhance the user experience by sending customized confirmation emails to respondents, acknowledging that their responses have been received or providing them with additional information.
  2. Notify the form owner and editors upon new submissions: Enable the automatic notification feature to inform form owners or assigned editors whenever new responses are submitted.
  3. Forward to internal teams for the form response: Streamline communication within your organization by seamlessly forwarding collected responses to specific internal teams or stakeholders without any delay.

Discover how the xFanatical Foresight enhances these capabilities, making notification management a seamless and efficient part of your workflow.

Workflow automation scenarios of Google form notifications

In real world scenarios, we need to send professional personalized emails every time someone submits a form response. This is not limited to the form owner, the respondent, but also stakeholders. 

Event registration

An organization is hosting a conference and needs an efficient system to manage event registrations. They choose to implement a Google Form on their website to capture the registration input, plus xFanatical Foresight to automate email notifications.A sample Google form for event registration
A sample Google form for event registration

  1. Personalized confirmation email to the guest. Upon attendees successfully filling out the event registration form, they want the system to automatically send out confirmation emails. This email includes a summary of their registration details, event information and a thank-you note for registration with a certain extent of personalization. For large events with segmented workshops, the system can also send out different confirmation email templates per workshop.
    The email can be sent from the form owner's work email or a Gmail email alias like [email protected].
  2. Alert email to the team. The system triggers an email notification to the event organizer and the workshop hosts. This notification contains the registrant's details and chosen workshop, helping the team keep track of the registration in real-time. Event registration email notification workflow automation with Google Forms and xFanatical Foresight
    Event registration email notification workflow automation with Google Forms and xFanatical Foresight. Upon an event guest signing up the event registration form, the system automates email notifications to the guest, form owner, event organizer, workshop A, B, C and D hosts.

Customer feedback

A company wants to continuously improve its product and service qualities based on customer feedback. They have a Google Form where customers can provide feedback after using their services. Behind the scenes, they connect the Google Form with xFanatical Foresight to automate customized email notification workflows.A sample Google Form to collect customer feedback on different types
A sample Google Form to collect customer feedback on different types

  1. Feedback acknowledgement email. Upon a customer submitting feedback through the form, an immediate confirmation email is sent to the customer. This email thanks them for their input and assures them their feedback is valued. 
  2. Alert to designate teams. Based on the feedback type, the system circulates the feedback to the right care team, allowing them to promptly review and respond to the feedback. For example, a bug reports feedback is automatically sent to the engineering team and a feedback about the customer support quality is sent to the head of the customer service.Email notification workflow automation for a customer feedback Google form with xFanatical Foresight
    Email notification workflow automation for a customer feedback Google form with xFanatical Foresight. When a customer submits a feedback, the customer is acknowledged for the feedback and then the correct team or team member is notified to respond to the feedback by email.

Job Application

A small business aims to streamline their recruitment process by introducing a job application form accessible from their website. They adopt Google Form along with xFanatical Foresight to automate email notifications and improve communication with applicants. A sample job application collecting applicants' resumes and stores in Drive
A sample job application collecting applicants' resumes and stores in Drive. Resumes are sent to different hiring managers based on the selected positions. The form also includes unique pre-screening questions per position.

Automated notifications include

  • Automated confirmation email. When an applicant submits the form and all pre-screening questions are valid, the system sends a personalized confirmation email to the candidate acknowledging receipt of their application. This reassures applicants and sets expectations regarding the next steps.
  • Automated rejection email. If an applicant didn't pass the pre-screening question, e.g. number of work experiences in social media management, then the system automates a rejection email directly to the candidate, and does not forward the application to the hiring manager. 
  • Notification to hiring managers. Based on the position a candidate selected, the system forwards job applications immediately to the right hiring manager when the application passes the pre-screening questions. Hiring managers can find the candidate information and resume right in the notification email.Automated job application email notifications flow with Google Form and xFanatical Foresight
    Automated job application email notifications flow with Google Form and xFanatical Foresight. Job applicants receive automated confirmation or rejection email upon form submission and pre-screening. Hiring managers and HRs receive job application notifications for reviews. 

Time off applications

All businesses are legally required to give employees time off  for personal reasons. Companies can establish a Google Form with xFanatical Foresight to streamline the process of managing employee time-off requests and notifications. In the minimum level, the form collects the logged in user's email, date requested, type of leave and reason. A sample Google Form for employees to submit time off requests.

A sample Google Form for employees to submit time off requests. When an employee submits a request, xFanatical Foresight sends a notification to the employee, the manager and HR department. Automated email notifications for employee time off requests. Upon an employee submitting a request, the system collects the employee's email address, and request data, then looks up the employee's manager, and sends a formatted email template to the manager, and cc'd the HR department and the employee themselves
Automated email notifications for employee time off requests. Upon an employee submitting a request, the system collects the employee's email address, and request data, then looks up the employee's manager, and sends a formatted email template to the manager, and cc'd the HR department and the employee themselves. 

Google Form notifications powered by xFanatical Foresight 

By leveraging xFanatical Foresight's automation tool capabilities, Google Forms notifications become more than just simple alerts. xFanatical Foresight adds a layer of intelligence to the process, allowing for real-time data analysis and immediate action. You can set up custom triggers based on specific criteria, ensuring that you never miss crucial information. You can set up automated responses, and conditional notifications based on specific form responses. This not only saves time but also ensures a personalized and efficient experience for your respondents.

Now let's explore how to enhance Google form notification workflows from xFanatical Foresight.

Use Case 1: Send Personalized Confirmation Emails to Form Respondents

The Google Form notification feature is commonly used to send personalized confirmation messages to respondents. With the xFanatical Foresight, form owners can create personalized confirmation emails that include dynamic fields. These fields can be populated with respondent-specific information, such as their name, submitted answers, or unique identifiers. By personalizing confirmation notifications, form owners can enhance the user experience and provide valuable feedback to respondents.

For example, the following is an automation setup on xFanatical Foresight to send a personalized confirmation email to job applicants when they applied on the job application Google form.  To ensure the automation to work, the Google form needs to collect the respondent's email address. Assuming the form includes a question to ask their first name and a question to ask the position they are interested in. 

Automation rule setup in xFanatical Foresight

  1. Sign in to your xFanatical Foresight account with your Google account. 
  2. Go to the Rules page and click the new rule button.
  3. In the Select a trigger screen, select the Form response submitted trigger.select the Form response submitted trigger
  4. In the Form response submitted trigger, In the Form response submitted trigger,
    1. If you use the trigger for the first time, click Sign in with Google to authorize xFanatical Foresight to connect with your Google account.
    2. In the Form field, click and select a Google Form.
    3. Uncheck the Include edited responses checkbox.
    4. Click Next.
  5. In the Select an action screen, select the Get form response info action.select the Get form response info action
  6. In the Edit actions > Get form response info screen,In the Edit actions Get form response info screen
    1. If you use the action for the first time, click Sign in with Google to authorize xFanatical Foresight to connect with your Google account.
    2. In the Form field, select the same Google Form selected in the Form response submitted trigger. 
    3. In the Form response id field, select the Form Response Id variable from the Form response submitted trigger.
    4. Click Add next action.
  7. On the Select an action screen, Select the Email action. Select Email Action
  8. In the Email action, Edit actions > Email screen, In the Edit actions Email screen
    1. If you use the action for the first time, click Sign in with Google to authorize xFanatical Foresight to connect with your Google account.
    2. In the To field, select the Respondent email variable from the Get form response info action. This is the respondent's email address when xFanatical Foresight initiates the automation. In other words, this confirmation email will be sent to their email address collected from Google form. 
    3. In Subject, enter the email subject line.
    4. In the Email body, compose the confirmation email template to respondents. To personalize the confirmation email, click the on the toolbar and select variables to be included in the email template. These could be the respondents' answers to form questions, e.g. First name.In the Email body, compose the confirmation email template to respondents
  9. Click Review.
  10. Name the automation rule, and click Create.xFanatical Foresight workflow diagram for automatically sending form respondents personalized confirmation emails upon submitting responses
    xFanatical Foresight workflow diagram for automatically sending form respondents personalized confirmation emails upon submitting responses in a Google form.

Automation verification

After the automation rule is created on xFanatical Foresight, it's a good idea to test whether the automation performs as expected. In our job application form example, xFanatical Foresight automatically sends a personalized confirmation email from your connected Google account to the job applicant. The final email includes their first name and the interested role, which are provided in their submission. Automated personalized form submission confirmation email powered by xFanatical Foresight

Variant-1. Sending from a Different Email Address

As you may notice above, the confirmation email is sent directly from the Google account primary email address and name. 

In some cases, sending notifications from a different email address can be beneficial for various reasons. It allows form owners to maintain a consistent brand image, especially when using a professional or organizational email address. Moreover, it provides an additional layer of security and privacy by separating form-related notifications from personal or primary email accounts. 

xFanatical Foresight simplifies the process of configuring and sending notifications from a different email address, making it an attractive option for form owners.

Example: For a job application, the form owner may be an employee in an HR department, but they don't want to send the job application confirmation email from their own primary email address. Instead, they want to send formal notifications from an email address "xFanatical Career <[email protected]>".

To send from a different email address, use the Email action's From field. The field follows this format, Display Name <email alias>. Make sure the connected Google account has added the email address as an alias in Gmail, see Send emails from a different address or alias - Gmail Help.The Email action's From field in xFanatical Foresight allows the form submission confirmation email to be sent from a different email addres
The Email action's From field in xFanatical Foresight allows the form submission confirmation email to be sent from a different email address other than the primary email address of the connected Google account.

Variant-2. Replying to a Different Email Address

In case of the respondent replying to the automated confirmation email, the email is replied to the primary email address of the connected Google account, which is typically an individual user who manages the automation. 

Sometimes, for streamlined communication, organizations want respondents to reply to a public or group email address, e.g. [email protected]. It ensures accurate communication redirection, preventing responses from going back to the original sender. If the respondent has any follow-up questions, they will reply to the group email address other than the connected Google account. 

To reply to a different email address, use the Email action's Reply to field. Unlike the From field, just enter a custom email address in the designated field. The Email action's Reply to field in xFanatical Foresight allows the form submission confirmation email to be replied to a custom email address when a respondent tries to reply to the email.
The Email action's Reply to field in xFanatical Foresight allows the form submission confirmation email to be replied to a custom email address when a respondent tries to reply to the email.

Variant-3. Adding form collaborators as CC or BCC

Google Forms supports multiple collaborators. This feature allows multiple users to collaborate on a single form, allowing for effective teamwork and efficient data collection. 

The form owner is the one who sends out the confirmation email. However, if the form owner or any collaborators wanted to be part of the confirmation email sent to respondents, they can do so by including their own email addresses and any collaborator's email addresses in the BCC field of the Email action.

For example, let's say John is the form owner and he created a form for a survey. He invites two of his colleagues, Sarah, and Max, to collaborate on the form. John wants to ensure that he receives a copy of the confirmation email sent to respondents, as well as Sarah and Max. 

To achieve this, John can include his, Sarah’s, and Max’s email addresses in the BCC field of the Email action. This ensures that John, Emily, and Sarah will all receive the confirmation email, allowing them to stay informed about the responses received.Allow the form owner and collaborators to receive the form submission confirmation email by including their email addresses in the BCC field
Allow the form owner and collaborators to receive the form submission confirmation email by including their email addresses in the BCC field of the Email action in xFanatical Foresight

Variant-4. If the form does not collect the email

The automation rule is based on the condition that the form collects the form respondent's email address in either Verified or Responder input modes. Learn more in View & manage form responses.If the form owner chose not to use the Google Form's setting to automatically collect the respondent's email address

If the form owner chose not to use the Google Form's setting to automatically collect the respondent's email address, that is, the setting Collect email addresses is Do not collect, then you need to modify the automation rule in xFanatical Foresight too. The variable Respondent email variable from the Get form response info action would be empty since the form doesn't collect email addresses.

Design a required Short answer type form question such as “Your Email” or "User Email". Optionally, set a validation for the short-answer Text Email. If a respondent enters an invalid email address then the Google form would promptly report an error message.After the form question is in place, modify the rule setup in Use Case 1 Send Personalized Confirmation Emails to Form Respondents

After the form question is in place, modify the rule setup in Use Case 1: Send Personalized Confirmation Emails to Form Respondents.

  1. Assuming you have a rule setup already from Use Case 1.xFanatical Foresight workflow diagram for automatically sending form respondents personalized confirmation emails upon submitting responses
  2. Click the Email action.
  3. In the Edit actions > Email screen, click Insert actionIn the Edit actions Email screen, click Insert action
  4. Select the Extract data from text action.Select the Extract data from text action
  5. In the Edit actions > Extract data from text screen,In the Edit actions Extract data from text screen
    1. In the Source text field, select the Answer for "Your Email" variable from the Get form response info action. Note: the "Your Email" is the form question collecting the respondent's email address, which may be different in your Google form.
    2. In the Data type to extract field, select Email.
    3. In the Selection field, keep the default 1.
    4. In the Variable name field, enter a variable name for this email address, e.g. "User Email".
    5. In the Variable description field, enter any notes for the variable.
  6. Click the Email action again.
  7. In the Email action screen's To field, select the new variable from the Extract data from text action. In this exemplary example, it's User EmailIn the Email action screen's To field, select the new variable from the Extract data from text
  8. Click Review, and then click Save.


xFanatical Foresight automation rule graph to send out Google form response confirmation emails to respondents when the Google form uses a custom question to collect respondents' email addresses

Variant-5. Send Different Templates to the Respondent

Sending different templates to form respondents can be a strategic approach to tailor communication based on various factors such as the respondent's profile, the purpose of the form, or specific responses provided. 

To further illustrate the effectiveness of utilizing different email templates with Google Forms, let's explore some case studies of businesses that have achieved remarkable results:

  • Company A, an online retailer, utilized Google Forms to create a survey asking customers about their style preferences. Based on the responses, they sent personalized emails with product recommendations tailored to each customer's style. This resulted in a significant increase in click-through rates and conversions. 
  • Company B, a fitness apparel brand, used Google Forms to gather information about customers' fitness goals and preferences. They then sent personalized emails with workout routines, nutrition tips, and product recommendations tailored to each customer's goals. This resulted in a significant increase in customer engagement and repeat.
  • Company C, a software company, used Google Forms to collect feedback from trial users. They then sent customized emails addressing the specific pain points mentioned in the feedback. 

An organization uses a form to collect customer feedback. Their form includes a question for users to select the type of feedback, e.g. software issues, service quality, feature request. The organization wants to send acknowledgement emails based on the type of feedback.

Automation rule setup on xFanatical Foresight

  1. Sign into your xFanatical Foresight with your Google account. 
  2. Go to the Rules page.
  3. Click the new rule button.
  4. In the Select a trigger screen, select the Form response submitted trigger.
  5. In the Edit trigger > Form response submitted screen, Form field, click and select a Google form.In the Edit trigger  Form response submitted screen, Form field, click and select a Google form
  6. Click Next.
  7. In the Select an action screen, select the Get form response info action.
  8. In the Edit action > Get form response info screen,In the Edit action  Get form response info screen
    1. In Form, select the same Google form as the one in the Form response submitted trigger.
    2. In Form response id, select the Form response id variable from the Form response submitted trigger.
    3. Click Add next action.
  9. Select If action. 
  10. In the if action edit screen, Edit actions > If action,In the Edit actions If action
    1. Click Add branch to create 2 additional branches. The If action has in total 4 branches. Rename them to "Software issues", "Service quality", "Feature request" and "Other feedback types", respectively. In the 3 former branches,  add a condition to Answer for "Type of feedback" text contains Software issue, Answer for "Type of feedback" text contains Service quality, Answer for "Type of feedback" text contains Feature request, respectively.
    2. In each branch, click Add next action and select Email action.
  11. In the Edit action > Email screen after the "Software issue" branch,Edit action  Email screen
    1. In the To recipient field, select the Respondent email variable from the Get from response info action. 
    2. In the Subject field, enter the email subject.
    3. In the Email body field, enter the email template for the "Software issue" type of feedback. Optionally, select variables in the template to personalize the emails.In the Email body field, enter the email template for the Software issue type of feedback
  12. In the Edit action > Email screen after the "Service quality" branch,
    1. In the To recipient field, select the Respondent email variable from the Get from response info action.
    2. In the Subject field, enter the email subject.
    3. In the Email body field, enter the email template for the "Service quality" type of feedback. Optionally, select variables in the template to personalize the emails.In the Email body field, enter the email template for the Service quality
  13. In the Edit action > Email screen after the "Feature request" branch,
    1. In the To recipient field, select the Respondent email variable.
    2. In the Subject field, enter the email subject.
    3. In the Email body field, enter the email template for the "Feature request" type of feedback. Optionally, select variables in the template to personalize the emails.In the Email body field, enter the email template for the Feature request type of feedback
  14. In the Edit action > Email screen after the "Other feedback type" branch,
    1. In the To recipient field,select the Respondent email variable.
    2. In the Subject field, enter the email subject.
    3. In the Email body field, enter the email template for the "Other feedback type" type of feedback. Optionally, select variables in the template to personalize the emails.In the Email body field, enter the email template for the Other feedback type type of feedback
  15. Click Review.
  16. Name the rule for identification, and click Create.xFanatical Foresight rule graph to automate sending different confirmation emails to Google form respondents
    xFanatical Foresight rule graph to automate sending different confirmation emails to Google form respondents by their selection of a "type of feedback" question.

Variant-6. Do not email confirmations for edited form submissions

xFanatical Foresight allows users to exclude confirmation emails for edited form submissions, a Google Forms setting to allow form respondents to edit the submitted response. It can be useful in certain situations where respondents do not want duplicate emails to be sent to them when edits are made. By enabling this feature, users can optimize their workflow and reduce clutter in their email inbox. 

To effectively utilize this functionality, the form owner must diligently uncheck the Include edited responses option in the Form response submitted trigger.By unchecking the checkbox Include edited responses, xFanatical Foresight will not send confirmation emails
By unchecking the checkbox Include edited responses, xFanatical Foresight will not send confirmation emails for any edited Google form responses made by respondents. 

Variant-7. Automate tasks before sending the confirmation

Automation streamlines repetitive tasks associated with form submissions, reducing manual workload and saving time. This allows employees to focus on more strategic and value-added activities. The automation ensures accuracy and consistency in handling data, minimizing the chances of human errors.

Google Forms is a tool for collecting data, gathering information from individuals. The data that is collected is subsequently sent to xFanatical Foresight for further processing and automation of tasks. This integration provides a collaborative method for automating workflows, facilitating smooth sharing and interaction between users.

For example:

  1. A manager wants to request IT information, e.g. user's personal mobile number and include the information in the confirmation email.
  2. A HR specialist wants IT to offboard users by submitting the user's primary email address in the Google form provided by IT. 
  3. An HR specialist can also fill a form, provided by IT, to create a new employee's Google account.

The automation rule setup is for administrators to retrieve a Google apps usage report for a given Google user on-demand to their inbox by filling a Google form. Say Fernando is a Google administrator. He given the task to export employees' Google Workspace services usage data when a manager requests. Such tasks are very repetitive and Fernando may easily make mistakes. Instead of manually going through the Google Admin console to figure out the data and export data, Fernando can create a Google form and set up an automation on xFanatical Foresight. Then the duty becomes easy after the automation is set.A Google Form that Fernando uses to request an automation to send an user apps report to a manager
A Google Form that Fernando uses to request an automation to send an user apps report to a manager. The form has 3 fields, the email address of the user for whom the apps report is, the apps report date, and the manager's email address.

Automation rule setup on xFanatical Foresight

  1. Sign into your xFanatical Foresight account with a Google Admin account.
  2. Go to the Rules page.
  3. Click the New Rule button.
  4. In the Select a trigger screen, select the Form response submitted trigger.
  5. In the Edit trigger screen,
    1. In Form, click and select a Google form.
    2. Click Next.
  6. In the Select an action screen, click the Get form response info action.
  7. In the Edit action > Get form response info screen,
    1. In Form, select the same Google form as the one in the Form response submitted trigger.
    2. In Form response id, select the Form response id variable from the Form response submitted trigger. 
    3. Click Add next action.
  8. In the Select an action screen, select the Extract data from text action.
  9. In the Edit actions > Extract data from text screen, Edit actions Extract data from text screen
    1. In Source text, Select the Answer for "User Email" variable from the Get form response info action.
    2. In Data type to extract, select Email.
    3. In Selection, select 1
    4. In Variable name, enter "User Email". 
    5. Click Add next action.
  10. In the Select an action screen, select another Extract data from text action.
  11. In the Edit actions > Extract data from text screen,
    1. In Source text, Select the Answer for "Requester Email" variable from the Get form response info.
    2. In Data type to extract, select Email.
    3. In Selection, select 1
    4. In Variable name, enter "Manager email". 
    5. Click Add next action.
  12. Select the List user usages action. 
  13. In the Edit actions > List user usages screen,Edit actions  List user usages screen
    1. In Columns, select all the necessary Google apps usage report data, e.g. Email Sent means the number of Gmail messages the user has received on a particular day. 
    2. In Date, select the [Date] Answer for "Apps Report Date" variable from the Get form response info action
    3. In User email, select the User email variable from the Extract data from text action.
    4. Click Add next action.
  14. Select the Email action.
  15. In the edit screen, Edit actions > Email screen,Edit actions  Email screen
    1. In To, select the Manager email variable from the Extract data from text (1) action. 
    2. In Bcc, enter Fernando's own email address. 
    3. In Subject, enter the email subject line. Optionally, add variables to the subject line.
    4. In Email body, enter the email body. Click and select variables to add to the email body.
  16. Click Review.
  17. Name the rule, and click on Create button.xFanatical Foresight workflow to automate sending managers an email containing an apps report
    xFanatical Foresight workflow to automate sending managers an email containing an apps report of a given user on a given date, upon submitting a Google form response.

Automation verification

Fernando received a request from a manager to get a Google apps report for their subordinate Bethany on the date 2024-03-13. Fernando filled in Bethany's email address, the report date, and the manager's email. Upon form submission, xFanatical Foresight immediately retrieves an apps report from Google Admin, generates an apps report, and sends an email to the manager with Fernando himself copied. This verification method confirms the correct association between the requested information and the users.The automated email was sent to the manager by xFanatical Foresight
The automated email was sent to the manager by xFanatical Foresight, upon a Google Form submission. The email includes a download link to an Google apps report retrieved by xFanatical Foresight automation.

Use Case 2: Notify form owners and editors of new submissions

In addition to sending a confirmation email to form respondents, it's imperative to ensure that form owners and editors are promptly informed. This proactive communication is essential for expediting the processing of requests and maintaining efficient workflow. After all, Google Forms serve as much more than mere data entry tools for businesses.

Fanatical Foresight allows Google form owners and editors to easily configure custom notification emails when a new form response is submitted. Such notification emails typically summarize the request of the form respondent. Unlike the Use Case 1 > Variant-3. Adding form collaborators as CC or BCC, the automated email is circulated internally. That is, the form respondent is not part of the email recipient list. 

A common use case is to get alerts for order requests. For example, a local apparel store makes custom T-shirts and Polo Shirts. They use a Google form to collect the order requests. When a customer submits a response on the Google form, xFanatical Foresight immediately takes the requests of the customer and sends form owners and editors a summary of the order request. 

Automation rule setup on xFanatical Foresight

The rule configuration is similar to the Use Case 1: Send Personalized Confirmation Emails to Form Respondents, so some steps are simplified.

  1. Sign into xFanatical Foresight with your Google account.
  2. Go to the Rules page and click the new rule button.
  3. In the Select a trigger screen, select the Form response submitted  trigger 
  4. In the Edit trigger > Form response submitted screen, select a Google form. 
  5. Click Next.
  6. In the Select an action screen, select the Get form response info action.
  7. In the Edit actions > Get form response info screen,
    1. In Form, select the same Google form as the Form response submitted trigger.
    2. In Form response id, select the Form response id variable.
    3. Click Add next action.
  8. In the Select an action screen, select the Email action.
  9. In the Edit actions > Email screen, 
    1. In To, enter the email addresses of the form owner and collaborators.Notify form owners and editors of new submissions
    2. In Subject, enter the email subject line.
    3. In the Email body, compose an email template to the internal form collaborators. Note: unlike the confirmation email sent to the respondent, this email is purely internal.In the Email body, compose an email template to the internal form collaborators
  10. Click Review.
  11. Name the rule.
  12. Click Create

Automation verification

After the automation rule is created on xFanatical Foresight, submit test responses to the Google form. Verify if the internal emails are sent to the right parties and the information is included correctly in the generated email. In our example above, a generated notification email looks like:Automated notification email sent by xFanatical Foresight to the Google form owner and editors
Automated notification email sent by xFanatical Foresight to the Google form owner and editors about an order request collected from a Google form

Variant-1. Send different templates to the form owner and editors

The reason for sending different templates to the form owner and editors is to cater to their specific interests in the form responses. This allows them to receive personalized email notifications based on the response answers that pique their interest.

Consider a scenario of the local apparel store in Use Case 2: Notify form owners and editors of new submissions. They make custom T-shirts and Polo shirts. Now they also make custom hats. Again they extend their Google form to introduce a new item type "Hat" and add a few questions about the customization of hats. In this case, they need a notification email template for orders of T-shirts and Polo shirts and another email template for orders of Hats. Now let's walk through the automation setup on xFanatical Foresight.

Automation rule setup on xFanatical Foresight

  1. Sign into xFanatical Foresight with your Google account.
  2. Go to the Rules page and click the new rule button.
  3. In the Select a trigger screen, select the Form response submitted trigger.
  4. In the Edit trigger > Form response submitted screen, select a Google form.  
  5. Click Next.
  6. In the Select an action screen, select the Get form response info action.
  7. In the Edit actions > Get form response info screen, 
    1. In Form, select the same Google form as the Form response submitted trigger.
    2. In Form response id, select the Form response id variable.
    3. Click Add next action.
  8. In the Select an action screen, select the If action.
  9. In the edit screen, Edit actions > If screen,Send different templates to the form owner and editors
    1. Click Add branch to add a new branch. In total 3 branches, 2 branches with conditions and 1 fallback branch otherwise.
    2. Click to edit the names of 3 branches.
    3. Set the condition for the former 2 branches. In our apparel store example, the conditions are: Answer for "What is the item you would like to order?" text contains Shirt and Answer for "What is the item you would like to order?" text contains Hat, respectively. In other words, if a customer answered "T-Shirt" or "Polo Shirt" for the "What is the item you would like to order?" question, xFanatical Foresight will take this "T-Shirt / Polo Shirt" branch. 
    4. In the 2 branches, click Add next action
  10. In the Select an action screen, select the Email action.
  11. In the Edit > Email screen for the "T-Shirt / Polo Shirt" branch,
    1. In the To, Cc or Bcc fields, enter the form owner and editors' email addresses. 
    2. In the Subject field, enter the email subject.
    3. In the Email body field, enter an email template for the T-Shirt / Polo Shirt order requests. In the Email body field, enter an email template for the T-Shirt Polo Shirt order requests
  12. In the Edit > Email screen for the "Hat" branch, 
    1. In the To, Cc or Bcc fields, enter the form owner and editors' email addresses.
    2. In the Subject field, enter the email subject. 
    3. In the Email body field, enter an email template for the Hat order requests. In the Email body field, enter an email template for the Hat order requests
  13. Click Review.
  14. Name the rule, and click on Createjjjjj. xFanatical Foresight automation workflow for sending different email templates to the form owner and editors
    xFanatical Foresight automation workflow for sending different email templates to the form owner and editors about custom T-Shirt / Polo Shirt / Hat orders collected from Google Forms.

Variant-2. Notify form owners after task automation

Sometimes, plug-in Google Forms with your existing system offers a wide range of benefits that contribute to improved efficiency, accuracy, and effectiveness in business operations. Google Forms bridges the data transfer across departments and shareholders. xFanatical Foresight leverages the data input from Google Forms, automates the tasks based on the data input and streamlines the notifications to stakeholders including form owners.

In many organizations, the process of creating new user accounts involves multiple departments and steps. Traditionally, the IT department handles user account creation, which can result in delays and administrative overhead, especially for routine tasks such as onboarding new employees. To streamline this process and empower departments to manage user account creation autonomously, automation is employed.

In our scenario, the IT department has developed a Google Form specifically designed for the HR department to initiate user account creation, without giving the HR department privileged Google admin accounts.

When a member of the HR department submits a response containing the necessary information for a new employee, such as the new user's First Name, Last Name, Primary Email, etc., the flow will automatically kick in and create the user without the need for the IT department's intervention. This automation not only saves time but also minimizes the potential for human error.Notify form owners after task automation
A sample Google form to collect information to automate Google Workspace new user creation. 

Automation rule creation in xFanatical Foresight

  1. Sign into your xFanatical Foresight account with a Google Admin account.
  2. Go to the Rules page and click the new rule button.
  3. In the Select a trigger screen, select the Form response submitted trigger.
  4. In the Edit trigger > Form response submitted screen, Form field, select a Google form.
  5. Click Next.
  6. In the Select an action screen, select the Get form response info action.
  7. In the Edit action > Get form response info screen,
  8. Include all necessary information,
    1. In Form, select the same Google form as the Form response submitted trigger.
    2. In Form response id, select the Form response id variable.
    3. Click Add next action
  9. In the Select an action screen, select Extract data from text action.
  10. In the Edit actions > Extract data from text screen,Select Extract data from text action. In the Edit actions  Extract data from text screen
    1. In Source text, select the Answer for "New User Primary Email" variable from the Get from response info action. 
    2. In Data type to extract, select Email.
    3. In Selection, keep the default value 1.
    4. In Variable name, enter a variable name, e.g. "New user's primary email". 
    5. Click Add next action
  11. In the Select an action screen, select the Generate password action.In the Select an action screen, select the Generate password action.
  12. In the Edit actions > Generate password screen, keep all the fields at their default settings.In the Edit actions  Generate password screen, keep all the fields at their default settings.
  13. Click Add next action.
  14. In the Select an action screen, select the Create user action.select the Create user action
  15. In the Edit actions > Create user action,In the Edit actions  Create user action
    1. In First name, select the Answer for "New User First Name" variable from the Get form response info action.
    2. In Last name, select the Answer for "New User Last Name" variable from the Get form response info action.
    3. In Primary email, select the New user's primary email variable from the Extract data from text action.
    4. In Password, select the Generated password variable from the Generate password action.
    5. Leave the rest of the fields unchanged.
    6. Click Add next action.
  16. In the Select an action screen, select the Email action.Notify form owners and editors of new submissions
    1. In the To, Cc or Bcc fields, enter the email addresses of the form owner, the form editors and optional stakeholders, whoever should be informed for the new user creation event. 
    2. In Subject, enter an email subject line.
    3. In the Email body, enter the email template for acknowledgement of new user creation to the form owners and editors, which are typically the IT specialists. In the Email body, enter the email template for acknowledgement of new user creation to the form owners and editors
  17. Click Review
  18. Name the rule for future identification, and click on Create to create the rule.xFanatical Foresight workflow automation diagram for creating a Google Workspace new user based on the input of a Google Form response.
    xFanatical Foresight workflow automation diagram for creating a Google Workspace new user based on the input of a Google Form response.

Variant-3. Notify form submissions on Google Chat Spaces

For forms with frequent submissions, the form owner or editors may receive an overwhelming number of notification emails, filling up your inboxes. For some teams, they want to be notified in Google Chat Spaces. xFanatical Foresight has integration with Google Chat, so form owners and editors could also be notified in a shared Google Chat Space, where they can continue discussion in threads

Replace the Email action with the Send message to chat action in your Google form notification rules. The Send message to Chat action allows users to send notifications or messages directly to a specified chat space or channel within Google Chat. This functionality serves as an alternative to the traditional Email action within automation workflows, providing a more streamlined and real-time communication method. 

Automation rule setup in xFanatical Foresight

  1. Sign into xFanatical Foresight with your Google account.
  2. Go to the Rules page and click the new rule button.
  3. In the Select a trigger screen, select the Form response submitted  trigger.
  4. In the Edit trigger > Form response submitted screen, select a Google form.  
  5. Click Next.
  6. In the Select an action screen, select the Get form response info action.
  7. In the Edit actions > Get form response info screen, 
    • In Form, select the same Google form as the Form response submitted trigger.
    • In Form response id, select the Form response id variable.
    • Click Add next action
  8. In the Select an action screen, select the Send message to chat action. In the Select an action screen, select the Send message to chat action.
  9. In the Edit actions > Send message to Chat screen,In the Edit actions Send message to Chat screen
  10. Click Review.
  11. Name the rule, and click on the Create.xFanatical Foresight workflow graph for automatically sending a notification message to a Google Chat space
    xFanatical Foresight workflow graph for automatically sending a notification message to a Google Chat space upon receiving a Google Form submission. 

Setting up a webhook in Google Chat

  1. Go to Google Chat.
  2. On the left pane Spaces, click the specific space where you want form submission notifications.
  3. In the space, click the space name and select Apps & Integrations.In the space, click the space name and select Apps & Integrations.
  4. Click on the "+ Add webhook" button.Click + Add webhook.
  5. In the Incoming webhooks dialog, add the desired columns.In the Incoming webhooks dialog,
    1. In Name, enter the name of the webhook, e.g. "Form bot", or "xFanatical Foresight". Consider webhooks as bot users in the Space. 
    2. In Avatar URL, paste a downloadable to an avatar image for this webhook. 
    3. Click Save.
  6. Click the 3 dot menu, and Select the Copy linkSelect Copy link.

Automation verification

When a response is submitted to the designated Google Form, xFanatical Foresight instantly sends a message to a configured Google Chat space as follows, notifying the form owner, editors or internal teams of new submission, allowing the team to respond form requests in real-time.Automated real-time notification message in a Google Chat space with information provided by a submission to a Google Form.
Automated real-time notification message in a Google Chat space with information provided by a submission to a Google Form. The message is generated and sent by xFanatical Foresight. 

Use Case 3: Forward to internal teams for the form response

Forwarding Google from responses to internal teams is essential for businesses to enhance communication, facilitate timely decision-making, provide real-time feedback, and streamline task assignment, especially for large forms with multiple teams as stakeholders. 

For example: Imagine a system for handling IT support tickets, in which users submit their issues, such as software bugs or hardware problems, through a specific form to the IT helpdesk. In this setup, it is the responsibility of the internal IT support team to address and resolve these tickets. To streamline communication, when a form is submitted, automated email notifications are generated and sent directly to the Google group email address of the IT department, e.g. [email protected]. This ensures that the team is promptly informed about user issues, allowing them to offer timely assistance and maintain effective support services. Then the IT department can leverage the Google group's Collaborative Inbox and Conversation Assignment features to further assign tickets to specialists.A sample IT Support ticket system based on Google Forms
A sample IT Support ticket system based on Google Forms

Automation rule setup in xFanatical Foresight

  1. Sign into xFanatical Foresight with your Google account.
  2. Go to the Rules page and click the new rule button.
  3. In the Select a trigger screen, select the Form response submitted  trigger 
  4. In the Edit trigger > Form response submitted screen, select a Google form. 
  5. Click Next.
  6. In the Select an action screen, select the Get form response info action.
  7. In the Edit actions > Get form response info screen,
    1. In Form, select the same Google form as the Form response submitted trigger. 
    2. In Form response id, select the Form response id variable.
    3. Click Add next action
  8. In the Select an action screen, select the Email action.
  9. In the Edit actions > Email screen, 
    1. In To, enter the internal team's group email address. In our example, it's the IT department's IT support email address, [email protected]In To, enter the internal team's group email address. In our example, it's the IT department's IT support email address
    2. In Subject, enter the email subject line. In our example, we include the answer of the form question Issue summary as part of the subject line.
    3. In Email body, enter the email body. Click , select variables to include in the email template. In Email body, enter the email body. Click  and select variables to include in the email template
    4. In Reply to, select the Respondent email variable from the Get form response info action. 
  10. Click Review.
  11. Name the rule.
  12. Click Create.

Automation verification

When an employee submits an IT support case in the Google Form, xFanatical Foresight sends an email to the designated group email address of the internal team, e.g. [email protected]. Then the internal team who are members of the Google group all have the visibility and access to the IT support request. They can further assign the case to a member. Replying to the automated notification email will reach the employee. In a summary, you set up an IT support system with Google Forms, Groups and Foresight.xFanatical Foresight sends an automated notification email to a Google Group when someone submits a Google Form response
xFanatical Foresight sends an automated notification email to a Google Group when someone submits a Google Form response. The email is generated dynamically with the input of the form response.

Variant-1. Send different templates to the same internal team

When the Google form grows in complexity, you may need xFanatical Foresight to send out different email templates based on respondents' selections of particular questions. 

When the Google form grows in complexity, you may need xFanatical Foresight to send out different email templates based on respondents' selections of particular questions. 

Consider the same IT support form in Use Case 3: Forward to internal teams for the form response, which simply asks the contact name, issue type, issue summary and description. As the IT support team gains experiences after cases, they add more form questions to the Google form based on the issue type. For example, for hardware issues, the Google form asks information about the device make and model number; for network issues, the form asks questions about device location, frequency etc. 

With additional questions added to the forms, the IT support team expects xFanatical Foresight to send different email templates with those diagnostic answers included in the emails.  

Automation rule setup in xFanatical Foresight

  1. Sign into xFanatical Foresight with your Google account.
  2. Go to the Rules page and click the new rule button.
  3. In the Select a trigger screen, select the Form response submitted  trigger 
  4. In the Edit trigger > Form response submitted screen, select a Google form. 
  5. Click Next.
  6. In the Select an action screen, select the Get form response info action.
  7. In the Edit actions > Get form response info screen, 
    1. In Form, select the same Google form as the Form response submitted trigger.
    2. In Form response id, select the Form response id variable.
    3. Click Add next action
  8. In the Select an action screen, select the If action.
  9. In the If action edit screen's rename the branches, In the Select an action screen, select the If action.
    1. Click Add branch to add branches as you need.
    2. Click the branch names to rename the branches.
    3. In each branch, set a condition. In our example, they are Answer for "Issue type" text contains Hardware issue and Answer for "Issue type" text contains Network issue, respectively. 
    4. In each branch, click Add next action.
  10. In the Select an action screen, select the Email action. 
  11. In the Edit actions > Email screen under the "Hardware issues" branch. 
    1. In To, enter the internal team's group email address.
    2. In Subject, enter the email subject line.
    3. In the Email body, enter the email template specific to the "Hardware issues" issue type.In the Email body, enter the email template specific to the Hardware issues issue type.
    4. In Reply to, select the Respondent email variable from the Get form response info action.
  12. In the Edit actions > Email screen under the "Network issues" branch. 
    1. In To, enter the internal team's group email address.
    2. In Subject, enter the email subject line. 
    3. In the Email body, enter the email template specific to the "Hardware issues" issue type. In the Email body, enter the email template
    4. In Reply to, select the Respondent email variable from the Get form response info action.
  13. Click Review.
  14. Name the rule for identification, and click on Create.xFanatical Foresight workflow diagram for automatically sending different email templates to internal teams
    xFanatical Foresight workflow diagram for automatically sending different email templates to internal teams after a response is submitted to a Google form. The email template sent is determined by the answer to a specific question in Google Form

Variant-2.  Send different templates to different internal teams

When sharing information with multiple internal teams, it is important to consider the needs of each team and customize the communication accordingly. By providing different templates for each different internal team, it becomes easier to tailor the message and ensure that the information is clear and relevant to the recipients.

In this variant, we aim to streamline communication by providing different templates for each internal team based on the nature of the form submissions and the specific requirements of each department.

For example, if a company utilizes a customer feedback form to gather insights on their products and services, they may have several different departments, such as the Product Development, IT Support, Marketing, Sales teams, each department may have different priorities and requirements. By creating separate templates for each department, the specific information that needs to be conveyed can be targeted specifically.

Automation rule setup in xFanatical Foresight

The rule setup is almost identical to the Use Case 3 > Variant-1. Send different templates to the same internal team. The major difference is the Email action's To field. In the Variant-1, all the email templates are sent to the same internal team's group email address. In this variant, different email templates are sent to different internal teams' group email addresses. xFanatical Foresight workflow diagram illustrates the automation of sending different email templates to different internal teams' group
xFanatical Foresight workflow diagram illustrates the automation of sending different email templates to different internal teams' group email addresses, when a response is submitted to a Google Form.

Variant-3. Sending Attachment Links with Google Form Notifications

If your Google Forms include File upload type questions, then files uploaded will be stored in a folder in the same place as the form. Sending uploaded files as email attachments in these notification emails is infeasible as emails have 25MB limits in Gmail

Sending the uploaded files as attachment links enables recipients to access the files directly within the notification itself, eliminating the need for them to find the attachment from the File Upload folder This streamlined approach enhances the user experience and ensures that the attachments are accessible and easily accessible.

Now, we will explore some use cases where sending attachments can be effectively utilized, and provide a detailed summary of each. Additionally, we will pick one specific use case - the job application use case - as an example to highlight how the functionality can be utilized.

  • Project Proposal Submission: A company or organization sets up a Google Form to collect project proposals from interested individuals. They can include fields for project details, budget, and timelines. Additionally, the form allows for the submission of attachments such as project plans, or supporting documents. By enabling the ability to attach files, the organization can easily review and evaluate the proposals, saving time and effort.
  • Online Course Registration: In an educational setting, instructors may use Google Forms for online course registration. They can set up a form that includes fields for personal information, course selection, and any required documents. By enabling attachments, instructors can collect student biography, or any other relevant documents required for enrollment.This feature streamlines the registration process and ensures all necessary information is gathered in one place.
  • Processing Job Applications: To illustrate how attachments can be used with Google Forms, let's consider the job applicant use case. A company uses a Google Form to collect job applications for positions across multiple functionalities, from developers to marketing specialists. The form collects an applicant's resume in a field like Submit your resume. Then the resume is forwarded to a hiring manager. The email to a hiring manager shall include the resume Drive link.

Note that the maximum file load for the question should be set to 1. If you need to include multiple files, you will need to create a separate File upload question for each file.

Additionally, the form owner must ensure that access to the folder where the files are stored is shared with the internal teams, so they can access them.Currently, the variable for a File upload answer is the Google Drive ID. To convert it into an attachment, you can use the following workaround text:

https://drive.google.com/open?id={{drive_file_id}}

Once shared with the internal team, Gmail will display this link as an attachment.

Automation rule setup in xFanatical Foresight:

  1. Sign into xFanatical Foresight with your Google account.
  2. Go to the Rules page and click the new rule button.
  3. In the Select a trigger screen, select the Form response submitted  trigger 
  4. In the Edit trigger > Form response submitted screen, select a Google form. 
  5. Click Next.
  6. In the Select an action screen, select the Get form response info action.
  7. In the Edit actions > Get form response info screen, 
    1. In Form, select the same Google form as the Form response submitted trigger.
    2. In Form response id, select the Form response id variable.
    3. Click Add next action.
  8. In the Select an action screen, select the Email action.
  9. In the Edit actions > Email screen,
    1. In To, enter the internal team's group email address. 
    2. In Subject, enter the email subject line. 
    3. In the Email body, enter the email body. To add a File upload question attachment, first enter
https://drive.google.com/open?id=

then click icon, and select the variable to the File upload question.

In our example, the variable name is Answer for "Submit your resume"In our example, the variable name is Answer for Submit your resume.

Automation verification

In the job application form, submit a response including the first name, last name, email address, position and submitting the resume. xFanatical Foresight will automatically send an email to the hiring manager with the resume included in the notification email. Automated email notification to a hiring manager with the resume file attached, when a job applicant submits a response in a job application Google form
Automated email notification to a hiring manager with the resume file attached, when a job applicant submits a response in a job application Google form. The automated email is generated and sent by xFanatical Foresight.

Troubleshooting Common Form Notification Issues

Google form notifications are crucial for businesses and individuals alike, ensuring that important information is promptly received. However, encountering issues with form notifications can be frustrating. Here, we will explore common problems that arise with form notifications and provide troubleshooting tips to help you resolve them:

Form notifications sent to wrong parties

Solution: Ensure the recipients (To, CC and BCC) settings are correctly set in the Email actions. If they are wrong, the result would be unimaginable. Submit test form responses before publishing your Google form. 

Wrong email template is sent to the respondent

Solution: Check the rule setup and rule execution logs. If the rule has multiple email templates, then check if the branch conditions are correctly set. Submit test form responses with different choices, check xFanatical Foresight automation rule logs,  check if the correct branch is taken and adjust your email templates accordingly. 

Wrong information in the notification emails

Solution: Ensure the correct variables are placed in the email template. Have some testing to see how the final email looks like.

Delayed email notifications

Solution: In some cases, there may be delays in receiving email notifications. This can be due to various factors, such as network congestion or email server issues. 

Not sending form notification emails

Solution:

  1. Make sure the form response has successfully been submitted. 
  2. If so, check if the xFanatical Foresight rule is triggered after the form response is submitted. If the rule is misconfigured, then the rule may not trigger for the form.
  3. If the rule is triggered but failed, then the email notification may not be sent. Check the rule execution log.
  4. Check the daily Gmail emailing quota, which is 2000/day. If in a single day, the Google form has over 2000 submissions, then the form notification flow won't work. Gmail sending limits in Google Workspace
  5. Finally, check the Sent folder in Gmail. All the form notification emails are in the Sent folder. 

Form notifications are essential for seamless communication and timely responses. By understanding the basics, checking email settings, not receiving notifications, delayed notifications, and missing form responses, you can ensure that your form notifications work reliably. Remember, staying proactive and regularly reviewing your settings will help prevent any potential notification problems from occurring in the first place.

Tips for Optimizing Google Form Notifications with xFanatical Foresight

  • Define clear notification criteria: Take the time to clearly define the criteria that should trigger a notification. This will ensure that team members receive relevant information without being overwhelmed by unnecessary notifications.
  • Test the notification system thoroughly. Before publishing your designed Google Form and xFanatical Foresight automation rule, run enough tests using test email accounts on the Google form and see if the email notifications are automated as you expected. 
  • Regularly review and update email notification automation: As your team's needs evolve, regularly review and update your automation accordingly. When you make changes to the Google form, the associated xFanatical Foresight automation rule needs an update too to keep in sync with the latest form revisions. 

Use Google Chat Message as Form Notification Alternative

  • Real-Time notification: Faster team response. Different teams can immediately receive notifications simultaneously and discuss the new form response. This real-time aspect of Google Chat notifications improves response time and enables timely follow-ups with customers or clients.
  • Threaded Conversations: Google Chat supports threaded conversations, allowing individuals to engage in discussions related to  Google Form responses or any specific topics. This feature eliminates the need for endless email threads, making it easier to track and refer to previous conversations.
  • Streamlined collaboration: Google Chat allows for seamless collaboration within teams. Multiple team members can join a chat space dedicated to form notifications.
  • Offload the Email Inbox: To maintain productivity and focus on important tasks, form owners must offload their email inbox. With the increasing number of notification emails, it becomes easy to get distracted and lose track of important emails. By offloading the email inbox, form owners can prioritize their primary emails and reduce the chances of missing any important information.

Conclusion

By leveraging the automation power of xFanatical Foresight and its seamless integration with Google Forms, organizations can enhance their workflows and achieve significant improvements in operation efficiency, work productivity, collaboration and customer satisfaction.  

Unlock xFanatical Foresight potential with a 14-day free trial and revolutionize optimizing workflows effortlessly.

Related links: 

Visit our website for more blogs: Source