In this article we'll show you how to create a simple form that your customers can use to add their contact info to your Textline address book. You will need a G Suite account, a Zapier account, and a Textline account.
Google's G Suite, formerly known as Google Apps, includes Google Forms and Google Sheets. We'll create a web form like the one pictured above, and the information collected will be saved to a spreadsheet.
Zapier is an online automation tool that connects other online tools to each other. We'll program Zapier to notice whenever someone completes our Google Form, and to copy that information to our Textline address book.
Textline is an online tool that lets businesses and their customers communicate using text messages. Any company in the US or Canada can sign up for Textline to start texting with customers. Textline will provide a new textable phone number in your organization's local area code.
Creating a sign up form with Google Forms
First, we'll create a simple opt-in form using Google Forms. The form will collect names and mobile phone numbers, and save that information to a Google Sheets spreadsheet.
1. Sign in to your G Suite account and visit Google Forms
2. Create a new blank form and give it whatever title you like. (In the image above we named our form Textline Opt-in.)
3. Your first question should be a short answer question to collect your contact's full name. (Change the default question type from multiple choice to short answer.)
4. Your second question should also be a short answer question to collect a phone number. (You could add more questions to collect email addresses and other notes, but in this example we'll just ask for a name and phone number.)
5. Edit your form's settings so that it does not require sign in. (Use the gear icon to see your form's settings.)
6. In the responses section, create a new spreadsheet to store responses. (See image below.)
7. Press Send and fetch your form's unique link, such as https://goo.gl/forms/Aqkc9rNbn1XFIsvS2
Creating a Zap with Zapier
Now we are going to create a Zap that is triggered when a new row appears in the spreadsheet we just created.
1. To make Textline triggers and actions available to your Zapier account, accept this invitation to use Textline on Zapier.
2. To make Zapier happy, you'll need to add at least one contact to the spreadsheet we created. If you have not done so already, go ahead and add one contact using the Google Form we created earlier.
3. Visit Zapier.com and click the Make a Zap button.
4. Give your Zap a name like "Textline opt-in" or "Textline sign up."
5. For your trigger app, choose Google Sheets. Then choose New Spreadsheet Row as your trigger. Zapier will help you sign in to your G Suite account to find the spreadsheet we created earlier.
6. For your action app, choose Textline. Then choose Create/Update Contact as your action. Zapier will help you match your spreadsheet columns to address book fields. (See image below.)
7. When you finish creating your Zap, turn it on.
Now you can test your form by adding another contact, and then visiting your Textline address book to see if the new entry appears. (You may need to wait 5 minutes for Zapier to notice the new spreadsheet row.) If everything is working, you can now direct customers or contacts to your new sign up form.
This idea was inspired by a property manager who uses Textline to field maintenance requests from tenants and to send important announcements to tenants. The sign up form helps tenants make sure they don't miss anything urgent by allowing them to add their own mobile numbers to the management firm's Textline address book.
To learn more about what you can do with Google Forms, read this getting started guide.
Does your business respond to text messages from customers? If not, sign up for a Textline free trial and get a textable phone number in your local area code.
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