How to Insert a Form Link into an Email Without Breaking It

Written by Formstack on August 22, 2011

Posted in Form Hacks

If you’ve ever had a recipient complain that a Formstack link in your email doesn’t work for them, but it works fine for you, the reason is most likely that the link has been broken into two lines by their email software.

You see the link as http://www.formstack.com/forms/?444499-23Ap9U5DaM but they see it as:

http://www.formstack.com/forms/?444499-
23Ap9U5DaM

When they click on the broken Formstack link, they’ll get an error such as “ERROR: A valid form ID was not supplied.”

There are a few steps you can take to avoid this.  This first thing I would suggest would be making the link a hyperlink such as Click Here instead of pasting the full URL into the email, as shown below:

links1

The image above would be the wrong way to place a link an email.

links2

This would be the correct way.

links3

Or you can provide the link via both methods to be safe.

Another thing you can do is to shorten the link using a service such as Tiny URL.  Their service turns a long URL such as http://www.formstack.com/forms/?444499-23Ap9U5DaM into a short URL like http://tinyurl.com/3ksdfpl .

If you are sending emails in plain text instead of HTML, you can also try putting brackets around your links, like so:  <http://tinyurl.com/3ksdfpl>  The brackets are supposed to keep the links from breaking in some email programs.

If you follow these steps and a user still receives a broken link, have them tell you what link they are pasting into their browser.  Formstack links should have no spaces in them.  Users sometimes confuse dashes and underscores as well.  If they are having trouble with a standard Formstack link, convert it to a Tiny URL and spell it out for them over the phone.