Marketing your business can be a time-consuming task, but with a tool like Autopilot you can automate a lot of the process.  From collecting new leads to customized (and trigger-based) communications, Autopilot has you covered.

Add Formstack Documents to the mix, and you can automatically generate documents like letters, agreements, and more.  You’ll never have to copy and paste again.

In this example, we’re going to show you how to automatically send a welcome letter (yes, a real letter) to new contacts that are added to our Autopilot lists.  To send the letter, we’re going to use our friends over at Lob who will print, stuff, and mail the letter.

To get started, we’re going to set up the template for our letter using a Word document.  Inside the Word document, we’re going to add our logo and other marketing collateral then for the spots that we want to customize with our contact’s information, we’re going to use merge fields like {$FirstName}, {$LastName}, etc.

Here’s what our letter template looks like:

Once we have our template ready to go, we need 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, select Office Document as the document type and then pick the file from your computer.

After you have uploaded the template, you’re going to be taken to the Settings tab where you can modify various options like the type of file that is generated and the name of the file.  For this example, we’re going to produce a PDF and we’re going to include the name of our contact in the name of the file.

Next, we’re going to set up the delivery of our document to Lob so that it is automatically sent to print and mail.  On the Deliver tab, click the New Delivery button and select Lob from the list.  After you enter your Lob API Key, go ahead and define the merge fields of the contact’s address.  Don’t forget to enter your address for the From part.

Once you have set up the Lob delivery, we are done with the setup process in Formstack Documents and we’re ready to integrate with Autopilot.  To help with the integration between Autopilot and Formstack Documents, we’re going to use our friends over at Zapier.

Inside Zapier, click the New Zap button and then for the Trigger we’re going to choose Autopilot as the service and then Contact Added as the trigger.

After you authenticate your Autopilot account, Zapier is going to load a test contact to make sure everything is working correctly.  Follow those steps and move on.

Next, we’re going to set up the Action of our Zap.  For the service 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 the documents in your Formstack Documents account.  Go ahead and pick the letter template that you just created.  Once you pick the document, Zapier will load a list of the merge fields in your document.

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

Once you have matched up all of your merge fields, go ahead and save the Zap and turn it on.  We’re ready for a test!  Login to Autopilot and add a new contact.  Zapier will detect this new contact and will send the data over to Formstack Documents where your letter will be generated and sent to Lob.

Here’s what our merged letter looked like:

Congrats, you’re all done!  You can now automatically generate all kinds of documents from your Autopilot account.  Can you think of any other ways that you could use Formstack Documents to simplify your paperwork process?

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