Sign-up Form Step 4: Compose

The Compose page allows you to fine-tune the look and feel of your Sign-up form. Here, you can set your form’s fields, add images, update the color scheme, along with many other custom elements.

Scrolling down the page, you’ll reach a visual editor with two tabs.  Bear in mind, you can learn about commonly used parts of The Visual Editor here.


Like the other form creation pages, this is where you’ll begin to brand your form.  Starting with the Content tab, you will:

  • Add a catchy headline.
  • Give the Sign-up form supporting imagery.
  • Apply a specific description text, apply dividers or callouts, or delete any of these things if you wish to go a different direction.
  • Preview how the signature information will be displayed.
  • Enable or disable your Sign-up form’s social media sharing options.
  • ...and much more!

Configuring your Sign-up form's content


There are three different views that will help you construct your Sign-up form:

  1. EDIT -- By default, you will start off by seeing the "Edit" view of your Sign-up form.  Most of your work will be done from here, as this is where most of your elements are added, edited, or removed.
  2. OUTLINE -- You also have the "Outline" tab, which will allow make broader adjustments to the layout of your Sign-up form, by clicking and dragging content:
  3. PREVIEW -- This tab allows you to not only see a "WYSIWYG" view of your Sign-up form in any given desktop browser, but to also see how it looks on popular mobile devices, as well.

Editor Controls
On the right-hand side of the same menu bar where you've seen the View Buttons (Outline, Edit, and Preview), you'll see some means by which you can add elements such as Headers and Footers, Image and Text fields, and even alter design basics, such as a custom background for your page.  Those buttons look like this:

Let's preview some of the specifics of each of these buttons:

1. STRUCTURE -- This button brings up a menu of drag-and-drop elements that include the obviously labeled Header and Footer, but also multi-column cells and sidebars.  Choices made here may overlap with choices from the Elements tab, too. For example:

2. ELEMENTS -- Here are the design choices that you'll use to fill in the cells you created in your Structure tab.  As before, click and drag any element you'd like to use to your page:

3. DESIGN -- Selecting this button brings up a separate window of options.  The first tab you'll see is the Design Preferences tab.  This tab allows you to make changes to this specific form that may deviate from the default choices you've made to your account:


The next tab, Page Preferences, allows you to make a whole host of changes, such as adding a custom background, adding a Facebook picture, changing the background colors of your page, etc.

The Finer Points

For each type of design element you place into your page, there's a separate set of finer controls which allow you to further edit and design your form or email. 

1. ROW MOVEMENT OPTIONS -- In the upper-left of each window choice is a small, orange rectangle with white dots.  Clicking this rectangle brings up a menu that allows you to move the cell either by one position, or the entire length of the page:


2. EDIT PENCIL -- Since most of the options revealed by clicking this icon are covered in our document, The Visual Editor, we'll only cover the tools and elements specific to Sign-up forms.  For all other edit options provided by other elements, go to the Visual Editor page.

A.  The Form Field  -- Although you'll find the Form field used across other Activities, not all options are the same.  Note that the Form field box is greyed out in the Elements tab. This indicates that the Sign-up form's editor already has a Form field present, and no other can be added by clicking and dragging this option. 

When you click the Edit Pencil icon in the Form field, you'll see the "Let's set up your form" window:

We'll now cover the options available under each tab.  The Sign-up Form's specific editing options may be paired down by comparison to some others, but all the options will be familiar territory to you if you've built other forms.

Sign-up Form Options

FIELD SELECTION -- There are two choices that can be made on this tab.

A. What pieces of info do you want to collect from supporters in this form? -- This window is drag-and-drop capable.  You can move any fields you'd like your supporters to fill out from the left column to the right.  You can use the search field above the left column to quickly locate fields you'd like to use.  Once you have what you're after, you can arrange the fields that will appear on the form (the right column) by clicking and dragging each field.  To remove a field you don't want, click the trashcan to delete it from that field.  Don't worry, you won't remove it permanently.  You can always re-add the field from the pool of available options in the left column.  You can also select which fields are required or not required in the right column.

B.  What should the submit button say?  -- This field allows you to change how the submission button is labeled.  Simply click into the field and edit it, if you'd like to see this changed from the default setting.

3.  OPT-IN OPTIONS -- There are two choices here, but one of them is depended on the first.  Leaving the first box unchecked, the "Give supporters the option to opt-in to receive email" does not include a way supporters can choose to be excluded from your email list.  If you decide you'd like to give your supporters this ability, check the box.  This is when the second choice becomes available.  You can then choose whether or not to provide supporters with topic options.  You can set which topics are made available on this list by going into your account's Settings, selecting the Message Topics from the "Switch to..." menu, and adding new topics:

4.  CONFIRMATION -- Under the question, "What should happen after someone fills out the form?", you'll see two radio buttons.  One is automatically set to "Show them a message", which you will set via the Confirmation tab.  If you choose, "Send them to a new page", you're provided with a text field where you can paste or write in the web address of the forwarding page.

Auto Responder

You can choose whether or not to include an Auto Responder to this form by selecting the appropriate radio button under the Auto Responder tab:

You can also edit the Auto Responder for all forms of this type by clicking the "Click here to edit the Auto Responder for this Activity" link.

Once you're done making your choices, you can either hit the "Cancel" button in the lower right-hand corner of the window, or click "Save" to save your settings.

If you've set up everything in your form to your liking, you can select, "Save", "Back: Setup", or ""Publish This Form". 

NOTE:  When you select, "Publish This Form", the page will be rendered, a URL will be generated, and widgets will be created.  Most importantly, the form WILL BECOME LIVE.  You can select to turn the page private again, but know the default setting when publishing will be to make this a live page.

Of course, you can also choose to delete the form entirely by selecting Delete from the cogwheel icon in the lower left-hand corner of the window.


Next Step: Publish a Sign-up Form


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