Getting Form Results Through Email (WingsMail)
Learn how to create a simple Web form whose results may be sent
to specific UB email addresses.
This document assumes you have some familiarity with HTML
Begin the form in your HTML document with a “form”
tag that is pointed at the WingsMail script:
Specify the fields and values submitted by the form. These will
include things you want to define (like the email addresses the
form results are sent to) and things you want the person filling
out the form to provide (like his or her name, comments, and so
Values You Define (invisible to the visitor)
To define values in a form yourself, use an “input”
tag with the following three attributes:
- type: Must be set to “hidden”
- name: Can be one of the bracketed names listed below
- value: The appropriate value will vary depending on the
Below are attributes whose values you will likely want to set,
followed by an example of the HTML code.
Email Recipients [to]
This value controls which email address(es) the emailed form
results are sent. Separate multiple email addresses with a comma.
Only @buffalo.edu addresses may be used.
Email Subject [subject]
This value controls the subject of the email that is sent when
the form is submitted.
You may want your visitor to set the subject of the email. In
that case, use the following instead:
Name of the Form [source]
This value will appear in the email that is sent when the form
is submitted. This is especially helpful if you have multiple forms
on your website, and you want to be able to tell which form a
particular email came from.
Address of the Web Page the Form Came From
Similar to “source” above, this value is helpful if
you have multiple forms on your website, and want to be able to
tell which form a particular email came from. Instead of a form
name, give the URL the form can be found at.
Don’t Allow Anonymous Submissions [anon]
If you include this code, the form will not be processed
if the user doesn't specify an email address.
Thank You Page URL [return]
Once your visitor fills out your form, it is customary to direct
them to a “Thank You” page, often with information
about when they will hear back from you, if applicable. Once you
create that Thank You page, you can give its URL here.
Thank You Text [thanks]
If you didn't use the [return] option above, you may have
text displayed to your visitor after the form is submitted.
Required Fields [reqfields]
List required fields. If your visitor leaves these fields blank,
he or she will receive an error message and an opportunity to
supply the missing information. Separate the field names by the "|"
symbol. These names must appear in your form.
Return Path [return-path]
In the event that the email created by the form cannot be
delivered, this value specifies the email address that will receive
the system error message (default is email@example.com).
From Email Address If None Specified [fromaddress]
When email gets sent to you, and no “email”
value has been entered (see below), you may specify an address.
Values Your Visitor Supplies (entered into empty text boxes on the form)
This is what we usually think of when we think of Web forms: a
series of questions (or “labels”) accompanied by empty
boxes for the visitor to enter information.
To create each simple text input box that your visitor may fill
out, use an “input” tag with two attributes:
- type: “input” (the sample code below shows how to
make a “Comments Box” by using the
- name: Whatever you like
Below are common attributes whose values you will likely want
your visitor to supply, followed by an example of the HTML
Visitor’s Email Address [email]
The email will show up just as if your visitor had sent it
through an email program. If you click “reply” to the
message, your email program will start a message to whatever email
address your visitor has entered.
Email Sender’s Name [fromname]
The person's real name.
You will probably want to add your own fields to those above. To
do so, use the same format, but replace the value of
“name” with a descriptive word of your own. For
Note: Each “name” must be unique.
3. Supply a submit button and close your form tag.
Understanding How Your Form Results Are Created
When the form is submitted, it is sent to the WingsMail script.
This script uses some of the values to create the email (to,
subject, and so forth) and set other options (such as what page to
display after the form is submitted). The other values are placed
in the body of the email. There will be a line for each input
“name” and its corresponding value, separated by an
“ = ” sign:
Comments = When I was about thy years, Hal, I was not an eagle’s talon in the waist.
Name = Zooey Perry
Making Your Emailed Form Results Easier to Read
By default, the form results are alphabetized by the field
names. This can result in an email that is hard to read. One way to
specify an order is to add a numerical prefixes to the input
tags’ “name” attributes. For example, if your
form has the following code:
Your email results will appear like this:
01. Name = Zooey Perry
02. Comments = When I was about thy years, Hal, I was not an eagle’s talon in the waist.
The form results email also includes information about the
submission in a footer:
Supplied E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sending Host: […]
WWW Browser Client: […]
Refering URL: […]
End Of Message
Complete Sample Form
This is the HTML for a sample form that asks for the name, email
address, and subject, then emails the information and redirects the
user to another page. The message is rejected if the name or email
fields are left blank.