How to use Webforms to update your matter

Modified on Sun, 28 Apr 2024 at 08:45 PM

Actionstep webforms allow your firm to have an intake form on your website that, when processed, will create a new matter in Actionstep. This is very useful for collecting general inquiries that quickly create a client engagement or CRM matter type. However, often, you want to collect data from a client or third party once you have already started a matter, capturing further matter and contact details about your case.  

In this article we will explain how to use Webforms to update a matter and importantly, how to link your webform to a matter in Actionstep so you can direct the information in the form to update the correct matter. 


When will a webform update a matter rather than create a new one? 

Actionstep webforms will create a new matter by default. To get a webform to update a matter, the data submitted must be linked to a matter. When that happens, the user processing the webform will find the process slightly different. Instead of the last step in the process creating a matter, they will be prompted to confirm the matter that will be updated. 


How do I link a submitted webform to a matter? 

Actionstep webforms have been designed to capture the matter number by inspecting the URL that the user used to access the webform. When you direct a client or other party to a webform you can use a URL link that will include an identifier to the matter that you want to be updated. The webform will read that link and automatically include the matter in the information submitted when the webform is processed. 


How do you include the link to a matter in your webform link?  

When you create a new webform, you will post this to a particular page on your own website. This means that the form has its own unique URL. Your website consultant can even help you with creating a URL that is descriptive of the form that is going to be filled in. Before you can create a link to a webform that will capture the matter, you need to know this url. 

Taking this url, you want to create a link that will append the following to the end of it: 


To give an example, if the url to your webform was, then the link should look like this:[[action_id]] 


The last part of this URL is a merge field (the “[[action_id]]” part). If you have this link in an email template or document template in Actionstep and generate that template from a matter, the merge field will change into the matter number.  

So the above example, when entered into an email template and sent from matter 123, will generate a link that looks like: 


Implementation suggestions 

To get the best out of an Actionstep webform that will update your matter, we recommend you build in the option of sending a link to the webform into your workflow process.  

Creating a specific email template to send to a client asking for them to fill in the form with a link to the form is the easiest way to get the required information from them. 

Also, remember you can send emails automatically as you move your matter to a certain step. This allows you to build webforms and workflow steps to space out the information you gather based on the client's needs. For example, if your initial webform for an estate planning matter captures that your client is a veteran, you can send a link to a second webform that will capture additional details related to the client's military service. If your initial real estate webform highlights that the property being purchased has existing tenants, you could move the matter to a step that will send an additional webform to capture details of the current tenants. 

Lastly, you can use the hyperlinks in document templates as well as email templates. For example, your engagement letter might include a link to a webform to get more details from the client. 

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