Tokenized Hidden Values (Appeal Codes for Non-commerce Forms)

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Tokenized Hidden Values are similar to Appeal Codes, but you can also use them for non-commerce forms. This allows you to track from where the respondents are originating. Values will populate in both the admin confirmation email and form reporting. You can also build Custom URLs with Link Builder.

Hidden Value is a data field type into which you can enter a value that looks like a token but won't display in the token list. This field is hidden from your form respondents automatically. You can use this on any non-commerce form or event. The admin can add a Hidden Value field to a form as a token (##token##). You can use the token (without ##) in the URL string that is added in emails or other marketing campaigns for tracking purposes. If you capitalize the token when creating the field, the URL will also need a capitalized letter. Admins can use this field to track where the form respondents are originating.

The primary capability is to use these hidden values to track where users are coming from to the particular form. In addition, with multi-step forms and because you can build roles on these hidden values, you will be able to configure role-based content/presentation of the subsequent form steps based on the user having the specific hidden value in the token. This way, customized content can be presented based on the user's link, either inside or outside the Encompass system.

NOTE: the URL customization needs to happen on the form URL instead of the detail page URL.

Example #1: Using Tokenized Hidden Values for Tracking

You have built a form to collect information on what people would like to volunteer. You intend to place text or image links in multiple places on your site and in emails such as the homepage, email newsletter, and the volunteer opportunities page on your site. You need to track the source of how someone reaches your form. 

First, you'll add the Hidden Value Field to your form; then, you'll add the value to the form's URL, which can link users to the form.

Adding a Tokenized Hidden Value Field to a Form
NOTE:  All Tokenized Hidden Value fields must be on step 1 of the form, or they will not work correctly because the values do not get perpetuated on the query string when clicking the buttons on the form.
  • Create a standard form or open an existing form.
  • From the Manage Categories dropdown, select Add New Field.
  • Enter the information for the field. For the Data Field Type, select Hidden Value.
  • In the Apply a permanent value to this field, enter a token  ##token##, such as ##Source## (to track the source as in the example above). You must add ## before and after the token. 
  • For Tracking, you should make it an instance field so that data in the field does not get overwritten if a user comes back to the form from different sources. (If you do not mark it as an instance field, the value won't change. To analyze which items successfully drove people to my Form, Event, Donation, or Membership, I need to have the unique values each time submitted.)
  • Click Next to add it to the form. The field will be shown to admins but is hidden from users.


Adding a Token Value to the Query String

Create a URL for your form to use on your homepage, in an email, etc. which allows you to track where the user originated.

  • Go to the user view of your form by selecting View Content. You will see a URL like the following: 
  • To create a redirect URL for a homepage link that tracks people, you would add &Source=homepage at the end (As you had used a capital letter when you created the field, you would capitalize Source). You must use the long URL string for your form.

  • For a redirect URL from a Volunteer Opportunities page on your site, you would add &Source=VolOpps. For the email source, add &Source=email081512.
  • If you would like to create a custom URL, you would use Link Builder to create something like this:

Example #2:  Using Tokenized Hidden Values for Events

For this example, you want to display role-based tickets to people without requiring them to log in to register for the event.

The Tokenized Hidden Value field must NOT be marked as an instance field to achieve this. Once you create the field, edit the field and use the Manage Field Roles link. Create all of the roles that you need. The value you put in for the role must be what you add to the URL after the =.
One key piece of information to keep in mind is that once there is a value for the field, the value will be retained and NOT overwritten. This is especially important with the Edit Event Registration link functionality so that users would be able to come back and see the same ticket option(s) that they saw before.

NOTE: the URL customization needs to happen on the form URL as opposed to the detail page URL.

One other scenario to plan for would be someone navigating to the event without a link containing a value on the query string to populate the hidden value field. You may want to create a ticket set to the role of "Everyone" but deny access to the special roles for all of the other tickets (so they could see that option even if they are not using the link with the hidden value).


  • If Edit Registration is turned on for an event, you'll only be able to capture a hidden value on the user's first time through the form. There are two reasons for this: 1) After someone registers for the event, they'll most likely be accessing the form via the Edit Registration link in their confirmation email. This URL will not have the token in it. 2) When Edit Registration is turned on for an event, instance fields behave like non-instance fields. So, even if they did have the token in the URL when they went to edit their registration (they would need to already be logged in when they clicked on the link), it wouldn't update the hidden value because the field is behaving like a non-instance field.
  • If Edit Registration is turned on for an event, and a user submits the form without a hidden value (for example, if they went to the site and accessed the form via a URL that didn't have a token in it) and then they try to register again at a discounted price (via a URL with a token that will place them into a discount price role), they won't get the discounted price. They won't see the discounted price because the token won't be in the URL anymore after they click on the Edit Registration link. Without the value in the URL , they won't be placed into the appropriate role.

The values you added to the URL will populate in your form report.

Admin Confirmation Email

The value added to the URL will also populate in your admin confirmation email. You will be able to easily see what drove the person to the form.