Sending out email/link surveys - comprehensive guide

This article will guide you through email/link surveys all the way from creating a survey, through sending it out, to effectively dealing with responses.

Link/email surveys enable you to survey your audience with email, or share the URL of the survey in anywhere. You can embed surveys directly in an email, or share survey link with your email subscribers. Get surveys sent out using the most popular email marketing automation/CRM software, like Salesforce, HubSpot, Intercom, and many more.Distribute your surveys through a variety of email marketing/CRM/marketing automation software

  • Embed the first question in an email to boost the response rate
  • Associate responses with your subscribers and keep track of all survey-related activity in almost any software of your choice

Set up your survey

  1. When you log in to your account, you'll see the panel where you can view all surveys you’ve created - both active and inactive. To create a new survey click on Add New Survey +.
  1. Now you get to decide whether you'd like to create a survey of your own or choose from some ready-to-use surveys.
If you select a template, don't forget to pick e-mail or link survey as the distribution channel:
  1. We'll now create a survey from scratch. To create an email or link survey, select email or shareable link, pick your provider and name the survey.
A provider is an application you'll use to get surveys sent out. Select the software you normally work with and use to carry out your marketing operations. We'll automatically generate a software-aware link. Any response received will then be associated with the right subscribers (respondents).To learn more about how to send surveys with your platform, refer to these articles.
If you'd like to send out a survey via unsupported software - like Gmail, Outlook - select the shareable link option. You might still be able to view responses along with respondents' contact details. Read on this article to learn how.
The name of your survey is merely for your information. It will not be visible to your respondents.

Add questions and apply logic

You'll now get to build up your survey. We'll be creating a basic survey that consists of three steps. We'll then embed it in an email. The basic survey is made up of:

  • The first question - single choice question
  • A follow-up question - text answer question
  • A Finishing Action - thank you message

We'll then apply survey skip logic to customize the survey depending on what the response to the previous question was. You can add as many steps to your survey as you need. However, please bear in mind that the longer your survey is the less likely people are to complete it. See our report on survey completion rate.

Please note that if you'd like to embed a survey in an email, the first step of the survey needs to be either a single choice, a smiley scale or an NPS question. Other types of questions are yet to be supported due to their coding structure.
  1. Start with adding a single choice question:
  1. Then add a follow-up question by clicking Add next step. Let's make it an open-ended question (text answer).
  1. To finalize the survey, you can set an action based on what you want the respondents to do next. You can add social call-to-actions, route them to another page, or simply add a thank you message as shown below:
  1. It’s time to apply survey skip logic (logic jump) to the survey. You'll get to route respondents to the different next steps based on what the response to the previous question was. In this example, only those of the respondents who answered "It needs improvement" will get a follow-up question. Let’s change the next step accordingly: 
Skip logic works with single-response questions only (such as single choice, NPS, rating, smiley scale and drop down). Questions with multiple answers can only lead to a single next step.

Design and preview your survey

In the Design tab, you can customize the design of the landing page of your surveys so it's in line with your company's branding. You'll be able to tweak your survey by changing survey colors or adding your company's logo. You can also customize the copy of survey buttons and the different survey messages. There's also a custom CSS feature available on some of the paid plans.

You will be able to test-complete the survey as if you were a respondent. If you create an embeddable survey, you'll also get to switch between email and landing page views:

See the Survey design and preview article for more information.

Define survey settings

The Settings tab allows you to make use of the finer options. You can switch on multiple responses from the same browser or enable email notifications. You can also schedule your survey to go live on a certain date or stop after you've collected a given number of responses:

Under survey distribution, you change your provider at any time in just one click:

Use the checkbox below if you'd like a survey to be taken multiple times by a single respondent from the same browser. Once disabled, if someone tries to re-take the survey, they'll see the following message: "You have already responded to this survey.”

You might run into the "You have already responded this survey" notification when testing your survey. You're encouraged to test out surveys in the incognito mode. Make sure to close the incognito window every time you submit a new response.
  • If you are more of an email person, you can also enable daily/weekly/monthly survey reports and/or email notifications (sent out every time there's a new response). You can get these sent out to any email addresses you like:

  • You can also send responses to Feedback Hub. It's a stand-alone Survicate product which helps you organize and analyze feedback received from different sources (more information here). Here’s how to enable it:

Just click on Feedback Hub in the upper left corner of your panel:

Integrate your survey

You'll be able to seamlessly connect with a variety of modern marketing tools. That way, you'll integrate survey data back into subscriber profiles in real time. Any responses you receive, will feed into your platform and update your subscriber profiles with tags/attributes or other custom values.

Here's a handy comparison of the most popular platforms Survicate works with:

PLATFORM

Marketing automation/CRM/email marketing platform of your choice.

EMBEDDING AND LINKS

Embed the first question in an email or get a shareable link. Associate responses with your subscribers.

DATA INTEGRATION

Feed survey responses into subscriber/company profiles as values/properties.

Intercom

Yes (Or send surveys via Intercom Chat)

Yes

Hubspot

Yes

Yes

Marketo

Yes

Yes

Salesforce

Yes

Yes

Salesforce Pardot

Yes

Yes

MailChimp

Yes

Yes

Active Campaign

Yes

Yes

Klaviyo

Yes

Yes

Drip

Yes

Yes

Sendgrid

Yes

Connect through Zapier

You can find the full list of integrations and enable them from Settings (the sprocket wheel icon in the upper right corner) > Integrations. Also, refer to this section about integrations.
If your tool is not on the list above, don't worry. You will still be able to send a regular survey link and, in some instances, track down responses and associate them with your subscribers. For custom platform requests, please drop us an email at support@survicate.com or start an Intercom conversation.We'll be happy to help you.

Identify your respondents

If you choose to send out a survey via a platform we support, you'll be able to easily identify your respondents. The links we automatically generate use merge-tags. They let you use dynamic content in your campaign as well as link responses with your subscribers/respondents. As a rule, we collect:

  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name

Here's a breakdown of a sample link:

Survey ID: Every survey has a unique survey ID. It will differ from survey to survey.

Distribution: The name of the platform you'll use to get the survey sent out.

Merge tags: They do the magic and let you identify respondents. Once a respondent clicks on a link or responds to a survey from an email, the merge-tag part - in this case {{contact.email}} - will populate automatically.

Suppose you send a survey via HubSpot to support@survicate.com. Once you send the email, the link will look as follows:survey.survicate.com/.../?p=hubspot&email=support@survicate.com

The following information will become visible in the respondent's profile:

The same is true when you embed surveys.

You are free to add more custom merge tags if there's any other data you'd like to collect. The merge-tags can also be used with software we don't natively support, such as Gmail, Outlook, etc.See this article for more information.

Share your survey

You will see a link to your survey in the Share section. You can hide this link behind a CTA button or hyperlink it. You can also link it to an image - and share it wherever you want!

Embed your survey in an email:

If you embed a survey, you'll get to display its first question directly in the email's body. It's a simple copy-and-paste job. It doesn’t require any coding or technical skills.

All you need to do is copy the code that’s generated once you click on the “Get your survey” button and paste it into an HTML editor of your software.

To embed a survey in an email, make sure the first step is either an NPS, a smiley scale or a single choice question. If you select any other question type, you'll only be able to use a link.

Analyze your feedback

Once your survey has been sent out and you've collected some responses, you'll see them under the “Analyze” tab. Access this section by clicking on your survey from the main dashboard, or hover over the survey and click on See Answers.

Under Survey Results, you can see a general overview of all your responses.

The Survey Respondents tab lets you analyze responses one by one by clicking on the response. Discover the ins and outs of each response given:

Narrow down the results by applying various filters. Just click on Show Filters and decide how you'd like to filter the results:

🚀 Armed with this knowledge, how about you try and set up your first email survey campaign? You'll be amazed at how useful your survey insights can be!

💬 If you need our assistance, please reach out to us at support@survicate.com or strike up a chat conversation 👉.


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