Jisc banner

Online surveys  (formerly BOS)

Powerful, flexible online surveys

How do I send survey invitation emails to my respondents?

Where a list of respondents has been created using survey access control, you can send email invitations to your respondents containing personalised URLs or usernames and passwords.  There are two options for sending invitation and reminder emails to your respondents:

  1. Online surveys has an inbuilt email tool which you can use to send invitation and reminder emails to your respondents.  This is only available to users within Project and Organisation account types and is limited to 5,000 respondents per survey.
  2. Alternatively, you can export your respondent list (including usernames, passwords and personalised survey links) and send the invitations yourself using a facility such as a mail merge.

To use the online surveys email tool:

  1. Ensure your respondents’ email addresses have been included in the Email field (third column) of your survey’s respondent list.
    • Online surveys uses the information in the Email column to send invitations and reminders.  It cannot use email addresses stored in any other field in the respondent list.
  2. Add a hidden question which captures the username, email address or token of your respondents.
    • This enables online surveys to keep track of who has and has not completed your survey so that it only sends invitations and reminders to respondents who have not yet completed.
  3. Launch your survey.
    • This activates the email tool, assuming the preceding steps have been carried out.
  4. Customise the email templates.
    • If desired, change the default text in the survey email templates to text that is appropriate for your survey.
  5. Send invitation and reminder emails.
    • Invitation and reminder emails are not sent automatically by online surveys.  You must click on the “Send invitation emails” or “Send reminder emails” button when you wish to send these emails.
    • The buttons for sending invitation and reminder emails appear on the Survey launchpad once all of the necessary steps have been carried out and the survey has been launched.

Please see our Help page “Inviting and reminding respondents using online surveys” for more detailed information and step-by-step instructions.

To export your respondent list and send the invitations yourself:

  1. Locate your survey and click on Distribute.
  2. Click on survey access control icon Survey access control.
  3. At Respondent export / import, click on export Export respondents.

The exported file will contain all of the information in the survey access control list plus an additional column containing personalised URLs for all of your survey respondents.  You can use this file to set up a mail merge which inserts the respondents’ usernames and passwords or personalised URLs into invitation and reminder emails.