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Online surveys  (formerly BOS)

Powerful, flexible online surveys

Inviting respondents to participate in your survey ADVANCED

If you have set up a respondent list using survey access control, there are two ways to invite your respondents to participate in your survey:

1.  Send your survey invitations using online surveys

If you are a user in a Project or Organisation account and your survey has up to 5,000 respondents, you can email your survey links out from online surveys.  This has the following advantages:

  • The online surveys email tool is fully integrated with your respondent list, so there is no need to set up a mail merge.
  • The online surveys email tool will automatically keep track of who has completed the survey and who has not.  This allows you to send out reminders to those on your list who have not completed at the click of a button.

Please consider the following points when considering whether to use the online surveys email tool:

  • The online surveys email tool will not report bounced emails or email addresses that have the correct structure but contain typos.
  • If any respondent replies to the email they receive from online surveys this will be automatically discarded and will not reach survey authors or the online surveys support team.
  • Some people have opted out of receiving any emails from online surveys.  If one or more of your respondents has opted out of online surveys emails the tool will not send them an invitation email or a reminder email.
  • If you wish to run the survey completely anonymously, without recording any respondent details, you will not be able to email using online surveys.
  • The online surveys email tool will send a maximum of one invitation email and four reminder emails per respondent (five emails in total).

2.  Export respondent details and use your own methods to distribute survey invitations

You can export your respondent list and distribute the invitations yourself using a mail merge.  Exporting the respondent list will generate a file that contains personalised URLs for all of your respondents, as well as usernames, passwords and any other information you entered into the list.  This functionality is available to all online surveys users in all account types.

Distributing the survey invitations outside of online surveys has the following advantages:

  • You are not limited to 5,000 respondents and you can send as many invitations and reminders as you like.
  • An email sent from your organisation will be more recognisable to your participants.
  • You can quickly identify incorrect or bouncing messages.
  • You will have greater control when managing queries from respondents.
  • You can customise the invitation email to, for example, provide usernames and passwords instead of survey links.