SoSci Survey
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Send Email to a Personal Contact

This question shows the participant an input field for an email address. If the participants enters a valid email address, an email will be send to this address. Define the content of this email in the question settings.

This question type is ideal for recruiting respondents through snowball-sampling, or for partner surveys (see below).

Question Type: Send Email to a Personal Contact

It is often necessary to personalize the content of the email - be it a name, a participation code, a or reference to the ongoing questionnaire. By using placeholders, you are free to customize the text in the email (Placeholders).


Note: The email address specified by the participant will not be saved in the data record, or anywhere else for that matter.

Note: Plain text emails are currently supported. Formatting (bold, italic, font size etc.) is therefore not possible.

Note: To avoid this feature being misused to send spam, only 10 emails per questionnaire can be sent.

Note: Avoid putting this question with other questions that force the participant to give an answer on one questionnaire page. If the participant has given an email address, and the page is displayed repeatedly after clicking on “Next”, this means the email has already been sent and entering an email address again will send another email.

Note: The name and email address of the project manager as given in the user account ('My Account') will appear as the sender of the email.

Snowball Sampling

The most common use for this type of question is to recruit participants through the process of snowball sampling. The email should simply contain an invitation to take part in the survey incl. the URL to the questionnaire.

Tip: Letting the person know where you (as the sender) got their email address from, and that it has not been saved (will remain confidential) will avoid them getting irritated and you receiving any angry emails.

Partner Survey

Analyzing the data of two or more people at the same time is often wanted. Initially, the first person takes the survey, and then they are asked to get in contact with another person (e.g. partner, boss etc.).

The question type Send email to personal contact is particularly well suited for partner/couple surveys using the following approach, because the different data records on the one hand can be assigned without jeopardizing the participant's anonymity.

The text in the email also contains a friendly invitation incl. the URL to the questionnaire here. In the URL, additionally specify the case number for the current questionnaire/participant as the reference (URL to the Questionnaire). The easiest way to do this is by using the placeholder %caseNumber% which is automatically available (Placeholders).

Please click on the following link to access the questionnaire:


In addition to the email address, the question Send email to a personal contact allows upto three more text input fields. The replies can be used with the placeholders %custom1% to %custom3% in the email. The input fields are enabled by writing a label in the Label for text input 1 (and so on).

For example, if “Full Name:” is entered as the label in the first text field, and “Message to the Recipient:” in the second one, the Content of the email could look as follows:

Hello %custom1%,

Your email address was put forward by a participant in our study because you are likely to have 
an opinion the subject of XYZ. He or she left the following message:


Please click on the following link to take part in the study:

Kind regards,
Project Manager
en/create/questions/email.txt · Last modified: 09.02.2015 17:38 by
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