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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.If the project is released for several users, you can select a sender under Survey projectProject settingsreleasePrimary e-mail address.

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

Important: Please read the chapter Team and Partner Interviews first.

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 reference is a value or text that is stored directly in the data set. The easiest way to do this is by using the placeholder as the reference %caseNumber% which is automatically available (Placeholders) and is replaced by the number of the current interview (CASE) when the e-mail is sent..

Please click on the following link to access the questionnaire:

Note: the first part of the link ( must be adapted to your project. The correct URL to the Questionnaire You can view and (as long as the survey period has not yet started) change the link to the questionnaire under Survey projectProject settingsProject directory. Then ?r=%caseNumber% is appended to this link.

If several questionnaires have been created in the survey project, it will call up the questionnaire that was set as default under Compose questionnaireother questionnaires. If you want to call up another questionnaire, you can specify its ID in the link with the parameter q (The link to the questionnaire). The identification of the questionnaire is indicated in the navigation at Compose questionnaire in square brackets. It can be changed under Compose questionnaireSettingsIdentification.

Please click on the following link to get to questionnaire II:

Note: For the link in the e-mail to work, the survey project must be in the field (Survey projectProject settingssurvey period) and the questionnaire to be accessed by the link must be publicly available (Access Restrictions).

If everything works correctly, you will get records (data rows) of the second questionnaire where the variable REF (the reference) matches the case number (CASE) of the corresponding first questionnaire.

21mainABCDE12.2016-11-22 08:52:002This is the initial questionnaire of person A
22follow.212016-11-22 09:36:007Data of the partner of person A
24mainEFGHI23.2016-11-22 10:15:003Initial questionnaire from person C
25mainIJKLM34.2016-11-22 10:17:001Initial questionnaire from person D
26follow.252016-11-22 14:58:006Partner of person D
28follow.242016-11-23 07:30:002Partner of person C

Tip: In order to be able to easily merge the data records afterwards (i.e. to combine the two data rows of a partner relationship into one), it is useful to use different variables in both questionnaires. So do not use “AB01” in both questionnaires as in the data example above. If some of the questions are duplicated, you can duplicate the corresponding section in the question catalog. The assignment based on a key variable (in this case CASE ↔ REF) is then done by the statistics software.


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 %detail1% to %detail3% 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 %detail1%,

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: 28.10.2020 11:53 by sophia.schauer
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