Custom Variables

Custom Variables

Using custom variables allows you to include information about a respondent in the survey without making the respondent answer those questions. In other words, it helps avoid asking for information that you already know. For example, imagine that there's a question in the survey that asks for the respondent's email. If you remove the email question from the survey but still need the respondent's email address, you can add a custom variable, and the email address will also show up in the survey reports.

By extension, if you already know your respondents you can use custom variables and piping to auto-fill questions on your survey.

How do I...

How do I add a custom variable in my survey?

  1. Click Advanced Options on the upper-right side of the survey builder.
  2. Click Custom Variables
    Custom variable feature
  3. Complete the URL Parameter box. Make sure you remember what you write in this field, because you'll need to use exactly the same variable name in the URL when sending out your survey.
  4. Enter a description for the custom variable in the Reports' Label box.
  5. Select the type of variable you'd like to use from the Type dropdown list:
    • Text
    • Email
    • Number
    • Choice: In the Options box, type in the choices (one per line). At least two options are required to save the variable.
  6. Click Save Variable.

 

How do I test the custom variable?

  1. Copy the survey link from the Launch tab.
  2. Paste the URL in a new tab.
  3. Add ?email=<email address of the respondent or any other variable> to the URL. The survey will open and this email address will be recorded along with the user's responses. Any number of custom variables can be added to a survey URL by separating the variables by an ampersand (&). For example, https://Surveylink?var1=[value]&var2=[value2]&var3=[value3].

 

How do I edit an existing custom variable?

  1. Click Advanced Options on the upper-right side of the survey builder.
  2. Click Custom Variable.
  3. Hover over the custom variable you want to edit and click Create online surveys.
  4. Edit the URL Parameter and Reports' Label boxes as needed.
  5. Click Save Variable.

 

How do I delete a custom variable?

  1. Click Advanced Options on the upper-right side of the survey builder.
  2. Click Custom Variable.
  3. Hover over the custom variable you want to delete and click Create online surveys.

 

Custom Variables and Piping

You can also use these custom variables while piping. If you already know the respondent of your survey, for example, you can personalize your survey by removing the Name question, and creating a custom variable instead.

 

How do I add a custom variable with piping?

  1. Create a custom variable, such as name.
  2. Add the variable name in the text of your question. Read more on piping.
  3. Copy the survey URL in the Launch tab.
  4. Paste the URL into a new tab.
  5. Add '?name=<name of the respondent' to the URL. The question will automatically have the respondent's name filled in.

You can automate this process by using our integrations with Zoho CRM, Zoho Campaigns, or MailChimp. While distributing the survey with any campaign tool, custom variables can be defined as merge tags corresponding to the campaign tool. For example, https://surveylink?var=$[merge-tag]. Learn more about adding merge tags to your URL. When respondents submit the survey, go to your reports section. You will find custom variables and extended custom variables there.

Using multiple custom variables helps reduce the number of questions in your survey, making it look neat, while still gathering the information you need.

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