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Send Emails in XM Directory

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About Sending Emails in XM Directory

Instead of making you go back to your survey to distribute invitations, XM Directory lets you send emails right from the Distributions tab. Here, you can send plain emails or survey invites to a mailing list, a sample, a segment, or even a single contact at a time.

Qtip: If you are collaborating on a survey with another user who doesn’t have XM Directory, you will not be able to use your mailing lists to distribute the survey. If you want to distribute the survey using your directory, make a copy of the survey on your account, or be sure to create the surveys on your account going forward.
Qtip: Ready to send a reminder or thank you email? See the linked support pages for additional help.

Sending Survey Invites

Attention: In order to comply with the United States federal CAN-SPAM Act, it is advised that you include an opt out link in every email that you send to individuals outside of your organization. There are no exceptions to this requirement when sending emails to individuals outside of your organization. As a Qualtrics user, you will need to ensure that you are complying with the local legislation.

If you’ve removed your opt out link, add it back using the piped text menu.

Qtip: If you have access to multiple directories, make sure you’ve selected the correct one before you try to send distributions. Otherwise you might not be able to find the contacts, lists, or segments you want to distribute to.

Topmost navigation bar of the screen. Clicking the name of the directory and seeing a dropdown with a list of all other directories

  1. In the Distributions tab, click Create distribution.
    the distributions tab in xm directory. the create distribution button is selected
  2. Select Email.
    the distributions tab in xm directory. email is selected
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Select the survey you’d like to send an invite for.
    A survey is selected

    Qtip: You can use the search bar and folder dropdown list to locate your survey.
  5. Click Change Link Type and Expiration to make sure you’re using the link type you want and have the expiration set as desired.
    Change Link Type and Expiration is expanded

    Qtip: See Link Type and Expiration for more.
  6. Click Send this Survey.
  7. Select the mailing list or sample you’d like to email. Or, if desired, send to a single contact.
    A mailing list is selected

    Qtip: You can use the search bar and folder dropdown list to locate your list or sample.
    Qtip: You can also distribute to a segment rather than a contact list or a sample.
  8. Click Send to List.
  9. Select whether you want to schedule this distribution for later or send now.
    Send Now is selected

    Qtip: If you accidentally schedule it for later, you can make edits to the distribution, including cancelling it or changing when it goes out. Once a distribution is sent, it cannot be retrieved.
  10. Click Continue.
  11. Enter a from email.
    An email is filled out and ready to send

    Qtip: You can use whatever name you want (e.g.,, but the domain has to be a Qualtrics-approved one. This improves your email’s legitimacy and decreases the chances it’ll bounce. If your organization has a custom email domain set up, this will also appear as an option.
  12. Enter a from name.
  13. Enter a reply-to email.
  14. Enter a subject.
  15. Write your message. Or, click the Message dropdown to choose a message saved to your library.
    Qtip: See our section on Customizing Emails.
  16. If desired, click Send Test Email to send a preview email to an email address of your choice. This email will contain a link to the preview version of your survey.
    Send Test Email opens a window where an email address can be entered
  17. Click Continue.
  18. Review the content. Click Edit next to any field to go back and change it.
    Blue edit buttons by every field
  19. When you’re ready to send the distribution, click Send Surveys.

The Edit buttons will disappear when your distribution has sent. Click Return to Outbox to go back to your outbox. Here you can start another distribution or manage past distributions.

Return to Outbox button

Customizing Email Messages

Customizing email messages in XM Directory is very similar to how it is done in the Distributions tab of a project.

One of the main differences is that part of the rich content editor is hidden under a dropdown, as shown below. This rich content editor does not include inline questions.

Rich content editor expanded

For additional assistance, see the following pages:

Link Type & Expiration

When selecting the survey you want to distribute, you can change the link type of the link to the survey, and you can change the expiration.

Change link type and expiration is expanded

Link Type

The link type determines how contact information is recorded in the survey and whether the respondent can respond more than once to the survey.

  • Individual Link: Each participant receives a personalized link that can only be used once. Contact information from the mailing list is associated with the response in the survey. This is the default link type.
  • Multiple Completes Link: Each participant receives a personalized link that can be used multiple times. Each time this link is used, a new response is added to your results and the same contact list information is recorded. Note that reminder and thank you emails are not compatible with this link.
  • Anonymous Link: Each participant receives the anonymous link, which does not record contact information. Note that reminder and thank you emails are not compatible with this link.

See more about Link Types on the Email Survey Invitations page.

Link Expiration

The link expiration determines how long links last until they cannot be used to access the survey anymore.

Once a link has expired, this cannot be reversed.

Qtip: Link expiration is separate from survey availability dates and incomplete survey response settings. See more at Distribution and Survey Expirations.

Send to Single Contact

You can also send emails to an individual contact in a mailing list. Once you have reached the Select Recipients page, select a mailing list, and then select Send to Single Contact.

Send to single contact is highlighted

Qtip: You cannot send to an individual contact if you have a sample selected. You must have a mailing list selected.

Once you’ve moved to the next page, you can select the contact you wish to email. Remember that you can only choose one at a time, and that only members of the mailing list are shown.

Selection of contacts

After selecting the desired contact, click Send to Single Contact to proceed with your email or select Choose New List to choose another mailing list instead.

Send Emails Without a Survey

Do you need to send a message to your mailing list, but not necessarily a whole survey? You can send emails without surveys.

Everything about creating an email without a survey is the same as a survey invite, except that on the Select a Survey page, you click Send emails without a survey.

Send emails without a survey button

Emails without surveys can still be tracked in a contact’s history.

Attention: In order to comply with the federal CAN-SPAM Act, it is advised that you include an opt out link in every email that you send to individuals outside of your organization.

Cancelling & Resuming Distributions

At any point while creating a distribution, you can cancel it. Go to the X in the upper-right of the page.

X is highlighted to reveal the label Cancel Distribution

If you leave the Distributions tab, you can come back and resume where you left off by clicking Resume Distribution. You can also erase this distribution and start over by going to New Distribution.

Resume Distribution and New Distribution in the center of the Outbox