Survey Platform - Emails Overview | Qualtrics

Emails Overview


Qualtrics provides an easy and convenient way to distribute your survey to large groups of people via email. By using the Qualtrics Mailer, you can send customized email invitations to your participants, track their progress, and prevent abuse of your survey.

When emailing survey links through Qualtrics, by default each participant will receive an Individual Link to the survey that is unique to them. This link behaves differently from the Anonymous Link in the following ways:

  • By default, each Individual Link can only be used once.
  • The respondent’s name, email, and other information from the contact list is automatically saved with their survey data.
  • You can track Responses in Progress and send out Reminder and Thank You messages to your participants.
  • This link automatically saves the respondents’ data as they progress through the survey. If they need to leave the survey before finishing, they can return to it on any device.

Qtip: The Qualtrics Mailer allows you to send other types of links in addition to the Individual Link. The following link types are available by clicking Show Advanced Options at the bottom of the Compose Email window:

  • Individual Link: Each participant receives a personal link that can only be used once. This is the default link type.
  • Multiple Completes Link: Each participant receives a personal 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. Note that Reminder and Thank You emails are not compatible with this link.

Emailing a Survey Invitation

Qtip: Although you have the option to enter email addresses manually during this process, we recommend uploading a contact list of recipients ahead of time. Information on how to create a contact list may be found in our Contact List Creation support page.
  1. Open the Emails tab in the Distributions module and click Compose Email.image12
  2. Click Select Contacts, choose the library where your contacts are located, and select the appropriate contact list. (Alternatively, you can click New Contact List within your chosen library and add individuals manually.)image21
  3. Choose whether to send emails to the entire contact list, a contact list sample, or an individual contact list member.image04
  4. Schedule the time of your distribution in the When dropdown (by default, your mailing will be sent one hour from when you schedule the mailing, but you can choose from a range of common times or schedule a custom time).image24
  5. Enter a Subject for your email.image00
    Qtip: From Address, From Name, and Reply-To Email will be populated by default. You can change the From Name to anything you would like, and you can change the From Address and Reply-To Email to another standard Qualtrics email address. Depending on your license, you may also be able to use a custom From Address or Reply-To Email. For more information on changing these, visit our Using a Custom From Address support page.
  6. Type an email invitation message into the Rich Content Editor, or click Load Message to insert a previously saved email invitation. If you’d like to reuse the email invitation at a later date, click Save As.image28
    Qtip: For simple distributions, leave the default survey link content in the message editor and add your own message above. For a more custom message, refer to the Customizing Your Email Message instructions below.
  7. Click Send.image23
Qtip: You can test out your email by clicking Preview Email in the email message editor. Be careful to not forward the Preview Email on to your participants as it contains the Preview Survey Link instead of the Individual link.

Customizing Your Email Message

Beyond typing a generic message, email invitations can be customized with the participant’s contact list information or by inserting a question from your survey to increase response rates. This information can be inserted into your message by using the Piped Text and Inline Email Question features, respectively.

Default Piped Text

By default, all survey invitation messages include three pieces of Piped Text:

  • Custom Individual Link: This Piped Text will be replaced with a unique link for each survey participant.2015-07-31_15-44-56
  • Survey URL: This Piped Text will be replaced with the entire web address of the participant’s link, in case they have difficulty clicking on the Individual Link.2015-07-31_15-45-57
  • Opt-Out Link: This Piped Text will be replaced with an opt-out link. When clicked, the participant will no longer receive any further emails from that contact list.2015-07-31_15-47-27
Qtip: Although any of these links can be removed, you will need to include a survey link in order to send out your survey. The opt-out link is also required to comply with best emailing practices.

To insert other Piped Text into your email

  1. Click the Piped Text icon in the Message section.image07
  2. Select the type of Piped Text you would like to insert (though many options are available, three categories are particularly useful for invitation messages: Embedded Data Field, Survey Links, and Contact List Field).image15
  3. If needed, copy and paste the code that is generated into the appropriate spot in your message body.image09
  4. Click Save As to save your message.image14

Inline Email Questions

Including a survey question in your email message can enhance your survey invitation. It’s more engaging and interactive, effectively increasing your response rate. When your participants receive the email, they’ll be able to click an answer to your inline question right from the body of the email. Clicking on an answer will immediately launch the survey in another tab, with their chosen answer already selected for them.

Qtip: Only Single Answer Multiple Choice and NPS® question types are available for use as Inline Email Questions.

To insert an Inline Email Question

  1. Select the Inline Email Question icon in the Message section.image01
  2. Select which Multiple Choice or NPS® question from your survey you would like to insert.image03
  3. Select the color scheme of this question or choose Custom to design one yourself (includes color options for background, buttons, and text).image20

When you send a survey through the Qualtrics Mailer, an opt-out link is included by default.


When a contact clicks this link, they will be directed to a page that confirms they have been removed from the contact list, and they will no longer receive emails sent to that contact list.


Those who choose to opt out will remain in your contact list, but they will be flagged as “unsubscribed,” signified by a grayed-out check mark next to their name on the Contact List members page.


While contacts are unsubscribed, they will receive no email invitations, reminders, or thank-you messages. You can manually unsubscribe a contact at any time using the steps described on our Contacts Management page.

Qtip: The Opt-Out link will only unsubscribe the contact from that specific contact list. That email address will remain opted in for all other contact lists that contact may be in. For more information about managing global opt outs, view our site on Qualtrics Target Audience.

Distributing in Multiple Languages

Through the Qualtrics Mailer you can send an email invitation that is automatically translated into the participant’s preferred language.

To send your email invitation in multiple languages

  1. Go to the Library section and select the Messages Library.image27
  2. Click New Message.image02
  3. Select Invite Emails under Message Type.image18
  4. Choose a Destination Folder and give the message a Description.image25
  5. Type the email invite message as you want it to appear and click Create Message.image26
  6. Click the gear box dropdown to the right of the message and select Translate Message.image29
  7. Translate your invitation using the process described in our Translation support page and repeat for each desired language.
  8. When you create your contact list, include a Language column with the correct language codes for each recipient.image12

With a translated message and the language set in your contact list, you are ready to send out your email invitation. When the survey invitation is sent out, each participant will receive the email in the language specified for them in the contact list.

Distribution and Survey Expirations

There are three different types of survey expirations that can be set. Each has its own use, and we recommend checking these before sending out your survey:

  • Link Expiration: By default, survey links distributed through the Qualtrics Mailer are valid for 60 days. This timeframe is sufficient for most studies, but if you’d like to extend the expiration, click Show Advanced Options beneath the email message editor in the Compose Email window and select a new timeframe from the Link Expiration dropdown. The Link Expiration date cannot be changed for a mailing once the survey links have been sent.image08
  • Survey Expiration: In the Survey Protection section of the Survey Options, you have the option to specify a date range for when the survey is accessible for new respondents to begin. Once the range passes, this setting does not automatically close respondents who are in the middle of completing the survey, but instead prevents new survey sessions from being created. This date range can be changed at any point before or after the survey is distributed.image22
  • Partial Completion: By default, those who don’t finish the survey in one sitting will be given one week to return and finish. If not completed in that timeframe, the response will be recorded as-is. This timeframe can be changed in the Partial Completion section of Survey Options. Changing this setting only affects respondents who have not yet started the survey.image10