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Personal Links

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About Personal Links

For those cases where you need to use a third-party mail system to distribute survey invitations but also need to track which response belongs to which recipient, Qualtrics can generate a list of unique, or “personal”, survey links. These links are tied to specific survey recipients, and the names and any other uploaded embedded data will be included with the responses in the results.

Qtip: Personal links have the same functionality as the individual links the Qualtrics Mailer creates when distributing a survey. They cannot be used more than once.

When you generate personal links, Qualtrics provides a spreadsheet that contains a row for each recipient including their name and their personal survey link. Most mailing systems can accept such a spreadsheet and will have a mail merge capability to include each recipient’s survey link in their email.

This page discusses how to generate that list of personal links for use in a third-party mail system.

Qtip: Generating personal links requires that you upload a contact list (the list of people who will receive your survey) ahead of time. If you haven’t uploaded this list yet or aren’t familiar with this process, review our Contact List Creation page before proceeding.
  1. Navigate to the Distributions tab.
    in the distributions tab, clicking personal links and then generate links
  2. Select the Personal links section.
  3. Select Generate links.

    Qtip: If you have not yet activated your survey, you may see something different when you visit the Distributions tab. In this different view, you can click the Generate a trackable link for each contact option.the generate a trackable link option on the distributions page

  4. Click Select Contacts.
  5. Select the library your contact list is saved in.
    Series of dropdown lists to select Contact List
  6. Select the contact list you want to generate links for.
    Qtip: If you are using Marketo to manage your contact lists, you can choose from these Marketo lists instead. Visit our page on Marketo Extensions for more information.
  7. Choose to send to the whole contact list, an individual contact, or a small sample of your contact list.
  8. Set a link expiration date (by default, links are valid for 60 days).
    selecting the expiration window and clicking generate links
  9. Click Generate Links.

At this point, a spreadsheet will be downloaded to your computer. This spreadsheet will include the names of your contacts, their email addresses, and their personal links. You will be able to re-download this list later by clicking the gear icon to the far right of the list and selecting Download Links.

Qtip: Want to use personal links, but don’t know who your respondents will be yet? Just create a contact list full of dummy emails. For example, you can copy a fake email like 100 times into your contact list and generate 100 different personal links.

Each time you generate new personal links, you will get a row in your personal links section marking the distribution and giving you various details and metrics.

Personal Links page of Distributions tab with one distribution listed

There are seven items presented here:

  • Contacts: The name of contact list, sample, or individual you generated links for.
  • Created Date: The day and time the links were generated.
  • Link Expiration: The day and time all the links in the distribution will expire.
    Qtip: Link expiration determines how long participants have to start their survey. Once they start their survey, the incomplete survey responses setting in the survey options takes effect.
  • Link: The number of links you generated.
  • Surveys Started: The number of surveys that have been started from the links you generated.
  • Surveys Finished: The number of surveys that have been finished from the links you generated.
  • Gear: When you click the gear icon, you are given the option to download the links again or delete the links. Deleting the links breaks them, so that they can no longer be used to collect survey responses.
    Qtip: If you re-download your personal links, you will see updated statuses for your respondents. These statuses include Survey Started and Survey Finished. If your respondent has yet to start the survey, their status will be Email Not Sent.