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Anonymous Link

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About Anonymous Links

The Anonymous Link is the URL used to take your survey. You can distribute your survey by pasting this link into an email, onto a website, or into any mode of communication you use with your recipients. Anyone who clicks on the link will be able to take the survey.

It’s called the “Anonymous” Link because it does not collect identifying information such as name or email address, unless you specifically ask for it in the survey. However, by default, the Anonymous Link will collect the user’s IP Address and location data based on that IP Address.

Qtip: If you do not want to collect IP Address or location data, consider enabling Anonymize Responses in the Survey Options. Before you use this option, see this support page for more details on how this setting works.

Here are some other key things to consider when using the Anonymous Link:

  • Saved Progress: By default, progress will be saved as respondents take the survey so they can close the window and return to that same computer at a later date. If you do not want this, or if you’d like to learn about any limitations involved, refer to our Save and Continue support page for more details.
  • Reusing the Link: By default, there is no limit to how many times a respondent can use the Anonymous Link. If you want to prevent multiple responses from the same respondent, refer to our Survey Protection support page for more details on Prevent Ballot-Box Stuffing.
  • Turning Off the Anonymous Link: By default, whenever your survey is active, the Anonymous Link can be filled out by anyone with the link. If desired, you can disable the Anonymous Link and only allow Personal or Individual Links by enabling By Invitation Only in the Survey Options. This can be useful if you previously distributed your survey through the Anonymous Link but would now only like to use Individual Links instead.
  • Restricting Access to the Survey: If you want to use the Anonymous Link, but want to restrict who can log into the survey to complete it, try an Authenticator or adding a Password to the survey.
  • Closing the Survey: If you want respondents to stop using the link because you’re ready to stop collecting data, see Pausing Response Collection.
Qtip: Do you want respondents to have personalized links that record their contact information instead? Try Emailing Invites or Personal Links.
Qtip: The Anonymous Link of a survey never changes. Even if you pause and resume response collection, or make edits and publish changes to your survey, the link will stay the same.
  1. Navigate to the Distributions tab.
    Distributions tab within a Project called Course Evaluation
  2. If your survey isn’t active yet, you will click on the green Get a single reusable link button.
    Distributions tab with four icons and and the button "Get a single reusable link" is selected

    Qtip: Doing this will activate your survey. Once your survey is activated, it will be open to collecting new responses – although you will likely not see any new responses until you share your survey link with your respondents. If you continue to edit the survey after it is activated, remember to publish your changes.
  3. If your survey’s already active, select the Anonymous Link section.
    The actual link listed in the Anonymous Link page of the Distributions tab
  4. Right-click the link that appears and copy it. You can also press Ctrl + C (PC) or + C (Mac) on your keyboard to copy the link.
  5. Paste the link into an email or onto a website.
Qtip: If your link will be printed on paper, consider using a link shortening service such as TinyURL, bit.ly, or goo.gl. You simply give the service your survey link, and it will give you a short, easy-to-type link that will direct participants to your survey.

Other Ways to Get the Anonymous Link

You will also be presented with your Anonymous Link right after you publish changes to your survey for the first time. After the first time you publish changes, you will need to go to the Distributions tab to get your Anonymous Link.

A gif showing someone click publish on a survey. A window opens where they confirm they want to publish. Then the anonymous link is shown to the user

Would you prefer your respondents visit your survey by clicking on a word or phrase instead of copying and pasting the full link? The Customize Link feature allows you to create a hyperlink with your anonymous link, which you can then add to an email or website.

Attention: This option merely creates hyperlinked text. It cannot be used to change any elements of the URL or to add query strings.
  1. Click the Customize Link button.
    Customize Link button found beneath the Anonymous Link
  2. In the Link Text field, type the phrase you want your respondents to click on to visit the survey.
    Text box for Link Text, the resulting HTML code, and the resulting hyperlink
  3. Copy the HTML and paste it into the appropriate source code of an email or website.
  4. Or, you can copy the hyperlink and paste it directly into the Rich Content Editor of an email or website.

Qtip: Customize Link as described above only applies to Anonymous Links. To create hyperlinks for the Individual Links in email distributions, navigate to the Piped Text menu of your Compose Email window.

Piped text icon dropdown, Survey Links, Custom Survey Link, box to enter linked text

“This survey can only be taken by invitation.”

If an individual tries to access your survey with an Anonymous Link when the By Invitation Only setting is turned on in the Survey Protection section of your Survey Options, they will receive a message that says, “This survey can only be taken by invitation.”

Accessing a survey when "By Invitation Only" is turned on

You will need to change the setting to Open Access instead if you would like individuals to be able to use the Anonymous Link.

Open Access and By Invitation Only options