Pre-populating a survey is an effective tool that allows you to fill your survey with information you already know about the respondent, in order to save them time, or answer hidden questions in your questionnaire in order to analyze data you have collected but your respondent doesn’t necessarily know, how much business they bring to you and much more.
Here are some basic guidelines to our Pre-population tool.
1. Upload a mailing list (or group) in CSV format :
This is only basic information about your respondents (surname, first name, first name, first name, email, company etc.).
2. Create your pre-population :
- Click on “Publish”
- Then click on “Pre-population” then “Manual” and then "Add a Pre-population"
- Here, you can add a group to the pre-population (the one you downloaded previously) or add individual respondents.
3. Import your answers :
Use a CSV file with all the answers - one line per respondent and one column per response.
The first columns must contain your respondents' emails as they appear in your contact group.
You can pre-populate many different type of questions :
- For multiple-choice questions, where the respondent is allowed to select only one answer choice, you must insert the text of the answer choice into the cell that corresponds to the person's answer
- For checkbox questions, where the respondent is allowed to select more than one answer choice, you must insert the text of the answer choice into the corresponding cell. For multiple answer choices to be selected, they must be separated by a slash. For example: blue/green
- For slider or Likert scale questions you have to insert the number corresponding to their answer in the cell. Be careful not to insert any numbers that do not fit into the scale. For example do not insert an 11 if your scale goes from 0 to 10.
- For numerical text and text questions simply insert the text into the corresponding cell.
- For ranking questions insert the answer-choices in order separated by slashes. For example: Pasta/Sushi/Curry/Goulash for a list of preferences amongst different types of food.
- For percentile questions you must insert the percentages for each choice in order separated by slashes. Make sure that the percentages add up to 100 in each cell, otherwise you may cause an error. For example: 20/20/20/20/20.
- For Numerical questions simply insert the answer into the corresponding cell. This answer must only be numerical characters. If you set a limit in your question, for example by limiting it to 4 characters in order to collect a year, make sure that you match this limit in each answer, otherwise it will create an error.
- For date question types you must indicate the date in the following format: day/month/year for example 22/03/2010 to indicate the 22nd of March 2010.
Once you have saved your answer file in CSV format you are ready to import it using the pre-population tool :
- Click on “CSV Import”.
- Select the file and upload it.
4. Match emails and questions :
- Match the emails in your group with those in your response list. This allows each individual contact can access their information easily.
- Then click “Save”.
Now match the headers of your response file to the questions in your survey :
- Use the drop-down menu to select the corresponding question.
- Select a question and match all the choices for that question.
- Once you have finished matching up all the questions and their choices, click “Save”.
Tip : You will notice that even if you have made a spelling mistake in your CSV file, the software allows you to associate it correctly.
For certain question types the answers are automatically integrated, in this case you will see the sentence “The data integration for this type of question is automatic”.
5. Send your questionnaire :
- Click on “Publish” then "mail".
- In “Recipients”, tick the box “pre-population” and click on the title of your pre-population to select it.
- You can then personalize the content of your email. Be careful NOT to modify the codes such as [$-link-$] or [$-URL-$].
- When your email is ready click “Send” and click “Yes” to confirm.
There are many ways pre-populating surveys can be useful. It isn’t just a way to speed up a survey. Pre-populating a survey is an effective tool to compliment your data collection and supplements of information can be exceptionally helpful in analysis to make real business decisions.