Anonymous link --> unique link after starting survey

robpitingolo Washington, DCCommunity Member, Qualtrics Brand Admin Qubie ✭
edited July 20 in Survey Platform

I have a situation where I need to distribute an anonymous survey link by publishing it on a project website but would like the respondents to be able to come back and complete their survey later. The survey will be fairly complex and I expect many won't finish in one session. I know that “Allow respondents to finish later” is an option but I suspect some respondents will not come back on the same browser (ie. they may open the anonymous link on a mobile device but wish to finish on a desktop PC).

Ideally, I would like to set up something like this:

  1. Distribute the survey via anonymous survey link
  2. Ask for name & email address on the first page of the survey
  3. Use that email address in an email trigger that sends a unique link to the respondent
  4. Respondent can use that unique link to come back and finish their survey later

If this is not possible are there any workarounds that could accomplish the same goal?


  • cpschroeder
    cpschroeder Community Member, Qualtrics Brand Admin Qubie ✭

    You almost described it entirely yourself. With the response in progress, you should be able to fetch a session/response ID via piped text that you can use to build your own retake link.

    The question is how to trigger an action that sends out the e-mail if the respondent hasn't finished yet. Shooting from the hip, I would say let users enter their contact data first thing and then set a very brief time-out before the response closes. If you put a condition on the action trigger, it also fires for timed-out responses (without a condition, it only works for responses that users finish regularly, i.e., on the last page). I don't think you can trigger the action via the survey flow while the response is still in progress—a Web Service might do the trick here, but this requires additional resources, of course.

    By the way, there are two downsides to using a retake link that should be considered: (1) It can increase the amount of auditable responses. (2) It can become a bit quirky because, at least in my experience, retake links can lead to multiple retake responses. But maybe this was due to our use case (we never really found out and more or less dismissed it in the end).

  • robpitingolo
    robpitingolo Washington, DCCommunity Member, Qualtrics Brand Admin Qubie ✭

    After some tinkering I think I have a solution worked out.

    The survey is split into two (or more) blocks. The first block simply asks for name and (validated) email address. The actual questions are on the remaining block(s).

    In the Survey Flow, first embedded data Q_URL is added at the very top. Then after the first block, a branch is created with logic If Q_URL Does Not Contain Q_R thenEnd of Survey. The first time someone enters the survey using the anonymous link they will hit this End of Survey element.

    At that point there is an email trigger that sends an email to the respondent, using piped data to build the retake link. When the person uses that link they will bypass the End of Survey element because Q_URL will now contain Q_R data and now they can complete the remaining questions.

    From the documentation it seems like you may have multiple retake responses if you don't build &Q_R_DEL=1 onto the link.