Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

OIT News

Distributing Qualtrics Surveys: Anonymous Link vs. Qualtrics Mailer

There are two primary methods of distributing Qualtrics surveys: the anonymous link and the Qualtrics mailer.

The anonymous link (also called a single reusable link) is ideal if you do not have email addresses for your target sample. You can distribute this link through a distribution list, a personal email, or a website. The anonymous link allows multiple submissions. However, it will not allow respondents to stop and resume a survey where they leave off. One important thing to note: by default, the anonymous link is not truly anonymous because the IP address is recorded along with the response. However, selecting the Anonymize Responses (under the Security tab within the Survey Options) tells Qualtrics NOT to record the IP address, making the response truly anonymous.

The Qualtrics Mailer requires you to create a Contact List containing the respondents’ email addresses. The email invite, containing a unique link, can be sent immediately or scheduled for delivery on a specific date and time. The three main benefits of using the mailer are: it allows respondents to stop and resume their survey, limits submissions to one response, and enables reminders to be sent to the non-respondents. The reminders, sent only to the non-respondents, should increase your response rate. In general, two-thirds of your responses will come from the initial invite, with an additional third coming from the reminder. By default, the data will not be anonymous because email addresses are recorded. However, the Anonymize Responses tells Qualtrics not to record the email or IP address. Even if you decide to anonymize the responses, you can still send reminders to the non-respondents. The distribution history tracks who has completed the survey and who hasn’t, but when Anonymize Responses is selected, the connector between the data and the distribution history is removed, guaranteeing anonymity. 

To learn more about distributing Qualtrics surveys, including options other than the default settings, contact the OIT HelpDesk online or call (865) 974-9900.