Using Contact Lists To Send Email Invitations

Note: By using the email tool, you agree to be bound by our Anti-Spam policy (Linked Here). we recommend reading and understanding it before using the tool.

Creating a contact list with a unique survey link for each recipient is an efficient way to invite a specific group of people to complete your survey.

Creating a Contact List

  1. In the black navigation bar at the top under Libraries, select Address Book
  2. Click Add New Contact List
  3. Under List Name type a name for the list
  4. Under List Type tick the Email box
  5. Tick boxes against three options as required:
    • Anonymous Results - allows recipients to complete the survey without being automatically identified
    • Allow Duplicate Emails - allows the same email address to be added to the list more than once
    • Custom Columns - allows you to add custom fields to the contact list, in addition to the name and email fields

      Note - Custom column data is limited to 255 characters for each column. If the data you need to pass across is longer than this, you will need to use multiple columns.

  6. Click Save

Adding Contacts to a List

  1. Under Libraries select Address Book
  2. Click on the Contact List you wish to use
  3. Under Actions, select Add Contacts
  4. In the text box add details in the format described under the text box. Start a new line for each name (Important: enter contact details exactly as shown in Format below the text box)
  5. To add contacts in bulk, the data can be copied from a spreadsheet and pasted into the contact box. For more information, please view our help guide on Importing Contacts Using CSV
  6. Click Save

Sending a Survey to a Contact List

  1. Under Libraries select Address Book
  2. Click on the name of the contact list you want to use
  3. Under Actions select Invitations
  4. Click Create New Invitation
  5. Select the survey you want to use from the drop-down menu
  6. Click Proceed
  7. Complete the custom fields in each box to create your survey email:
    • Sender/Reply Email Address - the email address all completed surveys will be sent from
    • Subject - this will appear as the subject of your email
    • Message - the main body of your email. You can customise the text as you would in most email servers. Please check the Message Contents section here to ensure the best chance of successful delivery.
    • Would you like to use a previous message? - (top of message box) allows you to use the text from a previous message
    • Send Test - check this box if you would like to send a test email to yourself before sending to your contact list
  8. Click Next Step
  9. Tick either:
  • Send the message at a later date
    • select future date and time
  • Send the message immediately
    • scheduled for delivery 5 minutes from clicking Send

Note: Contacts added to the list after an invitation is scheduled will not be added to the send. Contacts removed from the list will be removed from the send. For this reason, it's best practice to cancel and re-schedule the send if the contact list is edited after scheduling

Unique Tracking Links

As of May 2020, a new option was added to allow users to create individual tracking links for email invitations as part of the invitation creation process.

These tracking links are configured so that the survey will not load unless the link contains the tracking ID for the respondent added to the end as is done automatically by the email tool.

This means that a link cannot be forwarded from one respondent who has completed the survey, edited to remove the tracking id, then used to generate a new untracked response.

To activate this feature, click the "Create Tracking Link" checkbox on the right of the area where you choose a "Sender / Reply Email Address" for the invitation.

The link that this option creates will have all the attributes of the "Default Tracking Link", with the exception of the tracking code requirement as laid out above.

Closed Tracking Links

If for any reason you close a tracking link (or have it automatically close, via a timer or response limit) between setting up and email inviation and the email going out, the email invitation will not be sent.

If you still want the emails to send, then you will need to re-open the tracking link and contact support.


If you intend to send to a large contact list, you may need to get SmartSurvey authorisation the first time you do so - this is something that's in place to prevent abuse of the system. The first time you try and send an email invitation to a contact list over a certain limit, you will be prompted to fill in a small online form which will raise a Requesting Authorisation support ticket. We will check your request and account and authorise the account for email sending if it meets our requirements. The turnaround on this should be fairly quick however, we suggest allowing some extra time if you are working to a deadline, and if this is the first widely-distributed email you're sending.

Sending Limits

Use of the email tool is limited by default to 10,000 email sends per month. This is applied across all users on multi-user accounts. There are also limits placed on the proportion of these sends that can "bounce" or generate complaints. Exceeding these limits will lead to service limitations. For more information, see our Anti-Spam policy.


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