Piping allows you to dynamically change your survey content based on information you already hold about your respondent or answers they have provided earlier in the survey.

Used efficiently, this feature can serve a multitude of purposes, such as, personalising the survey, asking targetted follow on questions, pre-population of fields for data cleansing or even to pulling through an email address obtained during the survey into an email trigger.

Piping example

Piping can be used to take the answer from a question, and then insert that answer into subsequent questions in the survey.

For example:

You ask the respondent to select their favourite drink from a multiple choice list: ‘tea’, ‘orange juice’ or ‘water’.

  • If they select tea, the next question could ask, “How much tea do you drink each day?”
  • If they select ‘orange juice’, the question would read, “How much orange juice do you drink each day?”

Where can Piping be used?

Piping can also be used in many areas within SmartSurvey. Below is the full list:

  • Within the Question Text
  • Within the Answer Choices
  • As a Default Answer
  • Within the E-mail/SMS Invitation (Contact List piping only)
  • In the To, Subject and Body fields of the E-mail Trigger
  • On the Thank You Page
  • As a variable within the end of Survey Re-Direct

Creating Piping in a Survey

To demonstrate piping, we will use a multiple choice question as the first question. We will then re-use the answer in the text of the second question:

  1. Go to the Survey Design page of your survey.
  2. Click Add Question.
  3. In the Question Type drop-down menu, select Multiple Choice (Only One Answer).
  4. Type the first question. For example, “What is your favourite drink?”.
  5. Type the multiple choice answers. For example, ‘Tea’ and ‘Coffee’.
  6. Select any other options, and click Add Question to save.

You can now create the second question, which will incorporate the answer from the first one.

The second question must appear on a new page, and the must appear after the first question.

  1. Click the Insert Page Here button and name your new page.
  2. Within the new page, click Add Question.
  3. In the Question Type drop-down menu, select Comment/ Essay Box.
  4. Type the first question in the Question Text field, without the answer that you want to pipe. For example, “Why do you love so much?”, omitting the word ‘tea’ from the sentence.
  5. Position your mouse where the missing word is, and click or tap to position the cursor there. For readability, ensure there is a space on either side of the cursor.
  6. Click the Insert Piping link under the Question Text field.
  7. In the Piping drop-down list, select the first question from the list.
  8. Click Insert to insert the code snippet.
  9. Select any other options, and click Add Question to save.

Test your piping carefully before publishing a survey to ensure that the answers are carried forward in the expected way.

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