Surveys with Disqualification Criteria and Hard Response Limits

Because of the way SmartSurvey Works, “Disqualified” Responses are still counted as responses, and count towards all totals for responses collected.

This can cause an issue when you have a survey with screening criteria and also want a strict limit on qualified responses.

The solution is to split the survey in two.

Implementing the Two Survey Solution.

By using the custom redirect feature, we can split the survey into two, and put the limit on responses on the tracking link for the second survey.

Initial Setup - The First Survey

  1. Create the first survey, which should include all your screening questions.
  2. You will need to have at least one page in the survey after the screening questions for Skip Logic to be available. You can leave it blank for now.
  3. Use the Skip Logic functions to create the rules to screen out respondents.
  4. In the Survey “Finish” Settings, set your “Disqualified” Redirect to your desired URL. Save your settings.
  5. In “Appearance”, Disable the progress bar and question numbering.
  6. Save all your settings and return to the “my surveys” list.

The Second Survey

  1. Create your second survey, which should contain all the questions you want to ask your qualified respondents.
  2. Set up the Tracking Link settings for this survey, Using the “Restrictions” options to set your response limit.
  3. Save the settings, then copy the URL for the tracking link.
  4. Open the Tracking Link.
  5. In “Appearance”, Disable the progress bar and question numbering, and save.
  6. Return to the Survey List

Finishing Setup – the First Survey Again

  1. Open the first survey again, and return to the Survey Settings.
  2. Open the “Finish” Options, and paste the URL for the second survey into the “Auto-Redirect” box.
  3. In “Appearance”, change the “Finish Survey” button text to “Next Page”.
  4. Save all your settings, now test.


Both surveys can be tested in isolation using the preview function as normal.

However, a preview-mode run through the first survey will open the second survey in live mode, causing data to be collected.

Make sure you clear all responses from both surveys before starting your survey properly.

Custom variables

If you need to use custom variables as part of your survey (for instance, where you are using a consumer panel provider), you will need to keep the following in mind:

Any variables you need to be reflected in the qualified responses need to be set up on both surveys.

This is easy to do, just repeat the setup process for your variables on the survey. It’s a good idea to have the variable names (not labels) be all lower-case.

Any variables you need to be reflected in the qualified responses will need to be passed from survey 1 to survey 2.

This is done by adding the variable(s) onto the end of your redirect links via piping. This can be slightly tricky as the boxes for the redirect links do not have “insert piping” buttons on them as can be found in other parts of SmartSurvey. Instead, the piping tags must be added to the first survey’s URLs manually. 

  1. At the end of the URL, adding a “?” (Question mark),
  2. then the name of the variable in the second survey,
  3. then an “=”,
  4. then the following tag: [variable(name of the variable in the first survey)].

So, if the variable is called “pid” for both surveys, it would look like ?pid=[variable(pid)]. This process can be repeated as many times as necessary, but any subsequent variables after the first need to start with an “&” (Ampersand) instead of the question mark. Example:


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