Custom Variables

How can I pass in additional information to the Survey?

You can pass in additional information in the Survey using Custom Variables.

What are Custom Variables and where are they stored?

Custom Variables are special variables used to store additional information that is to be passed to the Survey. Custom Variables when passed to the Survey are stored with the Respondents Response. You can view the Custom Variables online using the Response Viewer. Custom Variables are also available in the Excel and CSV Raw Data downloads. You can also analyze your data based on Custom Variables.

To track e-mail addresses / Custom Variables please use the Respondent Tracking link when sending emails via SurveyAnalytics Email Management.

What are the limits on Custom Variables.

You can upload up to 255 custom variables.

Each Custom Variable can store up to 128 characters.

You cannot use a Comma (,) or the Pound/Hash (#) sign in the Custom Variables.

Note: If you are passing the Custom Variables / External Reference Variable via the URL please limit your use to Alphanumeric Characters (A to Z, a to z, 0 to 9). Avoid use of Special Characters: Space Character , etc.

What is the External Reference Variable?

External Reference Variable is an another variable which can be used to pass in data to the Survey. The External Reference variable (i.e. ext_ref) is used to associate responses to their respondents. You can assign an ID number or anything else that will uniquely identify a respondent to the ext_ref variable. When the results are collected the ext_ref variable is captured and stored with the other data.

How can I use the ext_ref variable with my own email program/provider?

Every survey that you create will have a unique URL. To include other data to be captured along with the survey data you just need to add the ext_ref parameter to the URL. For example: Replace xxxx with your unique id for the respondent.

I am using Customized URL. How to pass the ext_ref variable with customized URL?

The ext_ref parameter can be passed along with the URL in the following format: For Example: The URL for the survey is: The ext_ref tag is appended as follows:

Are there any limitations?

The External Reference Variable can store up to 64 characters. You can use Alphanumeric Characters (A to Z, a to z, 0 to 9). Accented characters or characters from languages other than English may not get saved. Please limit the character use to English. You cannot use the Pound/Hash [#] in the External Reference Variable We recommend you not to use Comma and Quotes in the ext_ref/custom variable.

How can I use the ext_ref with the Email/List Manager?

If you are using the Email/List Management interface to send out email add the following tags to your survey invitation: <SURVEY_LINK>&ext_ref=xxxx <ANONYMOUS_SURVEY_LINK>&ext_ref=xxxx The &ext_ref variable is automatically captured in the raw response data.

Note: The mail merge tags are special variables that are used in Email List Management in tracking the email addresses of respondents. Simply append the &ext_ref=xxxx to the end of the mail merge tags.