How to Conduct Micro-Surveys via Email (Within the Email Body)

Usually when you are sending out a form via email, you will send out a link. However, if the survey is short enough, why not conduct it straight through the email body?

Pros: You are not interrupting the user experience - making the user much more likely to put the effort in.

Cons: You won't have the full range of fields available to you, Blitzen email surveys (for now) should only involve multiple-choice-type questions.

Ready to start? 

How it Works

In this example we're going to have 3 survey options in our email like so: 

What is your favorite primary color?


You could have as many options as you want, and have the question be anything you want.

We're going to hyperlink each one with a unique URL that goes to the same Blitzen form. The answers will be captured with hidden fields and the form will autosubmit on their behalf. But before we do that we should get acquainted with using  query parameters

Query Parameters

Query parameters are strings of characters added to a URL to give more information about the 'click'; where it happened, who it was clicked by etc. This extra information, often referred to as the query string is then used to fill out hidden fields on the form (you will see how this works in a second). 

The bottom line is that you capture much more information about the submission.

It should be noted that query parameters do not change the way the destination page looks, only the URL.

Query String

The query string is identified by the first question mark  “?” in the URL. What follows is what is called a "key-value pair" separated by the equals character “=”.

When there are multiple key-value pairs they are separated by the ampersand character "&"

Think of the key as a category and the value as an item in that category

The  key in our example is ‘color’ (In our example we want to know what color is the favorite, in your example, it may be something else).

The  values in our example will be ‘red', 'blue', and 'yellow'

For a further explanation on query parameters,  visit this article.

Now we have everything we need to build unique URLs that we will link to each option.

Building Unique URLs

The first part we need is a form. For now all your form needs is a title (no fields). We will get to the fields later. After building the form, grab the form URL ( How to find your form URL). Copy it! I should look something like this:

Now we are going to append it with the query strings we discussed above.

The URL we will link to the red option will be this:

The URL we will link to the blue option will be this:

The URL we will link to the  yellow option will be this:

Add the Autosubmit Variable

A really nifty query parameter key Blitzen recognizes is autosubmit. When we put 'autosubmit=true' to the end of a Blitzen URL it allows the form to be submitted automatically without any other action from the user. 

When the user clicks on an option in their email, the form will autosubmit on their behalf (with their option captured), all they will see is the 'Thank-you' message at the end. 

So add '&autosubmit=true' to the end of that each of the URLs from above such that they look like this:

(We use the ampersand character, '&' because it is the second query parameter in the string).

Now let's go add some hidden fields to our form to capture the URL information.

Make some Hidden Fields

Go back to your form and open the form builder. Add a single line text field and call it something similar to what you named your key. In our case, it was ' color'.

Click on the field and go to the  Design menu.

Check the box that says  ‘Do Not Display This Field’ 

Now go into the Validation and Autofill Menu and check ‘Autofill this field with a value from a query parameter’

In the text box type out the following code:

{{x ? x :""}} where x is the key you specified the unique URL. In our example the key was  ‘color’.

This tells the form to look for the keys in the URL and autofill it with the value.

You do not need to make a hidden field for the 'autosubmit' key. Blitzen captures it automatically.

The Final Step - Make your email and link your URLs

Open up your email service and type out your survey.

What is your favorite primary color?  


Hyperlink each one with its unique URL (the ones we created above remember?) Like this:

What is your favorite primary color?


If you really wanted to get fancy you could make images and hyperlink the images like this:


At this point you can send your email out. BUT WAIT! 

There's still more information you can get.

If you want to send your survey to only a few people, just use your regular email. If you want to send out a mass survey you could use a service like Mailchimp or Blitzen's own Mailmerge.

Using Mailchimp

Mailchimp is fantastic in that it allows you to use  merge tags in the URLs. Merge tags allow you to dynamically create unique URLs with a person's name or email (even if you're sending to hundreds of people). This way, you can actually capture contact information of the person filling out your form through query parameters!

To take advantage of this feature just add &email=*|EMAIL|* (or any other merge tag you wish) to the end of the URLs we created above like so:*|EMAIL|**|EMAIL|**|EMAIL|*

Mailchimp discusses the use of merge tags in URLs in  this article.

You will also need to create another hidden field and autofill it with a query parameter. This time the key will be 'email'. Just follow the steps already discussed above.

You can create as many hidden fields as you like and autofill them with as many query parameters you see fit.

Using Blitzen's Mailmerge

First you should create a segment / list of the people you wish to send the survey to.  See how to do that here. We suggest you create a test segment with just your email to try it out first.

After you have done that please  create a workflow.

Use the segment as the  form input.

Drag in a Mail Merge icon.

Now you will create your email!

Create your Email

Fill out the email details. (For further guidance on this  see this article)

The body of the email will take a little bit of css work. If we were using the same URLs as above it would look a little something like this:

Hey  first name!

What is your favorite primary color?
<a href=" email">Red</a>
<a href=" email">Blue</a>
<a href=" email">Yellow</a>
The words that are bolded will need a mail merge field mapped in. The fields available to you can be seen on the right hand side. of the email body.

Click 'Sync Data' in the top right corner of the page and the emails will send out.


An awesome set of data with peoples choices and emails:

Great work!

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