Can I track respondents using a unique ID?

If you want to track respondents without using SurveyMonkey's email, use the Web Link option. This is an anonymous collection method through your own email client, so you must customize the end of the URL with an ID for each respondent.


arrow   Part 1:

The anonymous Web Link collector looks like:

NOTE: We updated the structure of our links to a shorter, more user-friendly version. Make sure you use the short version like in this example and follow these steps to append unique IDs. 


arrow   Part 2: 

To customize them, create a unique ID ending for each respondent by adding "?c=" at the end of the link followed by the ID number.

EX of custom ending: ?c=00001

Link Format:

NOTE:  There are limits based on the length of a URL and the characters you can use. It can only be around 250 characters. Please take this into consideration when customizing links with IDs.


What characters can I use in the custom ending?

Please note the following:

Accepted Characters:

  • Alpha-numeric characters (letters A/a through Z/z)
  • Numbers (0-9)
  • Dashes (-)
  • Underscores (_)
  • Percents (%)
  • Periods (.)
  • Forward slashes (/)
  • Quotation mark (")
  • At (@)
  • Caret (^)
  • Colon (:)
  • Semicolon (;)

Characters Not Accepted:

  • Extra spaces
  • Pound signs (#)  
  • Apostrophe (')
  • Ampersand (&)


How to Create Unique IDs:

Step 1. Create a database: 

Create your own database of names and assign the IDs to each potential respondent. Next, take those IDs and manually append them to the end of the link.

Let's say you do something like:

  • Bob = 00001
  • Janis = 00002
  • Joe = 00003
  • Mary = 00004


Step 2. Create each unique link with the appropriate ID ending:

Create a unique link for each person. These must be emailed separately to each respondent through your own email provider (Hotmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.).

  • In Bob's email you will send a link like:
  • In Janis's email you will send her own link:
  • In Joe's email you will send his own link:

And so on....

NOTE: Each message and survey link (including the unique ID) must be created individually. If you are using a mail merge process to create these messages it could incorrectly hyperlink your URLs. This could result in the custom IDs not passing back into SurveyMonkey properly. 


Step 3. Where to View Custom IDs:

When these results come back on the survey, that custom ID of "00001" appears in the Custom Data field when you browse individual responses.

The ID number will be located on the top of each individual response as you scroll through them. 

Here you can track who it is according to your separate database. Basically, match up the number to the name. You are responsible for creating and customizing these links on your end. We do not offer additional support to customize these for you.


lightbulb The Entire Link Must Be Used!

If the link breaks where the custom data ID has been appended, then those numbers are not tracked in the Response Summary section. Also, if the respondent deletes out the custom numbers from the end, it records the response without the ID.