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Adding quotas to your survey can help you close your survey automatically when you've reached the maximum number of qualified respondents.  For example, if you were running a customer feedback survey and wanted to ensure that you heard from exactly 50 people who had purchased products more than once, you can add these parameters to your questionnaire so that the survey closes when this is met. 

Quotas are also used for researchers looking to obtain a sample that is statistically significant to the population they're analyzing. An example of this would be if a researcher wanted to hear from as close to exactly 25% of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors in college; even taking response rates into account. This feature adds a valuable capability to drill down to your target demographic audience's responses with precision and minimal effort.

This feature is available on our GOLD and PLATINUM plans.

lightbulb NOTE: When you use quotas, you won't be able to add manual responses; or edit existing responses. Quotas also carry over when you copy a survey


How to Apply Quotas to Your Survey

You'll want to identify your key demographic before you launch your survey.  You'll want to have a question that addresses each component of your target, so be sure to include close-ended questions on 1-3 areas of interest. 

  1. Create your close-ended questions in the body of your survey that confirm the demographic parameters you're seeking.
    • Close-ended questions qualify as multiple choice single-answer or multiple-answer question types.
  2. Click Survey Options on the left-hand side within the Design Survey page.
  3. Scroll down to the Add Quotas to Your Survey header, and click Add Quotas.
  4. Click Add Group and choose a question to target a certain attribute. Enter a title for your reference on the question you're drilling down on. The labels you enter here will be the titles of the automatically created filters when you create a quota.
  5. On the next drop-down menu, pick the answer choices you're targeting:
    • Pick a single answer choice: You can choose a single answer if there's a standalone answer choice that applies to the trait you're looking for.
    • Pick multiple answer choices: You can tick the checkboxes for multiple answer choices if there is more than one answer choice that will be suitable for the target demographic. 
  6. Click Apply and you'll see your first Group with the labels you've assigned; and an ability to add another group (Click Add Group if this is the case.  In our continuing example, we'd create a group for each question on grade level, gender, and course enrollment.)
  7. Click Next, and under the drop-down menus pick the label corresponding to the answer choices you've chosen.
  8. Under the Set quota to... column, enter the number of respondents you'll need.  Note that this is a maximum, not a minimum.

    NOTE: If you receive a message that "An Error Occurred" when trying to save a quota, ensure that no answer choice combinations have been selected that would be otherwise impossible due to existing Skip Logic combinations or disqualification configurations. For example, if a "No" answer to the first question should disqualify the respondent from taking the survey, the tool won't allow a quota combination to be set for a "No" response linked with later survey questions. 
  9. Click Next, and the Customize Over Quota Page follows.
  10. Pick from the following options when a respondent tries to proceed in the survey and it's over quota:
    • No, don't display Over Quota page after a respondent exceeds your quota: Respondents will see your Thank You message when they attempt to proceed after selecting a quota-specific answer; and then be redirected to a SurveyMonkey-branded landing page.
    • Yes, display Over Quota page after a respondent exceeds your quota:  Respondents will see either our default "Thank you for taking our survey" message, or you can customize the message on the over-quota page in the dialogue box.
    • Redirect, to your own webpage after a respondent exceeds your quota: Send respondents to a webpage of your choice when a respondent proceeds in the survey after submitting a choice pertaining to the full quota.
    • Close Window: You can have the browser window simply close if a respondent tries to proceed in the survey after you've reached your quota.
  11. Click Save and the pop-up will close, then click Save Changes from the Survey Options page.

Combined Quotas vs. Single Question Quotas

Single question quotas can entail a maximum of 6 groups of answers (for example, if using the United States, you could create a group for Northwestern states, Southwestern states, Northeastern, etc. wherein each group is made up from a few state selections). 

Combination quotas are those that utilize answer choices from multiple questions.  You can select up to 3 questions to include in a combined quota. Continuing on the above example, you could create a combined quota for Northwesterners that incorporated their gender and registered voting status. You can use 6 groups per question; and 24 total combined quota values for a single survey.

When the Quota is Reached

When the quota is reached on your survey, it will automatically close the survey to prevent collecting additional responses. However, you can edit the quota from the Analyze Responses page.  A quota is considered reached when the target respondents match the quota number and finish the survey (get to the last page and click Done).

Using Quotas in Analysis

As your survey collects responses, you can track its progress in the Analyze Results section,  at the top of the page. For further details about using quotas in analysis, see our help article here.

Editing Quotas on a Live Survey

Whether your survey is actively collecting responses or not, you can certainly edit the parameters that you've configured on a quota. You can increase or decrease the threshold of the quota, or you can even modify the terms or attributes you are searching for.  However, it's important to note that there's not a way to add additional questions or parameters to the quota-- just the equations that have already been configured can be edited.

To edit a quota:
  1. From the Design Survey page, click Survey Options and scroll down to click Edit Quotas.
  2. When the page opens for Add Quota / Edit Quota, click Edit on the Group(s) you'd like to amend.
  3. Make appropriate changes if necessary under Step 1; and then scroll down to click Next.
  4. Modify Step 2 and 3 as needed, scrolling down to click Next and Save. 

When editing quotas, there are a few key items to keep in mind:

  • If a quota is added during the collection process, it does count existing responses.  So if you have 10 male responses and you'd like to raise the quota to 15; simply retype the quota from 10 to 15.  You'll see the quota incorporate the existing responses so that 10 of 15 have accrued.
  • If a quota is raised after the survey is closed, it won't automatically re-open the survey.  This is due to many surveys using multiple collectors, so to ensure that the accurate collector is re-opened, we leave this up to the researcher to re-open the collector(s).
  • There's not a way to add in additional equations for quotas; but you can raise or lower the limits. 

Quotas enable you to automatically close the survey once the survey reaches a certain ratio of qualified responses.

You must have a GOLD or PLATINUM plan or an Enterprise subscription to use this feature.

Create Qualifying Questions

You should identify your key demographic before you launch the survey. Once you determine who you want to answer your survey, then make sure to add 1-3 close-ended questions that address each component of your target demographic. The Multiple Choice question type, which allows respondents to select an answer from a finite list of choices, is best.

You will base your quota off of these qualifying questions. You will need to specify which questions you want to use to determine the segments to limit the responses from. On a Simple Quota, you can only pick one question. On a Combination Quota, you can pick up to three questions.

Please note that you can only have one quota on a survey at a time, so be sure to finish adding all your questions and choices before creating your quota.

Simple Quota vs. Combination Quota

  • Simple Quota — set limits for one or more answers to a single question. For example, your survey could close when 50 respondents answer that they are male. Or, your survey could close when 50 respondents answer that they are male, and 20 respondents answer that they are female.
  • Combination Quota — set limits for one or more answers to multiple questions. For example, your survey could close when you reach 50 respondents who answer that they are male AND from Florida, which is qualifying information that would need to be collected through multiple questions.

Applying a Quota

Once your survey design is complete, the next step is to apply the quota.

To apply a quota:

  1. Click the Design Survey tab.
  2. In the left sidebar, click LOGIC.
  3. Click Quota.
  4. Choose between Simple Quota and Combination Quota.
Simple Quota
  1. In the Quota Label field, enter a name that represents the type of demographic you wish to represent. For example. if you want to close the survey when 50 respondents answer that they are male, you could enter "Gender" as the Quota Label.
  2. In the Select a Question field, select the qualifying question and click Next.
  3. In the Answer Group Label field, enter a name that represents the type of respondent you wish to represent by the quota. For example, "Males".
  4. In the Quota field, enter the number of qualifying respondents you want to take your survey (the survey will close once that number is reached).
  5. Select the answer choice you wish to set the quota on. For example, Male.
  6. Click Save.
Combination Quota
  1. In the Quota Label field, enter a name that represents the type of demographic you wish to represent. For example, if you want to close the survey when 50 respondents answer that they are male AND from Florida, you might enter "Gender and Location" as the Quota label.
  2. From the the Question 1 and Question 2 menus, select the qualifying questions. You must add a minimum of 2 questions, and a maximum of 3 questions, to a Combination Quota.
  3. Click Next.
  4. In the Answer Group label field for the first qualifying question, enter a name that represents the type of respondent you wish to represent by that part of the quota. For example, "Males".
  5. Below it, select the answer choice you wish to set the quota on. For example, Male.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Click +Add Answer Group for the second qualifying question.
  8. Enter an Answer Group Label and select the answer choice you wish to set the quota on and click Save.
  9. Once you are done adding answer groups, click Assign Values.
  10. Select the Answer Groups you wish to combine from the dropdown menus.
  11. In the Quota field, enter the number of qualifying respondents you want to take your survey. A response must meet both criteria in order to be counted toward the quota. Once the number is reached, the survey will close automatically.
  12. Click Save.

NOTE: When you apply a quota to a survey that has already collected responses, existing responses won't count toward the quota.

You can edit a quota on a live survey. However, if your survey closed because the quota was reached, you will need to reopen the collector after adjusting the quota.

Answer Groups

When you configure the answer groups on both Simple and Combination Quotas, you will see the option to add an additional answer group. You can bundle multiple answer choices on a single question into an Answer Group and assign a quota to that grouping of choices. When your survey reaches those limits, the survey will close automatically when respondents use those answers.

Setting Equations

This step will show on Combination Quotas only. This will allow you to select multiple answer groups from the different questions you've specified and assign a quota value to that combination of answer groups.

Quota Options

You can control what respondents see after the quota is fulfilled for an answer group or combination of answer groups. There's a number of options you can choose for how the survey will handle subsequent responses that use those fulfilled answers. By default, we will close the survey when they click the Next button on the page, but you can select the following options:

  • End the survey - Over-quota respondents will proceed to the Survey End Page you configured in the collector options.
  • Display a custom message - You will be prompted to enter a custom message. Over-quota respondents will see the message when they submit an answer that exceeds a quota limit.
  • Redirect to your own webpage - You will be prompted to enter a URL. Over-quota respondents will be redirected to that URL upon submitting an answer that exceeds a quota limit.
  • Close window - Over-quota respondents' browser window will close.
Quotas enable you to automatically close a survey once it reaches a certain ratio of qualified responses.