Advanced Branching

PAID FEATURE: Advanced Branching is only available on some paid plans—see if it’s on your plan.

Advanced Branching lets you customize the behavior of your survey based on multiple conditions.

  • Build conditions based on a respondent's answers, custom data from Contacts, and custom variables. When the criteria you define in your conditions are met, you can skip respondents to future points in your survey, show or hide questions, show or hide pages, or invalidate questions and customize the error message.
  • Add unconditional skip logic to a page, so that everyone that reaches that page is skipped to a specific page later in the survey.

For example, you can disqualify respondents who answer a series of questions in a certain way, so you can screen out respondents that aren't relevant to your survey's goals. Or, you can show or hide a page in your survey based on the respondent's email address.

TIP! It's best to apply Advanced Branching after your survey design is finalized.

Jump to...

Survey Requirements

Before adding Advanced Branching to your survey, it's helpful to understand what data you can base conditions on, and what collector types you'll need to use in order for everything to work smoothly.

Data
Description
Compatible Collector Types
QuestionsAny question type that collects data (excludes Text, Image, Text A/B Test, and Image A/B Test). For questions with multiple rows, you can specify the row you want to base your condition on.All collector types
Contact DataThe custom data about your respondents that's stored in Contacts. For example: Email, First Name, Last Name, Custom 1, etc.

 

Email Invitation
Custom VariablesThe values of the custom variables in the survey URL.Web Link

 

Adding Advanced Branching

To add Advanced Branching to your survey:

  1. In the Design Survey section, go to the page you want to add logic to.
  2. Click Page Logic at the top of the page.
  3. Choose Advanced branching logic.
  4. Click Add a new rule...
  5. Define the conditions and actions for this rule. You can add more rules after you save this one.
  6. Click Save Rule.
  7. Click Apply.
TIP! If you add more than one rule, review the Using Multiple Rules section below for more information.

 

Using Multiple Rules

Types of Rules

The Advanced Branching Logic tab is split into two sections where you can set up the three different types of rules.

Section
Rule Type
Description
Advanced branching rulesAdvanced Branching RuleA rule composed of a condition and an action.
Advanced branching rulesConditional Skip RuleA rule composed of a condition and a branching action, specifically. Find a full list of actions in the Conditions & Actions section.
If no other skip rules apply, proceed to this page...Unconditional Skip RuleAn unconditional rule composed of an action only.
Order of Rules & Conflicts

When a respondent submits a page in your survey, all the rules on that page are evaluated in order from top to bottom. If you use multiple types of rules together, the following hierarchy applies:

Advanced Branching Rule > Conditional Skip Rule > Unconditional Skip Rule

If two or more rules of the same type conflict with one another, we take action on the first rule in the list, and ignore any subsequent rules that conflict with it.

Using Advanced Branching with Question Skip Logic
While you can use Question Skip Logic and Advanced Branching on the same survey, we suggest using Advanced Branching exclusively so you can manage all of your logic in one place and better avoid conflicts.

If you do use Advanced Branching and Question Skip Logic together, and there's a conflict between the two types of logic, the following hierarchy applies:

Advanced Branching Rule > Conditional Skip Rule > Question Skip Logic > Unconditional Skip Rule.

For example, if you have an Advanced Branching Rule and Question Skip Logic based on the exact same condition, the Advanced Branching Rule takes precedence.

 

Conditions & Actions

Creating rules is as easy as creating logical sentences based on questions in your survey, or information about your respondent. Every rule is made up of two parts: a condition and an action.

You can build rules based on the following subjects. Keep in mind that some subjects will only work when you use a certain collector type to send your survey.

Conditions

Conditions define the fields you want to base the rule on, and how you want us to evaluate those fields. Conditions are made up of three parts:

Part
Description
Example
SubjectThe data you want to base the rule on.Q4: What is your age?
OperatorTells us how to evaluate the subject's value to make the condition true. You can use several different operators to define the relationship between the subject and the value.is one of
ValueThe value of the subject you're basing the rule on. This could be the answer choice the respondent selected, the open-ended response they type into your survey, or the data that we know about them already from Contacts or Custom Variables.17 or younger
18-20
21-29

Adding Multiple Conditions to a Rule

You can add multiple conditions to a rule and use the Boolean operators OR or AND to define the relationship between the conditions.

Within a single advanced branching rule, you can either use all AND operators, or all OR operators—you can't mix and match.

The NOT Boolean operator is not available.

Actions

Actions define what the survey should do if the conditions are met.

There are two types of actions: Branching Actions and Other Actions. Branching Actions let you skip respondents to a later point in the survey when the conditions of your rule are met. Other Actions let you show or hide questions and pages, or invalidate questions when certain conditions are met.

Rule Type
Action
Description
Branching ActionSkip to pageSkip the respondent to a future page in your survey.
Branching ActionExit blockSkip the respondent to the next available block, if Block Randomization applied. If a block is not available, the respondent will skip to the next available page.
Branching ActionEnd surveySkip the respondent to the Survey End Page option. The response is marked as COMPLETE when you view their individual response
Branching ActionDisqualify respondentSkip the respondent to the disqualification page that you select in the collector options. The response is marked as DISQUALIFIED when you view their individual response.
Other ActionsHide questionHide a question on a future page in the survey. Questions are shown until the conditions are met.
Other ActionsShow questionShow a question on a future page in the survey. Questions are hidden until the conditions are met.
Other ActionsHide pageHide a future page in the survey.
Other ActionsShow pageShow a future page in the survey.
Other ActionsInvalidate questionInvalidate any question on a future page, or the current page, and customize the error message that respondents will see when they try to proceed to the next page of the survey.

 

Managing Existing Rules

To view or edit an existing rule:

  1. Click the advanced branching icon at the top of a page to view or edit the rules applied to that page.
  2. Click the down arrow to the right of any rule to edit, copy, delete, or move a rule.

You can't copy or move rules to another page in the survey.

TIP! When you save a rule, we convert it into a script. To understand what an existing rule means, you can hover over the script to see what each piece represents.

 

Previewing & Testing Rules

The best way to test Advanced Branching depends on the subjects you based your rules on.

At this time there's no way to reference advanced branching rules alongside your survey as you test it. There's also no way to view or export a map of the logic you've applied survey-wide.

Testing Rules Based on Questions

If all the conditions in your survey are based on questions and their responses, you can preview the survey in the Design Survey section and test the different survey paths based on which answer choices you select.

Testing Rules Based on Custom Data from Contacts

If any of your conditions are based on custom data from Contacts, the best way to test your survey is to create a group in your Contacts and then send an Email Invitation to that group.

When you create a test group, include email addresses that you have access to for testing. When you add custom data to those contacts, make sure that you have a test contact for each persona you based your advanced branching rules on. For example, if you use the Custom 1 field to record each contact's department, and you based advanced branching rules based on multiple departments, make sure to create a test contact that represents each department.

When you compose your invitation message, insert custom data tags into the message so you can refer to the set of custom data you're about to test when you receive the email.

After you're done testing, clear and delete the collector to remove the test data from your survey.

Testing Rules Based on Custom Variables

If any of your conditions are based on custom variables, the best way to test your survey is to create a Web Link and edit the variables in the URL to test different logic paths.

Allow multiple responses so you can test the survey several times with different variables.

 

Analyzing Your Results

Your results in the Analyze Results section will look the same as any normal survey. If a respondent was skipped past a question or page due to a branching action, or if a question was hidden from a respondent, the questions they didn't see are marked as skipped in the Analyze Results section.

There's no way to view or export the logic path that a particular respondent took through your survey.

 

Common Questions

Can I show or hide questions dynamically on the same page?

No. We evaluate the advanced branching rules on a page when a respondent submits that page, so you can only show or hide questions on future pages.

Will my rules update if I delete or add more questions and pages?

If you delete pages, questions, or answer choices in your survey, advanced branching rules update automatically so you don't need to go back to update them manually. For example, if one of your rules is based on Q1, and then you add a new question before it that becomes the new Q1, the rule will dynamically update to reference Q2 instead.

However, we recommend waiting to apply advanced branching rules until after your survey design is complete. It's easier to apply logic once the organization of your survey is finalized.

Are values case sensitive?

Yes, values are case sensitive.

What's the difference between Advanced Branching and Question Skip Logic?

While Question Skip Logic can only take one action based on one condition (the answer to one closed-ended question), advanced branching logic allows you to take multiple actions based on multiple conditions—including conditions based on open-ended fields.

Advanced branching lets you customize the behavior of your survey based on a respondent's answers to one question, multiple questions, custom variables, or custom data from Contacts.

Get answers