Using Custom Data to Store Contact Info

Custom Data lets you store extra info in Contacts about the people you invite to take your survey. When someone takes your survey via an Email Invitation or Text Message, the contact's custom data is shown along with their responses to help you analyze your results. You can also use custom data to personalize your Email Invitation messages—a proven way to get better response rates.

Custom data lets you store first name, last name, and up to fifty custom fields in Contacts. Since custom data isn't specific to one survey or collector, we don't recommend regularly updating custom data for specific surveys or collectors.

To view your contact's custom data:

  1. Log in to SurveyMonkey.
  2. Click your username in the upper-right corner.
  3. Select Contacts.
  4. Use the scroll bar at the bottom of the contact list to view all contact fields.

Custom data fields are labeled by default as Custom 1, Custom 2, etc. Click Edit Columns to edit these labels.

Anyone can store up to 6 custom fields in Contacts. If you’re on a Team or Enterprise plan, you can to store up to 50 custom fields.

You can add an individual or multiple contacts directly to Contacts. Or, add contacts directly to an Email Invitation or Text Message collector, and they’ll be automatically added to Contacts.

  • Add a Single Contact
  • Import Multiple Contacts

To add or edit custom data for a single existing contact, click the contact's row in Contacts and click Edit custom data.

To update multiple contacts at a time:

  1. Export your contacts as a CSV file.
  2. Add the custom data to the CSV file. Make sure the CSV is properly formatted.
  3. Import the CSV to Contacts and make sure to select update contact information in the dropdown.

TIP! Check out the custom data character limits.

To personalize your email invitation messages, you can Insert Custom Data 1-6 tags in any message format. These tags are placeholders that are automatically replaced with your contact’s custom data when your message is sent.

To add custom data to your message:

  1. Create an Email Invitation collector.
  2. While editing the Body of your message, click where you want to insert custom data.
  3. Click the Insert Custom Data button and select a tag to insert.

If you want to personalize your subject line, type or copy and paste a custom data tag from the list below. Just make sure you don't edit these tags, including the brackets.

If a contact doesn’t have custom data, they’ll see a blank space in their message where that tag was.

  • Custom Data Tags
  • Example Message with Custom Data

TIP! When you send a test email, custom data is pulled from a random contact in your collector.

Once your Email invitation is sent, your recipient's custom data is viewable in your collector's Recipients tab. The metadata that displays is reflective of the current custom data stored in Contacts, which may be different from the custom data that was set at the time you sent your email invitation.

When you view Individual Responses or Responses Data exports, you can see the following custom data:

  • Email address
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Custom 1

To view all Custom Data fields, you can export your results as an XLS spreadsheet.

You can apply analyze rules to filter survey data based on custom data to help you better understand why people answered the way they did.

If you don't see custom data in your results, it's likely because:

  • The survey wasn't sent via Email Invitation or Text Message collector
  • Custom data was added to Contacts after the survey taker completed your survey
  • Anonymous Responses was set to exclude all respondent information
  • Custom data fields 7-50 will show in columns after your responses