Use existing data to pre-populate a survey

We're retiring Surveys & forms

On 5 July 2021, Surveys & forms will be retired. You can continue to create surveys, forms, and even landing pages with our newer, easier-to-use and more flexible Pages and forms tool.

No need to panic - your existing surveys and forms will continue to work even after this date. Now is a great time to start building using the Pages and forms tool.

Learn more about the Surveys & forms retirement


Surveys can be pre-populated with the data you may already hold on your contacts. If you distribute your survey via the email functionality of the application, surveys can pre-populate or hide a field for which you already have information on a contact. 

In brief, the way to achieve this is:

  • Create your survey
  • Assign questions to your contact data fields
  • Choose how you want pre-existing data to be handled
  • Insert a link to your survey using EasyEditor's Link function and send your campaign

For more details, read on.

Creating a survey with an existing contact's email address

Create your survey in the normal way, and assign your questions to your contact data fields.

Setting behaviour for pre-existing data

Below the option to assign a question to a contact data field, it says, "If you already have this data for a respondent" followed by the options:

  • update (which overwrites existing data with the contact's response to this question)
  • hide this question (which doesn't show the question to your contact)

Choose the appropriate behaviour for your survey.


Sharing your survey by the email application

To overwrite data, or hide the question, based on there being existing data, then you need to share the survey via the email application.

In EasyEditor, use the 'Link to a survey' feature, which you can access by clicking on the Link function in the toolbar.


When the campaign is sent out via the email application, each contact will be sent a unique URL for the survey and the questions will be hidden based on that URL.

Pre-populating surveys in landing pages

If you're using surveys in landing pages, then pre-population is also possible, provided the contact is coming through to the page from a link in a campaign they've been sent. If the survey's questions are assigned to contact data fields, then the survey in the landing page will be pre-filled wherever that's possible.

Assigning data

Boolean (true/false or yes/no) contact data fields

If your data fields contain Boolean (true/false or yes/no) data, then assigning this successfully requires the use of multiple choice radio buttons or a dropdown list with appropriate Boolean answers. Valid answers for your survey would be 'True' and 'False', 'Yes' and 'No', or even 'Y' and 'N'; these will all be assigned correctly to your Boolean contact data field.

It's not currently possible to assign a contact data field to a checkbox.


Sending the campaign outside of EasyEditor

If you don't have access to the 'Link to a survey' feature (because, for example, you're using the API or a different editor), then you can still access this behaviour through the email application.

  1. Generate your link in the survey tool - this looks something like:‑482d125
  2. Insert m/ after the so that it looks more like:‑482d125
  3. Add to the end of the link -@HCONTACTID@ so that it looks like:‑482d125-@HCONTACTID@
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