Collect Identifying Information While Keeping Survey Data Anonymous

SurveyGizmo has an Anonymous Responses setting that prevents storage of any type of identifying information like Geodata, IP address, etc. When this feature is paired with your efforts to remove all survey questions that collect personally identifiable information, you will have 100% anonymous survey responses.

But, many customers want to do the impossible! In this case, the impossible is collecting identifying information while keeping survey data anonymous. 

For example, you may need your survey to be anonymous, but you also want to offer respondents an incentive for completing the survey. Since asking an identifying question will connect the respondent's information to the response it makes this a pretty tricky task! Luckily we have a workaround.

For this workaround, you will be creating two surveys:

  • Your initial survey will include all questions except the question(s) collecting identifying information.
  • The second survey will be used to collect the identifying information.

Once you have your second survey set up, copy the Primary Link from your Share tab.

Copy Primary Link

After copying that Primary Link, go back to your first survey and set up a URL Redirect Action on the last page of your survey. 

Setup for URL Redirect

  1. Scroll to the last page. 
  2. Click Add New: Action and select URL Redirect.
  3. Give your action an internal title (something that makes sense to you in the survey).
  4. In the URL field, enter the link that you just copied from your previous survey. Note that the URL section contains the http:// portion of the link. Make sure to remove this from the link that you paste into the field.
    URL Redirect Action Setup
  5. Click Save Action to finish. 

For additional information about the URL Redirect Action, check out our URL Redirect Tutorial.

Data Collection: 

The data will now be in two separate surveys and will not be able to connect identifying information to your respondent. 

 Best Practice Tips

  • If you are using anonymous surveys, this is probably because you want to foster trust with your survey takers. We recommend adding a Greeting Page with informational text at the beginning of your survey to let them know your data collecting process between two surveys and that their response is anonymous!
  • If you are using this set up for a giveaway, it is important to note that it is fairly easy for respondents to make a note of the second survey URL. In this case, you might want to add some extra security on the second survey to prevent this from happening.

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