Send Email Action: Send an Autoresponse Email

Send Email Action Example

The Send Email action allows you to send an email at the completion of your survey to respondents, colleagues, yourself or anyone else you need to notify! This action gives you the flexibility to customize what is sent, from a simple notification of a survey response to a full PDF review of responses with links to any uploaded files.

You can use the Send Email action to send your survey respondents a quick thank-you message, a follow up on a negative customer experience, or simply mail a copy of the survey results to yourself... and that's just scratching the surface.

 Best Practice Tip

The Send Email action works best on the Thank-You page so it can reference all data collected in the survey. If you wish to include response data in your email, you must place these actions on pages that follow questions you want to include.


1. Add your Send Email Action to the desired page in your survey.

More often than not, you'll want to set up an email to send at the end of your survey, once you've collected data. To do so click the Action link at the bottom of the Thank You Page (or one of the Confirmation Email buttons in the Getting Started Guide).

Note: If you want to add your email action to a page other than the Thank You page, click the Action link corresponding to that page.

2. Provide a Name for your Send Email Action - this is an internal name that will not be visible to your survey respondents.

3. Customize Your Email Subject ("New Response Notification" by default).

You can use merge codes in the email subject to dynamically populate with the answers from the survey response itself. The easiest way to set this up is to use the merge code helper that is available in the message body to find the merge code for the survey question(s) you wish to use in the email subject. 

Check out this quick demo of adding merge codes to the email subject:

4. Set Up the From Name and From Email fields. 

These will be populated with SurveyGizmo and respectively. This is what will display as the from name and address in the message. You can change these fields to whatever name and address you wish to display, but make sure you are aware of the caveats of doing so

5. (Optional) Set Up Your Reply To Name and Email Address.

If you wish to receive replies, you can specify a Reply To Name and Address. This can be different than what is set up in the From Name and Email. This is especially useful when the person who will follow up with respondents is not necessarily the person from whom the email should appear, i.e. a teaching assistant responding on behalf of a professor.

Note: The Reply To field accepts an email alias in the format of: alias <email address> as shown below:

6. Add your receipient/s to the To field. We recommend adding no more than 5 recipient email addresses, separated with commas (no spaces).

You can use the Quick fill links to populate the To field with either your SurveyGizmo account email address or an email address collected earlier in your survey.

Click Me to populate the To field with your account email or Survey Taker to identify the survey question that collects your respondent's email address.

Select the question and click Save to see the question merge code inserted into the To field.

7. (Optional) Add a BCC.

Click the Add BCC link found below the To field to access the BCC field.

To BCC multiple email addresses, simply separate them with commas (no spaces). If an email fails to send in this list, all emails that follow it will also fail, so make sure to triple check your addresses!

8. Customize Your Message Body

The default message body will contain some instructions and sample text that you will want to delete. Click into the Body field, delete the placeholder content and begin customizing your message.

By default, you are working in the HTML Message Body. A Plain-text version of your email is automatically generated based on your HTML version as long as the default Automatically generate plain-text version setting remains checked.

If you wish to customize your own plain-text email independently of the HTML version, uncheck the Automatically generate plain-text version setting. The Plain-Text Message Body field will become available and you can make edits independently of the HTML body. Remember, if you are taking advantage of both Plain-Text and HTML Versions, to make edits in both places!

Including Survey Response Details in Your Message

To include values entered in the survey response in your email messages you can use the Merge Codes menu (available in the bottom toolbar).

For example, say you want to include all of the respondent's answers in your message content. All you need to do is click Merge Codes below the message. The Merge All Questions option will include the text and the response that was entered for all the questions in your survey in the message body.

If you only wish to include a question or two, place your cursor in the message body where you wish to add the question and select the survey question in the dropdown menu.

The merge code will be added at cursor. 

Applying Logic to Determine When Email is Sent

If you'd like to set up rules for when the email is sent, click on the Logic tab along the top. This is where you can set up the conditional logic that determines when this email is sent. If no logic is set here, the email sends for every response that reaches the page that the action was added to.

Check out our tutorial on Using Logic to Send Different Email Notifications to learn more!

Attaching a PDF of the Response

On the Advanced tab the option to Attach a PDF Review creates and attaches a PDF file that includes either all questions or answered questions only.

You can choose to include page titles and numbers, question numbers, text elements, quiz score results and hidden values. As far as the questions that are included in the PDF you can choose the include all questions, only those displayed to the respondent, or only the answered questions.

In the PDF settings field, you can specify a file name for the PDF. The survey title will be used by default. Merge codes are supported in this field!

Set Up a Time Delay

The time delay is another popular Send Email action feature. By default, the Send Email action fires when the survey respondent reaches the page where the action is located. If you want to set a timed delay, you can set this up on the Advanced tab. You can specify +10 hours, +23 minutes, +30 days, +6 months or even +2 years! You can also specify the date when you want the action to fire by putting a date in this field using MM/DD/YYYY as the format.

Once you have set a time delay and the action has fired, this delay cannot be changed for messages already queued.

Other Advanced Options

Those are the basic features of this action, so now let's dive into some of the more advanced features you can find by clicking the Advanced tab.

(OPTIONAL) Custom SMTP Server, User, and Password: To send items through your own email server instead of using SurveyGizmo (very useful in managed IT environments where outside emails have a tendency to go directly to Spam), you will need to get this information from your IT department. Your SMTP server address will look similar to your website URL for example, SurveyGizmo's SMTP address is

In most situations, the From Email Address and Custom SMTP User fields will need to be the same in order for the action to work.

Send Securely (Use TLS): If using your own SMTP server, choose whether you want to send the emails securely using TLS. The default is set to No, don't.

Note: toggling the TLS setting to 'Yes' should only be done if you have configured your SMTP settings per the above step.

Include Link To Uploaded Files: If you have used a File Upload question in your survey, this option lets you include a link to download all the files uploaded to the survey.

Send each time page is hit: This option allows the action to generate more than one email if this page is displayed more than once. The default is to send one email for each response, but you might find a need for this if respondents loop back to this page due to logic set up in other parts of the survey.

Caution: Changing From Email Address

If you modify the from email, you'll notice the yellow warning that appears below. Customizing the from address may significantly affect deliverability. This is because the emails are still sent from our servers and they are masked to appear to be coming from the specified email address. Depending on the email client, this can look suspicious and could possibly be blocked altogether.

Further, it is not recommended to set the From Address to a domain that you do not control.,, and, in particular, have implemented rules that tell other email providers, "reject any message that says it is from unless it comes from a Yahoo! email server." Other email clients may be more forgiving, but this will still likely cause your message to end up in the spam folder.

Finally, if the recipient's domain and the from domain are the same this can also cause the email to bounce.

Using a private domain that you control, and setting up the appropriate SPF Record, is best if you would like to change the From Address.

A Safer Alternative: Change the Reply To Email Address in Send Email Actions

To ensure your emails get where they are going we recommend leaving the From Email Address as and instead use the Reply To Email Address for customization.

Troubleshooting & FAQ

Having trouble getting the content you've created to show up in your test emails?

If you have elected to manually edit the Plain-Text Message Body, make sure to double-check both the Plain-Text and HTML versions of your content in your message body. If you make changes to one version, you'll also need to update the other so that they match. Most recipients will see the HTML version.

How do I know if the email was sent?

On the Details tab of each Individual Response found on the Responses tab, you will have a success or fail message on the page with the Send Email action. You can re-fire the action from here, if needed.

Why are my emails not being sent?

Here are a couple of things to check for if your emails are not being sent:

  • Check your spam folder. Depending on your email client, messages sent from might be flagged as spam. If you find messages in your spam folder be sure to indicate that they are not spam and this will likely fix up the trouble.
  • Check the addresses in the recipient email address field. Confirm the address themselves are correct as well as the formatting. Multiple emails must be separated with commas and no spaces.
  • Depending on your network security you may need to whitelist our domain in order for emails to come through. See our SPF record documenation for more info.


  • Email actions can’t be on the same page as the field where you collect the Send To email address.
  • Email action can’t be on a page by itself or with just a page description as this page will not be skipped and thus the email action will not fire.

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