Anonymisation in Surveys – Sending an email that doesn’t identify the participant

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When distributing an anonymous survey, you can set up your participant database in Snap Desktop or Snap Online. The survey responses are not linked to a given participant. Participants are not tracked to identify whether they have responded, although if a participant opts out of the survey Snap Online records this to ensure that the participant does not receive further emails. This tutorial describes how to set up the participant database in Snap Desktop. Please see tutorial Anonymisation in Surveys – Sending an email that doesn’t identify the participant (Snap Online) on how to set up the participant database in Snap Online.

What you need

  • A unique email address for each participant.
Example of an Excel spreadsheet used to upload participants

Creating a new database link

  1. In the Survey Overview window, open the survey.
  2. Click Database Links DBLinksIcon.png on the Snap Desktop toolbar or select File | Database Link to open the Database Links window.
  3. Click the New button. This opens the Database Linkage Wizard where you create a new database link.

Selecting the participant file

  1. In the Database Linkage Wizard, select Online Invites/Logins/Seeding option. Click Next to select the database file.
Create a database link for uploading participants
  1. Click Select Database File and browse to the file containing the participants’ email addresses. Click Next.
Select the database file

Creating the email invitation

  1. Select Send email invitations only as participants are not going to be tracked. Click Next.
Send email invitations only
  1. The email invitations are created next. Check the Use HTML emails if you wish to have styled HTML emails.
  2. Set the Email address field option; select the appropriate unique email address from the drop down menu.
  3. Add a subject heading in the Email subject and text box.
  4. Type the email message in the Invitation tab and if required, the Reminder tab.
  5. Click Insert to add a Survey Location link. This provides a link for the participant to access the survey and must be included in the email message.
  6. You should also include a link enabling your participants to opt out of the survey using the Survey Opt Out link by clicking Insert.
Create an email invitation
  1. Click Next. You will see a summary of what the database link does.  Give the database link a name.
  2. Select Finish returning to the Database Links dialog.

Generating the participant data

  1. Click Run to generate the new participant data. This displays the Run Database Link dialog.
Database links dialog listing the links for the survey
  1. The Database Link contains the link that will be generated and the Online Account that the Snap Online account where the participants are generated. This information is read only.
Run the database link and upload the results to Snap Online
  1. Choose an option for Participants and Seeding.



Do nothing

Does not load any participant or seeding data changes to Snap Online.

Add new participants only

Add new participants’ data will be loaded but this will not update any changes to existing participants’ data.

Update participants

This will insert new participants and also update changes to existing participants’ data. This may overwrite any changes made in Snap Online to existing participants. This option will not remove participants that are no longer in the new list of participants or that have been added in Snap Online.

Replace all participants

This will replace all participants’ data by removing all the existing participants and replacing them with the new list. This will remove existing participants that are no longer in the new list of participants. This will mean any updates made to participants or new participants added in Snap Online will be lost.

  1. Choose an option for Invites and Reminders.



Do nothing

There are no changes made. The process will not upload any invitation or reminder changes to Snap Online.

Define or replace

This will add the invitation and reminder when they are generated for the first time. When there are already uploaded invitations and reminders this option will remove all the existing invitations and reminders to replace them with the new invitation and reminder set up in Snap Desktop.

  1. Click OK to automatically upload the participant data to Snap Online.
  2. The survey is now ready to be published. The list of participants can be managed in Snap Online.

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