The Basics of URLs and Merge Fields

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Let's learn how to use merge fields for survey tracking and personalization. For more specific instruction on tracking, or using merge fields with Salesforce, check out these articles :

  • Tracking responses using merge fields

  • Track information and Salesforce IDs

Merge fields allow GetFeedback to pull information into your survey and responses from your database. To associate users with their survey responses, you'll need to pull in information from a sending list like Salesforce, Pardot, or CampaignMonitor.

If you're sending your survey as a link from your email inbox (like Gmail or Outlook), we can't fill merge fields dynamically, because GetFeedback doesn't have access to your data. If you want to add merge fields to your URL, you'll need to build a URL for each individual survey recipient. (Which isn't very scalable, or fun.)

When used in URLs, merge fields are commonly known as URL variable tags, query parameters, or custom fields, so you might be more familiar with one of those terms. We’ll stick with merge fields in this article, to keep things simple.

Getting Started

All GetFeedback survey URLs have the same basic structure. Adding merge fields to a survey URL or your email template allows you to personalize surveys, track responses, identify trends, and take action on your response data.

Let’s begin by looking at a basic GetFeedback URL:


Find your survey URL by navigating to Distribute > Link. When you click this URL - you'll be directed to the start of your survey.

This URL only collects anonymous responses. We’ll need to add merge fields to track information about who is taking the survey.

Using Merge Fields to Pass Data Into a Survey

To add a merge field to your survey URL - you’ll append a few things to the end of the URL. Start with a '?' symbol to separate the survey ID from the merge fields. Then you’ll add your merge field name, an = sign, and the merge field value. In this example the merge field name is ContactID and the merge field value is 12345.

web link with labels

Use merge fields in GetFeedback to pass information into a survey, record who is taking the survey, or gather other information from an external system like Contact ID, name, or email address.

A merge field has two components: the merge field name and the merge field value :

web link with labels merge field name and value

The merge field name is what we use as the title of this merge field in GetFeedback. The merge field value is the name of the data field or custom field in your database that we will pull this information from.

The '?' symbol separates the base URL from the first merge field, and all additional merge fields can be added onto the end of the URL by separating them with the '&' symbol:

Web Link with two Merge Fields

When a survey link with merge fields is clicked - Getfeedback will recognize the merge field, and include it in the survey responses table. The merge field name, which is located before the '=' symbol, will be the name of the column in the survey responses table where we will place the merge field value.

Here’s a screenshot of the survey responses table where you can see the merge field names ContactID and Case ID and the corresponding merge field values below.


Fill Merge Fields Dynamically

GetFeedback merge fields integrate with most email service providers like Pardot, or Marketo. Email service providers allow users to pull identifying information like name or ContactID, into the body of an email. You can use this "mail merge" technology to survey allows you to personalize the body of your survey, and attribute survey responses to your recipients.

Here's an example of a generic GetFeedback URL that will collect ContactIDs when sent from Salesforce: {! Contact.ID}

When we send this distribution link from Salesforce - the {!Contact.ID} section of the URL (aka the value) will fill in with the appropriate ContactID. Getfeedback will pull ContactID into your responses, so you can identify each response by the associated Contact. This means, you can use a single email template to create personalized GetFeedback surveys for each recipient.

In this example we've used Salesforce specific syntax for pulling in merge fields. Salesforce calls for the merge field to sit between '{! }' characters. Here's a list of examples of merge field formatting for different email providers:


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