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Creating and Customizing your Surveys
Personalize your questionnaire with our Custom Variables
Personalize your questionnaire with our Custom Variables

Track all your survey responses with custom variables

Sonika Mehta avatar
Written by Sonika Mehta
Updated over a week ago

Knowing your customer a bit better is very much useful for response collection, however, if you’re surveying your known customer you don’t want to have to ask the same people the same questions over and over again.

Often, you will know certain information about a respondent before they respond to your survey. Use this opportunity to make your customers feel special with our custom survey variables.

Here's how you can get started:

What are the variables in a survey?

Survey variables, are tokens that you can pass as additional information in your survey. You can upload up to 100 custom variables and store them with your respondents’ answers.

Custom variables or Survey variables allow you to pass information via the survey web link, which can then be displayed within the survey, as well as on any reports generated from the survey.

For example, if you're running a global survey across your organization and you want to track responses from each department, division, and country.

Using Custom variables, you can create any number of categories department, division, and country) and analyze the responses that fall under each category. In addition, You can also track the respondent's location, source, and a lot more.

You can do this by adding a custom variable and passing the variable along with the survey URL as a primary key. Your respondents submit this as a hidden value and this can be later observed.

How to add variables to your survey?

The creation of customized links can then be set manually and here is how you do it,

  1. Navigate to Surveys (Manage > Surveys).

  2. Choose the Survey from the Survey List which you'd like to display on your Website or Add a new survey.

  3. Click on Build from the top navigation.

  4. Choose Variables from the builder's sub-menu.

Types of variables

We have listed 3 different variables types for your customization,

1. Survey Variables

Survey Variables are variables related to the survey and include all survey Questions, Survey Language, and Location (when used).

This view shows a recorded list of all your questions and their corresponding unique variables.

Now, you can use this variable and pass any additional information to your survey and it would act as an auto-filled field when your customers are filling out the survey. This not only reduces your customer effort but also saves a lot of time while filling out the survey.

📌Note: Your link should be in the format, Surveylink?surveyvariable=Value

For example, in the image below, we've added 'RARELY' as an answer to the question, 'How often do you use our services?'

Try out some of the below links,

📌Note: You can have any number of questions in your survey and corresponding survey variables get created automatically.

2. Contact Variables

Contact Variables are variables related to Contact Attributes and can be used to pass information related to Contact Attributes.

All your Respondents are Contacts in Zonka Feedback, now you can store any information about your contacts like their Name, Email Address, Phone Number, Country, Language, and more which act as identifiers. These are all Default Contact Attributes.

Apart from this, you can also create additional Custom Contact Attributes to gather or store information about your Contacts like their Birthday, Anniversary, Membership ID, Joining date, Youtube channel ID, Hobbies, Department, Gender, and a lot more. Know more about contacts attributes and how to create them.

We have segregated contract-specific information and have created variables for them that can also be used to pass information via the survey web links.

📌Note: Your link should be in the format, survey link?contactvariable=Value

Try out some of the below links,

Many organizations use Custom variables by having a CRM system or their website merge these values into the URL when the link is generated for that respondent.

These contact variables increase the participation rate and make the survey analysis process much easier.

3. Hidden Variables

Hidden Variables include information and data that you want to pass in your survey response without adding Survey Questions or Contact Attributes.

To add Hidden Variables,

  • Click on the ‘+Add New Variable' button to create a hidden variable.

  • Give a name to your variable and the VARIABLE value is autogenerated.

  • Once done, please don't forget to press the 'ENTER KEY' to save the variable.

You can edit or delete the variable anytime, by hovering your mouse over the variables.

Try out some of the below links,


Let’s say you run a restaurant and you want to know the customers who specifically purchased 'White sauce pasta' along with their bill numbers.

  1. You can create a Survey Variable by adding a survey question as 'Food'

  2. You can create a contact Variable by adding a survey question as 'Contact Name'

  3. You can create a Hidden Variable as ‘Bill Number’

  4. Then pass all the values in your survey link in the format, Surveylink?food=Pasta&contact_name=Maxwell&billnumber=1252.

  5. You can track all these variables when you share the URL with your respondent group in your Response Inbox.

  • You find that the Food value 'PASTA' is already passed.

  • You find that the Contact Name value 'Maxwell' is already passed.

  • You find that the Bill Number is not a question in your survey, but the value 1252 is passed.

Advantages of using custom variables in your survey

  • Insights - Receiving a ton of responses is the ultimate aim of every survey. However, analyzing and interpreting all that data can be a challenge. Take advantage of custom variables to avoid this problem and make survey data analysis easier. The inferences derived from this are more accurate.

  • Separation - With a high number of variables, you can group and segment all your responses and data with ease. Breaking down your audience becomes easier, which helps you design better surveys.

  • Specificity - This helps in being specific and getting accurate results.

  • Save Time - You can save time for your customers by prefilling all the known answers and allowing them to answer the right question.


What can be the URL length?

Web Link can attach any number of custom variables to the URL. So you don't exceed universal URL length limitations, we suggest URLs remain under 2,200 characters to maintain functionality with popular web browsers.

What I have an option to automatically add variables in the URL?

There is no way to automatically insert values into the survey link template within Zonka Feedback.

You will need to do this manually, use sheets, or run your own script to insert the values into the survey link outside our platform.

Can I add a combination of Survey Variables and Contact Variables in the customer URL?

Definitely Yes, you can combine Survey, Contact, and Hidden Variable in one URL and separate the values with a '&' symbol.

Can I filter my reports based on the Hidden Variables?

Yes, you can filter and analyze your reports based on the passed Hidden variables in your survey link. You can now download these responses in CSV format and proceed to analyze the data!

Can I get custom Variables in the Essential Plan?

Yes, Customer Variables (Survey, Contact, and Hidden) are available on all plans starting from the Essential Plan.

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