How to use passback links with SurveyMR

Passback links can be used with SurveyMR when collecting external survey completes from a sample provider.

Each sample provider has a unique ID number for their panellists that must be passed back to them so that they know which respondents to reward for completing the survey.  The name of this ID number varies across the different sample providers.

When you commission the sample provider they will provide the passback links they require you to use for:

  • Completes
  • Over quotas
  • Not qualified

The passback link is designed to send the relevant ID number of the respondents back to the sample provider and to record the ID in the download file for your survey.

It is important to make sure when programming your survey, any screening questions which identifies those who are not suitable for the survey uses quotas set to zero to route respondents out rather than sending them to the end of the survey.  If they are sent to the end of the survey they will register with the sample provider as a complete and you will be charged for this respondent.

Before the survey launches you should make sure you test both a complete and a route out (if necessary) on your survey to make sure the IDs are passing back correctly and that they are being recorded correctly in your download.

Example of passback links

These are examples of passback links from SSI

Complete (Qualified)

Screen out (Terminate)

Quota full

And these are examples of passback links from Panelbase

Screen out


Quota Full

In the examples above, ENTERIDHERE and XXXX are both placeholders where the unique ID of the survey respondents will be added to.

Adding passback links to your survey settings

The first thing we need to do is to replace the placeholder in the passback links provided by the sample provider with the unique ID name wrapped in dollar signs.






NB: It is very important to make sure that the name of the unique ID given by the sample provider is exactly the same in the passback link between the dollar signs as it is in the original they sent to you!

You then need to add them to the relevant action for completes, route outs and over quotas:

Passback Links

Link to give sample providers for your survey

Once you have implemented the passback links to the survey settings page and put your survey live, you then need to give the sample provider the link to distribute to their panellists.

It needs to be able to have the unique ID appended to it – this is done by adding a question mark followed by the name of the unique ID field and then ID number (the sample provider will add the number when they send the link to their panellists) (see highlighted section of links below):



It is useful to indicate to the sample provider where they need to add their ID number.

Then test your survey with your sample provider, remembering to check the excel download to make sure the IDs are being recorded correctly.