An external reference variable is used to pass data to the survey and associate responses with their respondents. You can assign an ID number or other information that will uniquely identify a respondent to the ext_ref variable. When the results are collected, the ext_ref variable is captured and stored with the other data. An external data reference can also be added for each survey participant while distributing emails.
The &ext_ref variable is automatically captured in the raw response data. You can use it later, along with survey reports to analyze data. While using a reference variable in QuestionPro Surveys to capture external data, below are some of the points to keep in mind.
Consider a University that wants to conduct a course evaluation survey. You can append the external reference parameter (ext_ref) with the URL, as shown below.
You can also use ext_ref to create a survey that identifies unique respondents.
If you are using the email list management interface to send out a survey email, add the following tag to your survey invitation.
Note: The mail merge tags are special variables that are used in email list management to track the email addresses of respondents. Append &ext_ref=xxxx at the end of the mail merge tags.
Learn how to set up and use this feature with our help file on custom variables.