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External Panel Provider: How to set up my survey?

The following is an example of how to link participants who come from an external panel provider to the survey, save a participant ID, and link the participants back to the panel provider at the end, whereby the participant ID and the status of the participant’s interview are also transmitted.

If the survey participants are to come from an external panel provider, then this is a survey distribution theme. The settings described below are thus set via the Distribute page of the survey. There is an option to invite a “Third party sample” to the survey. Like any other distribution option, you can invite several “Third party samples” – if necessary also at different times and in parallel to other distribution options (such as “Local sample” or anonymous survey link).

Clicking on the button “Third party sample” opens a guided process in which the name and the desired number of participants for the sampling project, the quotas as well as the re-direct links to the panel provider are entered one after the other. At the end (in the summary), the invitation link to the third party sample created appears, which must then be sent to the external panel provider. Each third party sample has its own invitation link, via which the participant is automatically connected to this third party sample and the sample-specific quota control.

Before you can create a third party sample, the survey must be activated. It should also be noted that all questions relevant for quota control must be placed in the first section of the survey. Questions from other sections cannot be used for the quota filters. Further information on the topic of quotas is described here.

The external panel provider usually supplies a whole set of links to which participants are to be re-directed at the end of their interviews – a separate link for each interview status. These links must be entered in the “Re-directs”. The other way round, you have to send the panel provider the invitation link to the survey. This can be found in the “Summary” once all settings have been made. The next two sections describe in detail how to handle the links.

1: Linking respondent from external panel provider to the survey

If you want to direct participants from an external panel to the survey, the panel provider usually takes care of the invitation. To do this, they need a link to take participants to the survey, which you have to provide to the panel provider.

Since the panel provider usually wants to have control over which invited participant actually took part, they will want to add a participant ID to the survey link that identifies the individual participant at the same time. This ID must be stored together with the participant’s interview so that it can be transmitted back at the end when re-directing. For this reason, the invitation link must have an additional parameter appended to it. This is done with the help of a URL variable.

Invitation link (for the external panel provider)

The invitation link is only created when the third party sample is created. So you have to go through the whole process of creating a third party sample before you find the link in the “Summary”:

You can append an additional URL parameter to this link. The example (below) uses the standard URL variable urlVar01. The external panel provider can then add the respective participant ID after the =. The link that the external panel provider receives then looks like this:


For multilingual surveys, a separate invitation link is available for each language. However, the links only differ in the language code, which is added to the back of the link. For each language, the language-specific link is expanded as described above if the external panel provider wants to pass a participant ID. It would also be possible to create separate third party samples for different languages. This is particularly recommended if the data collection is staggered in the different languages, if there are different re-direct links per language or if at least two different external panel providers are used.

2: Forward respondent back to external panel provider

Adapt re-direct links

The external panel provider usually provides four different re-direct links, each one for the statuses Complete, Screenout, Quotafull and QualityFail (or also called Speedster). The first three statuses are normally used in every survey and can be entered directly in Survalyzer at the appropriate place. Just as the invitation link contains additional parameters, the re-direct links also contain additional parameters. One of these parameters is the status, another is the participant ID, and in most cases the language is also added as a parameter. A re-direct link then looks something like this:


You will notice that the links hardly differ from each other. Depending on the status, a different value appears for “status=”, the rest is very likely identical. And for “participantid=” it should be noted that the participant ID must be added here.

The participant ID, which is different for each participant, must be added dynamically. This is done with placeholders that are automatically replaced by the respective value of the participant. The placeholders for the standard URL variables are {{url.var01}}, {{url.var02}}, etc. Since we used the URL variable urlVar01 for the participant ID in our invitation link example, adjust the redirect links as follows:


Insert re-direct links (in the third party sample on the Distribute page)

The re-direct links have to be inserted in the item “Re-directs” when creating the third party sample. Make sure that the links are used with the correct status value. In the following example, Quotafull has status value 1, Screenout has status value 2 and Complete has status value 3.

Re-directs for screenouts (directly in the questionnaire)

In certain cases, the screenout is carried out directly in the questionnaire using a URL forwarding element. In such a case, the re-direct link must be noted in the URL forwarding:

If your questionnaire is multilingual, the URL forwarding must also be translated:

Updated on June 24, 2022
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