The Basics of URLs and Merge Fields

The Structure of a URL

While the structure of URLs (also known as hyperlinks) on the Internet is trivial for most web programmers, they are a bit of a mystery for the rest of us.  Understanding the basics of URL structure opens the doors to accomplishing powerful capabilities with GetFeedback, including survey personalization, survey response tracking, and Salesforce integration

Let’s start with the basics, the most common GetFeedback URLs simply look like this:


getFeedback - Online Survey Software for a Mobile World


The Basics of URLs and Merge Fields

Now, sometimes you’ll see a URL that looks a bit more complicated and has some extra stuff on the end, which always starts with a ?, and might look something like this ?ContactID=123456.  This extra stuff on the end of the URL is what is called a merge field, as shown here:


GetFeedback Online Survey Software for a Mobile World


Using Merge Fields to Pass Data to a Survey

Merge fields are used with GetFeedback to pass information into a survey, either to record the exact person who is taking the survey, or some other useful information that the survey might need, such as an ID from an external system such as Salesforce (i.e. a Contact ID, a Case ID, an Account ID, or any other bit of information desired)

There are 2 components to any merge field, the merge field name, and the merge field value, as shown here:


GetFeedback Online Survey Software for a Mobile World


the ? character separates the base URL from the first merge field, and any number of additional merge fields can be added onto the end of the URL by separating them with the & character, as shown here


GetFeedback Online Survey Software for a Mobile World


When merge fields are received by the GetFeedback survey, both the merge field name and the merge field value are recorded with that survey submission, and are available to see alongside the survey response shown on the GetFeedback “Results” tab





Merge fields are very useful for tracking survey responses back to another application, such as Salesforce.  Additional information on using merge fields can be found here:

Using Merge Fields to Create Surveys that Integrate with Salesforce
Using Merge Fields to Track Responses from a Specific Individual
Using Merge Fields to Track Responses from a Specific Individual (via an email marketing app)
Using Merge Fields to Personalize a Survey


Note: merge fields, when used in URLs are also commonly known as URL variables and query parameters, but we’ve tried to use the basic syntax in this article to stay consistent with the terminology used throughout the GetFeedback application

 


Related Links
 

Distributing a Survey via Email
 

Using Merge Fields to Track Responses from a Specific Person
 

Using Merge Fields to Personalize a Survey


 
 
 
 

 
 
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