Send a Simple Poll or Survey to Subscribers

Add Mailchimp's simple poll or survey merge tags to your email campaign to gauge subscriber opinion about a topic. The poll merge tag inserts question and rating scale, and the survey merge tag inserts a question with answer options you create. You can include multiple polls in a single campaign, but only one survey per campaign. To include multiple survey questions, consider an integration.

In this article, you'll learn how to add and customize a poll or survey in your campaign, and how to track and use the results with reports and segments.

Add a Simple Poll to a Campaign

To add a simple poll to an email campaign, follow these steps.

  1. In the Content section of the Campaign Builder, click Edit Design.
    click edit design
  2. On the Design step, click to edit the text content block you want to work with.
  3. Type or paste the poll merge tag into the editor, using the following syntax: *|POLL:RATING:x|*
    Type or paste your poll question text here.
  4. Click Save & Close.

The x value in the merge tag determines the orientation of the poll in your campaign and can be either H or V. To position the poll horizontally, replace x with H. For vertical orientation, like in a sidebar, replace x with V.

You can add as many poll merge tags in a single campaign as you want. Just be sure to close each *|POLL:RATING:x|* tag with a corresponding *|END:POLL|* tag to keep the responses separate.

Simple poll in campaign

When a subscriber receives the campaign containing your simple poll, the merge tags populate into a clickable rating scale.

Simple poll preview


The lowest and highest labels in the simple poll can't be changed or translated. To have more control over the language, consider using a survey merge tag.

Add a Survey to a Campaign

To add a survey to an email campaign, follow these steps.

  1. In the Content section of the Campaign Builder, click Edit Design.
    click edit design
  2. On the Design step, click to edit the text content block where you want to add the survey.
  3. Type or paste your survey question into the editor.
  4. Below the survey question, type or paste the *|SURVEY:|* merge tag into the editor. Type the survey response you want after the colon, and use a separate *|SURVEY:|* merge tag for each response. For example:

    On average, how many cups of coffee do you drink a day?
    *|SURVEY: None|*
    *|SURVEY: 1–2|*
    *|SURVEY: 3–5|*
    *|SURVEY: Too many to count|*
  5. Click Save & Close.


Here are four things to be aware of before you send your survey campaign.

  • For tracking purposes, subscribers can only vote once.
  • Include only one survey per campaign. The system would link all the response options to the first question, because it can't recognize the placement of *|SURVEY: Response|* tags in the campaign. Subscribers would see all of the questions, but only able to answer one.
  • Be sure each survey response is unique. For example, you can't have *|SURVEY: Yes|* more than once in the same campaign. The survey responses can be as long as you want, but the text will truncate at 255 characters when viewed in the reports.
  • Survey merge tags inherit the link style for the section of the campaign they're in. You can style the links individually, but we strongly recommend that you preview and test your campaign before you send to your subscribers to ensure changes don't interfere with the back-end code for the survey merge tags.

How it Looks

This is what you'll put in your campaign layout.

Example of survey merge tag placed in campaign.

This is what your subscribers will see.
Example of how survey merge tag populates when sent.

Things to Know

  • Poll and survey merge tags can only be used in email campaigns.
  • Only subscribers on your list can vote in the campaign poll or survey. If the email is forwarded using the forward to a friend merge tag or the forward option in a subscriber's email client, we can't capture those responses.
  • Results can be gathered only when a campaign recipient responds to the poll or survey in their email inbox. Subscribers or others who visit the campaign page for your sent campaign cannot respond to the poll or survey.
  • Each subscriber can vote only once for each poll question in a campaign, and only once per campaign on survey questions.
  • If you have more than one survey question in a campaign, our system can't tell the difference between questions, and lump them all together. When a subscriber tries to answer the second question, they'll receive an alert that they can only vote once. To include multiple survey questions in a campaign, try an integration like SurveyMonkey.
  • When using a poll merge tag, subscribers are brought to the survey landing page each time they respond to a poll question. If there are multiple poll questions, subscribers need to return to the email to answer the next question. This allows our system to track each vote in the reports.
  • With the poll merge tag, you can see how many subscribers voted for each of the numbers 1-10. Click on the reponse numbers in the Option column to see which subscribers responded with each number.
  • The survey merge tag allows you to see how your subscribers voted. To see which response they chose, click the survey response option in the campaign report or create a segment.
  • Clicks on voting options don't count toward your campaign's click rate. To see how many clicks a voting option received, view the campaign results or create a segment.

Customize Your Survey Landing Page

Like other forms and response emails, the survey landing page can be customized. You can view or edit the survey landing page from your list's Form Builder.

  1. Navigate to the Lists page.
  2. Click the Stats drop-down menu for the list and select Signup forms.
  3. Select Form builder.
  4. From the Forms and response emails drop-down menu, select Survey landing page.
    Survey landing page

The *|SURVEY_VOTE_RESPONSE|* merge tag populates the "Thanks for voting" message after a subscriber casts their vote. If a subscriber attempts to vote more than once, the *|SURVEY_VOTE_RESPONSE|* merge tag populates the "Sorry, you can only vote once per poll" message. The wording of these messages can be edited from the Translate it tab for the survey landing page.


Survey landing pages are pages we create for you by default, and are different from Landing Page campaigns. Poll and survey merge tags can only be used with email campaigns.

View the Poll Results

When a campaign that contains a poll or survey is sent to your list, we'll store captured responses in the campaign report.

  1. Navigate to the Reports page.
  2. Click the View Report button for your campaign.
  3. Click the Analytics360 option.
  4. Scroll down to the Poll Results section of the page.

Under Poll Results, we display information for each poll question or survey response in the campaign. We show each poll question or survey response, Votes cast, Pending votes, Last vote cast, and a table showing all results.

Create a Segment from the Results

After your subscribers begin to vote, you can create segments based on the results. On polls, you can segment by whether subscribers have responded yet. For surveys, you can segment by specific responses or by whether the survey has been completed.

Segment your list by poll/survey.

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