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Sending Email Invitations from Vista

Step 1: Create a Recipient List

  1. To have Vista send out e-mail invitations to your survey, click the Launch tab.
  2. Click Launch Wizard.
  3. On the Select Launch Method page, click I will send e-mail invitations through Vista.

    The Create a Recipient List page displays.

    create a recipient list page 

From this page you will upload your contact / recipient list into Vista.  The recipient list must be a table of data with a row for each recipient and columns for the recipient data.  You must have at least an e-mail address for each recipient. In addition, it can include a Name field and any number of other fields to help you identify the respondent.

You can choose the way you want to upload your recipient list:

  • Copy recipient data from another application through the clipboard - With this option you will use clipboard operations to copy and paste your recipient data into Vista.  For example, if your recipients are already in an Excel® spreadsheet, you could highlight the table and copy and paste the data into Vista.
  • Import recipient data from a file - You can import the data from a tabular data file, such as a distribution list.  The data file must be in tab-delimited text or comma separated value (CSV) format.  This is most useful if you already have your recipient data in a text file.
  • Type recipient data in directly - You will type your recipient data into a text area.  This is useful if you are sending a very small invitation such as a test invitation.
  • Reuse the recipient list from a previous invitation - With this option you can choose to reuse the recipient list from a previous invitation.

Note:  You can upload an unlimited number of email addresses into invitations in a paid Vista account.

Step 2: Standardize Field Names

After you've uploaded your recipient list data set, the Standardize Field Names page appears.

standardize field names page example

On this page, you will match the columns in your recipient data set with standard column names in Vista.

Follow these steps to standardize your recipient data:

  1. Select Name from the Standardized Field Name list next to the column that contains the name of the recipient. Note that the Name field will be included in the results data set to help identify the respondent, but it is not required.  If none of your columns represent the name of the recipient, you can skip this field.
  2. Select Email from the Standardized Field Name list next to the column that contains the e-mail address of the recipient. The e-mail address is a required field.
  3. For each remaining column, select one of the following for the Standardized Field Name column:
    • If the column was used in a previous invitation, the column will be an item in the list.  Select this item from the list to keep the field consistent with previous invitations.
    • If this is a new column (or if this is your first invitation) and you want this column to be saved with your result set, select Add Custom Field and enter a name for the field in Custom Field Name.
    • If you don't want this column to be saved with your result set, select Skip Column.

Step 3: Verify Recipient Data

Once you've set your field names, Vista will display the data set that will be uploaded for the invitation.

Verify Recipient Data

  1. Verify the data and the field names you selected on the Standardize Field Names page and click Next to continue.  To correct the data set, click Back and modify the columns on the Standardize Field Names page.

Step 4: Compose Email

On the Compose Email page you will compose the e-mail for your invitation using a rich text editor that is similar to the one used to enter questions for your survey.  On the this screen you'll enter the From Name, From Email, and Subject for your email.  These will be used in the header for the e-mail message invitations that are sent out.

You can insert Merge Fields in your e-mail message as placeholders for recipient data in order to personalize your e-mail messages.  When the e-mail messages are sent out to recipients, the Merge Field codes will be replaced with the actual recipient data. To insert a Merge Field in the e-mail body, follow these steps:

  1. In the e-mail text, click to place the cursor where you want to insert the Merge Field.
  2. From the Merge Field drop-down list, select the field to merge.
  3. Click the Insert Merge Field in Email button.

Here is an example of an e-mail using the Name, Survey Link and Department fields:

compose e-mail page

One of the merge codes is the Survey Link, which is what you use to insert your link into the e-mail.  For information about customizing the survey link, see Customizing the Survey Link in Email Invitations.

Tip: To insert a single line break in your email text, you may need to press Shift+Enter rather than just Enter.

Step 5: Preview Email

  1. To preview each e-mail and see how each one will look, on the Preview Email page, click Yes.  You can see the result of the merge codes as the recipient will see them.
  2. Browse the e-mail that you are viewing by clicking the Next and Previous links at the top, and click Continue when you are finished.

Step 6: Send Test Email

  1. To send a test email to yourself, on the Send Test Email page, click Yes.  Vista will ask you for your e-mail address, then send you an e-mail using the data from the first record of your invitation.  Note that the survey link in the test e-mail will not be active because you have not yet created the invitation.

Step 7: Invitation Type

Now you can set whether or not your invitation will be anonymous.  The following is the difference between Anonymous and non-Anonymouse surveys:

  • Non-Anonymous (default) - You will be able to see who has or has not responded (and send reminder invitations) and see the response data for an individual.  This is the default option and is recommended unless you need the survey to be anonymous.
  • Anonymous - You will be able to see who has or has not responded (and send reminder invitaitons), but you will not be able to see the response data for an individual.  Choose this option if you only want to see results in aggregate, not by individual (i.e. employee or other sensitive surveys).

Step 8: Invitation Name

You will be asked to give a name for the invitation.  This will be only used in Vista to identify the invitation and will not be seen by your recipients.

Step 9: Send your survey

  1. On the Ready to Send page, click Send Invitation to send out your invitation.  To send your invitation later, click Send Later.

    You are returned to the main page of the Launch tab, which now displays your new invitation in a table.

    Launch tab
  2. From the Launch tab, you have the following invitation management options:
    • To send an invitation, click More, and then click Send Invitations.
    • To delete an invitation, click More, and then click Delete Invitations.
    • To rename an invitation, click More, and then click Rename Invitations.
    • To see the details of an invitation, click Details.  On the Invitation Details page, you can do the following:
      • To send an invitation, click the Send Invitations button.
      • To edit the e-mail for an invitation, click the Edit Email button.
      • To download recipient details, click the Download Recipient Details button.
      • To edit recipient data, click More in the Actions column, and then click Edit Recipient Data.

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