In our new 2020 update, you have the option of creating "Open" or "Closed" surveys. Simply put, the Closed surveys option is exactly what you've been using. If you want to send invitations to clients in the database attached to a specific survey, continue to do so by selecting Closed survey. If you want to create a survey to embed on your website (or send a link) so you can add a new client or new data to SourceLInk, select Open survey.  This help doc is to create a Closed survey. See Creating Surveys - Open to create an Open survey. 

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The survey module in SourceLink® allows an organization to quickly and easily create online and paper surveys that can be used to track economic data, business progress, referral follow-ups and more. Because it is integrated with the client tracking system, SourceLink can incorporate information from a client record into a survey, and pull information from survey responses into a client record.

This section explains Creating Surveys. Find more information in Survey Invitations, Survey Distribution, Survey Responses and Survey Acceptance.

The options within the Surveys section in the left Navigation Bar are Survey Listing and a quick link to the most recently opened surveys.


Survey Process

Here are the basic activities for the survey system. In the beginning:

  1. Create a survey
  2. Create survey invitation
  3. Create distribution list
  4. Send email surveys
  5. Print out paper surveys
  6. Print out envelope labels

When surveys are returned:

  1. Accept email survey responses
  2. Update individual client record with any survey questions that do not upload (they won’t have a star next to them in the survey manager question list)
  3. Enter paper survey responses manually for each client. System will automatically accept those responses.
  4. Update individual client record with any survey questions that do not upload
  5. Print out survey report.

Understand before beginning

There are two initial points that are important to understand before starting the survey creation process. A survey cannot be used indefinitely. For example, KCSourceLink creates the Economic Snapshot Survey and sends it out in April. This particular survey can be sent up to eight times in a 90 day period, which gives KCSourceLink the opportunity to re-send the survey in an effort to increase the response rate. Once 90 days have passed or the survey has been sent eight times (whichever occurs first), then that survey cannot be sent again; it does not matter if it is to the same, initial distribution list or to an entirely new distribution list. However, it can be used as a template to create a new Economic Snapshot Survey the next time it needs to be sent out. Every survey must have a unique name.

The second point is that surveys cannot be modified at all once they are sent. This applies to both the email and paper versions of a survey. And email surveys are sent as soon as the distribution list is created. So it is important to be 100% sure that the survey has the desired look and feel before moving on to working with the email invitation and distribution list.

Web Surveys vs. Paper Surveys

One important concept that will be mentioned throughout this section is the difference between email or on-line surveys (web) and paper surveys. While sending email surveys is the ideal way of surveying, it is not realistic to assume that every client has an email address. So there is a way to create paper versions of the on-line survey. The main difference between the two comes down to appearance. In email surveys, it is best (some think) to limit the number of questions per screen so the recipient does not have to scroll down endlessly to answer the questions. So it is wise to insert page breaks and other explanatory items to break up the survey on the computer screen. However, when printing out a paper survey, it would be a waste of paper to print one or two questions per sheet of paper. This explains why there are two versions of the survey.

Survey Listing

This screen shows every survey that has been created and the date it was created. You can edit, preview, copy or delete a survey by clicking on the appropriate choice under Options. Under the heading “Surveys” is a list of existing surveys in the system The lock icon to the left of the survey title indicates if a survey has been sent out and thus cannot be edited.  

Tip: A locked-down survey can still be used as a template, which basically copies all questions, wording and formatting.  

Open: click to open an existing survey and modify it.

Preview: this shows what the highlighted survey will look like on-line. The preview button only shows the on-line version, not the paper version of a survey.

Copy: this option is useful when you want to create a new survey that is very similar or identical to an existing survey. It creates a copy of the existing survey that then can be modified to create the “new” survey. It saves a lot of time in creating the survey from scratch. This also comes in handy with the “8 times or 90 day” rule because after emailing the survey 8 times or the passage of 90 days a new survey will have to be created.

Delete: this completely removes a survey, not just from the master list but all the responses as well. This action cannot be undone so be cautious when deleting a survey. It does not delete any responses already updated in the individual client record however it does delete all the surveys themselves, which also means that the survey listed in the client record survey tab will disappear. It is no longer possible to read any responses to a survey that is deleted.

Add a New Survey


The Create a New Survey screen will appear.

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Fill out the name and choose the type of survey from the dropdown menu. The Survey Designer screen will appear that will allow you to add, delete, edit and add questions.

Tip: It is wise to name surveys with a date in order to keep them separate.


Survey Type

The surveys listed in the box are sample surveys that serve a particular purpose. They have been created with the appropriate questions from the question library. It is unlikely that one of these surveys will exactly fit an organization’s survey needs at a particular moment however it is a great way to start the process and can serve as a jumping off point. The surveys are as follows:

Blank Survey Template: this is a completely empty shell. All questions must be added.

Event Follow-up Template: this survey is designed to be sent to a client who has participated in an event of some sort, but it is general enough to be used as a starting point for a more detailed survey regardless of whether the event attended was a networking event, a seminar, a training session or a lengthy class.  

Business Snapshot: this survey asks the type of questions designed to provide an economic snapshot of the business at a moment in time. These questions, if asked on a regular basis provide a view of how that business is faring. Much of the information in this template uploads in to the Snapshots tab of the individual client record.

Initial Snapshot Survey: this survey uses questions that an organization might ask to collect baseline information for a new company client.

Quarterly Snapshot Survey: this survey uses questions an organization might ask to collect ongoing information related to snapshots.

Contact Information Verification: this survey includes questions that are populated with currently held information on addresses, phone numbers, email, fax number and business start month/year.


Tip: Once you have created a survey, you can copy it to use as a template for other surveys.




Edit a Survey

To edit a survey, click Edit a Survey under Options. The Survey Designer screen with that survey’s information will appear.


The Survey Title is at the top and can be changed. Following is a list of pre-set survey questions. In the case of a New Survey, the questions will be based on the template. With Edit or Copy a Survey, the questions will be based on that survey. Editing and adding new questions is the same for all cases.


A list of the questions appear under Title. A list of possible actions appears under Options.


Edit a question—Click Edit under Options. Library Questions (those that are synced with information in Snapshots) cannot be edited.

Delete a question—Click Delete under Options. The questions will be removed from the survey.


Add Question


You will be offered three choices:

Custom Question (Non-Synced) – These are questions that you create. Responses will NOT be saved in the client record.

Special Object – These are items such as instructional text, page breaks, etc. that will enhance the look and functionality of the survey

Question from Library (Synced) – These are predefined questions within SourceLink; the responses will automatically sync with the client’s record. You now have the ability to pre-populate Library (Synced) questions with existing information on file and save back to the record.  These questions cannot be edited. 


Tip: Custom questions will not be able to automatically upload even if they have answer choices that exactly correspond to the options available in an individual client record. Only questions from the Question Library upload.



Custom Question

Click on Custom Question. The Survey Question – Custom (Non-Synced) screen will appear.



Select Format of Question from the dropdown menu.

Question types:

  • Single Line Text: a text box of one line is provided. Survey designer may specify how many characters are allowed in the text box up to “no limit”.

  • Multiple Line Text: a text box is provided. There is no ability to limit the number of characters in the response.

  • Date: a text box is provided. It is recommended to indicate the desired response format.

  • Drop Down List: the answers show up in the form of a drop down menu. The recipient can only choose one response. Options are provided to use a custom choice list that the administrator builds or use a business rule. This format is interchangeable with Single Choice Horizontal and Single Choice Vertical.

  • Single Choice Horizontal: answers show up as a single row of horizontal radio buttons and the recipient can only choose one answer. This format is interchangeable with Drop Down List and Single Choice Vertical.

  • Multiple Choice Horizontal: answers show up as a single row of horizontal square buttons and the recipient can choose as many as desired.

Tip: If using this option, indicate that a respondent can choose multiple answers in the text of the question.

  • Single Choice Vertical: answers show up as a single vertical column of radio buttons and the recipient can choose just one answer. This format is interchangeable with Single Choice Horizontal and Drop Down List.


  • Multiple Choice Vertical: answers are displayed as a single vertical column of square buttons and the recipient can choose as many as apply to their situation.

  • A single number between 0 and 50,000,000: currently the client can type in the response any which way and the survey will accept it because it’s just a text box. However when accepting the responses, if it’s not in a valid number format, the system cannot recognize it and throws it out.

  • Multiple Choice Grid: answers show up in a grid format with ranking scale on the horizontal axis and the other choices (the ones being ranked) on the vertical axis. There can be multiple dots in each row and column.

  • Single Choice Grid: answers show up in a grid format with ranking scale on the horizontal axis and the other choices (the ones being ranked) on the vertical axis. With a single choice grid, there can only be one dot per row but multiple dots per column. See Multiple Choice grid above.
  • Single Choice Ranking Horizontal: only one response may be selected from a ranking scale, which appears in horizontal format.  

  • Single Choice Ranking Vertical: only one response may be selected from a ranking scale, which appears in vertical format.  

  • Full address:a block into which an address can be entered

Sources of Capital: Provides a grid into which a respondent can enter capital sources and amounts.

Satisfaction: Provides a horizontal choice question

Field Width: indicates the maximum number of characters that are allowed in a response. This shows up in Single Line Text.

Phone number: If the client types in their phone number in an invalid format, then the system cannot upload the information because it won’t recognize it as a phone number and the administrator will have to manually update that information.

Tip: Include in the question a hint about how you would like to see the format of the response, i.e. Please enter your current phone number using the following format, (816) 333-3311.


Question Title: This is an internal title that appears on the Survey Designer list, does not show up on the survey.

Question Text: This should be the exact text of the question you wish to ask. It will appear on the survey.


Click Save.


Special Object

Special objects are aesthetic items that make the survey easier to read and respond to, and ideally increase the response rate by making the appearance of the survey less intimidating. This is where the difference between the on-line and paper versions of the survey is shown.


Click on Special Object under Add Question. The Survey Question – Special Object screen will appear.


The Object type dropdown menu provides selections.

Spacer: just blank rows of space between questions. The survey designer indicates the number of blank rows desired.  

Image: allows the survey designer to place an image in the survey. The image can be anything that is located on a hard drive, shared drive or disk drive. Use the Browse button to locate the image and upload it to the survey. Uploading it here does not store it in a general place within SourceLink for future use in a completely different survey. However if the survey with the image is used as a template to start another survey, then the image will copy to the new survey. The Align Image places the image on the line indicated either left, center or right aligned.

Text: text is just plain text typed in. The default for the text is left aligned. There is no way to format text, change the font face, the font size, the alignment. It will appear with the same look as the questions. However, it is possible to force a new line by hitting “enter” in the appropriate spot while typing in the text box.

Page Break: this forces a new email page but not a new page in the paper version of the survey. There is a page break (paper only) that is separate.

Section Header: a section header is similar to the Text function only it is formatted to stand out. As with the text functionality, it is possible to force a new line by hitting “enter” in the appropriate spot while typing in the text box.

Page Break (Paper Only): forces a page break only in the paper version.

Text (Online Only): same as the text function above for online versions only.

Section Header (Online Only): this has the same capabilities as listed above, for the online versions only.

Question Library

The Question Library has over 60 pre-formatted questions that match fields in the client record. These questions have been set up with wording and answer formats already developed. As seen below, the questions have diskette icons to the left of them which indicate the question will be automatically saved into the individual SourceLink client record when a particular survey response is accepted. Many of these questions allow you to even pre-populate the question's answer with what is already on file for the client record.


Click on Questions from Library (Synced) under Add Question. The Question from Library - Synced screen will appear.

The category of the question indicates where the response for that question gets placed when the survey is accepted.

The categories of questions in the question library are as follows:

Business Snapshot: these questions will appear in a new snapshot attached to the client. The snapshot will indicate that the information was generated by a survey.

Client Verification: these questions show clients the information your organization already has on file, such as their address and phone number. The client can add missing or outdated information.

Contact Information & Demographics: these questions will update any contact information or demographic information that appears in the survey but will not display the information that the organization currently maintains.

Interaction Followup: this is a satisfaction survey question.

To include a question from the question library, click Select. A detail box will appear showing the question type, form control type, the data rules, any rank scale being used, where the information will appear in the client record, any pre-populated information and the exact wording of the text.

Formatting a Survey

The up and down arrows under Options allow you to move questions and objects around.



Click       to see how the survey will look. Preview options include Web Survey and Paper Survey.


Delete Survey Question

Click Delete under Options. The Delete this Survey Question? screen will appear. You cannot undo Delete Question but you can add the same question to the survey again.