When you configure a survey in Gainsight’s Survey module, you have four different survey distribution options, which can be categorized in two ways. You can either use Journey Orchestrator; or the Survey module with an alternate email service. Each strategy offers fairly different methods for creating your contact list, as well as impacts the analytics and follow-up options available later.

The article below assumes you only want to send one email with the survey link to your participants. However, we also offer Programs, which enables you to send a series of related survey emails (head's up email, reminder email, thank you email, etc.) as part of one Program.

Regardless of which distribution option you choose, the survey’s recipients must  be contacts in Salesforce, as well as Gainsight. Salesforce contacts also need to be tied to Accounts in order for their responses to be tracked properly. The best way to ensure your contacts are synced between Salesforce and Gainsight is to create a rule. For more information, see the article Use Rules to Load to SFDC Object of MDA Subject Area.

IMPORTANT: Keep in mind, after a survey is published, you can’t change the email service to another option. Selecting your distribution method is a key decision in the survey configuration process. 

Survey Distribution Options

  • Marketo via Survey module
  • SFDC via Survey module
  • Gainsight Email Service via Survey module
  • Gainsight Email Service via Journey Orchestrator

Sending via the Survey Module (Marketo, SFDC, Gainsight Email)

When sending surveys to participants via the Survey module, you will send to a static list of participants. This works well for batch sends of Surveys, such as Quarterly NPS® surveys sent to all contacts, and then you can follow up on non-respondents with ease. Surveys sent via the Survey module utilize SFDC email templates.

Advantages of sending via the Survey module:

  • Ability to import participants via a CSV file
  • Ability to add or remove individual participants
  • Re-sending surveys to a batch of contacts is easy
  • Non-respondent data is easily found in the Distribute > Not Responded list
  • Easy to add additional participants after the survey is sent
  • Ability to send the surveys at a later date
  • Participants don’t have to be on Accounts loaded into Gainsight
  • Ability to utilize anonymous surveys and anonymous with account tracking

Disadvantages of sending via the Survey module:

  • Adding participants is somewhat of a manual process
  • You can only schedule sends for contacts that are currently loaded as participants
  • Not fully automated
  • Fewer email related statistics
  • Distribution is limited to 750 - 1000 emails per schedule depending on the email service

For more information, see Send Surveys to Static List of Participants.

Sending Surveys Using Journey Orchestrator

When you use Journey Orchestrator to send surveys, you will setup a dynamic list of recipients using filters in Power Lists. Since the Power List is dynamic and can be refreshed at any time, the Outreach sends the survey to anyone that meets the criteria of the Power List at that time. This functionality is in contrast to the other distribution methods where a static list of participants are added while creating the survey.

An example survey use case is for time based, automated surveys dependant on changing triggers or criteria. For example, send an onboarding survey N days after a customer has completed onboarding.

Advantages of using Journey Orchestrator for surveys:

  • Power Lists enable easy filtering of contacts by role, stage or status, and so on
  • Email templates are created within Journey Orchestrator, which offers a WYSIWYG and HTML editor
  • Easier to automate the Outreach and “set it and forget it” using dynamically generated power lists
  • More detailed email distribution statistics are available
  • Option to customize the email with tokens for the end user and/or their CSM
  • Allows you to send up to 200K emails per Outreach

Disadvantages of using Journey Orchestrator for surveys:

  • Less accurate follow-ups.
    • Email Logs object (which is used to create follow-up Power List) tracks whether the recipient clicked the survey link/button; not if they actually took the survey.
  • Survey > Analyze page lacks data for participants who have not responded.
    • For example, in the Analyze section, you will be able to see a count of contacts that it was sent to, not yet responded, and undelivered. But if you click on the bars, no data will actually show up. Because Journey Orchestrator is the email service, contact data does not get written back to the Survey participant object until they respond. This is why when you click the “Responded” bar, it will show data for who has responded.
  • Can only send surveys to contacts on Accounts loaded in Gainsight
  • Cannot send anonymous surveys

For more information, see Send Surveys to Dynamic Contact List via Journey Orchestrator.

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