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REDCap: Automatic Survey Invitations (ASI)

Automatic Survey Invitations (ASI) are survey invitations that can be set up for data collection instruments that have been enabled as a survey.  The ASI will allow projects to set up and control when survey respondents receive invitations to complete given forms in a project. 

If you have a form you would like to use to send out invitations, you will first need to enable the instrument as a survey.  After, navigate to the Online Designer tab, select +Automated Invitations under Survey-related options and select the survey event you want to use. The ASI will only work on records that meet the criteria AFTER the ASI has been enabled and you will need to designate an email field in the project that the survey can use to send the invitation.

Initial setup screenshot
How to select Automated Invitations, followed by Set up to modify ASI settings

Setting up the ASI requires 4 steps with a few optional features also available.

Compose Conditions Schedule Repeating Reminder Activate
Step 1: Compose Message
Step 2: Setting Conditions
Step 3: Scheduling Invitations
Step 4: Repeating Survey
Optional: Enable Reminders
Activate Survey Invite

Step 1: Compose Message

In step 1 you will be able to edit how the email invite appears to users. 

FROM: Modifying the From fields will change what email will come from and the display name of the sender.  In the drop down, you can choose from any of the projects users or emails associated with the project.  For clarity, you can alter the first field to enter the name of the sender.  This may be useful if you want to display the sender as the project name so survey participants see "The Test Project" as the sender in their inbox. 

TO: The email will send to anyone who meets conditions that you will set later in Step 2. 

SUBJECT & CONTENT:  You can compose the email message as you would for any email.  You will be able to customize the subject line and content to share the information you would like to distribute to the participants. By default the text below will display in the box.  [survey-link] and [survey-url] will display links to access the user specific survey once the invitation activates.  These links are necessary in order for the survey participant to access the survey.  

Step 1:  Compose message screenshot
Compose Message fields in ASI Settings

NOTE: Other piping can be using in the text box to enter information from the project's fields into the email text.  For example, if you have a [first_name] variable you can pipe "Hello [first_name]" to pull information from the project into the email to make it more personalized. 

Step 2: Setting Conditions

In step 2 you will be able to determine who will receive your survey

REDCap allows two options for determining when a survey should be sent to a survey participant.

The first option allows you to send the survey after a different survey is saved with a complete status.

**New to REDcap 13.4.11**
The survey drop-down for the “When the following survey is completed” setting in the dialog has a built-in search feature to easily find a specific survey if there are many surveys in the project. If the survey title does not match the instrument title, the drop-down list will also display the plain-text form name for the survey. 

The second option allows you to use logic to base whether someone should be sent a survey based on any previously completed field in the project. In the example below, a survey will only be sent when a participant has completed the Follow-up Survey AND they are female. 

You can use any combination of survey completion AND / OR logic functions to specific which records will be sent a survey. There is also the option to check that the logic is still true before sending the invitation. This may be useful if there is a time delay between when a record is first determined to be eligible for the survey but then their status changes and they no longer should receive one by the time the survey is scheduled to be sent. 

Step 2:  Setting Conditions Screenshot
Conditions fields in ASI Settings

When testing conditions, you can choose a record from the drop down menu to test the logic against.  By selecting a record, the system will tell you if the survey will be triggered for that specific record. 

NOTE: When building the survey logic rules, it may be useful to include "stop logic."  This is logic where the answer to the field will prevent the survey from sending.  For example, if someone withdrew from a project you could check that their status is not "Withdrawn" before sending the survey. 

    Step 3: Scheduling Invitations

    In step 3 you will determine when the survey will be sent after step 2 conditions are met

    For this step, you have 4 choices for timing of sending the survey invitation when invitations conditions have been met for a record

    1. You can send the survey immediately 
    2. You can send at a specific day of the week at a specific time
    3. You can send a certain number of days, hours, or minutes after conditions were met. Options for this drop down include before or after
      • The exact time that the automated invitation was triggered 
      • The same day (beginning at midnight) that the automated invitation was triggered
      • Based on the time value of another field in the project
    4. You can send at an exact date and time

    Step 3:  Scheduling Invitations Screenshot
    Scheduling fields in ASI Settings

    Step 4:  Repeating Survey

    In step 4 you can set how many times the survey will be sent for completion (for repeating instruments only)

    This step is used for a repeating survey where a participant would complete the same survey several times over the course of the project.  Example: A weekly survey that will send every 7 days for 16 total survey completions (approximately 4 months).

    **New to REDCap 13.4.11**
    You can set the repeating interval value as a number with a decimal.  If you would like to approximate a month interval, you can set the repeat to 30.44 days since it is currently not possible for repeating ASIs to be scheduled on exactly the same day and time each month.

    If you only want the survey respondent to complete the survey once, then you will select the "Just once" option. 

    Step 4: Repeating Surveys Screenshot
    Repeating invitation fields in ASI Settings

    NOTE:  This step will NOT appear if the survey is not designated as a repeating instrument

    Optional:  Enabling Reminders

    Optionally, you can set reminders for survey respondents who have not completed their survey

    This feature is optional and off by default.  If enabled, this feature will send reminders for survey participants to complete the survey if they have not completed it yet. The reminder can be set to send on certain days at a specific time or after a certain amount of time with no response.  In the example below, if a respondent has not completed the survey after 3 days another reminder will be sent to the record. 

    Reminder notification emails can be sent multiple times until a response is received.  REDCap will allow up to 5 reminder notification emails to be sent per survey for a record. 

    Optional:  Enabling Reminders Screenshot
    Email reminder fields in ASI Settings

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      Activate Survey Invite

      After completing your settings you will need to activate your invitations

      By default, survey invitations are set to "Not Active."  Survey invitations will not be sent as long as the settings are saved with this status and the Activate box will remain red. 

      Activate Screenshot- Not Active
      Not Active survey invitation example

      Once you hit activate, the Activate box will turn green and emails will be sent live as records newly meet criteria.  

      The ASI will only work on records that meet the criteria AFTER the ASI has been enabled.

      Activate Screenshot - Active
      Active survey invitation example

      Make sure you test your invitation thoroughly before using it on live data collection.

      If your project is in Production, test and validate your invitations separately so that you do not send emails to records unintentionally. 

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      KeywordsREDCap, Survey, Guide, Overview, Automatic, Invitations   Doc ID121008
      OwnerAmanda Y.GroupSMPH Research Informatics
      Created2022-09-01 11:22:23Updated2024-03-20 09:59:05
      SitesSMPH Research Informatics
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