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Conducting Survey Using ActiveCampaign and Typeform (with Hidden Fields)

Jeffalytics would like to know more about our subscribers. We want to build out personas based on what our subscribers tell us.

But Jeff noticed from experience that if you ask an open-ended question like “Describe your professional role”, you can expect a more qualitative than quantitative answer.

It reveals quite a bit about the person because they are telling their story in their own words. But it is not instant ‘actionable’ information, but requires analysis and further classification.

Sometimes, we just need people to self-identify which bucket they belong to, choosing from a set of predefined buckets. And if they can’t fit themselves into any of these buckets, there’s always the good old “Other” bucket.

So we settled on asking multiple-choice question to tease out the personas of our subscribers. I think we wouldn’t have been able to use multiple-choice question if we haven’t had some knowledge of who reads Jeffalytics. Jeff drew from his experience again on who reads Jeffalytics.

We refined the list, and this is what we got:

  • Business Owners
  • Agency Marketers
  • Corporate Marketers
  • Freelancers/ Consultants
  • Students

Most readers of Jeffalytics are in one of these buckets.

Now, we ask. We do that with ActiveCampaign and Typeform. ActiveCampaign is the email marketing tool Jeffalytics uses; Typeform is for building questionnaires.

After some researching and learning from other successful examples, we decided on this format:

We ask the question in an email, and have the answer choices listed out. Each of the answers are links, they link to follow up questions.


Once the readers clicked on a link (Student, for example), it’ll bring them to a Typform survey. Notice that the value “Student” was captured and used to personalise the form. The follow up questions are also based on the link clicked on.


How did it do that? The magic is Hidden Fields. And according to Typeform:

Hidden Fields (advanced typeform segmenting and tracking) allows you to utilize data that you already have. So? If you have a regular list of people or customers you’re in contact with, you can minimize redundancy and make your form more relevant.

With Hidden Fields you can also:

  • Track where respondents come from
  • Segment your audience for deeper insights and analysis
  • Customize your typeform to make it even more personal

Here’s how I’m conducting survey using ActiveCampaign and Typeform, with Hidden Fields.

  1. Set up the Typeform survey. Enable Hidden Fields, it can be found at the bottom of the page.setup_type
  2. Once it is enabled, a pop-up will prompt for Hidden Fields. Fill in the Hidden Fields. We had 5 Hidden Fields.popup
  3. To personalise the copy with any Hidden Fields: Click on Add Variable above the text box and choose the Hidden Field from the drop-down menu. In the preview, the grey boxes denotes the Hidden Field. personalise
  4. To use Hidden Fields in Logic Jumps: Logic Jumps allow you to set up rules for how the questions are shown.For example, if someone answers No to a question, you’ll want to show them a specific set of follow up questions. But if the answer is Yes, then a separate set of follow up questions is shown. I used Hidden Fields to guide the Logic Jumps.In this example, if the person is a “Business Owner” (value captured from clicked link in ActiveCampaign email), then jump to Question x. hidden_fields_in_logic_jumps
  5. Once the form is ready, copy this URL to clipboard.copy_link
  6. Paste the URL into ActiveCampaign email copy.Change the “role” to match the link text. For example, for the link “I own my own business”, the URL should be
  7. Do the same for the remaining links in the email campaign.The URL for each link should be edited to match the link text. So “I work in corporate marketing” should have the URL, and so on.

A few things to note:

  • The spelling and spacing of the value in the Hidden Field in Typeform should match exactly that of the URL in ActiveCampaign. The two values in red boxes should match. %20 in the URL denotes a space. entry_for_hidden_field
  • If you’re providing the option to select “Other”, enable “Add ‘Other’ Option. Don’t add “Other” as one of your answer choices. other_option1
    other_option2Although both looks the same in preview, but by enabling “Add ‘Other’ option”, the surveyee will be able to add an answer in their own words. When they click on “Other”, a text box will appear.
  • The Typeform survey may look funny if you copy and paste this raw URL into a browser to test it. Raw as in no value (XXXXX) in Hidden Fields.copy_linkThis is because the Logic Jumps are based on the values in these Hidden Fields. And the default setting for Logic Jumps is this: funnySo if the value is not one of the listed values (e.g. XXXXX), you’ll go right to the end without seeing any questions.
  • Test, test and test: Always double check if the links work before blasting the emails.

That’s how I carry information from ActiveCampaign, as values in Hidden Fields, into Typeform.

I’m not sure how the conversion rate of “answer choices as links” compared to “link that says ‘answer survey now'” in email campaigns. That is something for a/b testing in the future maybe.

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