how to create an anonymous feedback survey

How to Create an Anonymous Feedback Survey

Do you want to create an anonymous feedback survey?

Anonymous surveys provide valuable data from participants without collecting their personal identifying information.

Many people avoid answering surveys because they want to protect their privacy and don’t want to be identified. With an anonymous survey, you can boost participation while honoring people’s privacy.

In this post, we’ll walk you through creating an anonymous feedback survey in WordPress.

Are Anonymous Surveys Useful?

Anonymous online surveys are useful for occasions when you want to avoid any bias.

They have higher response rates because people are more likely to respond to customer and employee engagement surveys, course evaluations, and other surveys when they’re anonymous. Under anonymity, participants tend to feel that they can respond truthfully without fear of retribution.

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From a leadership perspective, that honest feedback is critical to identifying problems and areas of improvement. You want your respondents to feel comfortable speaking freely about their experiences.

How to Create an Anonymous Feedback Survey

WPForms is among the best online survey tools available, and it’s easy to create an anonymous survey using its survey-building tools. We’ll walk through the steps to show you how to set it up and start collecting feedback.

1. Install WPForms

How to install WPForms

WPForms is the easiest way to create an anonymous feedback survey. Note that you will need a Pro license to use the Surveys and Polls addon, which is required to create an anonymous survey.

The WPForms December 2022 pricing page

After installing WPForms, you’ll need to set up the Surveys and Polls addon.

2. Install the Surveys and Polls Addon

After you’ve installed WPForms, you need to install and activate the Surveys and Polls addon.

In WordPress, locate and click on the WPForms Addons option in the menu on the left-hand side.

Accessing the WPForms addons screen

Scroll through the options until you find the Surveys and Polls addon, and press the Install Addon button under it.

Install the WPForms Surveys and Polls addon

Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to create your survey.

3. Choose a Survey Template

Now it’s time to create a new form. Go to WPForms  » Add New.

Adding a new form in WPForms

Though you can create your own from scratch, WPForms has a range of survey templates for you to choose from. Using a template makes it even easier to create your anonymous feedback survey. Start with the template as a base and make any changes you need to customize it.

For our purposes here, we’ll use the customer satisfaction survey template to help us learn more about the customer experience.

Select a WPForms template

Once you’ve selected your template, it will open in the form editor.

Customer satisfaction survey in the form builder

If you create your own survey form, mind your question types. If you include subjective, open-ended questions or even many demographic questions, you risk receiving answers that will disclose the survey respondent’s identity.

4. Enable Survey Reporting

After the form is open in the form builder, click on Settings » Surveys and Polls from the left-hand menu. Make sure the toggle switch is set to enable survey reporting.

How to enable survey reporting in WPForms

This setting ensures you can see all of the reports and graphs of the data. If you were conducting a poll, you also have the option to display poll results after form submission.

For our purposes here, however, we just want to make sure we enable survey reporting.

5. Remove Identifying Fields

To make the survey anonymous, any fields that would immediately give away respondents’ identities should be removed. Name and email address fields appear on most templates, so you’ll have to delete those. To do that, go to the form builder, select the field you want to remove, and click on the trashcan icon.

Remove the name and email form fields from the customer satisfaction survey

If you select a template that includes other contact information, such as an address or phone number, be sure to remove those as well. Any personal data fields should be removed.

6. Enable GDPR-Related Features and Enhancements

Next, we need to enable GDPR-related features and enhancements.

To start, save your form and exit the form builder.

Save your form

After exiting the form builder, you should be back at the Forms Overview page. From here, locate and click on Settings in the left-hand menu.

Go to WPForms settings

The settings should appear next with the General tab selected by default and your license key at the top of the page.

WPForms settings page with General tab selected

Scroll down until you locate the GDPR settings.

Check the box for GDPR Enhancements if it’s not already checked.

The GDPR settings in WPForms

Now we’ll disable IP address collection and user details on the form.

7. Disable IP Address Collection and User Details

Although we removed the name and email address fields, forms will still store certain user metadata, like their IP address, by default. A survey cannot be truly anonymous if this information is collected, so the next thing we’ll do is disable it.

With the form open in the form builder, click on Settings in the left-hand menu. The option for General settings will be selected by default.

The general settings tab in WPForms form builder

Scroll to the bottom and expand the Advanced options.

You’ll find a toggle switch that says, Disable storing user details (IP address and user agent). Toggle the switch to disable storing those details.

Disable storing user details in the form builder

Please note that if you haven’t updated the GDPR settings in step 6, you won’t have this toggle switch. Be sure to update the GDPR settings first.

8. Publish the Form

Now that you’ve got the settings all squared away, you’re ready to publish your anonymous survey.

To start, click on the Embed button at the top of the form builder.

Embed your form on your website

When you do that, a modal window opens to ask if you want to embed the form on an existing page or if you’d like to create a new page. You can choose whichever makes the most sense for you and your site.

The options for determining how to embed your form

We’re going to embed our form on a new page, so we selected that option. Now we name our new page. After naming our page Customer Satisfaction Survey, we can click on the Let’s Go button.

Name your new page

Our new page will open as a draft. You can add content to the page if you want. We’ve opted to let the survey be the only content on the page. When your page is complete, click Publish.

Publish your survey page

Now if you visit the Customer Satisfaction Survey page on your site, you’ll see your live form.

A published anonymous survey

9. Viewing the Survey Results

After people have participated in your survey, you’ll be able to view the results. There just won’t be any hard identifying information that can lead you to discover who submitted which responses.

To locate your entries, log in to WordPress and go to WPForms » All Forms. From your list of forms, locate your anonymous survey form.

You’ll see that you can view entries and survey results.

View survey results from your forms overview page

Note that if you don’t see those options, you may need to hover your mouse over the title for those options to appear.

Let’s look at the difference between entries and survey results.

Viewing Entries for Your Survey

If you click on the option for entries, you’ll see a graph at the top that summarizes the responses to the first question.

An example of a survey results graph

Below the graph, you’ll see options to either view the survey results or select another question. You can select any other question from the dropdown and view the response as a graph.

If you continue to scroll below the individual question graphs, you can see all of the entries listed.

The individual survey entries

Note that in this view, you can see survey responses, but you can’t see any identifying information about survey participants.

Viewing Survey Results With Graphs

You can select the survey results option if you want to view the results more comprehensively with a broad overview of the responses.

How to view your survey results

When you scroll through that page, you’ll see all survey questions and their responses presented in graph form.

An example of a horizontal bar graph in WPForms

The graphs give you good data visualization. You can change the chart view by selecting different icons in the top right corner.

Change your graph view in WPForms survey results

The visuals are also a nice feature to use in presentations. If you want an image of your results, you can download each graph as either a PDF or JPG file. To do that, look for the Export dropdown in the top right corner of a graph.

The export dropdown

Next, Add Conditional Logic to Your Surveys

You’ve probably seen surveys that ask followup questions only when needed. You can use conditional logic to create those types of surveys and determine which user responses will trigger followup questions, putting your survey at the next level.

Need some ideas for survey questions? Check out this list of 52 feedback form questions to help you get started.

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