June 22, 2024
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Outlook Survey Guide – How to Use Microsoft Outlook to Conduct Surveys

Outlook Survey Guide – How to Use Microsoft Outlook to Conduct Surveys

Microsoft Outlook is one of the most popular desktop email providers in the world. The application program has shown steady growth from 2017 until now. You can access Outlook from the traditional Office suite or Office 365.

Although most people are familiar with Microsoft Outlook’s email capabilities, the application program also features a task manager, calendar, contacts, and even a to-do list. These tools are designed to help you stay organized and keep up with your appointments, tasks, emails, and more.

Beyond all of these features, Microsoft Outlook can help you create a survey or poll and get an accurate count of recipients’ votes. Most importantly, the results are delivered right to your inbox.

With this capability, you can quickly gather insights or opinions from employees, colleagues, co-workers, customers, and even students about specific topics or ideas. This is a great way to improve your services and tailor your products to what your clients want. You can add custom voting buttons to your polls right inside the email message you compose using Microsoft Outlook.

Read on to learn the simple steps to create polls or conduct surveys in Outlook.

How to Create an Outlook Survey

You can create an Outlook survey in minutes using an email message. All you need to do is add the questions you want in the body of your email and choose the type of responses (multiple choice or single answers) you want.

The steps for creating a poll can vary slightly depending on the version of Microsoft Outlook you have and the platform you use.

Creating a Poll in Outlook for Windows

  1. Open Outlook and create a new email message by clicking the New Email button.
  2. Compose the message for your survey and insert the email addresses of the recipients in the “To” line.
  3. Go to the Insert tab in the new email message and click Poll.
  4. Enter your first question and at least two options in the Poll pane that opens.
  5. Click the + Add option if you want to add more options.
  6. You can allow respondents to choose more than one response. To do this, click the Multiple answers button. It is activated when it turns green.
  7. When you are happy with your email message, click Insert poll into email.
  8. Click Send.

You can add different types of voting buttons to your survey. After composing the email message for your poll in step 2 above, select the Options tab and click the Use Voting Buttons. Select one of the button options listed:

  • Approve; Reject: Use this option in your Outlook survey when you are testing a specific concept or idea.
  • Yes; No: Add this button if you only want a definite yes or no response.
  • Yes; No; Maybe: Use this button if you want your participant to have a third, noncommittal or indefinite poll option.
  • Custom: Use this option if you prefer to add your own voting buttons with titles or names you provide. For example, if you want your students to choose among the video conferencing apps they prefer, simply list the names of the apps as the voting buttons.

Keep in mind that Outlook has a few different versions, starting from 2007 onward. I have used Outlook 2019 to explain the steps for creating a poll and adding voting buttons. You may need to do a little bit of navigating to find the options in older versions of Microsoft Outlook.

Creating a Poll in Outlook for MacOS and Outlook on the Web

The steps to create an Outlook survey in MacOS or Outlook on the Web are very similar to the ones described above.

You only need to create an email and add the survey or poll in the body of the message. The only noticeable difference is in accessing the Poll option.

  • In Outlook for MacOS, go to the Message tab in a new email message and click Poll.
  • In Outlook on the Web, select the three horizontal dots in a new email message and click Poll.

The rest of the steps for creating a poll in both platforms are the same as Outlook for Windows.

How Voting Works in Microsoft Outlook

how voting poll works in microsoft outlook
Image credit: Microsoft Support

When you create an email in outlook to conduct a poll, recipients will get an actionable message with the survey included in the body of the email (as shown in the image above).

Recipients can respond directly in the email, but in some cases, they will only receive a link to the poll. The link will direct the recipients to vote in a browser.

Your poll is likely to be sent as a link instead of an actionable message if:

  • You send an email to recipients who are not part of your organization while you are signed in on your school or work account.
  • Your survey has too many options, the title is too long, or the poll is generally lengthy.

How to Check Your Survey Results

Checking the results of your poll is easy in Microsoft Outlook. There are a couple of ways you can do this:

  • From the body of the email: To view the cumulative results, click the View Results button in the voting card included in the email. Remember to click Refresh to get the most up-to-date poll result.
  • Use the poll link in the email: To see a more detailed result, click the poll link included in the body of the email.
  • From Microsoft Forms: You can also view detailed responses by clicking View in Microsoft Forms.


Thanks to Microsoft Outlook, creating a quick survey is as easy as composing and sending an email. You don’t need to embed any complex HTML code into your email message just to sample the opinion of recipients.

The next time you want to know what your colleagues, students, or customers think about anything, just send them an email survey using Microsoft Outlook.

Written by
Jamie Keet
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