Setting up the notifications plan requires defining the notification content (a title, message, and study URL) and deciding on the schedule. It is recommended to keep the title and message shorter than 30 characters each (including spaces) to make them compatible with all potential devices and screen sizes. The title can contain the study’s name (e.g., “Study of life quality”) or the name of its current phase (“Life quality study – Day 1”). The message can include an instruction or what is expected from the participant, e.g., “Please complete a 1-minute survey”. Another strategy is placing a survey question in the notification title or message.

The URL link may contain the participant’s ID: the placeholder “%PARTICIPANT_CODE%” inside the weblink will be replaced with each user’s Samply ID (e.g., This can be used to track survey participation if the URL query parameters are captured and saved in the survey. See the list of possible query placeholders below.

If the user interface is followed step-by-step, the following choices have to be made in order to define the notifications schedule.

  1. Choose time zone

    You can select the specific time zone for notifications or adjust the time to the participant's time zone. Adjusting the time to the participant's time zone works for future and current participants with a specified time zone. Adjusting the time zone does not work for group notifications because group notifications are sent to all group members at the same time, so you must explicitly select the time zone for these notifications.
  2. Choose participants

    Notifications can be sent either to all current and future participants or to a particular participant chosen from the menu under “Current participants”.
  3. Choose time(s)

    A specific time point or time points can be selected by entering the hour and minute in the input field. Alternatively, a time window can be defined (e.g., from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.), during which a time point or time points can be randomly drawn. If numerous participants are selected, notification times will be randomized for each one.
  4. Choose date(s)

    A specific date can be selected in the format of day, month, and year. Alternatively, if a notification need to be repeated, other options can be chosen. Notifications can be sent every day or at a range of intervals (every 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. day). Alternatively, the day(s) of the week or day(s) of the month can be selected.
  5. Choose month(s)

    Any specific month(s) can be chosen for notifications.
  6. Choose when to start

    Notifications can begin to be sent at specific time points defined by the time and date. Alternatively, a time point can be picked relative to the current moment or the moment of participant registration. In the latter case, the starting point will be different for each participant and will be determined by the time when a participant joins the study for the first time via the mobile app.
  7. Choose when to stop

    The options here are similar to choosing when to start notifications. Different combinations of starting and stopping points can be created, e.g., notifications can start from the moment each participant registers but stop at one specific time point, which will be the same for everybody.
  8. Choose when the link should expire

    You can choose the expiration time for links in notifications. For instance, if you want participants to respond within a one-hour time window, set the expiration time accordingly. The expiration time starts counting from the moment the notification is sent from the server. Unless a device is disconnected from the network (e.g. in airplane mode) or notifications are disabled, the delivery time is close to the sending time (within a range of one second). Once the link expires, participants can no longer open it from the notification tab or in the Samply app.
  9. Choose whether to send reminders

    You can choose to send reminders that depend on the completion of a survey or task. For example, if a participant does not complete a survey within an hour, they will receive a reminder. By default, Samply will send reminders for each scheduled notification. You must redirect participants to a specific Samply web page or send a POST request to register a completion event to avoid sending reminders. Read here for instructions on how to create a completion event in your survey or task and connect it to Samply.

When a notification has been added, it appears in the list of scheduled notifications, which can be controlled and cancelled at any time by clicking either the delete icon in the table or the “Delete all notifications” button.

Placeholder Name Information
%MESSAGE_ID%Message ID Each notification has a unique ID
%SAMPLY_ID%Samply ID The ID of participant on the platform Samply
%PARTICIPANT_CODE%Participant code The participant code entered by a participant when joining your study
%GROUP_ID%Group ID The group code entered by a participant when joining your study
%TIMESTAMP_SENT%Timestamp When the message is sent from the server (the number of milliseconds elapsed since January 1, 1970)
%BATCH%Batch number The notification number for each participant. The number begins with 1 and increases by 1 with each notification sent.