Set up an NPS survey

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The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a common metric to gauge customer loyalty and overall user satisfaction. Unlike other qualitative measures, NPS is a specific, calculated metric that can be measured over time, or compared across products or vendors. NPS is calculated by asking one question: How likely are you to recommend [this product or service] to a friend or co-worker?


Users are prompted to respond to the question using an eleven-point (0 - 10) scale indicating their likeliness to recommend. The total NPS score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of “detractors” (those that respond 0 through 6) from the percentage of “promoters” (those that respond 9 or 10). A score can range from -100 (where everyone is a detractor) to 100 (where everyone is a promoter).

The methodology for Net Promoter scoring is owned by Bain & Company, and their site provides more detail about the methodology and scoring. Different industries have different average NPS scores and it's important to compare your score against your industry average, your own organization over time, and against your competitors to have an accurate understanding of your performance.

Pendo NPS feature set overview

Pendo’s NPS functionality allows you to deliver your survey as a guide in-app and then provide an email backup to users who didn’t respond within their 14-day window. Once you have your survey set up, responses are collected in the NPS Responses tab of the NPS survey details.

Note: NPS surveys are also supported with Extension apps.

With Pendo Integrations, you can send real-time responses to a Slack channel and react to results as soon as possible. For more information, see Send NPS responses to a Slack channel.

Users are more likely to respond to NPS surveys delivered in-app. Segmentation allows you to focus your NPS campaigns on specific user groups at specific times and compare the results of those polls and the activity of those users to gain the most granular understanding of your users:

  • What features do your net promoters use the most, and how can you encourage more use of those features?
  • What features do your net detractors use, and how can you improve their experience?

Create an NPS survey

  1. In the left-side navigation, select NPS.
  2. In the NPS page, select Create NPS Survey. There are four steps to set up a survey:
    1. Delivery
    2. Content
    3. Segment
    4. Schedule


Select the required delivery method; In-app or In-app + Email.


If you have multiple web applications set up within your Pendo subscription, select the application you want to survey.

There are two options:

  • In-app - This option only surveys users in-app. After choosing this option, you move to the Content section.
  • In-app + Email - This option surveys users in-app and sends a follow-up via email to users who didn't see the survey within 14 days of being targeted.
Note: Email backup requires you to schedule a recurrence and enable Even Distribution. This helps to send emails to users who have not responded 14 days after the survey start date. Surveys and responses are distributed throughout the duration of the campaign.



You can customize parts of your survey question, your follow-up questions, and your success message to personalize the survey for your brand and audience. The overall format of the survey must stay the same to be a valid NPS survey. If you want to customize further,  such as adding more steps, with the exception of “In-App + Email” NPS surveys, you can edit the survey, which is a guide, in the Visual Design Studio after completing the survey setup, or you can create a guide with a number scale poll.

Note: For NPS in-app surveys that have email backup, you can add new steps but these steps can't have buttons with actions.

NPS Survey Question

How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or coworker?

  • Us - Replace with your brand or product
  • A friend or coworker - Replace with a different associate that matches your target demographic or brand


Follow-up Question

You can add follow-up questions to in-app surveys. The Follow-up Question prompts the respondent to qualify their answer. This provides helpful context for a given score. It's also great context for mobilizing a response when responses are automatically sent to an internal Slack channel.

Select Manage in my App to open the survey in the Visual Design Studio. From there, you can add additional guide steps with their own Poll building blocks.

Note: If you don't want to serve the follow-up question with the NPS survey, you can create a segment based on the NPS survey response or non-response and target the follow-up guide to that segment. You can't add a follow-up question for In-App + Email or Email only NPS Surveys.


Follow-up Questions can be score-based. This presents a more direct question to each group of respondents, so you can get appropriate feedback for improving their experience or promoting things you're doing well.


Success Message

The Success Message is optional. Show a quick message letting your users know you appreciate their response. You can turn this step off to shorten the survey for your users. Users can select X to close the message.



Sending an email to users who did not see an in-app survey requires additional configuration for the follow-up email.


  1. Sender Name - Add your sender display name.
  2. Email Subject Line - Add your subject line for the NPS survey email. The default is "How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or coworker?"
  3. Recipient Metadata - Choose the metadata field that captures your user’s actual email address. The survey is delivered to this email address.
  4. Logo - Add a little bit of your company branding to the email by uploading your desired logo.
  5. Test email - Verify how the email looks and reads by sending it to yourself.


Everyone is the default segment. Most companies want to survey customers after at least 30 days so users have a chance to use the product. Select Custom to set segment rules for a more targeted survey. For additional information on segmentation, see Segments.


  • First visit not within last 30 days segments the survey for users who have used your product for at least 30 days.



Choose how often you want your visitors to be surveyed.

  • Every 30, 60, 90, 180, or 365 Days - Visitors receive recurring NPS polls based on the duration selected
    • For example, if you want to run a quarterly NPS campaign for this segment, select Every 90 Days and Pendo automatically repeats the survey.
  • One time only - Visitors receive the survey once only.

Tip: We recommend surveying visitors at least 90 days apart, but in some industries, it's appropriate to send surveys more frequently, 30 or 60 days apart. Try 90 days if you're not sure which frequency you should use.

1. Select the survey start date.

2. Select if you'd like to send surveys with an even distribution over the survey period.


Even Distribution

Even Distribution allows your team to receive a constant flow of data throughout your desired recurrence. When it’s enabled, Pendo automatically assigns each user (uniformly, randomly, and distributed by visitorID) a 14-day window during which they can see a guide.

Note: When using Even Distribution, the NPS activation method must be set to Automatic for the guide to be evenly distributed. All other activation methods override the Even Distribution behavior.

  • Yes - Pendo creates a different set of your eligible visitors to receive the survey each day over the course of your desired time frame (90, 180, or 365 days). Each visitor has a total of 14 days to potentially log in and see the survey. Choose this option if your team continuously analyzes and acts upon NPS results throughout the year.

  • No - As soon as any eligible visitors log into your application post survey publication, they are surveyed immediately. Choose this option if your team tends to analyze NPS results on specific dates each year.
Note: A visitor does not receive an NPS poll more than once in a frequency interval (30, 60, 90, 180, or 365 days) even if other settings are changed while the survey is active. For example, changing the segment does not reset eligibility for all visitors who have already seen the survey.

For more information on how Even Distribution is calculated, see Even Distribution for NPS in Pendo.

In-App + Email

In addition to choosing how often you want to survey your desired users and start date, enabling Even Distribution is required for this option.


If the user is eligible to see the survey and did not answer within their 14-day window, they receive a follow-up survey via email. Users who see the survey and either close the tab or close the survey are not eligible to receive a follow-up email. 

Note: Pendo requires a visitor to have logged into your application at least once since your Pendo installation. Visitors in Pendo are created when they are authenticated and metadata is passed to Pendo via your installation snippet. If they haven't authenticated, their information hasn't been sent to Pendo.

Select Save & Exit when your survey is ready.

Add color to your NPS survey

You can add color to your NPS survey using a custom code snippet.

Warning: This example uses custom code snippets to help you extend the capabilities of Pendo products. However, there is no warranty, SLA, or support available for their use. All snippets are free to use, but custom code is outside the remit of our Technical Support team's responsibilities. If you have a request for creating new snippets, modifying existing snippets, or customizing functionality, contact Pendo Professional Services ( instead. These requests require a custom services contract with Pendo.

  1. Create a new survey or edit an existing one.
  2. Add a building block and scroll down to Code Block in the Advanced section.
  3. Within the code block, add the following code to the CSS tab and select Done:
/* Detractor Color */ ._pendo-nps-poll-0, ._pendo-nps-poll-1, ._pendo-nps-poll-2, ._pendo-nps-poll-3, ._pendo-nps-poll-4, ._pendo-nps-poll-5, ._pendo-nps-poll-6 { background-color: #E97451!important; } 

/* Passive Color */ ._pendo-nps-poll-7, ._pendo-nps-poll-8 { background-color: #FFFF8F!important; } 

/* Promoter Color */ ._pendo-nps-poll-9, ._pendo-nps-poll-10 { background-color: #AFE1AF!important; }


Your survey now has color added to it.


Edit and publish the survey

Edit in Guide View - Settings

After setting up the survey, it displays in a modified guide's details view. This view provides access to additional guide setup tools, and some of the configurations can be changed. If you make changes to the survey, visitors who've already seen the survey won’t see it again until the set recurrence time period has elapsed.


Manage in my app

Open the Visual Design Studio to change some formatting and design elements. Additional steps and building blocks can be added to customize the survey. The components of the NPS survey in the setup process can't be changed but styling, phrasing, and button text can be changed.

  • Step 1 Location can be changed to set the page where the NPS survey displays
  • Add additional guide steps
  • Add additional building blocks to steps other than Step 1


The NPS survey displays automatically as a Banner Poll by default but all activation options are available.


Review or edit the segment. Even Distribution controls when users within this segment are eligible to see the NPS survey.


Adjust the scheduling configuration completed in the setup wizard.


Add and manage translations if this survey is served in multiple languages and localization is activated on the subscription.

Learn more about Localization

Email settings

Change the follow-up email settings configured in the setup wizard or turn follow-up emails on.

Publish the survey

When you're finished customizing the survey, you can publish it. Switch the survey to Public and start polling your users.


NPS displays automatically to the targeted visitor. If you don’t see the NPS survey right away, you might not meet the requirements of your segment. If you happen to meet all segment rules and you have Even Distribution enabled, you are most likely not chosen in the randomized group.

Follow-up after publishing your NPS survey

After you publish your NPS survey, close the loop. All responses and views are captured within Pendo. You can create additional custom segments to review the response data.

The NPS methodology recommends an open-ended follow-up to the specific numerical score. You can do this by adding a second guide step with a Poll building block or creating a segment based on the NPS poll response and using that as the target segment for a guide with an open response poll.

Organizations are encouraged to connect directly with customers who have provided a score to better understand the response and address any issues. Pendo Integrations can be used to create an actionable tool that uses real-time NPS responses to notify your customer-facing teams and improve the customer experience.

Check out Pendo’s Slack Integration to help you keep a pulse on NPS in real time.

Note: If you have an existing NPS survey before Sept. 12, 2018, you can upgrade your NPS Survey to get new functionality such as email backup and the new survey management experience. Learn more about upgrading your survey.

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