Acceptable Uses and Spam Policy

The following policies apply to all projects hosted on In addition, you will be asked to sign our Hosting Agreement. If we are sending emails on your behalf, there is a contract governing that relationship as well.

The client is solely responsible for ensuring that all surveys are in compliance with legal requirements for collection of information on the Internet. Any information presented on this site is offered with no assurance of accuracy or completeness.

Content and Activity Levels

Apian Software reserves the right to refuse surveys which are considered inappropriate or offensive. We limit use of the URL to surveys we’d be happy to have our mothers see. Reasons for refusal include, but are not limited to:

  • Trademark or other intellectual property infringements
  • “Hate,” or bigoted content
  • Pornography

For surveys targeting children as respondents, Apian Software will only host questionnaires which do not collect individually identifiable information as defined by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. See Privacy Issues or the FTC web site for more information on COPPA. Client is solely responsible for ensuring compliance.

Apian Software reserves the right to suspend or terminate surveys as needed. Reasons may include:

  • Very high response rate without prior arrangement (over 10,000 responses per week)
  • Response rate surges which affect overall server performance (typically caused by the client sending an extremely large number of e-mail invitations without coordinating with the SurveyHost staff, or by public dissemination of the URL of a survey with an incentive)
  • Respondent complaints (such as for unsolicited email invitations)

Depending on the nature of the issue, we will notify you of the problem, discuss possible alternative solutions, or suspend/terminate the survey at our sole discretion.

E-mail Invitations

Acceptable Lists:

We recognize e-mailed invitations to respondents as a valuable complement to survey hosting, however due to the proliferation of unsolicited e-mails or “Spam” there are special conditions on this service. Note that these restrictions are to comply with the policies of “upstream” service providers who provide connections to, and therefore are restrictions you will encounter in almost any mailing. If you find any of this too restrictive for your project, please note that we can host your survey without sending out your emails. You can send emails yourself, and then need only worry about your organization’s email policies (or those of a 3rd party email vendor, although they are typically similar to ours).

For internal surveys of employees and students:

  • E-mail invitations and follow-up reminders may be sent
  • All messages will include as a footnote:
    This message is being sent on behalf of your employer [NAME] by, an independent web survey hosting service. If this message is being sent in error please contact with the address of the survey.”

For surveys of customers or other mailing lists (your own, not purchased):

  • E-mail invitations may be sent (one-time mailings only)
  • Lists must be “opt-in” only: respondent must have explicitly requested to receive this type of notice. “Opt-out” lists where they have to uncheck a box, or lists compiled with emails given as part of placing an order, do not meet this requirement.
  • All messages will include as a footnote:
    This is a one-time noncommercial mailing being sent on behalf of [COMPANY] based on interest you have expressed in their products or services. If you would like to be removed from their list please contact [CLIENT CONTACT], or if this message is being sent in error please contact with the address of the survey.”

SurveyHost will not send mailings to purchased or “third-party” lists.

Returned Messages and Inquiries:

It is very common for mailing lists to have a wide range in the number of invalid addresses (from 2% to over 20%), so bounce processing is done at our hourly rates. This can be as a simple forwarding of the problem messages, or a compiled list and re-sending to corrected addresses. Correction or removal of invalid addresses is required for SurveyHost to send reminder messages.

Respondent inquiries about the survey are routinely forwarded to a contact you specify.

Emails and Spam

This page offers some information on emailing for your reference, if you are sending your own email invitations to your survey. If SurveyHost is sending email invitations for you, please see the SurveyHost Acceptable Uses Policy for details on mailing lists.

Just because it’s a survey invitation doesn’t mean it isn’t Spam.

Yes, you have the best intentions and may even be giving away a prize, but at this point Internet users have been so deluged with junk e-mail that anything which has not been explicitly requested may be considered Spam and therefore objectionable.

At the moment all bulk messages are seen in similar lights, so the effects of sending unsolicited messages can include:

  • Termination of your ISP account for violation of your service provider’s Acceptable Uses Policy
  • Association of your e-mail address/domain as a spammer, which can result in blockage of inbound messages by ISPs
  • Negative sentiment toward yourself and/or client
  • Lawsuits for violating anti-spam laws (at least 37 states have anti-spam laws, in addition to the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.)

Safe lists are your own employee lists and opt-in or opt-out lists (make sure you trust your vendor though). Opt-in means the people in the database have requested to be on the list, while opt-out lists consist of people who were given the opportunity to mark a “no contact” box but didn’t. It is also critical to have a removal mechanism if you do repeat mailings. See also SurveyHost’s Acceptable Uses Policy if you are planning on having us e-mail your invitations.

Organizations providing more information: