How to Create a Poll in Outlook

Add Outlook voting buttons to your email

What to Know

  • Create a new email in Outlook > type the poll question. Next, select the Options tab > Use Voting Buttons.
  • Choose an answer from the options, or select Custom and enter custom answers separated by a semicolon.

This article explains how to create a poll in Outlook. Instructions apply to Outlook for Microsoft 365 and Outlook 2007 - 2019.

Create a Poll in Outlook

It’s often useful to send an email to a group of people to see what everyone thinks of an idea. Sometimes you just want to gather feedback, in which case, a regular email works fine. If you want people to choose from preset options, like Yes/No or Accept/Reject, then a poll is a good way to go.

Outlook has voting buttons that can be used in emails to gather the results of a poll.

  1. Create a new email in Outlook and simply type the question you want recipients to answer.

    Using voting buttons depends on all your recipients using Outlook. If you know everyone uses Outlook, this isn’t an issue. For wider surveys, however, a different approach may be more appropriate. Creating a Doodle Poll may make more sense in these cases.

  2. Select the Options tab in the ribbon of the new email window.

    Outlook Options tab
  3. Select Use Voting Buttons to bring up a list of voting options.

    Use Voting Buttons highlighted in ribbon
  4. Select Approve;Reject, Yes;No, Yes;No;Maybe, or Custom.

    Voting Buttons options
  5. If you select Custom, you can create custom voting options using the field next to Use voting buttons. Each voting option must be separated by a semicolon.

    Custom voting options
  6. Send the email and wait for feedback.

What Recipients Will See

How the poll appears to the recipient depends on how they view it within Outlook. It is, therefore, essential to include instructions if you're sending an email with Outlook Voting Buttons to people who may not be familiar with them.

Using the Reading Pane

If the recipient is using the Reading Pane in Outlook, they must select This message includes voting buttons. Click here to vote near the top of the email. Doing so will bring up a straightforward dropdown list the recipient can use to vote.

View Email in a Separate Window

If the recipient has opened the email in a separate window, it's less clear how they should vote; they'll only see a "Vote by clicking Vote in the Respond group above." message near the top of the email. To vote, they must select Message > vote.

Reviewing Results of Outlook Poll

Each time someone responds to your poll, you'll receive an email with their response. It's also possible to review all of the answers.

  1. Open the sent email containing the voting buttons.

  2. Select the Message tab.

    Message tab in Outlook
  3. Select Tracking.

    Tracking button in Outlook
  4. You'll see a summary of all responses to the poll.

    Summary of poll

    If someone responds more than once, you'll see an email for each of their responses, but only their first response will count toward the tracking information.

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