How to Create a Poll in Outlook

Add Outlook voting buttons to your email

Create an email poll using voting buttons in Outlook

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

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 and Outlook for Office 365. Voting buttons are not available in Outlook on the web or Outlook for Mac.

How to Create an Email With Outlook Voting Buttons

  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 Options in the ribbon of the new email window.

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

  4. Select Approve;Reject, Yes;No, Yes;No;Maybe or Custom.

    Voting options available for Outlook Poll
  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 semi-colon.

    To create custom voting options just type them in seperated by semi-colons
  6. Send the email and wait for feedback.

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

What Recipients Will See

How the poll appears to the recipient depends on how they view it within Outlook. It is, therefore, important 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 very simple dropdown list the recipient can use to vote.

Voting is clear in the Outlook Reading Pane

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.

The option to vote is under the message tab

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 responses, but it isn’t obvious how to do this.

  1. Open the sent email containing the voting buttons.

  2. Select the Message tab.

    Open sent email to review responses
  3. Select Tracking to 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 towards the tracking information.