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In June 2020, Microsoft updated their popular Outlook email platform in Microsoft 365, adding (among other things) an integrated polling feature. Let’s take a few moments and go over how to use it so you are better able to take advantage of the opportunities this tool can provide.

Using the Outlook Polling Feature

To create a poll, pull up Outlook and start a New Email. Proceed as you would with any email, filling out your subject line and identifying who it should be sent to. You can then insert a poll by clicking into the Insert tab and selecting the Poll option, or by navigating to the Options tab of your message, clicking Use Voting Buttons, and selecting Poll.

A window will appear that allows you to specify the question you want to ask your recipients, as well as the capability to customize your answers. You can add additional responses by clicking +Add option. Be warned, the poll has a character limit of 330, many of which are taken up by the poll structure itself, so keep your polls brief.

To authorize multiple responses, you can toggle the Multiple answers button to green.

Once your poll is completed, click Insert poll into email, and it can be shared.

Reviewing Your Results

Once you’ve created this poll, the results will appear to you in your version of it. So, if you keep it brief, Microsoft has provided a very useful way for its users to collect feedback.

You can also review your results—as well as how the vote broke down amongst your users—by clicking on Review answers or the button labelled Open in Excel.

A Few Caveats

You should be aware that this feature is only available to those using a Microsoft 365 hosted email account, with a subscription to Microsoft 365.

So, does this sound like something you could use? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!