It’s easy to create a poll in Outlook by including voting buttons in an email message.  The poll responses arrive in your Inbox and are tallied in a tracking view.

NOTE:  Microsoft Exchange Server is required!

Follow the steps below to send a message with voting buttons:

  1. First, open a new email message from within Outlook.
  2. Click the Options tab on the Ribbon.
  3. In the Tracking group, click on Use Voting Buttons. A drop-down menu will appear offering you four options: Approve/Reject; Yes/No; Yes/No/Maybe; or Custom…
    • If you select Custom, type in the list of options that you want the recipients to be able to choose from, separated with a semi-colon (;).
  4. Your untitled message form appears with a note at the top that tells you that you have added voting buttons to this message. You can now continue to create your message.
  5. Fill in the To… field with the recipients’ email addresses.
  6. In the Subject field, type your question (i.e., Where would you like to meet for our lunch meeting?)
  7. Type in any other relevant information that you want to include in the body of the email. If this is the first time you have sent an email that contains voting buttons to these recipients, you may want to include a note that gives directions on how to reply.
    vote e-mail
  8. When the message is complete, click on the Send button.

Receive a message with a voting request:

When you receive an email message that contains voting buttons, you can quickly respond to the sender’s request for a vote.

To vote, do one of the following:

  1. In the Reading Pane, click the InfoBar, and then click your choice.
  2. Open the message, and click the Message tab. In the Respond group, click Vote, and then click your choice.If the recipient clicks on the first radio button, the vote will be sent without any added message. If the recipient clicks on the second option, a new message form will appear and the recipient will be able to type in an explanation or additional information that will accompany their response.
  3. You are prompted to choose whether you want to include a message together with your vote before the response is sent.
    vote response

Review voting responses:

Regardless of which option is chosen, the subject header of the reply message will include the recipient’s vote followed by a colon and then the subject line from the original email.  This makes it easy for the sender to manually count the votes, since the responses will show up as new items in the sender’s Inbox as the recipients reply.

vote returned msg

When you send out messages where recipients must vote, you can quickly count the results by clicking on the informational message at the top of the window that tells you how the sender responded.  A pop up will appear that says View voting responses.

vote - view voting responses

When you click on View voting responses, a new window will appear and you will be able to see a running tally of the total responses that have been sent.  Beneath that, there will be a list of each recipient and their individual response.

vote - responses details

You can also open the original message, click on the Message tab, in the Show group, click Tracking.