Sending Out Email Surveys? Read This First!


You’re sitting there, staring at a blank screen. You know you need to send out a survey to get feedback from your customers, but how? Email surveys seem like the obvious choice – easy to create and send, right? But hold up just a second before you jump in. Email surveys come with their own set of potential pitfalls you need to think through first.

Getting quality data from your respondents requires more strategic planning than you may realize. Before you send that survey invite, keep reading to learn key dos and don’ts you need to know to get the most out of your email survey efforts. With some simple best practices, you’ll be ready to start collecting those customer insights in no time.

Why Email Surveys Are an Effective Research Tool

Email surveys are one of the most effective ways to gather insights from your customers or target audience. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Higher response rates. Email surveys typically achieve response rates of 20-30%, much higher than most other survey methods. People tend to open and engage with emails from brands they have a relationship with.
  • Cost-efficient and low effort. Email surveys require minimal resources to set up and distribute. All you need is an email list and survey software to create and send your survey. No printing, postage or interviewers required.

-Valuable data insights. Email surveys can provide a wealth of information to help you better understand your customers and make key business decisions. Ask the right questions and you’ll gain useful feedback and opinions on your products, services, and brand.

-Improved customer experience. The data from email surveys helps you pinpoint areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction so you can enhance the customer experience. Make changes based on the feedback and you’ll build loyalty and turn customers into brand advocates.

-High completion rates. Email surveys tend to have high completion rates since they are short, focused, and convenient for people to fill out on their own time. A higher completion rate means more useful data for you.

If you want fast, affordable, and meaningful market research, email surveys should be at the top of your list. Craft a thoughtful survey, reach out to your subscribers, and start learning from your customers today. The insights you gain can shape the future of your business.

Crafting Effective Email Survey Questions

When sending out email surveys, the questions you ask are crucial to getting quality data and insights. Keep these tips in mind:

•Keep questions short and simple.Aim for questions that are easy to read and understand. Long, complex questions will likely confuse respondents and decrease the effectiveness of your survey.

• Avoid leading questions. Frame questions objectively and avoid wording that leads respondents to a particular answer. For example, instead of asking “Don’t you agree that our customer service has improved?”, ask “How would you rate our customer service over the past year?”

•Include a mix of question types. Use a combination of open-ended questions (e.g. “How can we improve?”), multiple choice (e.g. “How often do you use our product or service?” – Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Annually), rating scale (e.g. “On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, how would you rate your experience?”), and ranking questions (e.g. “Please rank the following factors in order of importance to you”) to get a range of insights.

• Test your questions. Try out your survey on a few people first to make sure the questions are clear and provide the types of responses you’re looking for. Look for any confusion and revise as needed.

• Make it personal. A personalized greeting (“Hello [Name]!”) and sign-off (“Thank you, [Name]!”) can go a long way towards engaging your recipients and increasing your response rate. Also be sure the sender address is recognizable and helps convey the purpose.

• Keep it brief.Aim for around 10-15 questions to avoid survey fatigue. Let your recipients know an approximate time it will take to provide their feedback. People are more likely to respond if the time commitment seems reasonable.

With well-crafted questions and an engaging, personalized approach, your email survey is sure to yield quality data and actionable insights into your audience and their needs.

Best Practices for Email Survey Design

When sending out email surveys, following some best practices will help ensure you get the most useful responses.

Prioritize the information you need. Only ask questions that will provide actionable data to help you achieve your goals. Keep the survey focused and avoid unnecessary questions that could frustrate recipients.

Keep it short and sweet. Aim for 5 to 10 questions at most. People have short attention spans, especially for emails, so keep your survey concise. Offer a progress bar so people know how much is left. This will reduce drop-off rates.

Use A/B testing. Try testing two slightly different versions of the same survey to see which one has a higher response and completion rate. You might test things like question wording, order or format. Then use the most effective version for your full survey distribution.

Make it mobile-friendly. Most people check emails on their phones now, so your survey needs to display well on mobile devices. Use large text, minimal scrolling and buttons/links that are easy to tap.

Offer an incentive (optional). Consider offering a small incentive, like a discount code or entry into a prize draw, to increase response rates. Make it clear the incentive is optional to avoid biasing the results.

Keep responses anonymous. Let people know their responses will remain anonymous and be used in aggregate only. This will encourage more honest feedback without fear of consequences.

Thank the respondents. Express your genuine appreciation for people taking the time to provide their input. Let them know how their feedback will help improve your business or product. They’ll be more likely to respond to future surveys.

Following these best practices will result in email surveys that provide you with useful data to gain valuable insights into your audience. Your respondents will appreciate your thoughtfulness, and be more willing to participate in the future.

Tips to Increase Your Email Survey Response Rate

To get more of your contacts to complete and return your email surveys, try these proven techniques:

Offer an incentive

People love free stuff. Offer a coupon, discount, or prize draw entry for survey respondents. Let them know upfront what they’ll get for their time. This small incentive can motivate many to click and complete.

Personalize your message

Use your contacts’ first names in the email subject line and message. Mention how their input can help improve your business or product. People are more likely to respond when a message feels tailored to them.

Focus on your active subscribers

If you have a large contact list, pare it down to only those who regularly open and click your emails. Your most engaged readers will probably also be your most willing survey-takers. Plus, targeting your most active contacts helps ensure high-quality feedback from those truly familiar with your brand.

Keep it short and simple

Aim for a 5 to 10-question survey that takes 3 minutes or less to complete. Long, complicated surveys lead to dropout and low response rates. Get straight to the key questions you need answered. Keep your options and answer choices concise too.

Make it mobile-friendly

With more and more people reading email and taking surveys on their smartphones, your survey needs to display well on small screens. Use a simple layout with large text and buttons. Avoid features that won’t convert well like images, videos or drag-and-drop. Keep your questions and answers short and straightforward for mobile users.

Following these useful tips will increase the chances of getting a higher response and completion rate for your email surveys. And the more people who take your survey, the more meaningful insights you’ll gain into improving your business and customer experience.

Email Surveys FAQs: Answering Common Questions

What types of questions should I include in an email survey?

Some of the most popular question types for embedded email surveys are:

  • Demographic questions: Ask about age, gender, location, etc. These help segment your audience.
  • Net Promoter Score questions: Use a 0-10 scale to gage customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  • Matrix questions: Present a series of related options or statements for people to evaluate using a scale.
  • Open-ended questions: Leave space for people to provide feedback in their own words.

How often should I send out email surveys?

Don’t overload your subscribers with too many surveys. As a general rule of thumb, limit email surveys to:

  • No more than 1 per month
  • No more than 1 per week for very engaged audiences

Sending surveys too often can lead to survey fatigue and a drop in response rates. Give your subscribers adequate time between surveys.

What are some tips for increasing the response rate?

Here are some tips to boost the response rate for your email surveys:

  • Keep the survey short, around 5-10 questions. This makes it easy and quick to complete.
  • Offer an incentive for completing the survey like a coupon, gift card or entry into a prize draw.
  • Clearly communicate the purpose and benefits of the survey. Let people know how their feedback will be used.
  • Send a pre-survey notice and follow up reminder about the survey.
  • Make the survey mobile-friendly. Over half of emails are now opened on mobile devices.
  • Provide a progress bar so people can see how much of the survey they have left. This keeps them motivated to finish.
  • Thank people for their time and participation. Let them know you value their feedback.
  • Share the survey results. People are more likely to take future surveys if they know the results are being used.
  • Test different subject lines and timing to see what resonates most with your particular audience. What works for one group may not work for another.


So there you have it – email surveys can be an amazing tool for gathering insights, but only if done right. Don’t spam people, keep it short and sweet, and make sure it’s mobile-friendly. Offer an incentive if needed to boost responses. And always follow up with a thank you note showing your appreciation. Who knows – you may make some new friends in the process! Just remember to keep it relevant, easy, and valuable for your respondents. Follow these tips, and your next email survey will be a big success.

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