10 Tips to Build a Better Email Survey Invitation

tips to build a better email survey invitationYou can write the best survey in the world, but if your email doesn't get opened, you've failed. Thus, emailing survey invitations becomes a marketing and persuasion tactic to help boost response rates. Your analysis and insights can only be as good as the sample size that backs your findings. So if you bore your reader, confuse your reader, or discourage them in any way from clicking the survey link and taking your survey, you're setting yourself up for poor outcomes.

When designing your next email invite for your market research survey consider the following 10 tips:

Tip 1: Use a catchy subject line and one that prompts the respondent to want to read more.

The idea here is to grab their attention and then get them to open the email. Using words like "need your feedback", "value your input", and "requesting your help" are good ways to make "survey" sound less bland.

Tip 2: Place the survey link at or near the top of the body text.

I see this mistake far too often in email invitations. After getting them to open your email, the next goal is to get them to click the survey link. End of story. Don't invite them to read a paragraph or two and change their mind. If they want to read more about the survey process you can provide that text below the link. Treat this like a "terms and conditions page", most people will skim and accept, very few will actually read all of the language.

Tip 3: Thank them for participating before they have a chance to say "no".

It's a little play on psychology, but get thank them before they've even agreed to participate. This is why some of the best call center reps in market research data centers don't hesitate during the introduction of the survey. Any little hesitation gives the respondent an out and a chance to say they're not interested.

Tip 4: Explain the importance of the survey and how their response will benefit them directly.

A simple, your response is important to us is not specific enough. In the culture of WIIFM (what's in it for me?) you must provide some detail and relevance here. For example, "your survey response will directly impact how we create processes and checklists for our customer service staff to ensure you can be 100% satisfied with your next service call."

Tip 5: Explain how they were selected.

Is it a limited survey invitations to a few key stakeholders? Is it a survey sent to all customers from your database? Is it a survey sent to a random selection of customers from your database. A quick description of this helps put the respondent at ease to ensure they are not being singled out for any reason, unless you want that to be known.

Tip 6: Reference how long the survey will take, be honest.

You can use the number of questions instead of time if it looks more beneficial. Completion times tend to vary so it is okay to offer a range. I typically use less than 3 minutes, 3 to 5 minutes, 5 to 7 minutes, 7 to 10 minutes, and 10 to 15 minutes. If your online survey tests longer than 10 to 15 minutes you may need to sit down with your internal team to find out ways to reduce the scope or streamline the questioning.

Tip 7: Mention the raffle, sweepstakes, or reward if there is one.

This is for the fence-sitters. In aggregate, rewards have a large impact on market research because of the incremental added interest in the study. However, for each individual decision on a granular person-to-person basis, the incentive may not have a major impact. There will be some fence-sitters in which a simple giveaway is enough to tip the scales. Make sure this is referenced somewhere in your invite but not the subject line! Any mention of sweepstakes, giveaway, or $ signs will scream spam.

Tip 8: Be clear on confidentiality and data privacy.

Respondents want to know their information will be kept private. With a number of businesses using surveys as case management tools, the wording has changed from anonymous and reported in aggregate to confidential and private. See the difference? The latter allows the analyst to single out a case and conduct a follow-up call for case resolution if need be.

Tip 9: Include an unsubscribe link. No-brainer. You have to include this. Simply an item to check off your email invitation checklist. If you haven't created this checklist, now's a great time!

Tip 10: Include a relevant contact and signature.

It helps to include a c-level executive or someone higher up on the proverbial organizational totem pole as the person sponsoring the research and managing the project. This ensures the data will be visible with the right people who can make a difference, eluding to tip 4 above.

Drive Research is an online survey company in Syracuse, NY. To view all of our market research services, visit our page on our website. Questions about your next email survey project? Call us at 315-303-2040 or email us at info@driveresearch.com.

Online Surveys