With time of the essence, most market research firms in Syracuse and companies elsewhere will jump immediately to an email survey invitation to their customer and non-customer lists. Rarely do organizations ever consider the benefits of slowing the process down and sending an introductory email or letter to the same list before the survey invitations are sent. A pre-awareness email or letter can provide significant benefits for your market research project but they are largely underutilized.
Consider the benefits a pre-email or letter can provide for your market research efforts.
Who Should Send this Email?
Our market research firm in Syracuse always recommends the higher ups in an organization. This would be someone on the management team, a VP, or a President. Essentially you are looking for someone at the CXO level to send this letter or email. Having the backing of a top gun adds credibility to the survey effort and invitation coming shortly after this first step.
What Does the Email Need to Communicate?
All pre-awareness emails need to convey a variety of items. Making sure the pre-awareness email covers all of these factors will ensure you set the table for the survey appropriately. Here are the items it should cover:
- Why are we sending you this email?
- Who is the market research firm we are partnering with who is sending the survey invites?
- Why is your survey response important?
- How long will the survey take?
- What will the company be doing with the survey results?
- When will the survey invitation be coming?
- Who can I contact if I have questions?
Benefit 1: Show Importance
The first benefit of a sending a letter or email ahead of time before the email survey invitation is it shows importance in the survey itself. This is why our market research firm in Syracuse recommends sending this pre-awareness email from a company President, Owner, or C-level employee. Backing from the upper management let's the respondent know they will be paying attention to the feedback.
Several email tools exist to change the "from" name on the email invitation. We all know Presidents and Owners of companies may in fact be too busy to send this themselves or utilize a mail merge to list of thousands of customers. Market research firms can use specialized email tools to make the message appear as though it came from the President without him or her having to do any work. Questions, out of office replies, and other messages come directly back to the market research firm.
Benefit 2: Build Awareness
An obvious benefit here, but the pre-awareness email or letter lets the customer or respondent know a survey invitation is coming and when. The pre-email should note the length of survey, the reason for conducting the survey, and when it will be sent (either an exact date or a less specific timeframe as in "next week.") Setting this expectation puts the survey respondent on the look-out and makes them more likely to participate. Some may even plan for it.
Benefit 3: Test Numbers
One of the hidden benefits of pre-awareness emails (particularly through email platforms) is the data they provide. These emails virtually work as e-blasts. So you'll be able to collect open rates, bad emails, bounces, etc. This type of data helps an analyst understand a number of things.
The open rate allows the market research firm to understand if anything needs to be changed in the survey invitation to boost this rate. Or if several bad emails exist it provides the analyst a few days to clean-up the lists and potentially collect replacement emails. Those who bounce or unsubscribe can be removed from the survey invitation.
This type of clean-up is a lot easier for an analyst when they have a window of time before the survey begins. Once the survey is live the analyst is often worried about cleaning the back-end data, answering survey questions, and ensuring all questions are being comprehended and everything is working smoothly.
Benefit 4: Update Lists
Related to the prior point, you can take what you learn from the pre-awareness email and streamline the survey invitation emails. It provides you the opportunity to clean the list, remove bad emails, and perhaps even make a few phone calls to find replacement contacts at companies.
Drive Research is a market research firm in Syracuse, NY. Interested in talking to us about your next email survey or online survey project? Contact us at [email protected] or call us at 315.303.2040.