5 Basic Tips When Sending an Email Customer Survey

When it comes to market research, almost everyone is familiar with the customer email survey. First off, customer satisfaction projects and customer surveys are a very basic and common form of market research. Most organizations recognize the need to collect feedback from customers, and typically capture data through some version of a customer survey. Second, email surveys are much more cost-effective and timely than customer surveys completed via printed cards, mailings, or phone surveys.

The combination of organizations knowing there is a need to survey customers coupled with the ease of implementing an online survey allow organizations across the globe to dabble with market research. Many pursue a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) route to save money.

However, without the experience and know-how of a customer survey firm to assist, some of our clients are often in the dark with how to best send an email for a customer survey. What do I say? Where do I say it? When do I send it?

Our customer survey firm addresses those topics and provides 5 basic tips when sending an email customer survey below.

5 Basic Tips When Sending an Email Customer Survey

When you send a customer survey, think mobile first. For the first time in history, more surveys were taken via a mobile device in 2017 than any other device. Several of these tips revolve around the need for your customer survey to mobile friendly.

Make the Subject Line Relevant

This is the first impression. As the customer email survey invite drops in their inbox, the subject line is the first words they will read. If it sounds boring, bland, or not relevant, it increases the likelihood of the customer simply deleting your email.

Try to use an "ask" in your subject line. Phrases such as "Company ABC Needs Your Feedback" or "Tell Us What You Think About Company ABC". Both of these encourage a click and a next step with the customer. This is typically much more effective than the basic "Company ABC Customer Survey".

Think in terms of a typical respondent viewing your survey while on the couch watching Netflix at 9:15 p.m. They are multi-tasking surfing Facebook while their newborn sleeps. They get a notification email that pops up with your email subject line. It needs to be catchy enough to generate interest and action. What can you say to get their feedback?

Interestingly enough, evening invites often perform well for B2C customer surveys because of this. Consumers often have downtime in the evening and are passively killing time on their phone or laptop. They're always connected to you. Even at 9:15 p.m. on their couch.

Short Email Body Text

Going along with the mobile friendly theme, keep your email body text short. Scrolling is bad in survey invitations. If the customer begins scrolling and realizes there is paragraph after paragraph of text, they are likely to delete or move on.

Try to keep your email body text to a few short sentences or short paragraphs. Put the most important information "above the fold". In newspaper terms this meant putting the relevant ad or story on the top half of the newspaper headlines.

This is a similar theme except you should keep the relevant and most important information "above the scroll" on their tablet or phone.

Include the Link Near the Top

When it comes to important information in your email invitation, nothing is more important than the survey link itself. You should place this at or as close to the top of the invitation as possible. If the respondent does not notice anything else but the survey link that is okay.

The idea of putting this near the top is too encourage them to get started as quickly as possible to move them along. Over the years, we've seen far too many customer surveys with the link all the way at the bottom of the email invitation after paragraphs upon paragraphs of text.

Tell Them How Long and the Number of Questions

Your customer survey email invite should very quickly explain to the respondent: (1) how long the survey will take and (2) the number of questions. We opt for both to make the expectations crystal clear. Some customer survey companies just recommend mentioning time to complete, however, we feel this isn't as representative.

By telling the customer this survey will take 3 minutes and it includes 15 questions it becomes clear what is asked. If you only mention time, some respondents may think the estimated minutes were way off as they approach question 12 or 13.

In this case the respondent might drop out thinking, "this is taking me more than 3 minutes and I do not want to answer 10 more questions." However if this respondent knew there were only 15 questions, they would likely hang on an extra 2 or 3 questions to finish.

Here are 3 components to a customer survey.

Wondering what questions to ask? Here are 10 excellent customer survey questions.


Offer a Contact for Questions

Lastly, always offer a contact for the survey if the customer has questions. This can be a name of a person, an email, and a phone number. Questions range from legitimacy concerns to privacy concerns or even issues with the link. This runs the gamut as far as reasons for contact, but it is considered best practice to give the customer some way to contact your organization about the survey.

All in all, this is another ancillary benefit as to why some organizations choose to use a third-party customer survey company for this. So their in-house team is not bogged down with requests and questions.

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a customer survey company located in Upstate New York. Our team works with clients both large and small across the United States to manage their customer survey projects. This often includes survey design, fieldwork, and analysis.

Questions about your upcoming project? Here are 4 ways to connect:

Message us on our website
Email us at [email protected]
Call us at 888-725-DATA
Text us at 315-303-2040

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