The most basic and popular form of market research is a customer survey or customer satisfaction survey. When reviewing all of the potential project and market research options available to your company, perhaps no other qualitative or quantitative option provides more value and ROI than an email customer survey.
Think about all of the places you purchased from and items you’ve ordered online in the past month. For how many of those were you sent an email asking for some type of feedback? Whether it be consumer ratings, a link to a more in-depth survey, or a text with a link, there is a reason why email customer surveys are so popular.
Nearly all organizations are either (1) run a customer survey now or in the past or (2) want to collect customer feedback.
If you are looking for information on how to run an email customer survey you have come to the right place. Our email customer survey company posts a ton of helpful articles and tips to assist brands with their market research needs.
In this article, we will cover the benefits of an email customer survey, how to run an email customer survey, as well as some potential problems which may arise.
An email customer survey is a popular market research method for increasing ROI and improving customer experience. Learn the best tips and tricks from our email customer survey company.
What are the benefits of an email customer survey?
Where do we start? This list can theoretically be an endless list of bulleted items. Chances are if you are seeking information on how to run an email customer survey you have already arrived and ascertained the value in completing a project.
Here are some quick and high-level benefits of a customer survey:
- Measuring your levels of customer satisfaction to compare over time.
- Measuring your levels of satisfaction against key competitors.
- Measuring your levels of satisfaction against those who are best in class (i.e. Amazon).
- Understanding what drives overall satisfaction (quality, wait time, service, etc.)
- Understanding the pain points and problems your customers have.
Here are the benefits of conducting your customer survey through email or online:
- More timely than conducting a customer survey by mail or phone.
- Less expensive than paying for printing, postage, and assembly by mail.
- Less expensive than hiring a team of callers to dial customer phone numbers.
- Nearly all customers have an email making the sample representative.
- Most customers are at least somewhat tech-savvy to answer online surveys.
- Fieldwork can be completed in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
How do you run an email customer survey?
There are many steps involved in managing an email customer survey. Many organizations opt to hire an email customer survey company like Drive Research to manage the project for several reasons.
First, the firm has the expertise, know-how, and the resources to run the project professionally. Second, the feedback is more likely to be honest and truthful if responses are being submitted to a third-party.
A simple example of this? If you are a furniture brand and the furniture salesperson sends yesterday’s customers a link to request feedback on himself/herself, will the customer truly be honest?
If they had a terrible experience and thought the salesperson was too pushy they are much more likely to lie (and not report their true feelings) or simply not respond to the survey at all which creates response bias.
Here are the key steps involved with running an email customer survey:
- Define the objectives of your email customer survey:
- What do you want to learn?
- How will you use the results?
- What do you expect the analysis and report to answer?
- Determine whether you would like to complete in-house or outsource. Ask yourself
- Do we have the time to manage the project from start-to-finish?
- Do we have the resources and tools to manage the survey?
- Are we well-versed enough in questionnaire design to prevent bias?
- Do we know what questions we should be asking?
- Will we follow best-practices to ensure a good experience for our customers?
- Do we know how long the survey should take? What is a good length?
- Do we know what/how much to giveaway to survey respondents as a thank you?
- Will we be able to be truly objective and unbiased with our insights?
- How many responses do we need to consider the data reliable?
- Request a proposal from an email customer survey company (or skip this step).
- Determine the survey software you will use for your email project.
- Hold a kickoff meeting with your internal team (and the consultant if needed):
- Discuss the timeline, steps involved, and responsible parties.
- Nail down exactly what survey questions you want to ask.
- Discuss pulling customer contacts from your CRM or database.
- Prepare a cleaned email contact file in Excel or CSV.
- Prepare a survey outline covering key topics and highlights.
- Prepare a full survey draft in Word (something which offers comments/tracked changes).
- Finalize the email customer survey draft.
- Program the email survey into your survey software.
- Send out a pre-survey notice to customers. Mention the following:
- When the email invite will be sent.
- Why you are conducting the survey.
- What will be done with the results after fieldwork is concluded.
- Send internal test links to your staff to identify errors or issues.
- Consider running a soft-launch or test drive with a subset of ~100 customers.
- Send your survey invitations through your email software.
- Monitor the initial responses closely to ensure high data quality.
- Send any reminders (if necessary) to reach your goal number of responses.
- Send a thank you email to all participating and non-participating respondents.
- Begin your data cleaning and final quality checks.
- Run your analysis in the survey software (if offered) or separate software.
- Prepare your report which should include the following components:
- Cover page
- Table of contents
- Background and methodology
- Executive summary of themes
- Next steps for market research
- Appendix of the question by question breakdowns
- Consider segmenting the data by:
- Purchase behavior
- Household income
- Consider segmenting the data by:
What are some potential problems to be aware of?
Using an email customer survey company helps prevent many of these potential hiccups.
However, if you choose to run your email customer survey in-house be aware of the following:
- Duplicate email addresses for the same customer
- Multiple email addresses for the same customer
- Incorrect email addresses which need to be cleaned
- Email limits with free or low-cost survey software (i.e. a maximum of 10,000 sends)
- Response limits with survey software (i.e. Survey Monkey plan caps at 100 responses)
- Inability to brand or add your logo to the survey invitations with free plans
- Poor survey platforms or services will result in your invitations going to SPAM or JUNK
- Question caps with your survey software (i.e. a maximum of 10).
- Inability to track responses (i.e. sending reminders to those who already completed).
- Mobile-friendliness of the survey program (more than half will be completed on mobile).
- Not being advised on which questions are the right questions to ask.
- Questions that cover duplicate topics frustrating the respondent.
- Creating a survey that is too long which makes the experience negative and fatiguing.
- Not properly cleaning responses (duplicate IPs, ballot stuffers, etc.)
- Incorrect analysis and interpretation of the results, third-party will help.
Drive Research is an email customer survey company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team works with brands across the U.S. to assist with their customer survey needs. This includes online surveys, social media surveys, email surveys, intercept surveys, phone surveys, and mail surveys.
Need a quote or a proposal? Reach out through any of the four ways below.