Email Marketing

Survey Email Challenge: Your Superpower of Asking

6 minutes

Survey Email Challenge: Your Superpower of Asking

Sometimes having some basic information about your customers might be not enough. Say, you are planning to bring a new product, but you want to play it safe and ask what your most loyal customers think first. Or you want to break away from the usual marketing emails and get to know your new subscribers a bit better. What do you do? Yeah, that’s right — send survey emails.

In this entry, we’ll discuss the basics of survey emails, topping everything with some cool examples.

What is a survey email?

Email surveys, or survey emails, are messages sent to target audience with the aim of collecting data for further analysis. The necessary information can be collected through questionnaires, polls, and actual surveys. The respondents can either answer the surveys directly in the email or get redirected to the website.

For example, a restaurant wants to find out what customers think about the quality of their delivery service. So they can segment customers who have recently ordered food from them and send an email survey to the chosen segment. This way the restaurant can collect the feedback from the targeted users and figure out the customer satisfaction rates.

Types of survey emails

Email surveys can be classified into two types: embedded and redirect.

  1. Embedded, or inline, surveys are included in the email itself, i.e. users can share their feedback, rate their purchase, or answer short questions straight in the email body. The following type is used for swift email surveys, yet make sure to include only “yes-no” questions to make the answer process as easy and effortless as possible.
  2. Email redirect surveys typically include a link which redirects the users from the email to a separate survey page or a landing page. Turn to this method for longer surveys with open-ended questions to collect more detailed information from your subscribers.

Why you need survey emails

By introducing surveys, you increase loyalty to your brand, strengthen customer relationships, and get inspired by users’ feedback and ideas. You can even boost your revenue by offering subscribers a discount for completing your survey and thus showcasing you appreciate the user’s input.

Survey emails best practices

To make the best of your survey emails, make sure they meet the below-listed characteristics:

  1. Timely. Sending too frequent survey emails can bore, frustrate, or even irritate a subscriber. So while elaborating your email marketing calendar, think about the best moment to include a survey, for example, after a purchase or an event, to be able to analyze whether the users enjoyed interacting with your company.
  2. Clear. Use simple language to build questions for your survey, avoid business jargon so that the users won’t get confused and understand what you’re asking.
  3. Quick. Decide on the aim of your survey, which feedback you want to fish out from your subscribers, and tailor your survey to those objectives as briefly as you can.
  4. Easy to complete. Even though customers might be open to providing their feedback, too complicated survey procedure might put them off sharing their opinion. Make sure your survey comprises no more than 2 steps and doesn’t require any registrations or sign-ups.

With all these principles uncovered, we can proceed to some tips on how to construct a good email survey.

How to write a survey email

Decide on your goals

The first unspoken rule of survey emails is keeping them short. To master the skill, you need to pin down what you want to learn with your survey. Ask which questions you would be interested to answer yourself and what you would want to learn in general, who your target audience is, and how you are going to collect the data. Keep up to those basic questions to form a survey that helps you reach your goal.

Segment the audience

When you’ve narrowed down the information you want to learn, find the audience who will help you with that. Say, you launched a new product some time ago and now want to know how the users liked it. So create a segment out of the users who have recently purchased your product and target them with your survey. This way you’ll reach your subscribers with personalized messages and stay away from bothering the uninvolved users.

Think through your copywriting

Remember to use the language applicable to your purpose, target audience, and your company. Asking users to complete a survey is kind of tricky as it requires some extra time, which not everyone is willing to spend on your questionnaire. So make sure you clarify the purpose of your survey and specify how long the survey will take users to complete.

Create eye-catchy subject lines

Motivate users to open your email and take the survey. Personalize your subject, add an emoji, ask a question, connect the subject line with a preheader, create urgency, or specify the reward — feel free to apply those tricks to your subject lines which you find motivating for opening your email and taking the survey.

email subject lines for surveys
Examples of email subject lines for surveys

Now let’s see how different brands use email surveys in their campaigns and catch up with some inspirational ideas.

Survey email ideas

Add a special offer

Everything is simple — incentives are tempting and they still work. This way you’ll boost the participation and motivate your subscribers to take their time and share their opinion.

This is what Rifle Paper Co. do in their data survey email. They think through each detail in their campaign: specify the reason for writing as well as the estimated time the survey will take to complete, and, among all, offer a 15% off the purchase as a reward.

Survey email from Rifle Paper

Your incentives, however, shouldn’t be always around money and discounts — breathe in some fun and excitement into the survey-taking process. Flywheel, for example, offer their users to take their survey and get a chance to win a T-shirt as thanks for the provided feedback.

survey email example
Survey email from Flywheel. Source: Really Good Emails

Set expectations

Your audience would appreciate if you told them how much time they need to answer your questions. As a marketer, you too wouldn’t be pleased to see your customers waving you off halfway just because your survey turned out to be too boring or too long.

MobileMonkey, for example, included a survey in their welcome email and concentrated on the CTA to point out how much time it takes — only a minute.

survey example
Survey email from MobileMonkey

Show all questions in the email

One of the reasons why users might abandon your survey is the fact they are unwilling to proceed to another page and share their feedback. Expose your whole questionnaire in the email and let the users complete it straight away.

This is what Taylor Stitch do in their post-purchase email. They ask to rate the overall satisfaction with the purchased item, its size, quality, and style. The users barely need to type anything — only press the appealing answers — and most importantly, they are to do it right from their inbox.

email survey example
Post-purchase survey email from Taylor Stitch. Source: Really Good Emails

Do the one-question survey

Alternatively to the previous point, turn to a micro survey to find out whether your subscribers liked your content or not. This is the ultimate dream of any respondent — just one question and you’re all done. Simply place thumbs up/down or happy/sad emoji anywhere in your email to ask for your audience’s opinion.

Even though making a one-question survey might seem not very informative, it can still bring out some useful insights about your emails. For example, if you create a redirect survey, upon choosing the appealing variant, users can be redirected to a Google form where they will be asked to specify their ideas.

Airbnb, for example, sent their customers a satisfaction survey email to find out how the user’s interaction with the company’s customer service went. They asked how likely the user was to recommend the service to others, and upon clicking on the appealing score, the user was redirected to the page asking them to explain their choice.

email survey example
Survey email from Airbnb

AWeber, in their turn, added a footer survey, where users could click on the appealing emoji to show what they thought of the campaign.

footer email survey example
Email with a survey in the footer from AWeber. Source: Really Good Emails

Go creative

Does your each and every survey have to be about business and marketing? We say “No!” You can turn to surveys as a fun and relaxing element of your marketing routine. Give your users a moment to take a breezer and think of something else than purchases.

Get inspired by such emails by WYR. Once new users subscribe to their emails, they get a weekly would-you-rather survey together with the results of the previous editions.

creative survey example
A creative survey from WYR. Source: Really Good emails

So, survey emails are undoubtedly an effective email marketing tactic, which is easy to implement and which can help to achieve your marketing goals. Uncover the hidden power of survey emails, use them in your business routine, and remember to rely on SendPulse to send your emails!

Date of publication:

August 27, 2019

Anya Brui

Hi, fellow marketer! I'm Anya and I love good design, travels, and rock. I'm here to share my insights with...

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