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5 Tips for Sending Email Surveys

Jun 09 2011, 06:26 PM by

Email customer surveys are a great way to get feedback from customers about your services and products. In addition, well-designed surveys can help generate ideas for new products and services as well as provide opportunities for increased sales.

To get actionable results instead of ambiguous statistics, it’s important to make it as easy as possible for customers to provide their desired information. Design surveys with the customer in mind and try these 5 marketing tips for sending email surveys.
1.  Sender Name and Subject Line
The sender name and subject line of the survey will be the primary determinants of your open and response rates. Take precautions to ensure that a recognized personal or business name is prominent in the address. Avoid using mass-market email domains like gmail, hotmail, msn or yahoo.

Create a subject line that is appealing and encourages recipients to want to open the email. Effectively accompany ‘customer survey’ along with some words of encouragement to create a sense of urgency and excitement. Also, remember to avoid words in the subject line that may trigger spam filters.
2. Keep It Short
Ask the most important and interesting questions first. Even the most loyal customers will loathe the expectation to complete a time consuming survey that is also irrelevant or seemingly pointless. Asking low-impact questions right in the beginning will cause customers to immediately lose interest.

Start the survey by engaging readers with an opportunity to provide meaningful feedback on issues that directly affect their customer experience. Keep in mind that each additional question has an increased likelihood of the participant abandoning the survey. Be conscience of the fact that participants are taking the survey on their own time and ultimately doing your business a favor.

Finally, avoid industry jargon and terminology that will confuse customers and discourage them from completing the survey. Do not assume that your customers are as familiar with the content as industry insiders. Make it as simple as possible for your customers to finish what they started.
3. Single Answer Multiple-Choice Questions
The answers to survey questions should be clearly defined revelations of customer opinions. Do not create multiple-choice answers that overlap and confuse readers into contemplating various choices. Multiple-answer questions will not provide as much significant data as single answer questions and are irritating for readers.

Keep in mind that every potential response may not be anticipated. Give customers a way to provide their own answer in case the reader does not like the choices you have provided.
4. Open-Ended Questions
Open-ended questions are a great way to get unexpected answers and customer input. Use them only in cases where a multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank question would not work. Open-ended questions tend to require more effort on behalf of the customers so use them sparingly.
5. Feedback
Provide feedback and follow up with all survey participants. Typically, you want to provide a copy of the survey results along with feedback. Utilize customer responses to a survey by opening up discussions around their open-ended answers. This can be the beginning of a very productive discussion that will improve your relationship with customers. Provide feedback and follow up promptly while survey participants still have the questions and answers fresh in their minds.

Email surveys are not as interactive as social media marketing or face-to-face discussions so it’s crucial to design them in a way that anticipates difficulties with interpretation or customer responses. There is only one chance to ask the question and only one chance for the customers to respond so try these 5 tips and make your email surveys count.

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