Surveys may come in handy for the email marketer with the need to gather feedback and opinions from their target audience. They are helpful for gauging satisfaction following a sale, securing the next sale, improving customer service and much more. There are several kinds of email and online surveys and all of them can help you meet a specific business objective when used correctly. Here is a brief overview on four of the most effective types of surveys:

1. One-on-One Interviews

This first technique is a survey method companies have used for years to introduce new products to consumers. You could use it in a similar manner. For example, if you see that a visitor has browsed a certain product page, you can compose a little questionnaire to ask them what they think about the item and whether or not they’d buy it. Being that email is a one-to-one channel, this method could be perfect in the right situation.

2. Focus Group Approach

Here is another traditional survey method that also works well through the email channel. For some time now companies have been conducting interviews with people from different sex, age and various demographic groups to gather opinions. This approach can be used to obtain feedback from different segments of your audience. These focus groups are good for uncovering trends in how your subscribers shop and what they prefer.

3. Open-Ended Questionnaires

As the name implies, these surveys present questions that are left open – they can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. These questionnaires can help you gather a lot of information, including how your audience feels about your products or the market in general. Because these surveys tend to be more time consuming, using this approach means you are also asking more of your subscribers.

4. Web-Based Surveys

HTML makes it possible to embed surveys and polls directly into your email. However, whether or not they function properly is an entirely different story. The problem is that most of the widely used mail clients will automatically strip or disable any such forms included in a message. Even getting plaintext surveys to function as intended can be a tricky endeavor in the inbox. This is why it is highly recommended to simply create a survey on your web page and include a link to it in your email. Truth be told, this is currently the most reliable way to leverage surveys as an email marketer.

Brands are increasingly using email and online surveys to collect valuable feedback, profile customers and drive business. Customers like to know that companies value their opinion, so whether it’s a simple poll or a more in-depth questionnaire, the survey can be powerful business tool that keeps a marketer in the know.