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Types of Surveys

Marketing Online: Surveys and Email Polls

The great thing about a survey is that it can be directly included in your message, allowing you to approach your audience instead of waiting for them to come to you. As far as email surveys go, you generally have two formatting options: HTML and plaintext. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, which we will briefly touch on below.

HTML Email Surveys

On the surface, HTML email surveys are a beautiful concept with very little downside. HTML gives you the ability to design a campaign that turns the survey into the actual message. This allows recipients to interact with the content and answer the questions as they would on a website right from their inbox. For the consumer who regularly interacts with email, this is just about as convenient as it gets.

HTML email surveys also have disadvantages, with the main one being that HTML itself is such a complex technology in the inbox. HTML is well known for its ability to act as the foundation for JavaScript, PHP, Ruby and other programming languages, but unfortunately, these technologies are a major security risk when introduced to the inbox and can be automatically stripped out to protect recipients. This is a factor that could make your beautiful, feature-rich survey a shell of itself when it is finally opened. There is also the longstanding issue of some mail clients having difficulty rendering HTML.

Plaintext Email Surveys

With plaintext, you are keeping your email survey as simple as possible using basic text to compose your questions. This format may suffice for readers with email clients that have a hard time rendering HTML, but the presentation of your survey will be dull, to say the least. In addition, ASCII coding practices must be followed in order to present your survey in a comprehensive format readers can understand, which often makes creating a simple plaintext survey more difficult than initially perceived.

Since using an email survey effectively can be such a challenge, some marketers opt to include a link that directs recipients to the questionnaire on their website. While this method can serve as a viable alternative, it also defeats the purpose of an email survey. Benchmark Email makes it simple to incorporate a survey or poll directly into your email, giving you a variety of formatting options and the ability to track your responses. Customize your questionnaire and send it with your email marketing campaigns, or publish on your website, and gather feedback through both channels.