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Show Me The Money: The Secrets Of Getting Responses To Your Online Survey

If you’re contemplating sending a survey to your existing or prospective customers chances are you’ll be sending it via email. The act of creating the online survey itself has been made relatively easy using tools like SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo. The hard part is getting people to respond to your email survey request.

There are a lot of things you need to get right if you are going persuade respondents to take your survey. So what are these things? I’m going to share a good example I received recently and break down exactly what works well. After taking these ideas on board and adding a few more you’ll be able to start creating your own persuasive survey emails in no time.

Here’s a copy of a survey email I got from a restaurant booking service called Dimmi a while ago.

survey results analysis and survey statistical analysis

What Works Well Here 

1. It’s personalized
This simple tactic has immediately got my attention. Suspicion arises when you open your email to see “Dear Customer”. Good survey tools will allow you to mail merge so that you can import your contact’s first names from your list so that each survey respondent will have a personalized email sent to them.

2. WIFM – What’s In It For Me?
Dimmi does a good job of explaining that by taking the survey I can be rewarded with a free meal. Admittedly I will have to review eight bookings in total before I can claim my free meal but there is clearly something in it for me. You may choose to enter survey respondents into a draw to win a prize. You may offer a discount code on a future purchase. Your level of generosity will depend on how established your business is and the importance of your survey.

3. Clear Call To Action (CTA)
The second sentence of the Dimmi email is a bolded “Click Here” placed before a colourful link that will click through to the online survey. This makes it easy for me as the respondent to take action. There is little confusion about where or how to take the survey. As with all good emails cutting through clutter and getting to the point is more likely to avoid a delete button. Having a clear CTA will help focus the reader’s attention on what you require them to do.

How You Can Go Even Further

So you’ve seen a good example of what works well but what other techniques can you use to get your respondents to show you the money?

1. Specify how much time it will take to complete the survey
For example by giving your email respondents a friendly warning that the survey will take approximately 5 minutes they will both appreciate the upfront honesty and realize that if its a quick survey they can likely complete it on the spot.

2. Set a deadline
Setting a deadline for completing the survey will also increase the likelihood of a response. Having an open-ended survey means it may get archived and forgotten about if there is no sense of urgency made clear in the text.

3. Explain why collecting their feedback is important
Letting your respondents know that by providing survey responses they are influencing your brand and are part of the journey. For example if you have a product and are seeking feedback from your customers let them know that by taking the survey they are helping to shape the future of that product. Things like upcoming features, brand communications and customer support.

4. Send it from a real person
Ensure your email is sent from your personal name rather than a generic company email address. This simple tactic helps improve your open rates and reinforces that the message is coming from another human being.

5. Have a benefits-based subject line
A final thing to think about for your survey emails is the subject line. Think about your WIFM strategy above. Try and link what is important to the respondent to the subject line.

6. Mobile Responsive 
Make a clear and quick reference to the survey being compatible with mobile and tablet devices. This will increase the chance of participation as you are enabling the recipient to complete the survey on the move.

Get That Survey Out

What are you waiting for? Sign up to a survey tool and use the tips above to create a survey email guaranteed to get your respondents clicking through and provide you with valuable data.

What other tips and tricks have worked for you when sending out survey emails?

Practical tips on how to get more responses to your surveys, survey results analysis and
survey statistical analysis.

About Luke Ryan

Luke Ryan does marketing for DataCracker. He writes on the blog and works on community and coverage. He loves to answer your questions about all things DataCracker.