Best Practices: Write Survey Request Emails that Work!

Surveys are a great way to get direct customer feedback, but the troublesome aspect of them is: how do you get people to actually willingly take part?

First, there are people and… people.

As a rule, people loyal to a brand or company won’t mind taking part in a survey for digital feedback. However, bear in mind that support does not come for granted.

Mindful surveys are welcome, especially if recipients understand the purpose, but spamming people with multiple boring surveys will stretch it too far.

Think of it this way: you like drinking coffee, but if you drink 15 cups a day, you’ll get sick and tired of it. Surveys work in the same way as do, for that matter, all types of emails.

Another group of people hates receiving any emails except for those they look forward to. Of course, there’s no way to know each recipients’ preferences, not even with the help of insights, so relying on an educated guess is a practice.

At Feedier we believe in this: don’t spam people no matter what you do. Create a strategy that will get you the desired information, but don’t send surveys too frequently.

Appeal for help

It works for a fact. Appeal to inborn altruism and engagement will rise.

Describe the purpose and reason for your survey

Tell people why they are here for surveys with zero info on purpose are headed to disaster.

That’s why you need to explain why the survey happens as early as possible, especially if you want to increase employee satisfaction and thus improve department/company workflows and profit.

Engage employees through gamified forms and Feedier.

Give people an idea of time it takes

People and uncertainty don’t get along, you know.

That’s why you need to set expectations on how long the survey might take. If the questionnaire is too long, frustration builds up, and that’s nothing but bad. Help people foresee time required to complete and ease the load with realistic time management.

Build urgency with an expiry date

Emails build up like crazy and there’s always something “else” to do. Some people will take a survey immediately, but most postpone.

State the expiry date as soon as you mention how long it would take.

Note: Once the survey expires, make sure that any person using the link from your initial email will be led to a message of the survey being no longer available.

Give medium to emotions

Feedier does that and many more

Keep survey verbiage short

A good survey email is similar to any other good email. It attracts recipients’ attention with a stellar subject line or ends up flagged as spam.

There’s a lot of info about subject lines out there, so we’ll keep it short.

  • Make subject lines concise, followed by relevant body text, not too long (you don’t want it to be cut on mobile devices, i.e.) and eye-catching.
  • Avoid stereotypes by all means. “Great deal!” is so annoying that even if your email is stellar, the recipient won’t read it.
  • Body text should expand on the subject line and shouldn’t include any excess information. I.e., don’t offer special deals or advertise your products.

Offer incentives to gamificate

Keep eyes on the prize and create a unique end-user experience.

  • Use automatic rewards delivery
  • Control probability and limit
  • Analyze the impact of rewards
  • Integrate s loyalty platform

Get More Feedback With Incentives

Mind expectations of those you survey

The key to any successful email marketing campaign is to know what your audience wants and needs.

Obviously, you perform surveys to gather answers to that question, but you need a starting premise to get a response. Remember the people willing to participate in your surveys?

You want to get more of those.

The simplest way to do this is by letting recipients know that the survey is all about a better experience. For example, if you ask them which products they would like to see next season, that’s a great approach. You may also want to ask what you can do to meet their expectations or advice on their favorite products.

The practice will not only leave you with the desired answers but will also offer additional insights into people’s shopping preferences or employee productivity. You may use this info in various ways, notably to come up with personalized shopping suggestions (similar or complementary products, for example).

Be frank and down to Earth

You’ve probably encountered pop-up surveys that announce how long answering them will take. More professional portals also include this information below article titles (i.e., “reading time”).

Everyone has a schedule, and this includes the time spent on survey answers. On that note, don’t exaggerate. No one will allocate an hour of their time to complete a survey. The shorter it is, the better, so craft the questions in the most efficient way possible.

Set a survey invite reminder

Look ahead and think of people that will postpone. We rarely forget on purpose and thus a reminder should come in place. Schedule a survey invitation reminder every few days till it expires

Let people know of results

When people vote, you better share the states. Sharing results is just one way to build rapport with your audience before anybody takes the survey. Promise people surveyed when results should be available.

Check out our guide to further learn:10 Questions You Should Ask To Seek The Best Customer Feedback

Pay attention to details

With phishing on the rise, people appreciate any validation you can provide. Add a signature and company contact information. It is also a good idea to state the link to the survey and a plainly visible call to action. Most brands use either a larger font or a different color or even a button to make the text stand out.

According to, your survey should comply with legislation of the country/countries in which the recipients reside or you risk facing trouble.

Related: How To Use Customer Feedback In Compliance With GDPR

Keep brand promotion subtle

This is extremely important since many brands make this mistake. How many times have you seen brands asking your opinion while presenting themselves as a field leader? Too many, I’d say! If you announce you are the best of the best that implies you don’t need any input (not to mention that the practice is plainly annoying). Rather, be neutral.

Final remarks

In a nutshell, a stellar survey should be concise, include a clear link to the source, a signature, and a call to action, show to recipients how completing it will benefit them, and not take too much of their precious time.

Mind the tone of the message; it’s a good practice to be consistent when you address customers, but that is a whole new topic in its own right.

Keep communication alive! If you normally answer customers’ queries, chances are, they will respond beneficially to surveys coming from your brand. After all, it’s all about trust.

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