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4 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Email Surveys

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Email surveys can provide businesses with a gold mine of information and insights from the people who matter most: customers. But if you’re just sending out a link and telling people to fill out a form, you’re missing out. You need to take a much more calculated approach.

Why Send an Email Survey?

When it comes to gathering feedback from customers, you have plenty of options. You can use website surveys, usability tests, reviews, testimonials, one-on-one interviews, or even traditional focus groups. But there’s one method that historically outperforms almost any other: email surveys.

Email surveys are a valuable source of gathering feedback for numerous reasons, including:


Rather than paying to drive traffic to a website or landing page where you cross your fingers and hope someone fills out a survey, email is a “free” method of targeting people who are already more likely than the average person to fill out your survey.

Easy to do

Email survey software makes it easy to send out different types of surveys and gather and analyze the results. By removing all manual steps from the equation, you simply sit back and wait for the results to tell you how to respond.


Email surveys are incredibly scalable. You can send a survey out to thousands of people at once with virtually no delay between the time you click “send” and the moment the email arrives in the recipient’s inbox. Entrepreneurs of previous decades would call it magic. Today, we just call it common sense.


When you send a survey via email, the recipient can fill out the survey at their own pace. Whether they want to do it immediately, or they’d prefer to wait a few hours until they have some free time…it’s their call. This generally produces higher conversion rates.


An email survey allows you to generate honest and transparent feedback that isn’t always possible in a focus group or one-on-one interview. There’s something about the anonymity that makes people more likely to tell you how they really feel. (Good or bad.)

4 Tips for Better Email Surveys

Few entrepreneurs or marketers will challenge the idea that email surveys are effective. The only pushback occurs with how to make the most out of them. And while every business has its own secret sauce, we recommend using the following tips:

Embed Surveys

Any extra step you ask of a customer creates an added layer of friction and lowers the chances that they’ll follow through. Keeping this in mind, embedding email surveys – rather than including a link to an external web page – can dramatically increase response rates. Give it a try and test it against the alternative. You’ll be surprised by the effectiveness.

Write Better Email Subject Lines

If you send an email survey and your subject line includes the word “survey,” you’re probably going to get a meager response rate. Why? Because nobody enjoys filling out a survey.

The key is to use a subject line that’s compelling enough to get people to open, but accurate enough to not catch them by surprise. You can get way more creative than this, but options include:

    • We’d love to know what you think!
    • Hey, George…Got a Second?
    • You Know Things…Will You Tell Us a Thing or Two?

See how much better these are than simply sending an email with a subject that reads: “Customer Survey.”

Create Urgency

While you’ll obviously accept feedback whenever a customer is willing to give it, you can increase response rates by instilling some sense of urgency. Do this by creating a deadline and then attaching some incentive to give people a reason to act.

Incentivize Responses

Speaking of incentives, what should you offer? Popular options include discount codes, free products, access to members-only content, lead magnets, etc. It should be enticing enough that people are willing to spend five minutes of their time “earning” it.

Adding It All Up

Email surveys are a simple, streamlined, and effective way of gathering customer feedback that ultimately empowers you to make smart and proactive decisions about your business’s future. By paying attention to the details, you can execute with precision and scale your business over time. Good luck!

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