Ever since my teenage days reading Cosmo, Mademoiselle, and the like, I have been an avid survey taker. I still love taking surveys, only now that we are in the digital world, the enticement usually comes in the format of an email. Read on for a few useful tips to increase participation…
1. Use a clear and concise subject line that does not include any SPAM-y language. Most Subject Line Best Practices dictate that it should be no more than 35 characters, and with the primary message upfront. Also, avoid using all CAPS or $, as many Email Service Providers will filter your email and deliver to the SPAM folder, where its chances of being viewed are slim-to-none.
2. Provide an incentive. Be it extra miles, a chance to win a sweepstakes, or a gift card… You are asking your customers to do you a favor…show your appreciation and make it worth their while!
3. Be up front about the time needed to participate. Nobody wants to get sucked into taking a survey, only to find that the questions are seemingly never-ending! And be specific about the time… “Short” is relative, “5 minutes” is quantified.
4. Be clear about who you are. If you are using a third party to send your survey email, make sure to include your organization’s name in the subject line. If you are partnering with another organization, consider giving a brief explanation as to the reasons and benefits for the partnership.
5. Make it personal. Include the name of your respondents in the subject line and/or body of the email, and any other relevant information.
6. Give a deadline. This serves dual purposes: it provides a sense of urgency to complete the survey, and informs those survey takers who may not have time when they first open the email that they can’t procrastinate indefinitely. You may also want to consider sending a reminder message if your survey-takers have clicked on the original email, but not yet taken the survey (assuming they have not opted out from the first send).
7. Don’t forget to say Thank You! You can include language that thanks your participants in advance, and also send a follow-up Thank You email. Remember, everybody likes to feel appreciated. 🙂
A well-crafted email using the above Best Practices will ensure that you have a high participation rate in your survey.
What’s next?…Stay tuned for my follow-up blog piece: 7 Tips for the Creating the Perfect Online Survey