Alert Solutions Blog

Increase Email Survey Responses for Valuable Feedback: 4 Steps to Follow

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Aug 13, 2015 @ 11:08 AM

Does your organization send out email surveys?  They are particularly helpful in gaining valuable feedback from customers and prospects.  They are even fun to put together!

But the problem is rarely creating or sending the email survey, it’s getting a high survey response rate.  Organizations rushing to meet deadlines or eager to collect responses sometimes overlook important fundamentals and receive a lower survey response rate than they could otherwise achieve.

If your organization has ever wondered what could be done differently to maximize the number of email survey responses, check out the following four steps:

Step #1:  Send the Email Survey at the Right TimeEmailSurvey
You’d be surprised at how important send time is to ANY email marketing campaign, including email surveys.  Sending your email survey before the masses could get it buried in the inbox,
 while sending at peak times could get it opened, abandoned, and forgotten about before it’s completed. 
Step #2:  Emphasize the Importance of the Email Survey Response
If your recipient feels that their survey response is appreciated and valuable, they are more likely to take the time to respond.  Start with the email’s subject line; make sure it emphasizes importance.  Personalizing the message to your recipient is also helpful in making them feel appreciated rather than generic.
Step #3:  Only Include the Most Important Questions
We get it; there are many things you’d like your customers’ or prospects’ opinion on.  But with all of the email volume today, it’s a good bet that your recipients have become experts at “skimming”, or briefly scanning for any information that appeals to them.  This is why it’s crucial to keep email surveys short-and-sweet.  Complex and multi-step questions could turn-off the reader and cause them to abandon the email survey mid-way, or worse, not start it at all.
Step #4:  Don’t Hesitate to Send a Reminder
There’s definitely no harm in sending a reminder to those that don’t complete your email survey after the first request.  In fact, it’s a good opportunity to gather even more responses.  Just don’t be overbearing – you don’t want to risk opt-outs from your email marketing campaigns altogether.
Don’t let all of the effort you put in to customer email surveys go to waste; get the most responses that you can!
To learn more tips and tricks, download our Email Survey Best Practice Kit!

Topics: email surveys, email marketing, email marketing best practices

Getting Started - Top 5 Email Survey Best Practice Tips

Posted by Nina Russo on Wed, Aug 15, 2012 @ 10:08 AM

The days of sending paper surveys in the mail are long gone, and businesses are utilizing email survey distribution to get a sense of what their audiences, subscribers and recipients are seeking most. 

It’s safe to say that email surveys are one of the most cost effective ways to get the data you need. More than anything, you have the opportunity to view the answers of those email surveys in real time.

Efficiently gathering feedback, analyzing it, and acting on it in a meaningful way can increase your business or organization’s success and strengthen your relationships.

Below are a few email survey best practice tips to get you started:

1. Create Your Email Survey for Easily Measurable Results Email Survey Response Rates
Asking close-ended questions is a great way to generate results that are easy to analyze. Close-ended questions also make it easier for the email survey taker to breeze through the questions and provide you with quantifiable data. Asking more close-ended questions also will improve your email survey response rates.

2. Question Order Matters
The first couple of questions should be easy and interesting to engage the respondent and encourage them to complete the email survey. Try and keep personal or demographic-related questions to the end. Odds are, if they took the time to complete your email survey, they are more likely to provide some of their personal information at the end.

3. Don’t Bias the Response
Ask email survey questions in a manner that will not trend responses in a particular way. Avoid using “Always” or “Never” extremes as they can bias responses in the opposite direction.

4. Send Your Email Survey to the Right People
To make the most out of your email survey efforts, you have to send it to the right people. For an ideal response rate, we recommend sending your email survey to the segment of your target audience that will care most about the topic and are most engaged in your other communication activities.

5. Share the Results.
Once the email survey is complete and the data is collected and analyzed, let the respondents know what you’ve learned and what actions you’ll be taking as a result. Offer your respondent the opportunity to see the email survey results. The simplest way to do this is to generate a summary report and post it on your website. Sometimes, an organization may even add value to their email survey by sending out a PowerPoint summary or showcasing the results in the next email newsletter.

For more email survey tips and tricks, download our Email Survey Best Practice Kit today!

Topics: email surveys, email marketing best practices

Generate Valuable Customer Testimonials with the Help of Surveys

Posted by Philip Young on Mon, Jul 02, 2012 @ 10:07 AM

Has your organization ever sent out a survey to its target audience?  If so, you know that you can gain priceless feedback about customer satisfaction, the way your organization is perceived and even valuable testimonials! 

But how do you go about collecting this information while making your recipient feel empowered, not imposed?  Surveys are a great place to start.

Step 1 
Email Survey or Phone Survey

Construct your survey.  It’s important to tailor the survey in a way that will receive the
most valuable responses.  For example, “Describe your favorite feature of ‘Product X’?”  Also, what qualities do you want potential future customers to know about? Give respondents a choice, too.  You want your email surveys to be as confident and honest as possible and open ended questions can return that.

Step 2  
Will you send out an email survey or voice survey?  Which channel of communication does your organization most commonly use?  Obviously, email surveys are much less intrusive and easier to analyze, but if you conduct a lot of voice broadcasting already, your recipients may prefer to receive a voice survey instead.  Furthermore, when will your survey be deployed?  Deploying your email survey or voice survey at the correct time is very important to gaining a positive and valuable testimonial.

Step 3
Lastly, segment your list of recipients.  Those that are most and least satisfied are likely to share their opinion, regardless of the product or service.  Your recipients in the mid-range may be complacent but not enough so to share their voice.  Segment your list, and target your email survey or voice towards the most engaged on your marketing list.

Don’t forget to ask for permission!  If you want to use names, you will need to disclose how, when and where the testimonial will be used.  To play it safe, proof any testimonials with each contact first.  Good luck!

For email and voice survey tips and tricks, download our white paper “Creating Effective Surveys That Generate Response” today!


Topics: email surveys, phone survey

Develop an Effective Email Survey from the Ground Up

Posted by Nina Russo on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 @ 12:04 PM

Does your organization utilize email surveys?  If so, you know they are invaluable to gaining feedback directly from the clients and prospects you rely on most. 

But how do you know whether or not your email survey will be effective? In this post, we’ll discuss a variety of tips and tricks to keep in mind as you develop your next email survey. 

Developing an effective email survey from the ground up not only maximizes response rates, but the value of the data and the likelihood that you’ll build loyal, recurring customers.

Before listing questions, ask “what is the goal of our email survey?”  What kind of information are you looking to attain?  And, more importantly, what are you going to do with the data once it’s collected?

Once the purpose of your email survey has been clearly identified, begin brainstorming which questions to ask.  In doing so, we’ve found the following tips helpful in collecting the most responses:

1. Don’t Ask Too MuchImprove Response Rates with Effective Email Surveys
Be mindful of your email survey’s length, short and succinct surveys typically receive the most responses.

2. Keep it Consistent
Focus your email survey around one or similar topics, as irrelevant questions could confuse the recipient or discourage them from responding altogether.

3. Reduce Open-Ended Questions
It’s challenging to narrow everything down to a “yes/no” or a multiple choice, but email survey administrators have found that too many open-ended questions decrease response rates.  Because they require more effort to respond to, they require even more on your end to collate and analyze.

Test your email survey internally once it’s compiled; how is the format, the length and the wording?  Will the information collected be constructive?  And as always, incentivizing can maximize response rates.

To learn more about leveraging email surveys to capture the information you need, download Alert Solutions' E-Survey Best Practice Kit today.

Topics: email surveys

Top 5 Ways to Increase Email Survey Response Rates

Posted by Nina Russo on Fri, Jan 27, 2012 @ 16:01 PM

It’s important to know what your customers, old and new, think about you and your products or services. One of the most effective ways to reach out is with an email survey.

The days of sending paper surveys in the mail are long gone, and marketers are utilizing email survey distribution to get a sense of what their audiences, subscribers and recipients are seeking most. 

Email is hard to beat for cost-effectiveness when it comes to wanting to know what your customers think about you. But there are still businesses out there who don’t leverage their marketing lists to poll clients and prospects.

Below are the top 5 ways to help increase the response rates of your email survey:

1. Keep the Email Survey as Short as PossibleEmail Survey Response Rates
To increase email survey participation, make your invitations concise and straightforward. As for the actual email survey, using too many open-ended questions can make email surveys feel longer than they actually are. Reduce the number of questions, or even include a progress bar to show what has been completed.

2. Personalize Your Email Surveys
Personalized email campaigns are an effective way to relate to your target audience. Merging a person’s name or location into the email survey invite can go a long way towards generating a higher response rate.

3. Target Your Message
The content and tone of your email survey invite should be crafted based on your target audience and should reflect your audience’s specific interests and needs.How relevant your message or offer is to the recipient determines how likely they are to respond.

4. Send Reminders to Increase Response Rates
Send reminders to those who have not yet responded to your initial email survey invite. You should not, however, send more than two reminders or send reminders to those who have already completed the email survey.

5. Optimize Send-Time
Send email surveys when your audience is most likely to receive them and respond, as this varies for each industry. For more information on send-time optimization, click here.

Topics: email surveys

Segment Your List More Efficiently with Help from Surveys

Posted by Nina Russo on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 @ 15:12 PM

Effective communication with clients and prospects requires developing a relationship that is focused on addressing their needs. 

Businesses that employ list segmentation techniques are able to group their audiences based upon their preferences in order to send the most targeted mailings possible. 

In fact, research has found that list segmentation strategies List Segmentationincrease the relevancy of your messages-resulting in higher open and click-through rates.

Businesses actively searching for new methods to segment their lists are now sending out email surveys and voice surveys to collect additional information that may be previously unknown.  


This information can be used in addition to your subscriber fields to put you in a better position to segment your list. 


Your audience will be more willing to participate especially if you explain you are asking these questions so that you can send more relevant content


This information will be a good indicator of your subscribers’ future behavior and will form the basis of how you achieve truly targeted email marketing.


For more survey tips and tricks, click here to download our Survey Best Practice Guide for Email and Voice

Topics: list segmentation, email surveys, phone survey

3 Tactics to Increase Email Survey Response Rates

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 @ 12:09 PM

One of the best ways to keep your finger on the pulse of your business is to gather feedback from your most valuable asset: your clients and prospects. Collecting feedback through email surveys is an effective way to allow your audience to offer their opinion.

Efficiently gathering feedback, analyzing it, and acting on it in a meaningful way can increase your business or organization’s success and strengthen your relationships.

However, getting your audience to complete an email survey can be challenging. There are some well-accepted ways to increase response rates of email surveys. Here are three tactics:

Share the Results
Offer your respondent the opportunity to see the email survey results. The simplest way to do this is to generate a summary report and post it on your website. Sometimes, an organization may even add value to their email survey by sending out a PowerPoint summary or showcasing the results in the next email newsletter.

Identify Others Who Care About the Results
All of the people who care about your email survey results can help prepare your respondents by announcing your survey at meetings, in newsletters or in email marketing campaigns.

Send a Reminder
Send a reminder notification to all recipients who have not responded to your email survey. You will probably receive a third to a half as many responses to the first reminder as you did to the initial invitation, but that is more responses then you would have gotten without the reminder.

For more blog posts about email surveys, click here.

Topics: email surveys

Email Surveys vs. Phone Surveys: Which is Better for Your Business?

Posted by Nina Russo on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 @ 14:08 PM

Surveys collect very valuable information that organizatioEmail Surveys and Phone Surveysns can use to send highly targeted and relevant marketing communications. 

Because relevance is absolutely crucial to effective marketing, what better way than to ask your audience about their interests, pain points, or any offers they may want to receive?

Marketers often go about surveying in two ways:  by email or by phone, but which is best for your business? 


Here are some things to consider before deploying your next phone or email survey:

Live phone surveys tend to be more amiable and personable than email surveys.  The caller can answer any questions, or provide information such as the reason for the survey, the expected time to complete and the use of the collected information. 

Phone surveys may be harder to ignore than email surveys.  Catching survey recipients on the telephone may provide more responses than those who would normally delete the email survey.

Email surveys are much more anonymous and less intrusive than phone surveys, allowing the recipient to provide their opinion from the privacy and confines of their own home, on their own time. 

Email surveys are more cost-effective than phone surveys.  Creating, deploying and collecting the results of an email survey are far more automated than dialing and tallying results individually.

Your Audience
Do you have a good demographic snapshot of your intended audience?  If so, consider deploying voice surveys to those that are older and email surveys to those that are younger. 

Ultimately, there are pro’s and con’s for both email surveys and voice surveys.  With that being said, deploy surveys by both voice and email to your audience.  Decide what works best for the information you are trying to gather, and the recipients you are trying to get that information from.

Topics: email surveys, phone survey

Using Email Surveys to Increase Email Marketing Campaign ROI

Posted by Nina Russo on Wed, Jun 08, 2011 @ 13:06 PM

Email Surveys Increase Email Marketing RelevanceInboxes are bigger than ever with offers, pitches, spam and even an occasional personal email from friends and family.  People are simply overwhelmed with email. 

Even with double opt-in subscribers, how does an email marketer stand out from all the noise, and run profitable email marketing campaigns? One word: Relevance. 

One of the few ways you can provide relevance is to ask subscribers what is relevant to them in an email survey.  Here are a few questions you can ask subscribers in order to offer relevant content, which generates response, and response, sales.

1. Who Is On Your Email Marketing List?

2. What Do They Expect?

Ask what they are currently struggling with in their industry. 

Ask what they will be experiencing in the near future to better plan your email marketing campaigns topic schedule.

3. When to Communicate?
This is tricky as subscribers may not know the answers, but simply asking these questions shows that you care, and knowing the answers will have a positive impact on your email marketing effectiveness.

Ask when the best day of week and time of day is best to receive email marketing campaigns from your business.

Ask how often they would like to hear from you. 

Be sure to thank subscribers for their time and participation after completing the email survey.  Review the feedback, and strategize how to improve your email marketing content going forward. 

As you implement changes based on email survey results, not only will your subscribers appreciate you asking, but they will have a tighter connection to you, resulting in less spam complaints, more responsiveness and more sales generating from your email marketing campaigns.

Topics: email surveys, email marketing

Email Surveys, a Marketer’s Best Friend

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, Feb 24, 2011 @ 12:02 PM

The days of sending paper surveys in the mail are long gone, and marketers are utilizing email survey distribution to get a sense of what their audiences, subscribers and recipients are seeking most. 

Bloomberg Buinessweek learned this first hand.  Following the redesign of their publication last year was a survey sent to subscribers to see what they would most like to see in the revamp. The results were profound, according to head of circulation at Bloomberg, Alec Casey.  The respondents surely shaped a lot of what went in to the changes.describe the image

Many other companies are using email surveys to better understand their audiences, too.  With response rates for email surveys likely to be much higher than other email marketing content, it is also an effectual way to engage your recipients in the decision making process.

Of course, email surveys have to be done right to gauge the maximum response.  Experts suggest limiting the number of questions or including a “progress bar” to show the respondent their level of completion with the survey.  Additionally, incentives can always help boost participation rates. 

Have you ever utilized email surveys to get the information you need out of your customers?  Tell us about it on the Alert Solutions blog!

Topics: email surveys

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