When it comes to email surveys, you have to tread lightly. About a third of survey recipients tend to leave them unfinished, and the majority will dump them in their trash folders if they contain the word “Survey” in the subject line.
However, surveys are critical for remaining competitive. They’re a necessary component in understanding your consumer’s needs and making improvements to your products and marketing plans.
It’s not just that surveys run the risk of being time-consuming and boring for the recipient; spending time putting them together can be futile because marketers aren’t sure how many people will actually fill them out.
So, to simplify things and assist you in gaining critical consumer feedback, here are some best practices that will not only encourage your consumers to open your survey emails but also complete them.
13 Best Practices To Get Your Customers to Fill Out Your Email Surveys
1. It’s All About the Subject Lines
The email subject line is the first impression your recipients have of your email. It can be the deciding factor in whether or not your emails are opened. It’s important to make the subject line stand out to set the tone for your survey.
Before you craft your subject line, take note that surveys aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. No one wants to answer those “Make the Company Better” surveys, and if your subject lines mention the word “Survey,” I’m afraid to say that you’ve already lost half the battle.
Try to write a subject line that involves your customer in the process, or, better yet, make it all about them.
Instead of: “Help us improve.”
Try: “Your expertise required” or “Let’s chat.”
You can easily see how the above subject lines involve the customer in a conversation and pulling them involving them.
2. Personalization Is Key
74% of marketers say personalization increases customer engagement rates. But, email personalization isn’t just about using their names in the subject lines or within the email body; it’s more than that. It’s about taking advantage of details like your user’s demographics, their purchase history, how much money they’ve spent on your platform, etc., and using it for a highly targeted and personalized user experience.
Collecting and organizing this amount of data requires a versatile platform, so make sure you’re investing in a sophisticated email marketing platform that also comes with robust automation, and CRM capabilities built-in or that integrates well with other CRM platforms.
To personalize your email surveys, try sending one with their most recent purchase, asking them what their experience with that product is.
273 customers love the [product] you also bought. We must say, you’ve got incredible taste!
Here’s what others are loving about this product:
[Customer testimonials on product]
We would certainly love to hear about your stories and experience with the product too.
What you’ve got to say? We’re all ears!
[link to survey]
3. Don’t Be Boring, Get Creative
Marketing is all about creativity.
Whether you’re creating an email survey, the subject line, or just writing your marketing content, you have to be creative. Otherwise, there’s no point in expecting any kind of return at all.
Creative approaches get remembered and see results.
Remember that Pepsi commercial where a child is at a vending machine and buys two Coca-Cola cans, stands on them, and then buys a Pepsi can?
Creativity can take many forms: imagery, video, text, or any other media format. It hooks your customers, and when you have their full attention, they’re more compelled to take action.
A survey email by Just Right.
4. Use the Fact that People Love Incentives
Business is all about giving and then receiving. If you need a little extra help getting someone to complete a survey, try providing a discount on a product or service offering.
Offer a 15% discount on their next purchase for taking the survey, and see how many survey responses you get. You can also try sending a unique discount code to those who completed the survey.
Not everyone will redeem their offers, but this approach will show you the top-performing offers so you can adjust your marketing efforts accordingly. You’ll be able to see what products and services have a higher survey response rate and apply this knowledge to future survey efforts.
5. Brevity Never Goes Unappreciated
More than half of your customers will not go beyond the first few survey questions. Why?
People’s attention spans are only so big. If they don’t find the current item on their screen interesting enough, they’ll continue to scroll or move along to the next item on their to-do list. Keeping this in mind, create surveys that are short, simple, and as engaging as possible.
One to three minutes should be the maximum time limit for filling out a survey, containing 10-15 questions maximum. This also shows your survey takers that you respect and value their time.
6. Make it for Them, Not for You
If you mention how the survey will help you or your company to grow, it’s not going to keep your recipient’s attention very long, let alone encourage them to fill out the survey at all. Instead, show them how filling out the survey will benefit them.
Instead of: “This survey will help our company improve and grow.”
Try: “By filling out this survey, you will help us to serve you better.”
7. Mention How Much Time Filling Out the Survey Will Take
If you want people to respond to your questions, make sure you state how long it will take them to do so. If the survey is lengthy and may take 10 minutes or more, tell the truth.
More than likely, survey takers will be more than happy to start this survey if they know how long it’ll take them. As stated earlier, this shows them that you respect their time, which builds trust and authenticity for your brand.
8. Combine Urgency With Incentives
We already mentioned the power of offering incentives, but pair that with a sense of urgency, and you have a winning survey strategy. Adding urgency can increase your conversion rate and provide the feeling of FOMO, which a lot of people can’t refuse.
“You’re eligible for a 20% discount on all our products. Complete this 5-step survey to grab it before midnight.”
You can also embed countdown timers in your emails and on the survey page to get people to take action fast.
9. Use Embedded Email Surveys
Using AMP-enabled embedded email forms or simply writing a question and then sending it can improve response rates because it’s more straightforward. The likelihood of getting people to participate in surveys increases since they’re not redirected to any external link.
10. Make the Survey Mobile-Friendly
Make sure your surveys render on mobile and are responsive on all devices.
Otherwise, if you send a survey link to people and it doesn’t work on their mobile devices, you run the risk of getting full participation. Make sure you check your survey beforehand on multiple devices to maximize your conversion rate.
11. Use a Powerful Call to Action
Like the email subject line, the call to action you include in your survey email may make or break whether or not your recipients fill out the survey.
Including a strong call to action is an important practice for email marketing. Why? Because it’s highly probable that readers will skip the email body and go directly to the CTA.
Since it may be the only thing your readers see, it’s crucial that it’s compelling enough to inspire action.
12. Be Thankful
A good business always practices gratitude. Make sure you always thank your customers for their time.
First and foremost, it’s the polite thing to do. Second, it makes people feel acknowledged and special because, in reality, they’re doing you a favor. Third, this is also a way for you to confirm that you’ve received their answers.
If possible, also deliver a custom message with a funny image or a video clip to make them laugh. This will surely make their day.
13. Track Engagement and Send Follow-Ups
Implementing tracking for your surveys will help you analyze which questions your survey takers dropped off at, what your success rate is, and what questions are converting the best or worst. By analyzing this data, you can always come up with new and improved strategies to level up your survey game.
Moreover, using tools like Thrive Quiz Builder can help you both put together surveys and track each and every step of the flow.
It also minimizes your efforts by displaying all the necessary data you need to analyze, like which questions have a higher drop rate, what’s the completion rate, how many reached the results page, and how many shares your survey received.
An email list for your business is the most important asset you can ever have.
And to further maximize your efforts, you’ll always need to have a feedback system so you can see which changes have to be made in order to bring in more revenue and customers.
Surveys aren’t easy to conduct, so you have to make sure you’re using the appropriate survey software and tools, asking the right questions, keeping a check on whether your customers will answer them, and then interpreting their responses correctly in order to take actionable steps towards success.
I hope these little pieces of information will help your business craft out a better survey strategy so you can stay informed on what your customers like, what they don’t like, and areas your business can improve upon.
Palash Nag is a freelance content marketer who covers all aspects of digital marketing that help businesses grow including SEO, content marketing, copywriting, social media and more. Connect with him on Twitter: @palashnagannu.
10 Brilliant Email Subject Lines to Boost Your Open Rates
Most people involved in email marketing know the importance of a brilliant email subject line. Seeing that you only get a few seconds to nail your email’s first impression, the subject line obsession is more than justified.
That is why crafting poor email subject lines is one of the biggest email marketing mistakes, regardless of how established your brand might already be.
Apart from nailing that first impression, your email subject line is the most decisive factor for recipients to open your email and engage with its content. Even worse, it’s what could get your email marked as spam and harm your sender’s reputation.
The numbers seem ruthless, but we reassure you there is a way out. All you need is a talented marketing team and a bit of creativity. We know you already have the first part, so all we need to do is help you with the second part. Continue reading to discover how to create clever email subject lines that get noticed – and, most importantly, opened.
What Makes a Great Email Subject Line
Creating email subject lines that grab readers’ attention and serve your marketing objectives should be your top priority. To achieve that, there are certain elements that subject lines should have, no matter what. Let’s check them out:
- Make it brief. Email subject lines are meant to be short and show the email’s value beforehand. That is even more important, seeing that many recipients will open your emails on mobile devices. Fortunately, most ESPs like AWeber and the most reliable AWeber alternatives allow you to preview how your emails look on different device types and check the components you must improve.
- Get to the point. Email recipients are busy people looking for the benefits that come with the emails delivered to their inboxes. To stand out in such a crowded space, you need to share what valuable insights your emails have in store for them. So, if you can help your audience see outstanding results and want to spread the news, your email subject line is the appropriate place.
- Keep it relevant. Your email subject line could be clever, unique, and precise. But if it doesn’t match the email content, it will do more harm than good. Your subject lines should be aligned with your email objective so that readers know what to expect and if they are interested in reading more. The last thing you want is to make a promise you won’t keep and make them feel misled.
- Personalize and conquer. Most subscribers have received tons of emails and have grown weary of emails without personalization elements. They need to feel special and that your brand has done its homework about who they are and what they want. Use the recipient data you have at your disposal to show them you care and give a human touch to your email promotions.
- Avoid spammy tactics. Would you open an email with a subject line that is fully capitalized and includes spam-triggering words? Probably not, and neither will your subscribers. To stay away from spam, avoid too many special characters, excessive capitalization, and spammy words like “buy,”, “money,”, or “click”.
Brilliant Email Subject Line Types That Get Opened
There are several approaches to catching your email recipients’ attention, from employing humor to piquing their curiosity. But putting in that creative spirit is a whole different matter, right? That’s why we compiled a list of the most brilliant email subject line examples to spark your inspiration and help you increase your open rates.
When you include an element of urgency in your email subject lines, your recipients will open your emails in no time. Consumers tend to prioritize their purchase decisions based on the time sensitivity of the offer, and recipients are no different. Words like “now” or “limited time” can work wonders for your open rates, triggering subscribers to open and click through your email. So, if you have a time-sensitive offer, choose your marketing messaging wisely to highlight it in your email subject line. However, don’t overdo this type of promotion since receiving too many limited-time-only deals could get the opposite results and annoy your subscribers.
Subject line: Limited-time offer: free premium wristband with any Steel HR purchase.
Nokia is a brand that knows how to influence its subscribers to take the desired action and move down the sales funnel. This Valentine’s email promotion leverages time-sensitive language to create urgency. Not only that, but they made sure to include all the necessary information for readers to know what the deal is about. Recipients appreciate it when you save them time, and they can tell if they are interested in your promotion beforehand.
Highlight your personality
Most experienced marketing professionals are aware of the benefits personalization brings to the table. But while tweaking email elements to the recipient’s preferences is of utmost importance, getting personal isn’t just about that. Subscribers love authenticity and unique marketing messages that stand out from the crowd. Your email subject lines must reflect your brand personality, no matter the email objective. But for this tip to work, you must establish your brand’s tone of voice. You can play it funny, witty, professional, or whatever characteristic fits your business objectives. So, get your creative juices flowing as long as you keep it relevant and consistent with your overall branding.
Subject line: Your cart is sobering up
Abandoned carts are an integral part of a successful e-commerce email marketing strategy, and it’s an excellent field to showcase your brand personality. From start to finish, the email copy is brilliant and reveals the personality behind the brand. Liquor Loot uses a clever pun in the subject line related to the product left behind. The email content is aligned with the subject line and the overall brand tone. Even if recipients don’t click on that “Treat yourself” CTA, they will open the email and relate the tone to the brand the next time they get an email from them.
Email subject lines that announce exclusive deals, one-time offers, or special discounts are usually the ones with the highest open rates. That’s because they lead with the benefits, letting readers know what they can gain from opening and reading the email content. By being clear with your recipients from the start, you build a trusting relationship with them. When your email delivers on the promise in the subject line, you are one step closer to building customer loyalty. So, if your product or service solves an everyday challenge and helps them meet their goals, your email subject line should give readers a hint. To successfully follow this tip, make sure the language you use is actionable and precise, urging them to take action.
Subject line: Get a free handcrafted gift when you
This email subject line from Starbucks does much more than just mention a specific offer. They keep the recipient hanging on by stopping mid-sentence, almost forcing them to open the email and learn on what occasion they get the free drink. It’s straightforward, precise, and worth their while. From the benefits-oriented verb to the actionable email CTA, this email is about the reader taking the desired action within the specified time limit.
Ask a question
Posing questions is a popular content optimization strategy. Questions come with a double benefit: they increase recipients’ engagement and pique their curiosity. When subscribers come across a question in your subject line, it forces them to stop and think about the answer. To draw recipients into your email content, opt for intriguing questions that could open up a conversation rather than one with a simple yes or no answer. The sky is the limit here, but try to keep up with rising audience trends while staying on-brand. Their natural curiosity will be more than enough for them to want to learn more about it.
Subject line: How much do you know about sleep?
Casper’s subject line isn’t just posing a question. The email subject line takes it one step further by giving them an idea of what the email is about. That way, recipients know exactly what’s in it for them and expect to find helpful information regarding their sleeping habits once they open the email. This email subject line example ticks all the boxes by combining an intriguing question that picks recipients’ interest and valuable content that addresses their pain points.
Catchy Email Subject Line Examples
When it comes to email subject lines and the elements you could include to grab your readers’ attention, the sky is the limit. To stir your creative juices, we will present some of the most catchy email subject line examples that left us no choice but to open the emails.
- Subject line: Forget FOMO—see what’s waiting for you (Nike)
Looking for ways to leverage FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) in a subject line to catch your recipient’s eye? FOMO is a psychological factor that many marketers rely on to motivate their target audience. Nike is our winner here. Readers know the email content addresses their needs just by reading the subject line. By asking recipients to forget about FOMO, Nike makes them feel included and that they are about to enter a world of exclusive deals and compelling product recommendations.
- Subject line: Get the story behind the brand (Drizly)
You can take one thing for granted: people love stories. Recipients have grown weary of companies going and on about their selling proposition. Sharing the story behind your brand adds a human touch to your emails. Your subscribers are curious about how everything started. Drizly’s subject line is attention-grabbing and straightforward. Email recipients appreciate knowing what they will read beforehand – in this case, inside information that makes them feel part of Drizly’s exciting journey.
- Subject line: Quiz: Which shower scent fits you best? (Harry’s)
Quizzes are among the most effective elements marketers can use to increase engagement. Even if a recipient isn’t interested in buying, the word quiz in an email subject line will make your email stand out in a stuffed inbox. That’s why Harry’s subject line highlights the quiz included and what it’s about. The quiz is related to the brand’s products, so recipients will be prompted to take it and find which shower scent matches their personality. And why not buy it, may we add.
- Subject line: Your basket is having abandonment issues… 🙁 (Jack Wills)
Humor is, by definition, a crucial element to include in a catchy email subject line. Companies that employ it in their subject lines watch their open rates and recipient engagement increase. This email subject line from Jack Wills is clever and to the point. It puts a smile on the reader’s face and motivates them to open the email, go back to their abandoned items, and proceed with the purchase.
- Subject line: You asked, we answered: What do I get as a member? (Thrive)
We can’t stress this enough; your audience loves knowing you care for them instead of just selling. Even more so when you hear them and are willing to address their concerns. This is precisely why this subject line from Thrive is so successful. It gives precise information on what readers will read in the email, meaning the benefits they gain as members. Subscribers always appreciate getting the answers they asked for, and “You asked, we answered” is as customer-centric as it gets.
- Subject line: Share your thoughts and get a chance at a $200 gift card! (Everlane)
Including surveys in your emails is highly recommended to increase recipients’ engagement. Surveys make customers feel their opinion matters and could shape your marketing strategy. In this email, Everlane isn’t limited to asking subscribers to answer the survey. The brand takes it one step further by adding a compelling incentive and highlighting it in the email subject line. Recipients are eager to offer feedback to a brand they have already interacted with. Even more so when it comes with a chance to win a $200 gift card.
An email subject line is a critical component of every email promotion, giving marketers’ a headache each time they start crafting an email campaign. That’s because this tiny piece of content urges or discourages email recipients from opening an email. And seeing that they get tons of emails every day, you need to make that limited-character text count.
To do that, make sure to study your target audience and employ a brand tone that hits their soft spots. Create time-sensitive offers, ask questions they will be eager to answer, and always remember to show why your email marketing message is worth their while. Whatever you do, ensure you monitor how your email subject lines perform.
All you need is reliable email marketing software with A/B testing capabilities that allow you to check what works and what doesn’t. Even if you discover your subject lines hit the target, don’t rest on your laurels and use those insights to continue tweaking your subject lines to drive long-term success.