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Debunking Online Invitation Myths

This is an article written by MaritzCX for the purpose of examining survey behaviors through data analysis, where the connections are illustrated.

Debunking the Myths

While much of what we do is evidence-based, we have had a persistent belief that respondents are more likely to complete surveys on “Magic Tuesday.”

Over the years, MaritzCX has formally and informally analyzed our online data collection practices. We’ve looked at everything from email invitations to engaging look and feel to optimizing web-based surveys for mobile devices. While much of what we do is evidence-based, we have had a persistent belief that respondents are more likely to complete surveys on “Magic Tuesday.” This paper will discuss the findings from some of our own experiences with client programs.

Somewhere along our migration to online data collection it was concluded that Tuesday is the best day of the week to blast email survey invitations. One of our early adopter lodging clients decided on Tuesday was the number one day to send email invitations after analyzing online complete data several years ago. While Tuesday may have been the day that garnered the most returns at that time, much has changed in the way respondents use and interact with email, as well as the systems that MaritzCX uses to send email and collect online customer experience data.

We conducted our analysis across three programs in various industry sectors in the summer of 2012. We examined both large, ongoing tracker programs that send email invitations daily compared to a large study which blasts invitations on Tuesdays (blue line). The goal was to understand how the blast day of the week impacts completion rates. As you can see from Figure 1, we do not see any significant difference in completion rates on Tuesdays for those programs that send daily (red and green lines).

In reviewing the data, we determined that nearly all of the B2C respondents (red line) in one program were using business email accounts and, therefore, were more likely to have emails from the weekend in their inbox on Monday. The other B2C respondents (green line) were primarily non-business email accounts.

We also know from analyzing eDelivery open and click-through data that 79% of our invitations are opened within 24 hours, resulting in higher completion rates the day following the email invitation. In B2C survey engagements—the majority of our programs—data does not support that any single day of the week garners increased response rates.

However, in looking at the same three programs by time of day—the time the respondent opens the survey link in the eDelivery invitation—the blue line B2C program has the highest number of clicks early in the morning. This is consistent with other information which suggests that early morning messages are most likely to be read. 1

In figure 2 below (the blue line B2C program) the email blast occurs in the evening hours, one day per week producing a spike of survey clicks the following morning. However the other two B2C programs (red and green) send daily during the morning hours resulting in an increased survey click activity throughout the day and evening hours.

Conclusion

Selecting the email blast day of the week should be tied to sample availability to ensure that the experience is still fresh in the mind of the respondent. Equally important is the time of day that potential respondents will be checking their email. MaritzCX can work with your project team to develop an eDelivery schedule to maximize the timing of your email invitation to increase response rates.

MaritzCX believes organizations should be able to see, sense and act on the experiences and desires of every customer, at every touch point, as it happens. We help organizations increase customer retention, conversion and lifetime value by ingraining customer experience intelligence and action systems into the DNA of business operations. For more information, visit www.maritzcx.com.

1 Shellenbarger, Sue. “The Peak Time for Everything.” Wall Street Journal 26 Sept. 2012