Published in Uncategorized

Why Do Email Survey Response Rates Seem so Low? I Have a Theory, and a Way to Help Improve Them.

Here’s my theory, many of the people within companies that are sending out surveys are people that are not email marketing experts. They have not gone through either the training or the hard knocks of what it takes to successfully craft an email message to illicit response. I think most would agree it’s a bit more involved than “Please take my survey.” This is the DM expert’s (read: the evil guy who makes you click on those clever emails) world. But worry not, in just a few blog posts I can help you avoid the common mistakes, employ some simple strategies, and watch your response rates climb. I will have a series of blog posts that will address these over the next few weeks. And here is the first one:

First you have to get them to open it!

Lets put aside the topic of deliverability (that will be another post no doubt) and just focus on the message. When an email comes into someone’s email box, the subject line is a big factor in whether or not they will open it. Most people can only see the first thirty or so characters on the email in their Inbox and based on that information, they decide whether or not to hit delete or click on it. It’s important to make your subject line short and sweet and often to somehow identify who you are as a company. For instance “Jen, help Costco serve you better“, or “Christine, what shoes do you want to see at Nine West?”

In the example above, you’ll notice another thing that will help you get people to open your survey emails – Personalization. Studies have shown that if you use your DB data (and you can use more than just their name, think city, purchase data, gender, etc.) to make the message personalized, you will get more opens.

In closing, here is an example of what not to do for a subject line “Please take our quick and easy online survey to help us steer our business for your needs today and for tomorrow.

I think you can see why it would not be effective, but I cannot tell you how many times I have seen email subject lines like that – right before I hit ‘delete.’

Next in the series… First impressions matter.


Terence Fugazzi, Demand Marketing, Allegiance