Types of Feedback

10 Tips To Create The Best Survey Email

Whenever you’re looking to send out a survey email, it’s important to get it right. Here are the 10 best tips for creating effective survey emails.

July 8, 2021

10 Tips To Create The Best Survey Email

Whenever you’re looking to send out a survey email, it’s important to get it right. Here are the 10 best tips for creating effective survey emails.

Using an email platform to survey is one of the most effective ways we as business owners can gather important data from our audiences.

Recent advances in digital marketing technology have allowed us to do more with less. Utilizing free emailing platforms in conjunction with digital surveys is a cost-effective way business owners can ask their customers the important questions. Questions like:

How was our service?
Are you satisfied with your recent purchase?
How likely are you to recommend our brand to a friend or family member?

And so on.

In this article, we’ll touch on the main points as to why we should be using survey emails to research our audiences. Then, we will give you the top 10 tips that will help you develop your emails before you send out that all important survey invitation.

Why Send A Survey Invitation Through Email?

Email surveys are any questions we ask our customers to answer through email. The topics of these surveys are wide and varied; we can use email surveys to tackle many issues that are relevant to our business. Customer satisfaction, net promoter score, post-purchase user experience surveys - these types of questions can be easily integrated into our marketing emails to improve our response rates.

Companies often send out surveys through an email invitation to their customers for the purposes of measuring their customer service metrics.

A customer service metric is a way of measuring how our consumers feel about the quality of our products, our services, our business, and our brand. There are many different metrics that we can use as tools to improve the way we do business for the better.

One of the most useful forms of customer service metrics are Net Promoter Scores.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Our Net Promoter Score tells us how likely our customers are to recommend our business. This tool is a great way to evaluate the quality of our CX; it also allows us to determine who our most loyal and enthusiastic customers are.

The way we measure NPS is by asking:
On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our business to a friend or family member?
From there, we split our customers into three distinct groups based on their answer.

Detractors (0-6) are unlikely to promote or recommend our business. In the worst cases, they may even seek to drive customers away from our business by sharing negative reviews about us. It can be hard to win these people back over to our side, but not impossible. However, our efforts are often best spent concentrating on the latter two groups.

Passives (7-8) are people who often feel neutral or mildly positive about our product or service. They might claim they will recommend our product, but they are likely lacking in the enthusiasm necessary to do so.

Promoters (9-10) are customers who share overwhelmingly positive sentiment towards our brand. They are our most loyal consumers, and are active in promoting our brand online and through word-of-mouth marketing.

We calculate our NPS score by taking the percentage of customers in the Promoter category, and subtract them by the percentage of customers in the Detractor category.

NPS = % Promoters - % Detractors

As business owners, we should be aiming for anywhere between a 80 - 90 NPS score. That being said, this is a lofty goal - something to strive for. Scores ranging from 60 - 70 are respectable, and normal. We can always be working to improve the efficiency of our systems and our ability to meet the needs of our customers.

For a more detailed look at customer service metrics and what they mean for our business, check our guide here.

Who Uses Survey Emails?

The short answer is - everyone. Emails are one of the most often used platforms for disseminating surveys. It’s not just marketers that use emails for surveys, either.
Here are some prime examples of email survey usage outside of your typical retail marketing emails:
  • Educators regularly employ email surveys as a way of getting feedback from both students and - in the cases of grade school students - their parents. Email accounts are free, ubiquitous, and practically required for students in a modern classroom setting; therefore, it’s a great tool for educators to use to reach students of all income levels and demographics.
  • Political campaigns and news media affiliates utilize email surveys to stay informed about how citizens feel about pertinent issues. Political campaigns will often already have access to a large and well-maintained email address contact list of supporters; utilizing a contact list for surveying purposes is an extremely effective way for them to research their audiences.
  • Conferences, conventions, and other large-scale events like festivals or concerts utilize email surveying to gather important feedback from their customers. Customer experience surveys are usually sent out right after the customer purchases a ticket; follow-up surveys are used in the days following an event to gather sentiment about the success of the event. Since customers will have used their email address to purchase a ticket, these events already have a complete contact list to utilize for their surveys.


We could go on. There are numerous ways email surveying is used in nearly all facets of the business world.

The 10 Tips For Creating The Best Survey Email

To ensure we’re drafting the most effective email surveys we can, we’ve put together 10 of the most helpful tips to be aware of when designing your email marketing survey.

1. Keep your subject in mind when designing and sending out your email.

There is no one perfect template that can be used to serve all of your email surveying needs. It’s vital that you’re designing your email survey with the tastes and values of your consumers in mind.

Avoid using cliche or spam-my subject lines that try to “trick” your audiences into opening. We want to not only draw their attention to our email - we want to do so in a way that treats them with respect, and value their time.

2. Give the customers a hard deadline for answering your survey.

If your surveys do not have a clear and immediate deadline, then your customers will not be motivated to answer your survey. It’s important to find that line between too-much and too-little time; usually 3-7 days max for a post-purchase customer experience or satisfaction email survey. For longer research surveys, plan your deadlines accordingly.

3. Make your intentions clear with your email subject lines.

Your subject line is one of the most crucial elements of your email, so you need to get it right. Avoid using emoji, all-caps, or anything else that can be seen as unprofessional or get your email filtered into the spam folder.

Be direct, be confident, and be relevant. If you’re having a sale, tell your customers in the subject line. If you’ve got a new product offer, show your customers how excited you are in your email subject lines - just don’t go too overboard.

4. Offer incentives to motivate customers to respond.

Customers love incentives - even if they’re only technically chances at incentives.

If you’re not willing to shell out the money necessary to pay your audiences to answer questions, then consider offering them entry into a raffle if they submit their survey. A chance to win something as small as a $50 gift card could be enough to push a sizable chunk of your email list to respond. Who doesn’t love free money?

5. Make sure your email survey is mobile-friendly.

In our current digital climate, mobile phones are the dominant platform for the vast majority of customers - especially when it comes to checking their emails. Any additional barriers you put in between your survey and the customer dramatically reduces your chances of getting a response; best practices require that  you make sure to invest the time and energy into properly formatting your survey for mobile devices.

6. Pay attention to timing when sending out your email surveys.

Sending your emails at the proper time of day can make or break the effectiveness of your email research campaign.

How do we know what the best time of day there is to send an email invitation?

We can run some tests to determine what periods of the day our audiences are most active by looking at the open rate of our emails. We can even look at the effectiveness of our previous email campaigns to see when our customers are usually online.

Typically, the best time of day to send emails is in the morning hours - when people are at work, at their desks, and on their computers. That being said, it is always best to do the research beforehand.

7. Use multiple emails to prep your audiences and to follow up with them.

One of the best ways we can reduce the sample errors in our surveys is by using multiple emails to conduct our surveying, as opposed to just a one-time email invitation.

If we send out notices to our audiences ahead of time informing them of our upcoming survey, then they will be more receptive to answering it when they see the link arrive in their email. We can also use follow-up emails after the initial survey launch to remind our audiences to answer, and to address any of their concerns regarding the test.

8. Describe your survey before asking customers to open the survey link.

Instead of thrusting a link to your survey front and center in your email, consider giving your audience a brief description of what you’re asking them to do. Giving them a briefing on the what/why of your survey (“We want to hear your thoughts” or “We’re taking your ideas”) makes them already feel invested in your research before they even complete the survey.

9. Keep your survey short and relevant.

Your customer’s inbox is likely filled with dozens, if not hundreds of unread emails - many of them from your competitors, or other retailers vying for their valuable attention. Thus, it’s important to be realistic when deciding on the length of your survey.

One question is great, and if possible you should keep your questions to a minimum. A customer might be very willing to answer 5 short questions about their recent digital subscription service; they may be less willing to answer 20 questions about the fast food meal they just purchased.

10. Choose the right survey tool before you send a survey.

Perhaps the most vital tip we can share with you - pick the surveying tool that is going to work best with your business.

When you’re looking at existing digital surveying platforms, there are many to choose from - but not all of them are going to be able to give you what you’re looking for. You’re going to want to visit a couple different platforms, and compare how each system stacks up on the merits of:

  • Aesthetics
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Types of payment plans available
  • Quality of their customer support line
  • The makeup of their audience demographics
  • Available templates for different surveying options

Doing at least a little bit of research in this regard is going to bring you the best results when it ultimately comes time for you to send out that perfect email survey.

What Helpfull Does Best

Helpfull is the premiere surveying software for anyone looking to get the most out of their survey emails. With a vast variety of different question types to choose from, Helpfull surveys can be generated and delivered to thousands of panelists in minutes.

These are just some of the features that make Helpfull a must-have tool for those looking for quality customer feedback:

  • No Locked-In Price Plan
  • Affordable Surveying Options
  • Create Simple Surveys with Pre-Set Questions, or Send Customized Surveys
  • No Extra Cost For Multiple Questions in a Single Survey
  • Wide Variety of Polling Demographics to Choose From
  • Get Responses & Customer Feedback in Real Time
  • Save Your Favorite Answers for Easy Reference
  • Aesthetically Pleasing UI and Easy-To-Use Interface
  • Easy to Access Prior Surveys
  • Get surveys embedded into your emails


With Helpfull’s open-ended survey design, users can design visually-striking, multi-question surveys for any occasion!


A simple survey could be all that stands between your company and the renewed success of it’s online marketing efforts.

An intuitive user-interface, coupled with the ability to gather hundreds of consumer responses in just minutes, are just a few of the features that make Helpfull the ultimate tool for any artist, designer, marketer, or inquisitive spirit.

Refine your marketing - sign up with Helpfull today, and get surveying within minutes!

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