Jonas from MailerLite

Jonas10 min readTips & ResourcesFebruary 21, 2019

How to create survey invitation emails that get more responses

How to create survey invitation emails that get more responses

Customer feedback is like business gold. While there’s plenty out there, it’s not easy to get. You need to know how to mine for it.

Survey emails are an excellent way to learn what your customers think about your business. Instead of posting a survey on social media or your website, emailing surveys allows you to send your questions to specific groups of customers who are already invested in your business.

Why is that so important?

The customers on your email list have chosen to interact with you on a regular basis. They’ve been on a journey with you and have valuable insights into your business.

You just need to find the best way to ask them for their feedback.

After reading this article, you will have the tools and techniques to effectively ask customers to fill out a survey and get responses that will help you improve.


The hardest thing to do when putting a survey together is to keep it focused on one thing. You have so many questions to ask, but the reality is that your subscribers are only willing to give you a tiny bit of their time.

People are busy. Respect their time and they’ll be more willing to work with you.

Instead of listing a bunch of questions, identify different categories and create separate surveys for each one. For example, if you are conducting a customer satisfaction survey, you don’t need to ask detailed questions about your products. Save those questions for a product survey.

Insurify adeptly creates an entire email around one question. By keeping it simple, they’re able to jazz it up with colors and graphics and drive engagement.

insurify email survey example

When you narrow down the scope of your survey, you’ll be able to write a survey email that is single-minded and reassures your subscribers that you aren’t asking for too much of their time.


The advantage of using email marketing for your surveys is that you can segment your subscribers into smaller groups for optimal targeting.

segmentation targeting

If you want quality survey responses, you should send your survey emails to the people on your list who are most likely to respond to your questions.

By breaking up your audience into smaller groups, you can:

  • Get very specific about the kinds of questions you ask, which in turn provides better data to make decisions.
  • Personalize your emails to improve open and click rates. More people will complete the survey if it is targeted to their interests.
  • Avoid blasting your entire list with surveys that will annoy people who aren’t involved.

How you segment your list depends on what you want to learn from your surveys.

For example, if you want to know why subscribers are buying certain products, you should segment based on who has purchased the products in the past. 

Groove sends an email survey to their new subscriber segment to figure out what type of content they wish to receive.

groove survey email example

In this email, Groove uses link-based segmentation to group new subscribers by business stage. You can use this same technique with MailerLite, using links to determine whether or not you send them a questionnaire.

Here’s a quick video tutorial to group by link clicks:


Traditionally, email surveys invite people to take the survey and then provide a link or button to send them to the survey. The problem is that you need to rely on a click-through before the subscriber gets to see the survey. 

What if you conducted the survey within the newsletter?

Embedded survey blocks give you the ability to start the survey directly from the newsletter. The embedded survey launches in the browser so subscribers can complete all the questions in one seamless step. 

To find out if an embedded survey was more effective, we ran an unofficial experiment.

We created two emails:

  • Email A allowed users to answer the survey in the newsletter itself.
  • Email B had a CTA that took readers to a survey page.


Email A

mailerlite email a

Email B

Mailerlite Email B

The results? Email A won. By a lot. It got 135% more clicks than Email B.

While you can argue that this might not have been the most statistically valid experiment, it's clear to see why more people would answer the embedded email survey rather than wait for a web page to load.

Based on this insight, we decided to build several survey email blocks that enable you to conduct different types of surveys directly from your email.

mailerlite embedded surveys

The email questionnaire templates works like a carousel and the experience is much more enjoyable than sending people to a completely different survey site.

 You can choose from seven email questionnaire templates:

1. Intro template: Explain and invite subscribers to participate.

2. Satisfaction Score: Take a temperature read of overall happiness.

3. Net Promoter Score: Measure your subscriber satisfaction and loyalty.

4. Multiple Choice: Ask a question with multiple answers.

5. Open Question: Open-ended questions with write-in answers.

6. Like/Dislike: Subscribers answer with just one click.

7. Outro: Finish your survey with a thank you message & next steps.

If your survey requires more than embedded email blocks, just make it as easy as possible for your users to click through to the survey. For MailerLite users, check out our integrations that will make the user experience more seamless.  


Asking someone to take a survey is like asking a friend for a favor. Except your subscribers are not your friends, so you need to go above and beyond to let them know how important their participation is to you.

Here are some guiding principles that you can keep in mind when writing your invitation:

  1. Clarify the purpose of the survey in super simple language.  What is the singular goal of the survey?
  2. Explain why they were chosen to participate. Are they a VIP? Did they buy a specific product?
  3. Show them how it benefits them. Do they get to influence an aspect of the company? Do they get an incentive?
  4. Tell them how long it will take. Take the survey yourself so you can be honest about the timing.
  5. Thank them and show your gratitude!

Instead of over-explaining how to write a survey email invitation, we’ll show you examples of some good ones.

Survey email invitation examples

Shopify makes this survey all about the reader. And they sweeten the deal by giving each participant a chance to win an $800 Apple voucher.

shopify survey email example

Airbnb shows how much they care about the user experience. They encourage the reader to leave a review by making it simple, descriptive and personal. 

airbnb survey email example

Slack treats the subscriber like a VIP by calling out how the reader is just one of the few to get the survey. Everyone likes to feel special.

slack survey email example

Headspace highlights the simplicity and shortness of their survey. They use a clever headline acknowledging a common truth (surveys can be boring) and reassure people that this brief and engaging Headspace survey is worth their while.

headspace survey email example

You worked super hard to create the survey and the email invitation. Don’t forget to seal the deal with the subject line.

Subject lines are often the reason emails get opened. If you put something generic like “Customer Survey”, you are doomed. Show your recipients the importance of the survey by leading with a subject line that makes it hard not to open the email.

These subject line best practices still apply to email surveys.

1. Personalize it

Add a name or something personal that will grab their attention.

Examples:

We need your feedback, [Name]! Help us serve you better.

[First name], what do you think about your new [product]?

2. Focus on relevance

You need to clearly communicate something that the reader cares about.

Examples:

You made our Top 100 customer list. We want to know what you think.

Thanks for shopping with us! Here’s a link to share your review.

3. Ask a question

People like answering questions. Questions draw the reader into the conversation as a participant.

Examples:

Want to help us offer more services you love?

Can you answer 3 questions that will help change our company?

4. Offer incentives

You increase your chances for a response when there is something worthwhile in it for the subscribers.

Examples:

Please respond and we’ll send you an Amazon gift card.

Get 50% off for telling us what you think.


Sending your survey and getting feedback is just the beginning. Beyond using the survey answers to improve your business, you can also use the feedback to strengthen your relationship with subscribers.

For example, if you send a survey to gauge customer satisfaction, you can set up email automation to send people follow-up messages to address their current level of happiness.

At MailerLite, we tried this with our NPS email survey.

Customers who said they would recommend us automatically received this email from our Co-founder, Ignas:

mailerlite follow up email 1

Those who were more neutral about their experience received this email:

mailerlite follow up email 2

And finally, customers who were not happy received an email from a Customer Success Manager acknowledging their satisfaction level. The email encouraged people to reply directly if they had any further comments or suggestions to improve MailerLite.

mailerlite follow up email 3

Whatever your goal is for a follow-up email, the most important thing is to always show your appreciation. Every response leads to more insights for you.


Don’t pass up a golden opportunity to improve

Helpful, focused feedback from customers is the equivalent of business gold. 

Email surveys give you the ability to mine for customer insights that will improve your business. More responses mean more opportunities to learn and evolve. Just remember to:

Keep it simple. 

Respect your subscriber’s time. 

Make it easy. 

And be grateful.


What's been your biggest challenge when sending surveys? 

Please share in the comments below.