Customer feedback

Customer Feedback Survey Emails: How To Increase Open Rates

AskNicely Team

Collecting customer feedback is always a difficult task. While customer feedback software can make the process easier, we all receive more emails than we can handle. We’re busy enough responding to notes from coworkers, family, and friends – random cold emails from strangers fall considerably lower on the list.

But in that sentiment lies the secret to writing better customer survey invitations: don’t be a stranger. Speak warmly and humbly to customers directly – drawing on all of the data resources at your disposal.

Avoid All Spammy Elements

People get so many emails on a daily basis that we all look for words in emails that set off internal alarms – reasons for us to delete any email. Spam filters analyze subject lines in much the same way. 

To avoid triggering spam filters in inboxes (and people’s minds), make sure that the email sent from a real person’s email address – not an anonymous noreply@ address. In the email itself, cut down on clutter and self-promoting bits associated with spam. And beware of extreme urgency in your subject line: spam filters look for words that imply urgency and will filter them.

Keep It Simple

Most of us don’t read email anymore so much as we skim email. Keep your email copy short and direct so people understand you right away. Twelve-paragraph emails, even from our loved ones, are often intimidating at first glance and discourage engagement.

The same goes for visual design. If your design is clean and minimal, you’re more likely to get people actually reading. Think of email as a space people visit – design it so they’re comfortable and want to stay.

Be Personal

Whenever possible, address people by name. This shows that you’ve at least taken some time to figure out who they are. Explain quickly and succinctly why exactly you’re reaching out to them for feedback. This might mean celebrating a recent action or referring to a specific item they purchased.

Your powers of personalization will depend on your database and automation capabilities. It’s an investment that offers big returns. But regardless of your data capabilities, you can always personalize emails by taking a moment to thank the recipient for their time, and including an email signature from a real person. 

Make It Easy

The easier you make it for people to participate, the better your response rate will be. Making it easier means working within people’s preferences and expectations. Depending on your industry, typically over half of all emails are opened first on a mobile device. Optimizing emails (and surveys) for mobile is crucial.

Write clear calls to action. You might even embed the first survey question in the email itself, so people can start engaging without leaving their inbox.

Making it easy also means acknowledging people’s time constraints: state in your email how much time the survey will take. This way, the reader can participate without reservation about over-committing.

Incentivize (Strategically)

Incentives to fill out a survey can drive higher response rates. There are numerous approaches to this. Incentives can be as simple as helping your customers feel like they have a voice in your product. You might note that a person’s status as a longtime customer (or a brand new customer) means they have particular insights to share. 

Some brands will offer exclusive discounts or gifts to customers in exchange for participation. Be careful with incentives as they can skew survey results and people can try to game the system to earn more rewards. 

Stand Out In The Inbox

No one will even see your brilliant customer feedback survey question masterpiece if they don't open the email. Subject lines are one of the main determinants in an email's success. They’re so important that we wrote a blog post on great subject lines.

The best subject lines embody the traits of the best emails: short, personal, and active. Three to five words is a great goal for total word count. If one of those words is the recipient’s first name, even better.

Customer Feedback Survey Emails Need A Human Touch

Write an email subject line that catches their interest. Be quick, direct, and grateful. Show your intentions clearly, and speak directly to the person who’s opening the email. Convey the importance of their contribution in clear, direct terms. Check out our blog post, Why is employee engagement important, to get more tips on how to personalize and include your audience.

And keep it all short and lively. With accessible design and the right incentives you’ll convince more people to take a few minutes out of their crowded day (and inbox) to help improve your brand.

Want to learn more about optimizing customer feedback outreach? Schedule a call to talk to our team.

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

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