The first time we sent out our email surveys, we had sweaty palms.
We didn’t have experience in doing this type of marketing yet and we didn’t know if anybody would have cared enough to reply.
We were scared to be virtually seenzoned.
Can we at least get 10 replies? Will our users be unsubscribing after we send them our survey email? Will they click on the survey link, or at the very least, open the survey email?
These trails of thoughts ran through our mind, but still, we mustered up the courage to get on with our email survey campaigns.
And we were happy that we did! To this day, we are reaping the benefits of our hard work.
We are continuously gaining insights on how our customers think. And as a SaaS company, these data = GOLD.
The insights that you get from surveys are like gold—they’re worth a lot,
but you have to mine them.
Increasing your typical survey response rates is a multi-factor process.
In our experience, we have identified a range of elements that affect the effectiveness of your surveys, from the audience (yep) down to your actual survey copy.
We’re sharing our learnings so you can apply them to your email survey campaigns and get more response surveys than usual.
Identify the why of your survey campaign
As with any campaign, start with your why.
Don’t just copy a random marketing survey initiative.
Launch one because it will help you reach a company goal.
Before starting a survey, which is demanding of your time and resources, analyze first if it’s worth doing or not. If it aligns with your company’s goal or not.
Here are some questions that can help you build a solid why:
- By the end of the survey, what are the things that you want to find out?
- Why do you want to learn these things?
- Will they help you improve your business? Make more sales? Shape your product? Improve your services?
- How will this help you achieve your company’s long-term goal?
- How will you take advantage of the data?
When you have established a solid reason why you should do a survey,
tie it to an actionable goal.
For example, after asking your readers the types of content that they prefer to digest, (ie., infographics, blog posts, videos, etc) and the topics that they need help on, you should apply the insights on your blog, social media strategy, and content marketing.
Don’t stop at just analyzing your survey data. Earning revenues and growing a company require action.
Keep your target respondents in mind all throughout the process
Your respondents play a big role on the success of your survey campaigns as this can contribute to your online survey response rates.
Going back to your why, you would be able to deduce who are going to be your best survey respondents.
Users who care about your business are the ones who will most likely respond to this survey request. They are the ones who have good reasons to return you the favor because: (1) your product has helped their businesses or (2) they are satisfied with the service that you are providing.
In short, these client groups are the profitable segments—your paying customers. Your loyal customers who have been with you for the longest time.
Crack the motivation levels of your users and sift those with the highest levels—they are your best survey respondents.
The most important thing you need to do is segment your users and pick the group whom you feel has the highest motivation level towards your survey in mind.
Create a survey that gets answered (even if it’s a long one)
Not everyone likes surveys. Or should I say, almost everyone dislike surveys.
Maybe because they always find something to hate about the online forms used or the survey creator didn’t have the slightest idea of the commandments of a successful online form.
Worse, your survey didn’t get a single complete response. Maybe the survey popped out and interrupted the user while doing something important on your website or app?
Survey conversion can be frustrating to work on, so we’re sharing form tips that will increase your chances of getting more survey responses.
1. Keep it short (if you can)
People won’t spend more than 3 minutes answering your survey. So, it’s best to keep it short.
Our short surveys always have a typical survey response rate of almost 100%, but our 10-item surveys usually get an 85% completion rate only.
2. Use the right survey fields for a smooth answering process
To make it easy for your respondents to answer your questions, use survey-specific fields:
- Checkbox grids
- Likert scale
- Text list/Text area list
- Star rating scale
- Scale rating
- Dropdown list
These tools will guide your users in making up their mind. Giving them options to choose from or letting them express their satisfaction through scales will better capture their opinions.
Likewise, these fields makes creating surveys easy for you.
3. Split it up
Break your surveys into pages and keep only 1 to 2 questions on a page.
Doing so will not overwhelm your users with so much text, encouraging them to proceed to the next page.
Displaying a progress bar at the top also helps.
4. Use Save & Resume
If you really can’t avoid long surveys, then always make sure that you enable Save & Resume on your forms.
This allows your users to save their progress in filling out your survey. They can just get back to it later to finish the survey.
5. Ask relevant questions
There’s an art to asking the right survey questions and it involves using the language that your target audience is used to, phrasing the questions in a positive way, and stuff like that.
This means that you have to know and study your audience first before drafting your survey questions.
6. Use mobile-responsive forms
7. Choose your survey medium and timing wisely
Your way of asking affects your survey response rates too. Will you use in-app messaging, Facebook chat bots, website pop ups or email?
If you ask us, our all-time favorite is email. It’s personal and non-intrusive. People usually check their emails the first thing in the morning or when they have the time. Also, our own users are responsive to emails.
Meanwhile, the in-app messaging and website pop up can be a bit interruptive if not done right. Your app users or website visitors usually have something to do. Imagine them working on their projects and then getting a pop up out of the blue? Chances are, they’ll close the pop up and continue with whatever they’re doing. It’s impolite too.
These types of messaging mediums, can be effective though, if properly timed or triggered by behavior. For example, a pop up asking the user how his purchasing process went after the check out is good timing and acceptable survey medium.
Experiment. Measure. Repeat.
This is the fun part for us, marketers!
The data speaks the truth. Listen to what it’s trying to tell you:
Were people clicking on your survey invite? If not, change your Call-to-Action (CTA) copy.
From the people who loaded the survey, how many people answered? Maybe the first question was hard to answer? Maybe the survey isn’t that interesting to them? Or was there a technical problem?
What is the percentage of completion of your survey? Was there a certain item with a huge dropoff? Then, rephrase that question or better yet, take it out from your survey.
Once you have an idea of which things contribute to the poor performance of your survey, start changing those things. Launch the survey again and monitor the performance.
Take note of improvements. Identify areas of improvements and repeat until you get enough data or until you’re satisfied with the results.
To improve your survey conversion rates, these are the basic things that you should do:
- Pick out and study your target respondents
- Make the survey easy to answer with our tips
- Measure and experiment. Always.
If you’re looking to increase your customer satisfaction survey response rates particularly, I recommend this post.
Remember how we said emails are our favorite mode of sending out a survey? We’re sharing how to write survey emails that get opened, clicked on, and get answered here next time.
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