How to Ask Someone to Take a Survey via Email [+With Examples]

Email surveys are the fastest way to get valuable customer feedback.

They turn your email list into a source of direct, high-quality insight for your business. In the end, what your customers think about your product matters most.

The problem is most firms don’t know how to get customers to take surveys. Whenever they ask, there’s no response.

This article explains how to get customers to fully complete surveys and respond with quality answers. You’ll also see outstanding survey message samples along the way.

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1. Pick a Few Simple Questions to Ask

There are two things to remember when creating survey emails:

  1. Your respondents are busy.
  2. They hate survey emails.

You’re lucky if anyone opens your survey, let alone responds. And if you ask too much of them, they’ll surely ignore you.

💡The solution: pick as few questions as possible and show them all at once. When people can see a brief survey all at once, they’re likelier to finish it.

Grace Baena, Director of Brand at Kaiyo, agrees: “Keep surveys brief, and for optimal completion rates, keep it to one page where every question is multiple choice. Include optional sections for customers to elaborate if desired.

“Your survey email should also include an estimate of how long the survey will take, but if this estimate runs over 3-5 minutes, restructure your survey first.”

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2. Embed Your Survey

Survey invitations normally include a link to open the survey on its own page. This extra step creates friction in the user’s journey to the survey, resulting in fewer responses.
But embedded surveys let you ask questions directly inside an email. This leads to 22% more full completions versus the usual separate-page surveys.

nicereply surveys

While our experience echoed these findings, we believed embedded surveys still weren’t being used to their full potential. That’s why we created the most robust survey system on the market.

Our embedded system collects answers for:

  • Net Promoter Scores (NPS)
  • Post-resolution surveys
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Customer Effort Scores (CES)
  • And more

💡All Nicereply email surveys are mobile-optimized and work with your own email templates too!

3. Use Segmentation for Best Insight

Email surveys let you split respondents into smaller groups for precise targeting. Sending a segmented email survey is much more effective than blasting your entire list.

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💡Say you want feedback on a new product you began shipping recently. Two weeks after shipping, you can email these customers and ask them relevant questions.

Freshly Picked, for example, asks customers why they didn’t shop for their annual sale.

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4. Craft an Engaging Subject Line

33% of people open emails based solely on their subject lines. Making it generic and boring is the worst thing you can do.

Here’s how to write subject lines people can’t resist:

For example:

  • “We love you, Steve! Help us out?”
  • “[Company] needs your advice, Amy.”
  • “Got a sec for feedback, Marla?”

Well-crafted surveys are worthless if their subject lines don’t interest readers.

5. Write a Brief and Engaging Invite Message

Customer survey emails have one goal: get customers to complete them. Considering 66% of surveys get ignored, that’s easier said than done.

Even if your customers love your company, survey emails don’t excite them. You’re asking them to donate their time to a private enterprise. That’s why you need to communicate value fast. Using a third-grade level vocabulary, explain to recipients:

  • Purpose. Why do you need their feedback? Improving a product? Research? Social proof for your landing page?
  • Length. How long does it take to finish the survey?
  • Selection. Why did you choose them for the survey? Are they top customers? Bought a certain product?
  • Benefit. What do they get out of it?
  • Gratitude. Provide a heartfelt “thank you” for donating their time.

Readers quickly see the value of Chubbies’ survey email:

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  • “Need help determining what [to] make next” explains the purpose.
  • “10-minute survey” so the reader knows what to expect.
  • The “30% off discount code” shows how the reader benefits.

Their text is also short, so people won’t get that “too long; didn’t read” feeling.

One study found emails with 50-75 words get the most responses. Brevity is crucial, especially for topics customers see as dull.

6. Offer an Incentive

Incentives are the single most effective way to encourage participants to complete surveys.

Loredo Rucchin, CEO of Jukebox, says, “I offer my customers a discount on their next purchase if they fill out a customer survey. This not only incentivizes them to fill out the survey but also encourages future purchases.

“This approach has worked incredibly well for me, and I get at least three times the email survey responses I was getting before [adoption].

“Note that you should keep your surveys on the short side or else your customers will … simply complete them to get future discounts.”

💡Ryka’s survey emails prominently feature incentives.

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💡Foot Locker’s do the same.

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7. Follow-Up

You’d be surprised how many people would answer your surveys but never see them in their inbox among the daily barrage of promotional emails.

But a quick, polite nudge can make a huge difference. Research shows a single follow-up can boost response rates by 40%.

You can also follow up on respondents who answer surveys based on their responses. Let’s say a customer gives one of your products a poor CES. After making improvements, you can follow up and ask about the new experience.

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Send Survey Emails With Nicereply

Getting survey answers isn’t as simple as blasting emails and hoping for the best. To motivate your customers to volunteer their time, you must offer them real value. This means:

  • Explaining why you selected them
  • Outlining what you need their feedback on (and why)
  • Providing incentives
  • Expressing gratitude

But it’s not always a cakewalk. If your survey system creates awkward experiences for customers, you’ll struggle to get responses no matter how great your copy is.

That’s why we built the most customer-friendly survey platform there is. So if you’re struggling to get responses to your surveys, request a demo today.


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Samuel Szuchan Samuel Szuchan

Samuel Szuchan is the founder of SamSzu.com, where entrepreneurs are learning to scale their businesses like never before. His experience in the e-commerce industry derives from his previous ventures and his current entrepreneurial pursuits. When he’s not teaching online business to others, he can be found entranced by a new book. See his latest posts on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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