Online Surveys

Surveys are great and can provide you with a ton of information that you can use to learn more about your customers, generate more revenue, and run a more effective business. Recently a friend asked me how to create a survey on Facebook because nobody was responding to her email survey.

So I asked to see the email and I could immediately see why she wasn’t getting a response. The subject line didn’t pop, her message didn’t tell how long the survey would take, and there wasn’t any incentive for taking the survey.

In general, your customers will be happy to take your survey, but you have to ask them the right way.

News flash:  busy people tend to ignore email newsletters unless there is a compelling reason not to.

Your email that says, “Help us by answering questions!” is often going to go right into the trash. If you want people to open and take your survey, then you need to make it worth their while.

Online Surveys

Have a compelling subject line

If the subject line of your email is all about you – such as “Please help us out!” – instead of about them, then it’s more likely to get ignored. If you want people to open the email, which is the first step toward actually getting them to take your survey, then you need to grab their attention. Avoid boring subject lines that look just like everyone else’s.

Typical subject lines look like this:

  • Take our survey!
  • Let us know what you think!
  • We want your feedback!

Instead, try to engage with more interesting subject lines. Try to trigger their emotions or offer an incentive. Personalize the subject line if you can. A few examples:

  • Take our survey for 20% off your next visit!
  • We want to hear from you, Jane!
  • Your feedback is important and it only takes 2 minutes!

Tell them how long it will take

A lot of people avoid surveys because they are busy and don’t have time to click through a survey that’s going to take 10-15 minutes. Keep your survey as brief as possible and please be sure to include how much time it will take to complete. If your first sentence, or your subject, indicates that the survey is only going to take a few minutes, then you’re much more likely to get people to click through and actually take the survey.

Offer an incentive

A survey can provide invaluable information for you about your products and services, your online presence, or anything else really. But what does it do for the client or customer? Not a lot, really. Why should they take their time to fill it out if they get nothing in return? Give them a reason to take the survey. Users are much more likely to take a survey if they’ll receive a coupon or free gift at the end.

Ever gotten one of those snail mail surveys that includes a one dollar bill? You open up the questionnaire and you’ve got a free dollar for doing nothing! I always feel more inclined to complete the survey because that one dollar is there, and it’s not like I really need the dollar or they even asked me to send it back.

If you can offer an incentive like a coupon code, a discount, a free ebook or even a PDF download with some tips, these are all things that are more likely to get your subscriber to click the link and take the survey.

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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