Distributing online surveys are the predominant form of surveys for fast and rewarding response rates. They are often sent via email, as the most convenient manner of contacting respondents who can open email messages containing online surveys whenever they have the time and respond at leisure.
To be certain that respondents will decide to open online survey messages sent via email, survey authors and the teams distributing online surveys by electronic mail should carefully compose the subject lines. When inappropriately composed email subject lines are used, email sending systems can flag them so they may end in the spam folders and not reach the addressees.
There are some essential rules applying to the creation of survey bearing email messages in general, to prevent them from being flagged by spam filters. In addition to recognisable form addresses, the correct wording of subject lines and the correct manner in which they should be typed should be carefully observed. Any expletives in subject lines, any subject lines typed in ALL CAPS are more than likely to end in spam folders.
To enable online questionnaires containing emails to reach addressees’ inboxes, the first surefire policy is to avoid using common phrases which are inauspiciously filtered and make such emails land in the spam folder. There are exhaustive lists of such phrases available on a number of websites, and such spam words and phrases include: satisfaction guaranteed, subscribe, information you requested, etc.
Using straightforward subject lines is essential, for misleading content is certain to be identified as spam. The subject lines should briefly indicate the email message content of online surveys. As already mentioned above, using capitalisation is not a factor in favour of emails being delivered to inboxes. As is well known, capital letters are a symbol of yelling, and this is not in conformity with good business practices and good business to customer relations. Excessive spacing is also suspicious from the viewpoint of spam filters.
In addition to being negatively regarded by spam filters, the above types of subject lines are fast in arousing suspicion on part of email recipients who are often convinced that surveys sent in emails with such subject lines should be sent to the spam folder forthwith, without any need to open them. If recipients identify such messages as spam and report them to their Internet service providers, and that impairs the reputation of companies which have not allotted sufficient attention to choosing the correct subject lines for their emails delivering online surveys. And when a lot of people report such emails as spam, that is even worse. In all cases, such reporting leads to all future emails from the addresses reported to be blocked.
Precautions with composing subject lines are crucial when online survey email messages are sent to large email lists. This is great to boost response rates, but when the subject lines are not appropriately composed, the rates drop even more dramatically, as the emails fail to reach a large number of recipients.