As a quick, low cost and convenient way to obtain feedback, email is still one of the most popular channels to distribute an online survey. In this post we've put together some useful tips you can use to improve survey email response rates, and help you to achieve more of that all important feedback to help you make smarter decisions.
With today’s busy inboxes it can be challenging for your message to be heard. While tactics such as identifying the best times to distribute your survey email and split testing subject lines can help to improve your open rates, there is still more you need to do to achieve better results.
Knowing instantly where your survey email has come from is critical in today’s market
With research suggesting that up to 43% of all email recipients click the Spam button on emails where they don’t recognise the ‘from’ name or email address, it makes good business sense to change these to a sender name and domain that your audiences will immediately recognise.
Typically, many survey platforms default to a more standardised sender and domain address name, which tends to include words such as ‘noreply’ and ‘mailserver.com’. And while this might be enough to get them through some spam filters, they are less likely to generate curiosity from recipients to read on and find out more.
You are more likely to achieve better results with a ‘from’ line that includes a sender and domain address name that communicates exactly who you are and what you are offering, for example, firstname.lastname@example.org. This will also help you to differentiate your business email from the many others your recipient has to trawl through over the course of a day.
Four ways in which a custom domain helps boost your survey email response
1) Assurance: According to research trust in the sender is critical, with up to 64% of respondents more likely to open an email if they immediately recognise and trust the sender’s name.
This applies just as much for surveys, with people more likely to respond to those where the domain is familiar, trusted and relevant to their experience.
Another reason why trust in the sender is so important to survey response rates, is that surveys often request personal information that needs to be kept confidential. Recipients are more likely to share sensitive data in their survey responses when they feel confident about the company distributing the survey. A custom domain that includes your company name and brand is a great way to increase customer confidence in your business.
2) Brand awareness: Along with the email subject line, the upper left-hand corner of an email inbox is virtually the first thing the recipient sees.
This makes a branded email domain that incorporates a company or product name, an effective way to grab their attention. As well as providing immediate brand recognition among your audience that makes them more likely to open your survey email, it also helps create a consistent customer experience right from the very start of their survey interaction. You can further strengthen levels of brand awareness throughout your email, with the use of your company logos, visuals and the language you use – ensuring it meets your corporate tone of voice.
3) Increased personalisation: For any business, the ability to customise survey emails and demonstrate your understanding of your customers’ purchase history and preferences will have a major impact on the responses you get back. This can be especially effective for companies with multiple product or service lines, who are able to tailor a ‘from’ email address to a product name that will instantly resonate with their customers.
If you were a clothing manufacturer planning to send a survey to a customer to get their feedback about a duffle coat, you would be more likely to get a higher response rate with an email that incorporated both the product name in the subject line and was from your company domain.
If you are interested to learn more about custom email sender settings, we’ve put together a helpful guide to assist you with setting this up. And for those of you who don't have an email service provider (ESP), we also have a useful built in email survey tool you can use. Not only does this enable you to connect with your respondents at scale, you can create personalised email templates, multiple contact lists and easily set up tracking metrics to understand performance.
4) Helps navigate around spam filters: Given that most companies now have strong protection systems in place to help block phishing, spoofing and other suspicious emails, navigating around the spam filter can be a challenge, particularly if you are sending from an unfamiliar email address.
Having a custom email address can help you with this in several ways. Firstly, If you regularly communicate with your customers, many will already have you white listed. This is a huge advantage as your survey invite will go straight into their inbox and not into junk folders.
Sending from an address name that has a good sending reputation and that communicates exactly who you are, and what you are offering, is more likely to be recognised and delivered. It also reduces the possibility of it being hijacked for use as a spoofing or phishing vehicle. In addition, for companies who operate in highly regulated industries that have very stringent policies around the use of company emails and customer communications, a custom email domain can help them solve this challenge by creating a sender address that is separate from a company's established email domain.