When we talk about boosting survey response rates, we usually focus on the design of the survey itself. But if you’re distributing surveys via email, then your email matters just as much as your survey. If your invitation doesn’t compel people to click through and share their thoughts, you’re leaving feedback on the table. And the fact is, most email surveys aren’t especially inviting. They just include some text and link, giving respondents no sense of what they’re committing to.
There’s a better way to do it. By embedding survey questions into your emails, you make it easier for people to respond and you create a more visually engaging email. We’ve sent out our Net Promoter Score survey using an embedded survey question for a while now, and we’ve heard plenty of success stories from our customers. So recently, we decided to run a little experiment to see just how much they increase response rates.
Boosting Response Rates with Embedded Questions
If you’re using GetFeedback, you probably know you can embed survey questions into your emails. But just how much of a difference does that make? We tested it out by sending two different NPS survey invitations to our customers, and the results were awesome.
We generated a sample of 1,594 GetFeedback users on our self-serve plans. (Our customers on higher-tier plans already receive transactional NPS surveys). We then randomly assigned users into two groups. The first group would receive a traditional survey email with a button. The second group received a GetFeedback survey email with an embedded Net Promoter Score question.
To make sure we were comparing apples to apples, we designed the two emails to look identical except for the embedded question. Both emails had the same:
- Subject line
- Visual design
- Degree of personalization
- Email service provider
- Delivery day and time
When we kicked off the experiment, we suspected the email survey with the embedded question would perform significantly better, but we had no idea how much better. Guesses from around the office ranged from 8% to 40%.
We were very wrong.
The embedded NPS question boosted survey engagement by 210% compared with the traditional email!
It’s hard to overstate the impact of a 3x increase in response rates for a customer feedback program. By engaging customers who would have otherwise ignored the email, we heard from far more customers and got higher-quality feedback. And since we map NPS responses to Salesforce, each score was visible on the customer record, so our customer success team could spot detractors and passives and follow up as needed.
We had another pleasant surprise in store though: the embedded question also resulted in 66% fewer unsubscribes. While the numbers were too small for statistical certainty, this was a pretty clear sign that embedded survey questions create a better customer experience, even for those who didn’t respond.
Back in the early days of online surveys, getting an invitation in your inbox felt like an honor. For better or worse, that’s no longer the case. Today, practically every company asks for customer feedback. (Whether or not they use it is another topic entirely…)
As we learned in our experiment, how you ask matters just ask much as what you ask. One-touch email surveys lowered the feedback barrier for our customers. We got three times more insight into customer loyalty, and the data suggests our customers appreciated the transparent, effortless experience.
While these results were surprising, they may still understate the benefits. For companies sending less-attractive survey emails, there’s even more room to improve.
Can you do even better? We’d love to hear about your experience with one-touch email surveys, and how we can make them even more awesome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your Customer Success Manager.