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Top tips for your next email survey

For some research audiences, responses to the humble email survey request are in decline. As technologies race ahead, respondents are increasingly more likely to interact with instant, ‘in the moment’ messaging services and social media requests. The email needs to work hard to cut through the plethora of additional communication channels, but also to stand out in increasingly cluttered inboxes.

How can you ensure your email has the best chance of standing out?

Sender name

This is absolutely critical for gaining the trust of your intended audience. Wherever possible, the name should be recognisable and be a real name rather than a generic survey@ or similar. Where possible, additional reassurance should be included by adding the business name and/or job title in the sender address.

Subject line

This is potentially the most important element to get right. These half a dozen words (or so), will often decide whether your message is opened or not. Think very carefully about the audience you are communicating with; consider split testing 2 or 3 different subject lines on a reduced sample size and assess response rates.

Email content

The majority of email recipients view their messages in the preview pane. If you are not cutting through and making an impact in the first 2 or 3 lines of your message you will have likely lost your chance.


Think hard about the most appropriate time to send your message. If it’s a business audience, is sending an invitation out on a Monday morning a good idea? Likewise, for consumer audiences, when are they most likely to be reading a message? Is it more likely to be seen in the evening or at a weekend?


Look at emails you receive that look the part: I bet they are clear and well-designed, with not too many colours and not too many messages. Emulate them and make sure your emails cut it.

by Richard Mace, Associate Director

This entry was tagged Communication and posted on March 2, 2015

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