Tips for Conducting an Email Survey


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Most of us reading this must have received an online message from Apple, your local grocery store, best buy etc. telling us about the launch of a new product, asking us to take a quick survey, telling us about the opening of a store branch around your location or how to take advantage of whatever coupons/deals they currently have on display. This in a nutshell shows how emails and the internet can be used to conduct gather information for conducting a market research.

How to conduct an email research survey

Step 1—Gathering email addresses

The first step in conducting an email survey is obviously getting email addresses relevant to your businesses and location. Therefore, gathering emails by getting site visitors to register on your website or outsourcing the gathering of potential clients’ emails to an email service provider are the ways in which you could get mail addresses.

Step 2—Crafting your survey forms

After acquiring your mailing list the next step involves drafting a persuasive survey form which can be used to collect data or details concerning your company. This step also comes with its procedures which include:

  • Drafting an enewsletter concerning your company’s recent products or latest news. This enewsletter should not include the actual survey mail.

  • End your enewsletter with an appropriate call to action which will spur readers to click on the link.

  • Finally attach a link to your stand alone survey form so visitors do not get distracted by other message which gives them ample time and the needed concentration levels to accurately complete the survey.

Step 3—Message and question length

Keep messages and questions short so your visitors can easily read the questions and provide accurate answers to them without taking up too much of their time. The average questionnaire should have a maximum of 12 questions; anything more might be too demanding.

Step 4—Writing questions

Be creative and avoid the text book approach to writing questionnaires. Make use of call to action messages, questionnaire formats etc. The more creative your approach, the more you are likely to get willing site visitors to answer your surveys.

Step 5—Comply with the CAN SPAM Act

Provide clients with an accessible unsubscribe link as required by the CAN SPAM act. It is not only necessary to remain compliant with the law, but as much as business owners hate to hear that their services isn’t useful to someone, the reality is that people usually have dedicated service providers of your service or they may no longer be interested in what you have to offer. And there is no harm in allowing them unsubscribe from your news letter if they weren’t going to purchase from you anyway.

To comply with the CAN SPAM act, you must also:

  • Your “from”, “reply-to” and routing information along with the originating domain must be accurate and included with every email.
  • Don’t use deceptive headlines.
  • Your message must include a valid physical postal address.
  • Honor all unsubscribes and opt-out requests.


Also be aware that you are still liable if you hire a third-part to do your email newsletters on your behalf.

Step 6—Send your survey

Finally, your email survey plan should be set periodically to keep your company abreast with any new changes and trends in the market so you can quickly tailor your goods and services to follow them up. Making your surveys bi-annually or annually is the best approach for conducting an online research survey, because it keeps you informed without choking your readers with too much survey mails.

Tips to conducting an email research survey

  • Let your questions be short and punchy.

  • Express what you need in clear statements without been too aggressive so your visitors do not get put off.

  • Let your call to action buttons/messages be more of an invitation than a push to fill a survey form.

  • Provide a realistic time frame for how long filling the email survey will take so that individuals filling them would know what they are in for.

Purathini A is a webmaster at Research Optimus. She also indulges in writing free competitor analysis tools and marketing related articles.

Michael Bowen

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