A common way to recruit respondents to take surveys is by sending an invitation email.  Getting the survey invitation email right is vital to ensuring good response rates. A poor invitation email can lead to poor survey participation jeopardizing your ability to do any meaningful analysis of the survey data.

Fortunately, there are simple things researchers can do when crafting a survey invitation email template that will maximize survey response rates. In this article, we will cover easy to follow best practices for crafting a great survey email invitation. We will then walk through a free sample survey email invitation template that you can use for your own emails.

Make it clear it’s from you

The email should be clearly “from” your organization. If the sender is someone the recipient recognizes, they’re much more likely to open and engage with the email.

Write a descriptive subject line for your survey e-mail

Next, you have to make the subject of the email clearly define the email’s purpose. If the recipient can’t tell that it’s a survey invitation email with just a glance, there’s a chance they’ll ignore it. It should explicitly mention the survey, without using spam buzzwords like “free!” or words in all caps. Some email providers will move your email to the spam folder if the subject contains certain words. These spam “trigger words” can be phrases or words as simple as “cheap.” Make sure you spend time making your subject line acceptable.

Why them?

The first thing you should do in the email is explain why you chose them to take the survey. Why are they the target for this survey, and why is their customer feedback important to you? This should include a simple, personal salutation that is consistent with your brand identity. The formality should match your brand’s overall style and the nature of the recipients. For example, “Hey John,” could work for a more casual survey targeted at moviegoers. However, something like “Mr. Smith:” might be more appropriate for a survey that targets highly paid professionals.

Explain the survey’s purpose

Next, explain the survey’s purpose. How will their feedback help you as a company? For example, if it’s a customer satisfaction survey, explain how their feedback will make future customer interactions better. Mention whether the respondents’ identities will remain anonymous, and whether or not the results of the survey will be made public. If your survey is meant to be anonymous, make sure you have the proper settings activated to actually keep anonymity intact. Popular survey management services often make it easy to keep respondents anonymous.

How much time will it take?

Your invitees are unlikely to click the survey if they don’t know how long it takes. Explicitly mention the length of the survey, and be realistic. Understating the length of survey will make the respondents feel duped as they realize the survey is taking longer than stated. Also, indicate whether or not your survey can be stopped and returned to later. This will result in a greater number of complete responses.

Survey incentives – What’s in it for them?

Everyone is busy these days. So a powerful way to increase survey response rates is to thank respondents for their time by offering a reward for taking the survey. If included, survey incentives are a key factor in driving response rates and achieving sufficient participation. Make sure your reward offer is placed at beginning of the email invitation and that it stands out. The amount of your incentive will vary depending on the nature of your survey. Incentives can range from around $10 for short surveys for professional staff or consumers to $100 or more for longer surveys targeted at executives and highly paid professionals.

Sharing the results?

Another way to incentivize respondents is to share the results of your survey. Of course, this is not alway possible. But you if you do plan on sharing the results of the survey, be sure to mention it.

Create Urgency

Finally, you need to set an obvious hard deadline that will encourage your respondents to complete the survey in a timely manner. Without this urgency, you may not get responses as timely as you want.

A Survey E-mail Invitation Sample

Below, we’ve included a sample template of a survey invitation email so you can get a feel for what works.

survey invitation email

First, the email clearly identifies who it’s from and what its purpose is: Smith Company wants the recipient to take a short survey and receive a reward. Then, it succinctly explains the purpose and circumstances of the survey, preemptively answering questions that many recipients will have. The recipient is assured that the survey is anonymous, will be used internally to improve the webinar experience, and that it only takes five minutes.

The email then clearly defines a deadline: June 30. A prominent, easy to click link to the survey is then listed, allowing respondents easy access to the survey. Finally, the email summarizes the purpose of the survey and concludes with a friendly message. It’s signed with contact information, providing a way for any recipient to contact the company with questions.

Summary

Having a well-constructed survey invitation email is critical. These invitations are easy to write, but many researchers make key mistakes that prevent their invitations from being effective. By following the tip in this article, you can easily drive up response rates and maximize your survey respondents.

Offering a reward for completing surveys is a proven way to drive up response rates. Learn how easy it is today with a free account from Rybbon.

 Kyle Simpson is a Marketing Coordinator at Rybbon.