Writing the Perfect Customer Feedback Survey Invitation

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You already have a great survey invite subject line and now you need to follow that up with an email body that drives people to start the survey.

The invite doesn’t have to be long and complex, in fact it should be short and to the point but to be most effective it must include some key information.

At all times remember the goal of the invite: to persuade the respondent to provide their feedback on your organisation. That’s it. Nothing more. Don’t add words into the invite that do not directly help you achieve that goal.

Simple Salutation Personalisation

A simple name personalisation starts the message off on the right foot. You should make sure that it’s in line with your business’ general brand.

“Dear Mr. Smith,”

“Hi John,”

“Hey John,”

Why are They Receiving the Invite?

Give the respondent some context for the invite; tell them who is being asked to respond or why they have been selected. This answers a common concern of email recipients: why am I getting this request?

Examples are:

“You are receiving this invite because you recently shopped at our site.”

“We are inviting you because you are a valuable client.”

Don’t Tell Them How Great You Are

Some companies add a line near the start of an invite that goes something like this:

“We are the market leader and provide a great service. So we can do even better…”

Resist the urge to do the same. It doesn’t increase the chance that the invitee will respond and biases the start of the responses you will receive.

Try to keep your introduction as neutral as possible.

What is the Purpose of the Survey

Next, let them know how the information will be used. Remember that they care much less about how you will benefit from the time they are investing in the survey and much more about how they will benefit.

So, ensure that you put the purpose and value of the survey in the respondent’s terms.

For instance:

“So we can provide you an even better experience we are collecting feedback on how we performed in our last engagement.

We actively use feedback to constantly improve our delivery and provide you with the best possible service.”

Give a Realistic Estimate of the Time it Will Take

Shorter is always better in customer feedback survey terms but regardless of how long the survey is you should give a specific estimate of the time taken. Resist the urge to deliberately under-estimate this time.

Respondents still ploughing through questions at minute 20 when they have been told it will take 10 minutes will be unhappy with your brand. This is exactly the reverse of the outcome you want.

Also make the time specific not general. Say 10 minutes not “a short time”.

So try:

“Based on past experience this survey will take 5 minutes.”

“Typically it takes 3 minute to complete.”

Give Them a Place to Ask Questions

Ensure that you put some simple contact details in the message. A very few people will use them (some will) to ask questions. Many more will be reassured that they could have contacted you if they wanted to. This lends credibility to the invite.

This can be as simple as:

“If you have any questions please contact John Smith on (555) 5555 5555 or at [email protected]

Show Them the Link

It is obvious but make sure you include a clear link to the survey and call to action.

Some organisations use an image for the survey link but remember that a large number of email clients hide images by default. If the image is blocked it will be hard for respondents to see. So if you are going to use this approach make sure you provide a simple text link as well as the image.

Also, make sure that the link has a good amount of clear space around it so it does not get lost in the message. You can also underline and even bold the link to make it stand out.

Try:

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua. At vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum.

Click here to start the survey.

Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua.”

Thank You

The respondent is doing you a favour by spending time to help you improve your business so you should thank them for that effort. It can be a simple but sincere thank you.

“Thank you for providing your feedback. We appreciate the time you have taken and will actively use it to improve our services to you.”

Signature Block

If you have followed our best practices on survey subject lines this invite will be coming from a real person so make sure that you include a real person’s signature block.

If it is going to a large number of respondents you may like to remove some elements such as the cell/mobile phone number. Other than that it should be similar or the same as your standard email signature.

This will also ensure that it is “on brand” with your organisation.

Comply with Local Email Sending Legislation

Different countries have different email sending legislation and you should be aware of any local considerations with which you need to comply.

In general* as this is a customer feedback survey you will have an existing commercial relationship with the respondent. That reduces many of the anti-SPAM issues that marketing emails come up against.

However, it is still good practice to comply with any marketing email requirements your country enforces as email recipients have come to expect these elements in commercial email.

Postal Address

You should include clear text explaining where you are located and a valid postal address.

Unsubscribe Requests

It is also good practice to include an unsubscribe mechanism to allow respondents to remove themselves from the invite list.

Putting it all Together

Okay so let’s put all of that together into a template email invitation that you can use for your survey.

Hi [Recipient],

You are receiving this survey invite because you recently shopped at our site. We actively use feedback from our customer to constantly improve and provide you with the best possible service.

Based on our past experience the survey will take 5 minutes to complete.

Click here to start the survey

If you have any questions about the survey or any difficulty with the link please contact me by email or phone. My contact details are below.

Finally, thank you for providing your feedback. We appreciate the time you have taken and will actively use it to improve our service to you.

Regards,

John Smith
Service Director
Acme Ltd
T: (555) 5555 5555
Email: [email protected]
1 Sample St, State, Zipcode

To be removed from our customer feedback surveys please reply with REMOVE

So that’s all you need. Your customer feedback survey invite is not rocket science but you do need to include everything but no more in your invitation email.

* Disclaimer: This information is not legal advice. We’re not lawyers and while we have been in the customer feedback business for a while you should contact your legal group to get their final take on the legislation.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Will you share learnings and overall insights with participating respondents? This can be a useful approach in sponsor-identified surveys. Though infrequently done, this is a great quid pro quo, and incentive, to show customer interest and transparency.

  2. Yes we always recommend to our clients that they close the big loop with their customers.

    Those in the B2B space that have done this have seen some excellent engagement with their customers (read “sales opportunities”) plus their response rates for the next survey go up.

    A great win/win from the process.

    Sadly too few make the effort to do it.

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