the perfect survey invite email

The Perfect Customer Feedback Survey Email Invite Template

Get the Perfect Survey Invite template

Getting high response rates for your customer feedback survey starts with creating an effective customer satisfaction survey email template.

Your email needs to make people want to start the survey. It doesn’t have to be long and complex. In fact it should be short and to the point.

Remember the only goal of the invite is to persuade the respondent to provide their feedback on your organisation.

In this post I’ll show you how to write a survey email template for your NPS, customer satisfaction or customer feedback survey that can generate response rates of 20%, 30% or more.

I’ve put together a template of the perfect survey invite which you can just  copy, paste and edit: Download it here

Steps to the Perfect Survey Invite

  1. Simple Salutation Personalisation
  2. Tell Them Why They are Receiving the Invite
  3. Don’t Tell Them How Great You Are
  4. Explain the Purpose of the Survey
  5. Give a Realistic Estimate of the Time it Will Take
  6. Give Them a Place to Ask Questions
  7. Show Them the Survey Link
  8. Boost Response Rates: Embed The First Question
  9. Thank Them
  10. Include a Signature Block
  11. Comply with Local Email Sending Legislation

1. Simple Salutation Personalisation

Remember your respondent gets lots of emails each day but a simple name personalisation can set you apart.

You should make sure that it’s in line with your business’s brand identity or brand voice.

“Dear Mr. Smith,”

“Hi John,”

“Hey John,”

Please don’t use “Dear Valued Client” – no one that ever received a message with that introduction ever felt valued – in fact the often feel exactly the reverse!

2. Tell Them Why They are Receiving the Invite

Give the respondent some context for the survey invite; tell them who is being asked to respond and/or why they have been selected.

With email phishing attacks constantly on the rise you need to reassure your survey respondent. It also answers a common concern of email recipients: why am I getting this request?

Here are a couple of example templates – you’ll need to align it with your actual reason:

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

or

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

3. Don’t Tell Them How Great You Are

Some companies add a line near the start of an survey email 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 the invitee will respond it just adds words to the email and biases the start of the responses you will receive.

Try to keep your introduction as neutral as possible.

4. Explain the Purpose of the Survey

Okay, these days most (all?) people will have seen a customer feedback or Net Promoter Score survey so you don’t need to go into lots of detail but you do need to put the purpose in their terms.

Remember: 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 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.

OR

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

5. 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 and accurate estimate of the time it will likely take.

Be specific: say “10 minutes” not “a short time”. Specific times are more believable than vague times.

Resist the urge to deliberately under-state this time. Respondents still answering questions after 20 minutes, when told it will take 10 minutes, will be unhappy with your brand and provide more negative scores in the survey.

Try:

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

OR

“Typically it takes 3 minute to complete.”

6. Give Them a Place to Ask Questions

Put some simple contact details in your email invite. A very small number of people will use them ask questions.

Many more will be reassured that they could have contacted you if they wanted to. This lends credibility to the invite and increases response rates.

This can be as simple as:

If you have any questions please contact John Smith at john.smith@ourcompany.com

Make sure you include a clear link to the survey and call to action.

Some organisations use an image for the survey link but many email clients hide images by default. If the image is blocked it will be hard for respondents to see.

Take this invite I received recently:

Even if I wanted to respond, I have no idea how to start this survey!

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 doesn’t get lost in the message: maybe even underline and bold the link to make it stand out.

Try:

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Click here to start the survey.

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8. Boost Response Rates: Embed The First Question

As an extension of showing them the survey link, you can boost response rates from your invite by 50% if you embed the first survey question in the email itself.

We always use this in our NPS survey email templates and other customer feedback style surveys.

You should not use images for this question to avoid the issues noted earlier in this section. Instead use HTML colour codes.

Embed the Net Promoter Score Question in your Survey Invite

9. Thank Them

The respondent is doing you a favour by providing their feedback, so you should thank them for their 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.

10. Include a Signature Block

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

Having the survey email come from a real person will, by itself, lift response rates by 50%!

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.

11. Comply with Local Email Sending Legislation

Email sending legislation varies around the world and you should abide by your local requirements.

That being said, in general*, as this is a customer feedback survey you will have an existing commercial relationship with the respondent and this negates many of the anti-SPAM restrictions 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.

I’ve put together a template of the perfect survey invite which you can just  copy, paste and edit: Download it here

* 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.

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