Top-Shelf Tip No. 117:

"The most basic way to get someone’s attention is this: break a pattern."

Chip Heath

Five Attention-Grabbing Tips For Survey Emails

Survey emails provide rich insight from your customers—when you can get your customers to complete them. Your clients don't always have the time or the desire to click on your email and answer your questions. With around 100 billion emails sent every day, your survey email has plenty of competition for attention.

Writer Sara Staffaroni says the only way to get the insight you crave is to cut through the noise and inspire your customers to click on your survey email. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Staffaroni's tips for writing and sending stronger survey emails.

1. Use a strong subject line. Getting your survey email opened is the first obstacle to overcome. In order for that to happen, Staffaroni says you must have a strong subject line. If you don't pique your customer's interest right away, your email may be forgotten or, even worse, swiftly deleted. Consider personalizing your subject line, which helps the message feel customized. Since 68 percent of emails are opened on mobile devices, it's also a good idea to shorten your subject line. Staffaroni also suggests ensuring that your survey is optimized for mobile.

2. Explain why you're conducting the survey. People get inundated with emails. When your creative subject line inspires your customer to click on the survey email, you must now explain what you're working on and how the customer's participation helps. Staffaroni recommends sharing how you'll use the results to improve the customer's experience. If you plan to use the top suggestions, let customers know. Just as you're looking to gather information to improve, giving your customer all the information upfront empowers them to make the choice best for them.

3. Set expectations. Would you watch a YouTube video if you didn't know how long it was? Probably not. We all like to have an idea of what we're committing to upfront. Staffaroni says setting expectations for your survey is no different. If you're clear and direct about how much time it's going to take, your customer can block out time to do the survey or decide if it's even something they want to take part in from the start. Mention how many questions are in your survey and note if there are any particularly involved questions. The main goal is transparency.

4. Describe incentives. Let your respondents know the value they're bringing you and also the value you're bringing them. When you provide gifts, such as a pen or t-shirt, you can often increase response rates. You also boost your brand visibility. Be sure you explain exactly the incentive but be careful that the message doesn't sound spammy.

5. Create urgency. Staffaroni says the best time for someone to complete a survey is when they first see it. Creating urgency is a great way to increase the chances of your customer completing your survey right away. Having a hard deadline is a great way to create urgency. The specific date lets your customer know that they shouldn't procrastinate filling out the form if they plan on participating. If they move away from your email, they may forget to complete the survey, or forget they got it at all, which is the last thing you want.

Considering that attention is a scarce resource, it's critical to be intentional in your messaging. By using the tips above, you can move toward stronger survey emails and gain valuable insight.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Sara Staffaroni is a writer, content strategist and communications specialist.

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