Conducting customer surveys via email, rather than direct mail, phone, or other print surveys, can save your business both time and money. Email surveys are effective because:
- They're inexpensive. It doesn't cost much more to send 1,000 emails than it does to send one email.
- They reach participants quickly.
- Results are usually available immediately.
Plan your email surveyTake the time to plan out what you expect to achieve with your email survey, and how you intend to implement it. Decide what kind of information you want to obtain from the email survey participants, and whether you want to use open-ended or close-ended questions.
Write your survey questionsWhile developing email survey questions, keep in mind that Web readers have a short attention span. Target the survey length and question style to your audience. Ask the most important questions first. Also include some basic demographic questions to help you better understand who responded to the survey.
Assemble your email marketing listChoose whether to use your existing customer email database or purchase an email marketing list based on the demographics of the group you want to target. The list should be "opt-in", meaning recipients chose to be on the list. You can purchase opt-in lists from other companies who share your target market or email list brokers.
Follow the rulesIf you chose to implement your email survey yourself, make sure you follow any rules regarding mass emails placed on you by your Web hosting company or by your server's abilities. If you're using an email marketing or email survey system, just follow the instructions they provide. Make sure you understand the law on spam email messages.
CAN-SPAM law about email messages and lists.
Evaluate survey resultsPresent the results of your email survey to the decision makers in your organization, so that results can be used in planning, or making changes, depending on the survey's intended purpose.
- Consider using a third-party service. Many Web hosting companies won't allow you to send bulk email from their servers, and even using your own server can increase your risk of being viewed as a spammer.
- Opt-in email lists often provide you with more highly-targeted recipients, give you a higher response rate, and decrease your risk of having your email survey treated as spam.