Knowing all that we do about the benefits of email marketing for boosting business, you are likely already putting effort into your campaigns. Nevertheless, even with the best efforts and email marketing strategies in place, sometimes small businesses could all benefit from stepping up their game and “spicing up” their email marketing campaigns.
One way to add a little spice to your email marketing life is by creating a survey email. By reaching out and gathering information from your customers you can keep them happy and continually evolve and grow your strategy. Moral of the story: Get ready, yet again, to add another tool to your bag of email marketing efforts that could revolutionize your current strategy.
If you’re brand new to email marketing, you may want to get familiar with the basics by reading my post titled “Email Marketing 101” to better understand email marketing in general.
What is a Survey Email?
A survey email uses the same basic principals as any survey—it is a well-known method of gathering information and works best when you are working with a larger sample. The goal is to gain new insights or information, but they can serve a variety of purposes. Here are some questions to get you started on thinking about your survey development:
1.) What are you hoping to learn from your clients?
2.) What products or services are most preferred (or least preferred)?
3.) What is the climate of customer experience and customer service—do people seem happy with your business as a whole?
4.) What can you improve on and what is already working well?
5.) What is the interaction with your website like?
6.) Are people generally pleased with your email updates and other email marketing efforts?
Once you have an idea of what you want to learn, developing survey questions (and even formats) will be much more clear-cut and can allow you to target specific information that you are after.
There are two primary objectives when developing a survey: (A) Creating a survey that focuses on opinions and attitudes or (B) Collecting factual information. In my opinion, the ideal surveys combine both types of questions. It is also essential that you collect demographic information (age, sex, occupation, income, etc.) so that you can identify certain types of customer responses based on these demographic variables. This gets into creating customer personas, which you can learn more about here.
The Two Major Types of Survey Questions to Consider
According to an Active Campaign article, there are two main types of questions that you can ask on an email survey (or any survey for that matter): Questions can either be:
- Open ended. For example, “What does that make you think of?”
- Or closed, such as “Do you agree or disagree?” Scale questions are also a good example of a closed type survey question. For example, “rate your experience with our service team from 1 to 10.”
Additionally, there are a lot of different ways to approach survey length, depending on the type of information you are hoping to get. The questionnaire could be very brief or be more demanding. Keep in mind that it may be easier in the majority of situations to get information in a quick survey because more people will voluntarily participate. Remember, sample size is one of the most important aspects of a survey email marketing campaign.
A couple of tips:
- Once you write your survey, take it yourself and make sure that everything makes sense and you can answer every question with ease.
- Make sure that you have someone read through your questions before you send out the survey, to make sure it is easy to understand and respond to.
- In many cases you need to consider all of the demographic information people may answer, in some cases it may be easier to have a “fill-it-in” open ended question if you feel like there are a lot of different responses possible.
Best Tools for Creating a Survey
If a survey seems like something you want to test or try, below are a few tools that work really well for web-based email surveys (& this additional site has an awesome comparison spreadsheet if you want to look into more options, click here). These tools include:
This is probably the most popular option for small businesses. With Survey Monkey you can send a link to the survey template in an email and market to your target audience. They also offer a free version if you want to give it a try where you get 10 questions, 100 respondents, 15 question types, light theme customization and templates, and the ability to embed surveys. That being said, the paid version is definitely worth it if your first attempt turns out to be successful. The paid versions start at $26/month, and they have the capacity for more questions, more respondents, and other additional features (see the screenshot below).
Typeform is another great survey platform that has been acclaimed for its ability to offer creative surveys. This platform also offers a free version called “The CORE Plan.” Some of the Core Plan features include unlimited questions, unlimited answers, data export, the ability to custom design themes or choose from an extensive amount of templates, and basic reporting.
The Pro version is available for $25/month, and again, offers more advanced and customizable features. Below is a sample screenshot that shows how you can get creative with images with this option:
As well all know Google is great with all things related to email marketing, SEO, and e-commerce. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Google Forms is one of the best survey tools available. My favorite aspect of Google Forms is that it is 100% free. If you are just breaking in to the email survey game, this may be your best bet. Google forms includes unlimited surveys, unlimited respondents, survey answers and data are automatically collected in Google spreadsheets, an extensive amount of theme options, the ability to add your own custom logo, images, or videos, and the ability to embed directly into emails (which is crucial). Below is a screenshot of the template Google Forms gives you to use when you’re creating a survey:
Surveys are one of the most effective ways to gather information directly from your target audience, your customers and existing clients. Once you create your first email survey, you can use the information you learn to change up your strategy and improve on business aspects that didn’t even recognize were working. The key is to take this information, analyze correctly, and then use it to benefit your business. In the end, email surveys can be a way to really spice up your email marketing game. Always be sure to A/B test your results, and if you haven’t been testing surveys yet then now is a great time to start.
For other ideas regarding email marketing options, visit this article from HubSpot for different creative ideas or this article from The Miami SEO Company for more detailed information about what to track and look for when creating a campaign.
Do you have experience with email surveys or any other tips for spicing up your email marketing campaign? Let us know in the comments section below.