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How to Create a Survey Invitation Email People Will Actually Open

So you've read up on how useful surveys are for increasing your ROI and improving your customer experience and you've decided to send out a customer feedback survey or an NPS. You spent days crafting carefully targeted questions and decided on the data you hope to acquire. The question now is, how do you get people to actually respond to the survey you worked so hard on?

The key to getting a good response rate to your survey has a lot to do with crafting the right send out email. An invitation to take a survey may be seem like a small detail, but it is essentially the deciding factor of whether or not someone is going to take your survey or delete the email without even opening it. There are a few things you can do to make your email appeal to your target audience and insure an increased open rate. We discuss them below:

#1 Avoid Spam

First and foremost, if you want a high response rate to your survey, the most essential step is to make sure you email does not end up in a spam folder. Once you've lost your email to spam, the chances of getting a good click rate are slim. So what are the best ways to do this?

  • Make your subject line interesting, personalized, and as un-spammy as possible by avoiding phrases such as, "Enter to win", "Great deal", or anything that suggests "limited time offers."
  • Make your email content free of garbage- Spam alarms will go off if your email is too long, full of images with no alt text, or full of links to spammy sites.
  • Make sure your "from" address is a legitimate email (no "

These practices will help you to improve your chances of getting a response by at least having an email that your customer will see and take seriously.

#2 Consider what's in it for them

Moving onto the content of the email, when you're deciding how to write the "ask", it's best to consider what motivation the customer might have for taking the survey and then appeal to that motivation in the paragraph. Here are some common motivations that you can play around with:

  • Taking the survey will get them more of what they want- One reason your customer might fill out a survey is if you let them know that by doing so, they will get a chance to influence the future actions of your company, making it work better for them. Example: Give us your feedback on what new products we should carry next year! Your customers will want to take the survey simply because they want their preferences considered in the company's decisions.
  • Taking the survey will make them feel useful/needed/important- Appealing to your customer's emotions and need to feel needed can help you get survey responses. Simply make a comment along the lines of "As one of our most loyal customers, we need your advice."
  • Taking the survey will give them a reward- Whether you offer reward points or a chance to win an ipod, now is the time to mention it (not in the subject line--again, this can put you in the spam folder.)

#3 Don't over-complicate or overstate

Another important aspect of getting people to respond to your survey is not to lose their attention before they actually get to the important part- filling out the survey. Hopefully you already worked hard to make your survey short, sweet, and to the point so that people don't get bored halfway through and close the window.

By the same token, you don't want to overcomplicate your "ask" or do any over explaining. Remember: in general, the people reading this are outside of your industry and are probably reading the email when they have a lot of things on their mind. In other words, they don't want to be bothered with details or unnecessary explanations. Your customers need information about your industry to be extremely dumbed down in order to a) understand and b) be entertained enough to keep reading. If you make anything about taking the survey complex or hard to understand, expect people to click away faster than you can say "lost opportunity."

#4 Tell them how long it will take

In the introduction paragraph (which should probably be the only paragraph, so that the email is not too long) make sure to tell the reader exactly how long the survey should take them. This way they can prepare for the commitment and won't feel trapped once they start the survey and find it is taking longer than they expected. 

Here is an example email that incorporates the tips mentioned above:

Subject: Karen, we need your advice on making Lieberman's more customer-friendly.

Hi Karien,

Thank you for your recent purchase with Lieberman's. If you are able, please take 4 minutes to fill out this survey and let us know how we can make your experience at our store even better next time.

As always, you can reach out to us directly with feedback anytime at

Thank you for your time and business! 



Not too hard, right?

At MyFeelBack, we make the email writing process even easier for you with our survey email integration feature. This feature allows you to directly insert the first question of your survey into the email body, so that your reader sees the first question immediately, gets invested, and clicks to answer, right from inside the email. This exclusive feature drastically improves response rates by giving a preview of what the survey looks like before the reader even clicks! 



Writing an invitation email for your survey isn't difficult, but there are a few pitfalls you need to avoid if you want it to be effective. Stick to the tips above, and you should get a response rate that surpasses your expectations. 


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