Increase Survey Response Rate by Embedding it in an Email

I have been noticing a new trend in my inbox lately. Every company wants to know more – how they can improve, what features I like, how I discovered their company, etc. I only give feedback on companies that make it super easy for me.

I never click on survey or feedback links in an email.

However, I always rate and review things when it is embedded in my email and it only takes one click.

Google Checkout does a great job with this. I’ve rated more things via Google Checkout than on Amazon:

Google Checkout Feedback Email

Followupthen does an amazing job with this as well:

Follow Up Then 1 Click

How important is this?

Pretty important. Think about the last time you bought something on Amazon. How many of the reviews did you read? Would you buy a product with 0 reviews? This is a great way for your users to generate content for you and gather feedback about your products.

Quick Survey Tip:

The longer the survey/feedback form is the more likely I’m going to stop reading the questions and start filling bubbles in randomly. Limit yourself to 1 question if possible.

Graph Comic: Number of Questions Vs. Likelyhood of Getting Real Answers

Super easy way to pull this off via Google Forms:

1. Go to Google Docs.
2. Click on “Create New” -> “Forms” (2 minute video of me setting up survey and embedding it in an email.


  1. When you send an email via Google Docs (Forms) do all the emails get BCC’ed? Or are all the emails CC’ed.

  2. Really good insight here. This logic seems to apply in non-survey situations too. The general idea is reduce the need for users to go outside their email to take action. Another example is Facebook/Twitter. Notice that when you get a friend/follow request they actually embed the confirm button inside the email itself as opposed to having you click on a link to then go and confirm.

  3. I just sent a bunch of surveys and was thinking that was the case, but didn’t do it. I wish I had seen this one day earlier to confirm my intuition! I agree with the other commenters that I like when the email seems interactive even when it’s actually not. Easier is better! Less friction. I’m going to keep repeating that.

  4. How can I embed a response into an email where I need to track each individual persons response. Google Docs just seems to sum up survey responses. We need to ask parents if they want to opt-in for our service. I’d like to make it so they can just click on the Yes or no button. Any thoughts.

  5. Thanks for the insightful post. One question – how do you set up google checkout follow-up emails? I found no info in merchant account settings on this. Would appreciate your help. Thanks!

    • Hi Julia – Google Checkout sends automated emails to prompt your customers to add a review. I suggest doing a test transaction and seeing if you get an email. If you send me your store URL I’d be happy to do a test transaction and show you.

  6. the approach of using google forms to embed the survey does *not* work for users receiving the survey on an iphone. for me, this defeats the whole purpose.

    how is it possible that we still don’t have a vendor focused on this one simple problem? we know NPS is the right approach, its one question, and you don’t need javascript or forms, you simply need 10 links that tally when clicked.

  7. Hi,
    Is it not possible to compleate the survey without followong the link? inside the e-mail???

    • Hi Agate,

      Thanks for the comment and questions.

      It depends on the browser and the end users email client. It will be a survey link in Outlook and older version of Internet Explorer. It will work just like in the video inside a modern browser and a web based email client.


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