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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.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Catherine May 24, 2011, 11:31 AM

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

    • Rishi Shah May 24, 2011, 11:33 AM

      Catherine – that is a really good question. Thanks for asking! They are all BCC’ed.

  • Ish May 24, 2011, 11:17 PM

    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.

    • Rishi Shah May 24, 2011, 11:19 PM

      Very true Ish! I didn’t think of that. They also make all the links look like buttons you can click.

  • Rebecca May 25, 2011, 9:09 AM

    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.

    • Rishi Shah May 25, 2011, 10:31 AM

      Hey Rebecca – I’m glad it confirmed your intuition. Let me know if your response rates went up.

  • Jodi Gernon June 20, 2011, 6:15 AM

    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.

    • Rishi Shah June 20, 2011, 3:04 PM

      Hi Jodi,

      That is correct. You will need to ask for their name in the survey if you don’t want things to be anonymous.

  • Julia June 21, 2011, 5:16 AM

    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!

    • Rishi Shah June 21, 2011, 9:35 AM

      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.

  • eric June 19, 2012, 8:18 AM

    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.

  • Agate July 31, 2012, 7:48 AM

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

    • Agate July 31, 2012, 7:50 AM

      using Internet explorer

  • Agate July 31, 2012, 7:52 AM

    or Outlook???

    • Rishi Shah July 31, 2012, 5:54 PM

      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.


  • Agate August 1, 2012, 1:16 AM

    Ok thanks, Rishi! 🙂

  • Will March 25, 2013, 10:20 AM

    Is there anyway to embed this into an email that you can send out?

    • Rishi Shah March 25, 2013, 1:38 PM

      Yes, use the “Email” feature within the Google Form.

      • Will March 25, 2013, 1:49 PM

        When you do that it just ask for the email address for the people you want to send it to. I was more curious about having it inserted into an email that gets sent out by my ecommerce software etc?

        Where would I find the “embed in email” code?

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