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Another Unsuccessful Survey Invite…

Recently, I received an email survey invitation from a well-known panel company and was extremely disappointed at the abundance of common mistakes that were made. Email survey invitations are not dead, so why are we letting them fall by the wayside? In my opinion, survey invites, much like online surveys, should be short, simple, and clear. Although there is no standardized formula that guarantees your email efforts will result in better response rates, following those three words should at least result in the recipient to understand your email.


The Bad:

Forgetting spell check is forgivable…one time. In this specific survey invitation, there are not only typographical errors, but it appears that the author of this email does not speak English as a first language; and there is nothing encouraging about taking a survey that could potentially be full of even more errors.

Also, notice the incentive section – the description is very unclear. Will I receive 6,000, 10,000 or 16,000 points? Do I have the chance to win 3000 Euro or will 3 respondents win 1000 Euro?

Incentives are great. We continually offer them to our survey respondents as they are a proven method for increased response rates. However, the participant should know exactly what kind of incentive they are receiving and how they are going to receive their incentive. If not, you will quickly find that you have a number of disgruntled respondents.

The Lesson:

The goal of any email campaign is to generate a response to or interest in the subject matter without leaving room for unanswered questions. No recipient should need to re-read the email multiple times because it is too confusing. I, for one, do not have time for that. All this company needed to do was pay a little more attention to their survey invitation.

*This blog is not meant to undermine the data integrity of this company and we realize that no company can be perfect all the time.

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2 responses to “Another Unsuccessful Survey Invite…

  1. With respect, that company did NOT just need to pay a little more attention to their survey invitation.

    They need to start thinking why anyone should reply to their survey and start giving a damn about the integrity of their data after most people have refused to take part in it.

    They also need to engage with the project, the subject and God forbid, maybe even the client and the objective of the job.

    But they probably won’t bother, because that would mean hiring people who cared about it in the first place.

  2. Can’t argue with these points and once again I think practices like this ultimately harm our goodwill (if we have any left) with the public. As a researcher I also have to wonder how representative a group of people who run this gauntlet could be. People who respond to such a confusing e-mail AND then complete two 30 minute profiling surveys are clearly different. Possible that their opinions are in line with the larger population, but a lot to doubt.

    Worth checking and using their data to help select the better players in the field.

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