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Common Mistakes when Seeking Email Feedback

How many emails do you leave in your inbox unopened? Or in other words, do you open, read and respond to all emails in your inbox? And even after you open an email, do you respond to all of them? Well, most people don’t!

Researches suggest that 40% of the customers say that they have nearly 50 unread emails in their inboxes at any point in time. Especially when we talk about Email Surveys, it has become a challenging task nowadays for the surveyors to encourage the customers to open a survey email and respond to the survey when everybody’s inboxes are full of spam emails, marketing, and survey emails.

Customer Feedback is an inevitable part of your business. To collect feedback, you need to survey your customers, and the success of a survey lies in its response rate. If you cannot get a good response rate on your surveys, your surveys are not worthy, and survey results can even be inaccurate due to a small group of respondents.

For making your surveys successful, you must follow the best practices to send your Emails Surveys. But only following these tips is not enough. You have to avoid certain things that can lead to the failure of your survey, like not verifying the email addresses before reaching out to them, not targeting the customer with the right set of questions and more. In this article, we will discuss some most common mistakes that surveyors make while seeking Email Feedback. Let’s first learn what email feedback is.

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What is Email Feedback?

Email Feedback is a process of collecting Customer or Employee Feedback through the use of an Email Survey. In an Email Survey, a survey invitation is sent to the customers in the body of the email with an attached link to open and respond to the survey. Clicking the link redirects to the survey page where the customers can respond to the questions and submit.

Alternatively, Embedded Survey Emails are also sent to the customers where the first question of the survey is embedded in the email body itself with clickable links to answer the question. As the customer clicks the answer option to respond to the first question, the complete survey opens, and the customers can respond to the following questions and submit their responses.

There are certain things that you should not do while sending email surveys to capture feedback. Let’s explore the most common mistakes that you should avoid making while seeking email feedback.

Common Mistakes while Seeking Email Feedback

  1. Not paying required emphasis on Subject Line
  2. Sending Email Surveys without company branding
  3. Not optimizing surveys to mobile devices
  4. Not Personalizing the emails
  5. Not Including Survey Questions in Email
  6. Creating Long Surveys with too many questions
  7. Asking wrong question types
  8. Asking questions that you already know
  9. Using Complex Language and Ways
  10. Asking questions with leading options
  11. Oversending Email Surveys
  12. Not taking action on the feedback

Let’s learn how these mistakes deteriorate the quality of your Email Surveys and ruin your survey results. We will also tell you how to avoid these common mistakes.

1. Not paying required emphasis on Subject Line

If you are not giving the deserved attention to the subject line of the survey email, it is one of the biggest mistakes you can make while sending email surveys. As you know, ‘The first impression is the last impression’, and the subject line is the first thing that a reader sees when he receives an email, it becomes necessary to make your subject line engaging enough to motivate the customers to take the survey.

Just writing ‘Customer Feedback Survey’ will not help. This can cause the customers to skip the email. Customers usually don't even open the marketing and survey emails, let alone responding to them. Here is what you can do to avoid this mistake.

How to Avoid this?

You should:

  • Make the Subject line engaging
  • State the purpose of the survey in the subject line
  • Convince the customers that the survey will eventually help them
  • Mention the estimated time to create the survey.

Here is an example of an engaging subject line with all the above-mentioned tips.

Help us to serve you better with this short two-minute feedback survey’.

2. Sending Email Surveys without Company Branding

Branding is an important part of any business. So is the case with surveys. Many surveys skip adding a brand or logo to their surveys which makes the survey confusing for the customers sometimes as they don’t know where it came from. 

Moreover, your brand is your identity, and to create a brand recall, it’s important to add them in your surveys too. Not adding your brand only creates confusion and frustration for the customers which can prompt them not to take the survey.

In the long run, this will hurt your email marketing reputation, which is something you want to avoid at any cost.

How to Avoid it?

You should:

  • Whitelabel your surveys and add your own branding and style.
  • Use an effective Email Survey Tool that allows you to do so.

3. Not Optimizing Surveys to Mobile Devices

Nowadays, 81% of people prefer smartphones to check their emails. In such a scenario, not optimizing email surveys to mobile phones is one of the biggest mistakes some surveyors make ultimately resulting in a poor response rate. 

People are not going to open their mailbox again on their desktops just to respond to a survey. They expect you to send a link that can open with a single touch within seconds, and they would respond to the survey. But when a link doesn’t open on mobile phones, they just leave the survey unresponded.

How to Avoid this?

You should:

  • Optimize surveys for mobile devices.
  • Use a good Email Survey Software that helps you to create mobile-friendly surveys.
  • Test your surveys on mobile devices before finally sending them out to customers.

4. Not Personalizing the Emails

50% of the companies feel that personalization has the ability to increase interaction within the email, and 72% of the customers agree that they only engage with personalized messaging. Whereas some surveyors make the mistake of sending a non-personalized email survey, which the customers may feel uncomfortable and less important, and they tend to skip the survey.

How to Avoid it?

You should:

  • Personalize your surveys as per your customers.
  • Include customers’ first names in the subject line and body of the email.
  • Use Placeholders in your Email Survey App to place the details of the customers in the email format at appropriate places like Customer Name, Product Purchased, Branch Visited, Executive Interacted with, etc.

5. Not Including Survey Questions in Emails

Another mistake that surveyors make is that they do not include Survey Questions in the email itself. Although, there are ways to send Email Surveys where a link is provided in the email that opens separately. However, it is always better to include survey questions, especially the first question of the survey in the email body.

This increases the customers' engagement in the survey as soon as they open and read the email. When a survey question is displayed in the email body itself, it prompts the customers to answer it, redirecting to the complete survey or the next questions.

In this way, customers tend to respond to the survey with the going flow. Whereas, if you do not display a survey question in your email body and ask the customers to open a hyperlink, it somehow breaks the flow, and customers tend not to bother about opening and responding to the survey.

How to Avoid it?

You should:

  • Always prefer using Embedded Survey Emails where the survey's first question is embedded and displayed in the email itself. When customers click to respond to the first question, it automatically redirects to the complete survey or the next question of the survey.
  • Always choose an Email Survey Software that allows you to send Embedded Email Surveys.

6. Creating Long Surveys with Too Many Questions

It’s good to collect real detailed customer insights but sending long surveys to know each and every feeling of your customers can even deprive you of the important answers you need from your customers. 

If your survey takes longer time than your customers expected, it can frustrate them and cause them to abandon the survey in between. You have to keep in mind that everybody is busy in their own stuff and nobody has enough time to respond to a long survey.

How to Avoid this?

You should:

  • Inform the customers of the estimated time to complete the survey.
  • Adhere to the survey time you mentioned, don’t make surveys that take longer than that.
  • Use limited and necessary questions.
  • Include an open-ended question which should be optional so that if the customers want to share their experiences in detail, they get the opportunity to do so.

7. Asking Wrong Question Types

Another mistake that surveyors make is to ask the wrong questions like double-barreled questions. A double-barreled question is when you ask two things in one question that may have different answers. For instance - How was your experience with the food and staff?

Now there may be a case where your customers or guest feel the food was tasty but the staff was not welcoming or vice-versa. In such a situation, it’s difficult for them to answer. This mistake can lead to abandoning the survey in between as they don’t want to give a false answer, or they would give inaccurate answers.

How to Avoid it?

You should:

  • Ask crystal clear questions.
  • Ask about one aspect in one question.
  • Test your Email Survey by sending them a group of employees before sending them to your customers.

8. Asking Questions you already Know

Some surveys are designed in such a way that they ask questions like name, phone number, email id, and details about their purchase. The mistake is when you already have all the details of your customers and that’s why you are able to send them a survey, there is no point asking these questions again.

Moreover, asking repetitive questions is also a mistake that some surveyors do. For instance - asking the customers their overall experience both at the start and end of the survey can irritate the customers. 

How to Avoid it?

You should:

  • Avoid asking repetitive questions
  • Avoid asking personal details of the customers which they expect you to already know.
  • Use a good Email Survey App that fetches such details automatically.

9. Using Complex Language and Ways

Another mistake is using complex language in the survey questions. While creating survey questions, you must keep in mind that your customers may be from different backgrounds. Surveyors sometimes use some particular words or jargon that are common for them or those in the same business, but not easily understandable for your customers. If you use such words, then the customers may not understand them and either leave the survey in between or may even give inaccurate answers in misinterpreting the word.

Secondly, one of the common mistakes which surveys make is using complex and multiple ways in the options to answer the different questions. This becomes confusing and time-consuming for the respondents to explore multiple and complex ways and then select the appropriate answer choices.

How to Avoid this?

You should:

  • Use a single style of answering the questions. For example, if you are giving the option of star ratings, use it throughout the survey.
  • Avoid using complex ways to choose an answer type.
  • Try using simple rating scales like NPS, CES, and CSAT

10. Asking Questions with Leading Options

Another mistake that some surveyors make is to provide leading options to answer a certain question. For instance, you ask a question - How was your experience with our product?

Now the options should be like Excellent, Good, Average, Bad, Poor.  But a leading question will try to forcefully lead to a good conclusion by giving options like Awesome, Very Good, Good, Average, Below Average.

These types of questions limit the customers’ responses and their ability to respond accurately. This can even frustrate them in case they already had a bad experience, and can lead to the abandonment of survey and even customer churn.

How to Avoid it?

You should:

  • Provide fair options to the customers equally at positive as well as a negative side so that the customers can respond freely what they feel.

11. Oversending Email Surveys

Email Surveys are a great way to gather feedback. Suppose you make a purchase, you received a survey email and responded to the survey. This is quite normal, but imagine you purchase a product every week or every month and every time you get a feedback-seeking email. Would you respond to every email survey? Of course not, as it will cause survey fatigue, and eventually, you will stop taking these survey emails seriously.

The same is with your customers. If you oversend survey emails to the same customers, they stop taking it seriously and don't respond to your surveys. In this way, you will miss the crucial information of Customer Feedback just because of sending more Feedback Surveys.

How to Avoid it?

To avoid this, you should:

  • Limit your surveys to a particular number, like once a year or once a quarter. It will retain its value, and the possibility of customers responding to the survey would be higher.
  • Choose a Survey Software that enables the Survey Throttling feature that helps you avoid over surveying your customers and ensures that the same customers are not resent surveys in a given duration like a month, a quarter, or a year.

12. Not Taking Action on the Feedback

Last but not least, the biggest mistake you can do with any Customer Feedback Survey is to not take any action on it. The purpose of any feedback survey is to know what your customers feel and take appropriate action on it. But some companies just take the feedback for the sake of fulfilling a formality of asking for feedback but do not actually respond to Customer Feedback.

This causes you to lose the credibility of the brand and the customers feel not taken care of. Eventually, they stop giving feedback and ultimately switch to another brand.

How to Avoid it?

You should:

  • Respond to every feedback you receive
  • Thank the customers for providing positive or neutral feedback, ask the neutral ones what they expect more from you, and ask the negative ones where the things went wrong.
  • Take appropriate action required on each feedback and Close the Customer Feedback Loop.

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Nikhil Dawer

Written by Nikhil Dawer

Nov 18, 2021

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