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Email a Survey to Collect Customer Feedback

Use Zonka Feedback to send email survey invitations, in-signature surveys, and embedded buttons or hyperlink surveys to collect customer feedback and actionable insights. 

email survey blog banner

Email Surveys: Types, Use Cases, Examples, and Best Practices

In a world filled with social media noise and constant notifications, it can be easy for customer voices to get lost in the digital shuffle. But don't worry! There's a reliable and time-tested tool that's still soaring high– the humble email survey.

Imagine having a direct line to your customers' innermost thoughts, preferences, opinions, and concerns, all conveniently gathered from your target audience's inbox. 

Though seemingly old-fashioned, email surveys hold a unique charm. Their directness fosters honest feedback, their scalability stretches from startups to giants, and their flexibility lets you tailor them to any audience or purpose. They offer rich data, real-time insights, and convenient completion for both sender and receiver, all while integrating seamlessly with your existing tools. This versatility and power make email surveys a timeless favorite in the feedback collection realm.

This blog post will serve as your guide to crafting email surveys that capture hearts (and data!). We'll explore the secret ingredients of powerful questions, irresistible subject lines, and design tricks that make your survey stand out. Plus, we'll reveal the magic of automation and analytics that turn feedback into actionable insights, propelling your business to new heights.


  • An email survey is a method of collecting feedback, opinions, or data from individuals by sending survey questions via email. 
  • The advantages of using email surveys are unmatched. Its reachability, high open, and response rate have made it a viable and cost-effective medium to collect customer feedback.
  • They come in various types, including customer satisfaction and experience surveys, post transaction and delivery surveys, cart abandonment surveys, human resource surveys, market research surveys, event surveys, and industry-based surveys, each serving specific purposes and industries.
  • The functionality of email surveys depends on the method chosen for distribution—embedded email surveys, button email surveys, or hyperlink email surveys. These methods determine how respondents interact with and provide feedback on the surveys.
  • Initiating email surveys involves designing effective surveys, selecting recipients, scheduling survey distribution, and personalizing sender details. 
  • With Zonka Feedback, you can use existing survey templates and send them via email in minutes. It offers multiple email survey invitation options like button, link, embedded survey, and email in-signature surveys to help you start collecting feedback. Sign up for a free 14-day trial or schedule a demo to understand its email survey distribution process.   

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What are Email Surveys?

Email survey is a data collection method that collects customer data and feedback using surveys or questionnaires sent to the customer’s email. Email surveys, when effectively deployed, empower businesses to uncover customer truths, optimize strategies, and ultimately, nurture strong, lasting customer relationships.

They can be sent to targeted respondents' inboxes in different forms- embedded survey within the email, one-click buttons, links for surveys, or a simple scale survey in the email signature.

what are email-surveys

Advantages of Sending Surveys Via Email 

Conventionally, an Email Survey has been achieved by linking the survey into an email and distributing it manually to the respondents. But now, email survey software is equipped with a plethora of features that have made feedback survey collection and analysis quick, easy, and cost-effective. Other compelling reasons can help you understand the significance of making an email survey a part of your survey strategies:

  • To deliver a personalized survey experience - Today's customers are tech-savvy and thus expect a better customer experience. Surveys with a personalized tone can improve not only your response rates but also deliver six times higher transaction rates. 
  • To enhance convenience for the respondents: Email surveys are accessible on any device and can be completed at the respondents' own pace. This helps maximize participation and engagement.
  • To quickly follow respondents - 85% of the respondents said they check their emails before they go to work and close to a quarter look at their email before they even get out of bed in the morning. This insight amplifies the scope to get a quick response to an email survey.
  • To improve the rate of response- After in-person and mail surveys, the email survey is the third most popular channel having an average response rate of 30%.
  • To ease down the process of data collection - Emails are easy to be sent and so are the email surveys. Email survey tools allow you to easily create customized surveys and distribute them to your customers in a matter of a few clicks. Customers can easily check their emails, visit the link, fill out survey responses, and submit them. In this way, feedback and other data can be easily collected through email surveys.
  • To reduce the cost - One of the greatest advantages of an email survey is that it involves a very low cost to send email surveys. You don't need to do any major setup to capture feedback or survey responses.
  • To leverage automated workflows: Businesses can leverage survey tools for scheduling, reminders, and automatic closing of the feedback loop, streamlining data collection and analysis.

Understanding the Working of Email Surveys

The functionality of the email survey depends on the method you choose to send your it to the customers. There are four different ways you can send a survey through email:

  1. Embedded Question in Email Survey
  2. Button Email Survey 
  3. Hyperlink Email Survey
  4. In-signature Email Survey

Depending on the specific needs and preferences of businesses, they may have to make decisions regarding the embedding of surveys within emails.

Understanding how each email survey distribution method works is crucial in making these choices.

1. Embedded Email Survey

In an Embedded email survey, the first survey question is embedded directly in the email itself. Respondents can answer the question directly within the body of the email. This method significantly increases survey response rates because it allows customers to provide feedback right away. The rest of the survey then continues in the browser. embedded email surveys are particularly useful when there is only one question in the survey.

CSAT Email embed

2. Button Email Survey

In this survey method, you have the option to include a button in your email that links directly to your survey. This button serves as a convenient and eye-catching way for respondents to access the survey page with just a click. In fact, it has become the standard feature in most email survey platforms today, making it easier than ever to create and distribute surveys.

By utilizing the button survey method, you can enhance the user experience and encourage more respondents to participate in your survey. Instead of having to manually copy and paste a survey link into their browser, respondents can simply click on the button and be redirected to the survey page instantly. 

Email-Button survey -Feedback

3. Hyperlink Email Survey

The hyperlink email survey is an effective and widely used method for conducting surveys through email. Similar to the button email survey, this method involves including a clickable link in the email that directs respondents to the survey URL. By using a suitable call-to-action like "Take the survey" or "Share your feedback," you can entice recipients to click on the link and participate in the survey.

When the link is clicked, the survey launches in the respondents' web browser, providing them with a seamless and user-friendly experience. This method allows for easy access to the survey and ensures that respondents can provide their feedback conveniently.


4. Email Signature Survey

For businesses that want to gather feedback in an ongoing manner from their respondents, email signature survey are the perfect way to do so. One can add the survey scale or question as part of the email within the signature. There would be no requirement to go back and add the survey again and again. One can simply update the email signature and capture feedback. Unlike other survey methods, these don't take the respondent to another screen. Just a quick feedback on a smiley rating scale, star scale, NPS question, Yes/No survey question, etc., and you'll have the data.

CES Signature Survey-1

Types of Email Surveys Based on Use Cases

The way you compose and use the Email Survey can be very different. Based on the use case, the industry and what you’re looking to measure, here are 6 different types of Email Surveys.

#1. Customer Satisfaction & Experience Surveys

Taking feedback regarding their satisfaction and experience helps you to streamline your product strategies and improve the customer experience. When it comes to gauging the customer experience and satisfaction, various customer experience metric surveys including NPS, CSAT, and CES can be sent to customers via Email.

a. Net Promoter Score (NPS®)

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) data can be collected via email. Herein, the customers are asked to scale their likelihood to recommend the brand or business based on the experience they perceive. You can embed your first Net Promoter Score question in the email body itself. This helps your respondents to quickly respond to your survey. You can also send the follow-up email, where you can ask the reason of the score they gave you.

email survey-NPS

b. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer Satisfaction Score metric is used to gauge the satisfaction level of the customers. With customer satisfaction surveys, you can also measure the in-the-moment feedback instantly post-transaction, order, or any event. Post-shopping or purchase, it is awkward to ask for feedback, so, in this case you can ask about the shopping experience. Later on after a gap of 2-3 days you can send the CSAT email survey to take feedback about products.

email survey -csat

The Amazon team has made the perfect use of email surveys. Instead of asking the customer to write a review, they get engaged with the customers by simply asking about the fit of a recently purchased piece of clothing or shopping experience.

Amazon CSAT-98683aa2edff574080fdab0d556386a5

c. Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer Effort Score is the metric that measures the effort experience of the customers. Here, effort experience refers to the amount of efforts customers have to put to get their queries solved. CES is basically a behavior test that detects how customers are feeling about your customer support services. 96% of customers with a high-effort service interaction become more disloyal compared to just 9% who have a low-effort experience. So, you should send an CES Email Survey immediately after the call gets finished.

email survey -CES

The CES Surveys post transaction and interaction can be after booking an appointment, after an online purchase, after a subscription, after a free trial sign up, after a demo and more.

#2. Post Transaction & Delivery Survey

To track the instant customer experience you can immediately send a transactional survey via Email. There are various post-transaction touchpoints where you can send email surveys like after placing a new order or after completing any specific business transactions.

You can send the post-delivery feedback survey via email to capture in-the-moment customer feedback. This helps you to discover the answers to the different questions like how flexible was your shipping and delivery schedule? Was the delivery on time? What was the quality of packaging and the quality of the product upon delivery?

email survey -post transaction

#3. Cart Abandonment Surveys

According to the study, 69% of online carts are being abandoned by the users on the average. It is indeed a disappointing situation for an ecommerce business owner to see abandoned carts on their website. So, to avoid such cases, you need to know the exact reason that leads to cart abandoned. You can send Cart Abandonment Surveys to your customers via Email. This helps you to improve your website along with the online shopping experience.

email survey -cart abandon

#4. Human Resource Surveys - Employee Feedback

You can capture the pulse of your employees by regularly capturing feedback through short-customized employee feedback forms. Or, use email surveys to solicit employee opinion on any number of amenities. To improve the survey experience of your employees, you can also send them Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) surveys via email.

#5. Market Research Surveys - Information Gathering

Market research survey tools help the agencies or businesses to evaluate the condition, competition, and other important dynamics of marketing. It also helps businesses to predict the consumer behavior, buying habits, preferences, and lots more. The email survey tool enables you to conduct a post-sales marketing survey to gauge the experience you are providing.

email survey-market research

#6. Event Surveys - Trade Shows & Exhibitions Satisfaction Survey

According to the Display Wizard states “44% of business owners and marketing managers don’t measure ROI of their trade shows,” and that “39% said trade shows create a profitable marketing tactic.” Being an exhibitor, you need to know the response of the event or what are the perceptions of the attendees about the event. Thus, you can capture the real-time instant reaction of the customers. This data from event surveys provide you with clear pictures of your attendees, their perceptions about your event, their loyalty level about your brand without investing extra time, resources, and capital.

email survey -event

#7. Industry-based Email Surveys

Different Industry verticals focus on improving their products and services to make their brand more customer-centric. For this, they are continuously using the email survey to get the feedback of their customers. Various industry verticals like restaurant, hotel, healthcare, retailers, automobile, banking & insurance, spa & salon, and airline & airport, beauty &fitness, etc. are sending industry-based surveys via email. Industry-based email surveys can be used effectively:

  • Healthcare & Hospitals - When it comes to gauging the in-patient and out-patient feedback, healthcare centers & hospitals send patient satisfaction surveys and even ask health assessment questions via email and effectively use this feedback to improve patient satisfaction and deliver better care.
  • Restaurant or Hotel - Restaurant owners seek feedback about food, dining experience, and delivery experience. With the email survey, they can get real-time feedback from their guests at the moment. This allows the customers to rant their experience to them directly. This in turn allows the restaurant owners to take action and improve the guest experience by asking the right restaurant survey questions.
  • Automobile Sector - There are various interactions or customer touchpoints like a post test drive, post interaction, post-purchase and post-service at the car, bike and automobile centers where a service provider needs to take the customer feedback. A survey software or Android Survey App offers you a complete feedback management platform to hear the voice of each customer and collect feedback about your product, staff, service and more– all in real-time.
  • Banking & Insurance - Feedback from responses received from insurance surveys helps you easily hear the voice of each customer, their experience and opinion about your services, staff and efficiency of operations – all in real-time. 
  • Spa & Salon - An email survey platform having customizable feedback forms helps you to get real-time reporting, in-depth analysis and instant alerts for beauty centers, salons, and spas.
  • Airline & Airport - Send emails with survey links to passengers to give feedback or embed survey questions within email about their experience through airline surveys.

Setting up your Email Survey

Once you have understood the different use cases of email surveys, the next thing to do is to start setting up the surveys and send them via different email survey invites to capture and measure feedback.

So, here we are answering some of the most commonly asked questions about setting up an email survey.  

What to send in an Email Survey?

This section focuses on the design requirements of the survey, whether you represent your Email Survey in a button or embedded form. Secondly, it focuses on the email survey questions. Email survey design requirements cover two important things that you should consider before embedding survey in the email:

  • Email Survey Behavior - Asking different questions from customers provides you with valuable insights and information that will help you to identify the pain points of your customers. But sometimes respondents abandon your survey and the reason behind it is irrelevant questions. You should cautiously choose questions, especially if you are employing behavior surveys.
  • Email Survey Question - The question you add in your survey plays a crucial role in the customer feedback process. The right choice of question or survey scale helps you to track customers’ satisfaction levels and drive actionable customer-powered data. It is advisable that always embed supported question types as the first question on the first page of the survey. There are broadly 4 types of Supported Question Types - NPS Question, CES Question, CSAT Question, and Rating Questions.

Get Started with Email Surveys

Send Email Survey Invitations, Embedded Email Surveys, In-Signature Surveys, and measure Customer Feedback remotely, in real-time.

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How do you Distribute Email Surveys?

There are different ways in which you can send out your email surveys to your respondents. Zonka Feedback offers multiple methods to help you collect feedback as per your email campaign.  

email surveys- distribute

  • Send via the Zonka Feedback platform: Compose and send or schedule email surveys with link or embedded survey questions via Zonka Feedback
  • Add survey question in email signature: Add email survey with link, button or question as a part of your email signature
  • Download email survey templates: Get HTML code to add and send Email Survey from other marketing platforms or marketing automation tools like HubSpot, Intercom, Salesforce, etc. 
  • Trigger email surveys via integrations: You can connect your Zonka feedback account with other business apps like Zendesk, Freshdesk, Pipedrive, and more to trigger email surveys via integrations.
  • Trigger Email Surveys with APIs: If your business app isn't seamlessly integrating with Zonka Feedback, you can also connect it to other apps via APIs.

Who do you want to survey?

After streamlining the sending & scheduling of your email survey, Zonka Feedback also helps you to keep control over the reachability of your survey i.e. who do you want to survey? There are multiple ways in which you can Add Recipients for your Email Surveys to send from the Zonka Feedback platform. These methods include.

email surveys- set up contacts

  • Add Contacts Manually — In the box to add Recipients’ Names, you can enter Contact Name and Email Address separated by a comma. Multiple contacts can be added here in separate lines. Example: James, james@linkedcommunications.com
  • Import - Here, you can import as a contact list or a CSV file. In Contact List, you can choose from contact Lists created in the Contacts section. whereas , in Import CSV, you can import a CSV file containing bulk of contacts. Once you have added your Recipients, your survey is ready to be sent. While sending, you can decide whether you would like to send it immediately or schedule it for later. 

When do you want to send the Email Survey?

When it comes to customizing the schedule of sending surveys to the customers, Zonka Feedback Email Survey facilitates you to schedule your survey according to the availability of your customers. You can send your email survey - Immediately or can schedule based on the events.

Send Now

  • Sending Now, Right away - Getting instant feedback from the customers enables you to take quick action. If you want to send the Email Survey right away, you can do it directly through Zonka Feedback by uploading a list of contacts or choosing from your Contact List and triggering the email survey by using the Send Now option.
  • Send Later - Sometimes, you need to wait for a couple of days to take feedback, especially if you are selling any products or services. Definitely your customers will use your product or service for some time span and then provide genuine feedback. So, in this case you can send your survey later or better you schedule the trigger of your survey.
  • Based on Event - Besides products, there are other touchpoints, where you need to take the customer feedback like post-event, post-payment, and post-interaction. Taking at-the-moment feedback is very useful. So, in this scenario you can automate the trigger of the schedule of your survey using APIs and Webhooks or Integrate with your tools (see Zonka Feedback Integrations).

Set up your Sender Email Address and Sender Domain Main (White-Labelling your Email Survey)

In Zonka Feedback, you can personalized the name and email address and white-labeled your surveys. This will not only personalize the survey experience of your customers but also promote your brand. Zonka Feedback enables you to customize the sender name and email address that highlight your organization's brand and personalize your email survey invitation.

How To Maximize Email Survey Response Rate?

The ultimate goal of conducting an email survey is to getting customers to respond to your surveys. It might seem futile if the customers do not share their feedback with your organization or ignore the request.

Despite multiple hurdles that stand between your email survey and customer response there are some steps you can take to increase and optimize your email survey invitation better.

We’ll discuss some of them here:

1. First Impression is the Last Impression

The first impression of an email survey is crucial. If the subject line and content are not interesting, the target audience may ignore the request. To increase survey completion, focus on creating an engaging subject line and concise content that motivates the reader to take action. Beta test different subject lines and use an AI text generator if needed. If you are offering incentives for survey completion, make sure to mention that in the subject line. Remember, your email subject line is just the first step to gain attention from your target audience.  

Keep the email content brief and ensure the tone is motivating for the survey respondent to proceed.

2. Set Clear Expectation Regarding Time

To prevent incomplete surveys, communicate the expected time to complete the survey upfront and set clear expectations. Mentioning the estimated time, such as 2 or 5 minutes, helps users allocate the necessary time and encourages them to complete the survey. Numbering pages or displaying a completion bar also helps users track their progress.

2. Use Simple Language

The questions in the survey must be written in a simple language that can be easily understood by the respondents. Do not use jargon, complex words, acronyms or technical terms that might be readily used in the industry and the survey respondents might not be aware of the same and might leave the survey in between unable to comprehend your questions.

4. Follow-Up Regularly

Many people ignore the first email survey request due to paucity of time or other commitments but when they receive a reminder or a follow-up email there is a high chance that they will take notice of your request or make a mental note to get back to it when they are free. Regular follow-ups hence are necessary to increase the chances of getting responses on your survey email. You can also use popular email survey tools to automate sending follow-ups and ensuring higher response rates. 

5. Motivate your Respondents

One great way of maximizing survey responses is by incentivizing the respondents for completing the survey. Incentives don’t necessarily have to be huge but can be in the form of gift vouchers, redeemable credit points, loyalty benefits that on your product and service. This is a very effective method to maximize responses from your audience.

6. Assure the Customers of Being Heard

Building the customers’ trust is the most important aspect of a business which also applies to getting a good response rate for surveys. If the customer believes that her opinion is valued and can make a difference she feels highly motivated to share her feedback. It is hence important to make the customer feel that the time and energy that they are going to invest in this process will not go to waste. It is not a one-time process but should be a regular practice to pay heed to the customers’ advice and opinions so that the customers feel valued and heard.

7. Optimize your Survey Emails

To ensure that your email survey reaches your customers, avoid using spam-triggering words like "Amazing, Free, Win, Lottery, Prizes." Additionally, make sure the survey link is prominent and easily accessible when recipients open the email. Embedding the survey in the email is ideal, but if not possible, ensure the survey link opens quickly.

Executing any form of survey or feedback campaign takes a considerable amount of time and resources hence it is extremely important to ensure that you take all the necessary steps to make it a success. Taking note of small errors that can reduce open and completion rates are hence crucial. So before you send the hit button on email survey email make sure that you have optimized your campaign for best results. 

How to Choose Best Email Survey Tools?

When it comes to choosing a powerful email survey tool, then you need to observe the differences between various email survey software available in the market. Now the thing is what are the pondering features based on which you can analyze the functionality and quality of the email survey tool.

So, to make your task easy we have listed some must-have features you should consider while choosing the best survey tool for email:

  • Customized Survey
  • Varied Question Types
  • Skip Logic & Branching
  • Integration
  • User Management
  • Real-time Feedback Tracking
  • Instant Reports
  • Ability to Close the Feedback Loop

Getting Started with Email Surveys at Zonka Feedback

You need to make the nature and availability of your survey quick and easy to convince your survey respondents to open your email survey. If you are looking for a free, quick & easy way to add button or embed a survey in an email, we have complied down the 5 easy steps to embed the customer feedback survey to your email:

  1. Create & Design Your Survey
  2. Click on ‘Send an Email’ Option
  3. Compose Your Email
  4. Add Your Recipients - (Either you import CSV Or Respondent list)
  5. Preview Your Screen and Send it all Added

Why Choose Zonka Feedback as Email Survey Tool

At Zonka Feedback, we have made the use of Email Surveys very easy and effective. Here are some reasons why we are one of the best email survey software available today. It offers a comprehensive survey builder to fully customize your surveys. Here are some of the features of Zonka Feedback:

  • An editor to customize your Email Survey Message
  • Track your email survey usage, response, and open rate
  • Get Real-time survey responses
  • Get detailed survey reports & analytics
  • Automate your email surveys with APIs

You can sign up with Zonka Feedback for a free 14-day trial or schedule a demo to get a walkthrough of all te features and functionalities of its email platform. 

Swati Sharma

Written by Swati Sharma

Jan 22, 2024

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