The ultimate guide to email surveys: benefits, types, and best practices

13 min

Are you looking for a cost-effective and convenient way to gather data from your audience? Look no further than email surveys! With their ability to reach a broad range of participants, high response rates, and easy data analysis, email surveys have become a popular choice among researchers, marketers and businesses.

In this article, we will explore the benefits and types of email surveys, strategies for increasing response rates and analyzing the results, and help you understand how to make the most out of this powerful tool to gather data.

Advantages of email surveys

In today’s quick-paced digital world, email surveys have grown in popularity as a means of data collection. They are appealing for organizations of all sizes because they provide a number of advantages over conventional survey methodologies. 

If you are wondering if you should use email surveys, consider the following benefits.

Cost effective

One of the main benefits of email surveys is the fact that they hardly cost anything. There are a variety of free and low cost solutions available for creating your survey and sending it out to your audience is completely free. 


The convenience that email surveys provide to respondents is another advantage. Instead of being required to be present at a given time or location to participate in a survey, respondents can complete the questionnaire whenever it is convenient for them. This generally results in more accurate results.


Comparing email surveys to other survey methodologies, they frequently have high response rates. This is in part because of how convenient they are and how many people they can reach. Email surveys increase the likelihood of reaching a representative sample because they may be distributed to a large number of potential participants in a short amount of time.

Easy to interpret

Data analysis for email surveys is simple. It is possible to construct surveys so that data is automatically gathered and stored in a database, making it simple to evaluate and interpret the results. When compared to manual data entry and analysis, this can save a lot of time and effort.

Difference between audience and individual surveys

So far we’ve used the word survey as a blanket term for a method of collecting information from your audience. We can, however, differentiate between Audience Survey and Individual Survey based on the intent of our research.

Audience surveys

Audience surveys are email surveys designed to learn more about your audience’s needs and wants. By conducting audience surveys, you can gain valuable insights into what your customers want and need, which can be used to improve your products and services.

The data collected can be used to identify areas for improvement, as well as to develop new products and services that better meet the needs of your target audience. Audience surveys can include questions like “What do you like in our products?” or “How do you think we could improve?”.

Individual surveys

Individual surveys are for learning more about individual users. This type of survey can be used to gather information about user demographics, preferences, and other important metrics, creating an individual profile of the respondent.

The data collected can be used to segment users into different groups, and to target specific groups with personalized offers and communication. Individual surveys can include questions like “When is your birthday?”, “Where do you live?” or “What kind of resources are you interested in?”.

Sometimes, there is overlap between these two categories. Asking your users to rate their satisfaction with your business helps you identify your individual promoters and detractors, while also giving you a general outlook on your business.

Email survey examples

In the following, we are going to show you a few examples for email surveys and how they can be used in your business.

Post-purchase survey

Post-purchase email surveys are a useful tool for companies trying to get customer feedback. Customers typically receive these surveys after making a purchase, and they can offer insightful information on the customer’s experience with the product or service.

One of the major benefits of a post-purchase email survey is that it lets you get valuable feedback from your customers while their experience is still fresh. This can give you insightful information about what they liked and disliked about their purchases, as well as help identify areas where you need to improve.

Post-purchase email survey by Target (source: Really Good Emails)

Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey

NPS is a widely used customer satisfaction metric that measures how likely a customer is to recommend a product or service to others. NPS surveys typically ask customers a single question: “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?” 

The responses are then grouped into three categories: promoters (9-10), passives (7-8), and detractors (0-6). The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

Net Promoter Score email survey by Marriott (source: Really Good Emails)

Research email survey

To use email surveys for research, first, create a list of questions that will be asked in the survey. These questions should be specific, clear, and relevant to the research topic. Next, design the survey using a survey software or through a google form. Make sure that the survey is easy to understand and navigate, with clear instructions and a logical flow.

After the survey is distributed, you can track responses and analyze the data collected. The data can be used to draw conclusions and make recommendations based on the research findings.

Email survey by Eton (source: Really Good Emails)

Survey embedded in newsletter

If you regularly send out a newsletter to your customers, you can enhance it further with relevant surveys. You can ask your recipients how useful or relevant the newsletter is to them or suggest different topics to include in your next newsletter.

In the short survey example below, the email service provider tracks the clicks of the user and assigns a tag to them, indicating their preferences. This data can be used later to send relevant offers and more personalized email communications.

Email survey by South Dakota (source: Really Good Emails)

Email survey for lead enrichment

Email surveys can be a powerful tool for lead enrichment, as they allow you to gather valuable information about your potential customers. By sending out a survey to a list of leads, you can learn more about their needs, interests, and pain points, which can help you tailor your sales and marketing efforts to better meet those needs.

These surveys can also help you identify leads who are in the early stages of the buying process and nurture them until they are ready to purchase.

Email survey by Litmus (source: Really Good Emails)

Email survey quiz

Sending quizzes to users is a great way to engage them and encourage interaction with your brand or product. Quizzes can be used to entertain, educate, or collect valuable information about your users.

You can use quizzes to send tailored offers to them. You can also share the results of the quiz with the users, and even allow them to share their results on social media.

Email survey by Vimeo (source: Really Good Emails)

There are many ways surveys can be used, but these three surveys will help you unlock your subscribers’ hearts. Read more about the magic email, magic questions and the unsubscribe survey here.

Best practices for creating email surveys

Creating an effective email survey requires careful planning and attention to detail. By following best practices, you can increase the response rate and ensure that your survey is both effective and efficient.

Design clear and concise questions

Questions should be easy to understand and should not be overly complex or technical. It is important to avoid using jargon or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to participants.

Keep things short and sweet

Don’t ask unnecessary questions or questions you already know the answer to. The fewer fields are in the survey, the higher your completion rate will be. If you can’t avoid asking many questions, include a progress bar and try to use drop-down or multiple choice selections instead of free-form text answers wherever possible. 

Pick the right time 

To ensure that people participate in your survey, it is important to choose the right timing for the invitation. The best time to send a survey can vary depending on the type of survey and the goals of the research. 

For example, surveys that measure customer satisfaction (CSAT) and customer effort (CES) are typically most effective when sent immediately after customers have interacted with your business. On the other hand, surveys like the Net Promoter Score survey may be sent via email up to a month after a customer has completed a purchase.

Use an appropriate survey structure

Surveys should be well-organized and easy to navigate. This can be achieved by using a logical flow of questions, consistent formatting, and clear instructions. By incorporating skip logic, participants can skip irrelevant questions and answer only the questions that are relevant to them.

Incorporate personalization and branding

Personalization can increase the response rate by making the survey email feel more relevant and targeted to the participant. Branding the survey page with your logo or colors can also increase the response rate by making the survey appear more professional and trustworthy.

Offer something in return

When you ask your customers to participate in a survey, you’re asking them to spend their time and effort, so that you could gain valuable insights. It’s only fair to offer something in return. 

If you’re conducting a particularly in-depth survey, gift cards are great to show that you value the time of the respondents. Don’t want to go this route? Then consider discounts, samples, gifts, upgrades, or even exclusive content.

Choose the right survey software

There are many email survey software options available, and it’s essential to choose one that is easy to use and has the features needed for the specific research objectives. The software should also be able to handle the data analysis, so it’s important to choose one that is compatible with your data analysis needs.

Test and pilot the survey 

Before sending the survey to the participants, it’s important to test the survey with a small group of people to identify and fix any issues. This will ensure that the survey is working properly and that the data collected is accurate.

Conducting email surveys with GetResponse

In this segment, we are going to show you three different ways of sending out email surveys with GetResponse and enriching customer data with the survey responses.

Editor’s note

In November 2022, the Survey feature of GetResponse was discontinued. however, you can still create surveys with third party tools, integrating them with GetResponse.

Google Forms (Free)

Google Forms is a powerful tool that allows users to create surveys and gather data quickly and easily. The platform is user-friendly and offers a wide range of customization options, making it a popular choice among researchers, marketers, and business owners.

Google Forms also offers a range of customization options, including the ability to add a cover page, change the theme, and add images and videos. Once your survey is complete, you can distribute it by sharing the link in email.

f you want to enrich your subscriber information with the survey answers, you will need to include an email address form in your field. Once your campaign has run its course, you can export your results to a spreadsheet. 

Log in to your GetResponse account, then navigate to Contacts, and select Custom fields. Here, you can create new custom fields for the survey answers. Let’s assume that in your survey you asked your subscribers about their favorite football team. Now, you can create a new custom field labeled favourite_team

When that’s done, it’s time to import the survey results and update your customer information with their answers. Click on Add contacts, select file upload, then select the “Only update existing” option under the ‘What should we do with contact information?’ question.

In the next step, match the survey answers with their corresponding custom fields. Import your list and wait for the import to finish. Don’t forget to check if the newly added custom values are visible on your subscribers’ profiles.

Jotform ($0-$99/month)

JotForm is an online form builder that allows users to create, publish, and manage forms for various purposes such as surveys, questionnaires, and contact forms. It offers a drag-and-drop interface and a wide variety of customizable templates and widgets, making it easy for users to create professional-looking forms without any coding knowledge.

Jotform integrates with GetResponse and the integration process is simple and straightforward. First, in the Form Builder, click on the Settings tab. Then, go to the Integrations panel. Search for GetResponse and click on it. Next, enter your GetResponse API Key, and click the Authenticate button. After that, choose a list and match your form fields

GetResponse loads all the fields from your GetResponse forms. If you want to map another field, click on the Add New Field button. It’s important to note that the field mapping will only work if their subscribers provide their email addresses in your survey.

Survicate ($0-$299/month)

Survicate is another great email survey software. They offer a variety of customizable templates, and with their GetResponse integration, they automatically capture respondents’ details from GetResponse contact lists. This means that if you are sending your Survicate survey with GetResponse, your subscribers don’t have to provide their contact information in the survey, instead, Survicate will match the submitted surveys with your subscribers.

For this to work, you need to create a Survicate account and design a survey. After that, select the Configure menu option and select GetResponse from the dropdown menu. Publish your survey and distribute it in email to your subscribers; Survicate will take care of the rest.

Another great feature of Survicate is their embedded email survey solution. This means that you can embed surveys into your GetResponse emails without coding skills. If you want to automatically enrich your subscriber data with the survey responses, you can use a multi-step Zapier automation. 

After designing the survey, click on the Connect menu option and select Zapier from the list. Then, follow the integration steps. Head over to Zapier and create a Zap that updates a contact when they answer a question in your survey.

Now, it’s time to update the user. Under “Choose Account” > User, select the email address from the first step of your zap. Here, you can pick the fields to update upon your survey submission, add a tag to your user or update your existing fields with the survey response. If you don’t want to update some fields, simply leave them empty. 

In conclusion

Conducting an email survey can be a valuable tool for gathering customer feedback and understanding their needs. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, such as crafting clear and concise questions, keeping the survey short and to the point, and providing incentives for participation, you can ensure that your email survey is effective in collecting valuable data. Additionally, by analyzing the results and using them to inform your business decisions, you can improve customer satisfaction and drive growth for your company.

How do you use surveys in your business? Let us know in the comments! And if you learned something new from this article, sign up for our newsletter to be the first to receive our educational resources. No fluff, only quality content.

Zilahy Máté
Zilahy Máté
Máté is a Content Partnerships Manager at GetResponse, where he manages relationships with content partners and develops new content initiatives that drive engagement and lead generation. In his role, he works closely with the marketing team to identify opportunities for collaboration and ensure that the company's content offerings align with its marketing strategy.