If you’re a corporate researcher using a tool like Qualtrics or SurveyMonkey® to target prospects or customers with surveys, you are not alone. These tools are extremely popular among corporate researchers. Researchers using these tools are clearly looking to interest their participants in hopes of gathering valuable insights. But more often than not, participants end up annoyed or disinterested, leading them to ignore your survey altogether.
Process and best practices can be easily overlooked when using these tools in-house. But there are some simple techniques and a defined process you can leverage when sending out your corporate research survey. While Communications for Research (CFR) uses these techniques in varying degrees with our own tools, you can easily flow them into your own tools, too.
The following process and techniques will help you get the most out of your corporate research survey efforts. You will likely see a spike in engagement from respondents.
Your first survey email
Your first survey email should follow many of the best practices that email marketers pay close attention to. First, make sure you’re speaking to your audience, specifically. Who are these people, blanket customers of your company, or a particular segment? Let them know you know who they are by acknowledging what you know about them. If they are recent purchasers, mention this in the intro. Your survey respondents are likely to be more engaged and interested if they see that you took the time to get to know them.
Next, see if there are ways you can personalize the email even further. If you know their first name, that’s an easy piece of data to leverage in the greeting or even the subject line.
You will also want to consider concerns about privacy protection. People care about this. Let them know why you are emailing them, and what you’ll be doing with their data if they choose to share their information with you. But it is important you keep the overall email as concise as possible.
Finally, make sure the email is simple, easy to read and viewable on a mobile device. If it looks like junk on a phone or is hard to understand, there’s a good chance survey participants will brush off your email and ignore it later, versus ‘triaging’ it for a response later in the day.
Wait two full days after you send your first email, and then send a friendly reminder email. Make sure you’re only sending this message to those on your contact list who did not respond to the initial request.
Second reminder email
Wait another two days, still. This time you’re going to send another reminder email, but it should be very different than the first. In fact, make sure it feels like an entirely new email message altogether—everything from the sender email address, the subject line, and the content needs to be completely new. Changing an email’s content is the number one driver to trigger an increased engagement when communicating via email; it’s harder for participants to gloss over and ignore.
Finish up on the phone
Wait another two days and check your response rate. If it’s not where you need it to be to have great insights, then it’s time to take things to the phone, assuming you have your participant’s phone numbers. You’ll need to adjust your survey to be appropriate for the phone, too.
CFR can guide you on best practices for corporate research surveys
Conducting bullet-proof corporate research surveys and ensuring respondents are engaged and interested in providing data is what CFR excels at. While many businesses use online tools or attempt to do the surveys in-house, CFR can advise you on best practices, create and run the survey and analyze the data for you. We work with many corporate researchers who are surprised at the change in data and respondent engagement when they perform a survey in-house versus when CFR manages the process end-to-end. If you have a survey project you’d like to discuss, we’d like to learn more. Please contact us here.