Survey Email Subject Lines: Guide to Getting More Audiences to Respond to Your Surveys

Manoj Rana
September 21, 2023
min read
Survey Email Subject Lines: Guide to Getting More Audiences to Respond to Your Surveys
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If you’re using email surveys to ask for customer feedback, you'll need to get responses. Sounds simple, right? Actually, just getting your customer to open your email may take a little finesse. Most customers will read an email subject line and move on, unless you convince them to click on your message. Otherwise, they'll ignore or delete your email from their inbox. Refining your email survey subject lines can increase your open and survey completion rates and help you gain insight about what makes your customers tick.

Our tips will help you create engaging survey subject lines that will capture your readers’ attention and set you up for success.

Survey Email Subject Line Tactics

There are several ways to approach writing catchy subject lines that will encourage your readers to act. Creative, trustworthy subject lines that include a personal touch can appeal to your recipients. Show your readers that you value their time and opinions, and demonstrate the benefits of answering your survey.

Use incentives, humor, emojis, and symbols to add interest, but avoid using spam words. Keep your messages short, and note that combining tactics like personalization, valuing expertise, and offering incentives can make your message more powerful.

To get started on creating great subject lines for perfect surveys, check out the tactics below.

1. Add Personalization

Personalized subject lines make your survey email feel like an invitation and encourage your recipients to open and read your message. Connecting with your customers directly signals that you care about their feedback, which makes them more likely to respond. The best personalization strategies use the recipient’s name and add relevant context, like their city or an acknowledgment of a recent purchase. You can also create a template that makes it easier to personalize bulk email messages.

2. Emphasize Benefits

To engage your customers and encourage them to take the survey, tell them about the benefits of answering your questions. Note that their responses to your questionnaire will yield better customer satisfaction in the future. Offering your audience improved outcomes will motivate them to follow through.

3. Incentivize Responses

Everyone loves a gift, so offer your customers a significant discount, rebate, promo code, or desirable freebie in return for answering a quick survey. Offering rewards shows that you value customer input and want their feedback. Name the incentive in the email subject line to convince your reader to open your email.

4. Be Short and Sweet

The most effective email subject lines are about six words long and contain less than 10 words, or 50 characters. Most people use their phones to scan through email, so make your message simple and to the point. The length of your messages can make or break your email campaign. People tend to respond to customized, concise subject lines and ignore messages that are clipped to fit the screen.

5. Ask an Open-Ended Question

Asking a relevant, open-ended survey question in an email subject line inspires your recipients to open your email. Putting a friendly, forthright query in the subject line can inspire curiosity, engage your recipient, and encourage them to share their opinions so you can learn about their preferences.

6. Ask a Survey Question

You can engage your reader immediately by asking your initial survey question in the email subject line: This question should let recipients know exactly what you’re curious about so that they implicitly expect to find more questions in the email. A simple, compelling first question will motivate your customers to complete your survey.

7. Avoid Spam Trigger Words

Email service providers use spam filters to flag trigger words in subject lines that signal junk content. To avoid ending up in the spam folder, choose your words carefully and check your subject line for click-baity phrases like "Act now!", "Hurry!", or "Urgent!" that may sound desperate, pushy, or manipulative.

8. Value Your Respondent

Customers receive email promotions every day, so be courteous and honest to show that you value their feedback. Show your customers that their survey responses matter because they will help you provide them with a better experience.

9. Convey Authenticity With Tone

Your surveys should reflect the tone of your brand, and the email subject line is a great place to convey that sentiment. People are more likely to respond to a warm, concise, and direct subject line that feels inviting and appropriate. Be creative and use words that show your brand is caring and approachable.

10. Be Funny

Adding a bit of informality, humor, and fun to your subject lines is a great way to spark interest and grab attention. If it fits your company culture, reference trends, use silly puns, or make the reader laugh. If you know your audience well, you’ll create survey emails that get the responses you want. Also, remember to carry the humor from the subject line into the surveys!

11. Add Symbols, Punctuation, and Emojis

Eye-catching punctuation, unicode symbols, and emojis can boost open rates when they are applied in the right context. Using these graphics sparingly and with intention will make your email marketing subject lines stand out. Try replacing words with emojis and curating your symbols to match the tone or content of the survey. Don't overdo the graphics, and make sure your message is easy to understand.

Tips for writing good survey email subject lines

A/B Testing for Survey Email Subject Lines

Whether you’re sending out NPS surveys or asking for feedback on an entirely different subject, conducting A/B testing on your best subject lines can help you avoid wasting time, money, or resources on ineffective actions. A/B testing compares two subject lines to determine which performs better with your target audience and works with every type of survey email subject line.

To evaluate performance, you show two randomized sets of users a different version of your subject line, then compare the email open rates for each one. No single survey subject line will work for all email campaigns, but testing your subject lines can help you boost your response rates. It may take some time to optimize your strategy and create your best survey subject lines, so be patient.

Once you know how your audience responds, your efforts will be rewarded as more people open and read your email copy.

Try These Survey Email Subject Lines for Great Results

Do you need sample survey email subject lines that will get people to fill out your survey? Use these prompts to ask for feedback!

[Name], can we chat about your experience?

• personalized, open-ended, and values your customer

A personalized question creates intimacy and shows respect for your customers’ feelings. It's gentle, open, and direct without being pushy.

What did you think, [Name]?

• personalized, open-ended, and concise

This question shows that you are focused on learning what your recipient thinks and that you value their response. It's a light and friendly way to encourage a reply.

Tell us about your [product].

• short, values your recipient's opinion

Asking your customer what they think about their purchase is a great way to get relevant, detailed feedback. When the purchase is fresh in their minds, providing you with an opinion will feel effortless.

[Name], take our survey, and get 30% off.

• incentivized, personalized, short, and sweet.

Rewarding customers for sharing their opinions shows that you value their time and feedback. Matching your offer to your customer's desires is likely to increase receptivity.

Help us improve [Brand].

• short and sweet; emphasizes benefits

If your customer is already invested in your brand, they will want to help you improve. Companies can use this email strategy to discover if they need to tweak their offerings or leave them alone.

We’d love to get your advice, [Name].

• personalized; values your recipient

This email subject line makes your recipient feel special by valuing their intelligence, experience, or expertise. It shows you want their insights and are willing to listen to their response.

How would you rate your [product], [Name]?

• personalized; survey question is in the email subject line

This question immediately gets to the heart of your customer's experience. The personalized query tells your customer that you care about their individual opinions.

Got a minute?

• short and sweet, open-ended, lighthearted

This simple question gets people to click on your email by giving them a break from their boredom. It offers them a quick distraction and lets them feel good about helping you out by responding to your survey.

[Name], your feedback means everything.

• personalized; values your customer

People are more likely to answer surveys when they feel like their answers matter. By showing that you value their feedback, you can convince them to respond to your questions.

How did we do, [Name]?

• personalized, short and sweet, open-ended

This direct question encourages an honest response and makes your email easy to open. If your reader likes your offering, they’ll say so. If they're unhappy, then they’ll tell you what’s wrong.

Do we have the [key] to your satisfaction?

• humorous; uses emojis

This email subject line gets your reader's attention by using the key emoji in place of the word "key". It grabs your reader's attention and lets them know you want them to be happy with your offerings.

Don’t say we never asked!

• humorous

This is an email subject line with personality. If you can position your brand as laid-back and humorous, you can convince like-minded customers to take your survey.

Bonus Points: A Few More Tips for Great Survey Subject Lines

The more you know about your customers, the better your subject lines can be. Sending time-triggered emails after recent purchases helps to activate fresh memories that make your message feel important. Location-based messages that mention your recipient’s city can create a sense of community.

You can also improve your response rates significantly if you include a few details about your customers’ likes, dislikes, and preferences that entice them to open your email.

Great Email Survey Subject Lines Are a Win-Win

When you're writing subject lines for email surveys, every word counts. With a little effort, your customers will want to offer their feedback and be happy to contribute to mutual success.