When inviting a respondent to participate in your online survey, the perception of your cover letter (email) is critical. One mistake people often make with online surveys is that the invitation may look like spam. To minimize this misinterpretation, we recommend using a text email, not html with embedded graphics. Personalize the invite with an email program that utilizes a full email address such as a merge program, rather than a bulk email option.
The most important part of your invitation is your subject line. Within that small area you will need to tell the survey respondent three critical pieces of information:
- Topic of the research
- Incentive (if any) for participating
- Sponsor of the survey
Once you’ve developed the best subject line for your survey you should expand on those three critical points of who, what and reward, in the body of your letter.
In addition, include the following information that will give your invite the credibility it needs for successful survey participation:
- The amount of time the survey will take with a statement such as: “Five minutes of your time”
- Contact information for any questions the respondent may have: A full name, address and contact phone/email
If you follow these basic rules when writing your questionnaire invitation, you will increase your chances of respondent participation, for a successful survey.