Mastering the survey email is both a science and an art. You need the clarity to stick to the rules - keep it succinct and include the essentials - and the finesse to convey the importance and establish a meaningful connection with parents so they take the survey.
Follow these 7 tips, distilled from the survey emails we see at schools, for crafting your own perfect survey invitation email and see improved survey results.
1. Write a short, indicative subject line
Subject lines should tell the reader what is to come in the email. It is good to indicate what the email is about and what is in it for them. Keep it simple or try something with more character.
2. Show them the link
It is obvious but make sure you include a clear link to the survey and call to action.
Include the link early in the email. Make sure that the link has a good amount of clear space around it so it does not get lost in the message. You can also bold the link to make it stand out.
3. What is the purpose of the survey?
Let them know how information will be used. Parents care much less about jargon terms and your commitment towards the state and much more about about how they will benefit.
4. How long will the survey take
You should give a realistic estimate of the time the survey will take. Saying “brief” doesn’t inform the respondent how much time the survey with take. Say 10 minutes not “a short time”.
Remember that shorter is always better for surveys but resist the urge to deliberately under-estimate this time.
5. Assure anonymity or confidentiality
Indicate if survey is anonymous and if it is not, let your users know that the results will be kept confidential
6. Provide a deadline for your survey or send a reminder
Include a deadline for survey completion. You can instead also send out a reminder email 1-2 days before the survey end date. You can also choose to do both.
7. Don’t forget to thank them
Show them appreciation! Not only does thanking someone make them feel good, it shows that you care and are acknowledging who they are. It can be a simple but sincere thank you.
Here are some example survey emails
Please complete Lincoln School’s 2017 Parent Survey
Greetings Lincoln Families,
It is time again to check in with our families as to the successes and struggles here at Lincoln School. Please fill out this survey at your earliest convenience.
Link to Survey
The survey will be used in evaluating our current programs, and for planning programs & priorities for next year. There are 7 questions where you select one or more choices. Each question also has a comment box, if you wish to add more detail to your answer. The survey should take you anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to complete.
All of the information is confidential, and your participation in voluntary, but we can't emphasize enough how important it is that we hear from you!
We have more than 500 families at our school, and are hoping to get at least 200 survey responses by Friday, March 3rd so we can get genuine feedback on areas that are going well, as well as areas that need adjusting.
Thank you for your partnership in this important effort. :-)
Parent Survey - Your input is very important
Dear Lincoln Parents,
We need your help in our planning process for next year. Please fill out this 5 minute anonymous survey designed to gather information about what you think has worked this year at the school and what needs improvement.
Click here to start the Survey
Please fill out the survey by Friday, February 17th. Your time and feedback is greatly appreciated.
Do you have a survey email that works for you? Share it with us under comments here. Thank you!