Step 5: Send your survey
As part of your survey project of course the sendout is a vital part of it. You will need to decide who should receive the survey, through what channel and when it should be sent. The most common distribution channel is to send your survey via e-mail but there are also possibility to distribute it via SMS or by publishing a direct link to the survey on, for example, an intranet or webpage as well.
It is possible to combine multiple different distribution channels for one single survey, meaning you can do a survey with both and e-mail and an SMS sendout in order to receive one aggregated result to work with.
Choosing distribution channel
When it comes to deciding how to distribute your survey it is often not so much a matter of how you want to distribute it, but rather what means of contact you have to your respondents and what is most likely for the most people to answer from.
As mentioned the most common way of distribution is by sending the survey directly to the respondents e-mails. This is often preferred by the simple reason that it is a very convenient way to contact people. The e-mail will be in the respondents inbox and it will not dissapear from there without the recipient reads the e-mail.
For shorter “pulse”-surveys, sending an SMS containing the survey link can be sufficient. It is a quick and easy way to reach respondents with a short survey that you can enter and finish within only a few seconds without any big efforts.
Should you not have any direct contact with your potential respondents but the target group is visitor on your webpage for example, the only natural solution for you is to use the survey link. It will allow everyone that is interested in responding to the survey to do so by just pressing a link and submitting their answers.
You can read more about the different distribution channels here.
What to include in the sendout text
1. What is the survey about?
Be clear with the content and purpose of the survey. Try and make it as short and concise as possible.
2. Why should the recipients respond to the survey?
The percentage of answers increases if you give them a good reason for responding and explain why it is vital that they respond.
3. How long will it take to respond?
Be honest! If you are unsure, ask some colleagues to respond to the survey and see how long it takes. If it is a short survey, you can use that as an argument to respond and if it is a longer one, it is good to provide the recipients with plenty of motivation to respond to the whole survey.
4. How will the results of the survey help you?
Don’t forget to write how important the respondents’ feedback is and how it will help you to improve your product/support/service.
5. Is the survey anonymous?
If it is anonymous, be sure to tell them, in order to obtain answers that are honest.
6. How should the subject field be worded?
The subject field is the first thing that the respondent reads. Keep it short, easy to understand and with a clear purpose. You can also do a test by sending two e-mails with different subject fields to a small group of respondents to see if either of the emails receives a larger percentage of answers.
7. Which email address is the survey sent from?
Use an email address that the respondent will immediately recognise, otherwise you will risk having the e-mail dismissed as spam.
8. Who is the sender of the survey?
Most companies use the company name as the sender, but it can also be effective to use a specific person as the sender. You could, for example, send the survey from the product manager if the survey is about product development or from a sales representative who has had direct contact with the customer.
When is a good time to send a survey?
This is a tricky question since there is no universal truth since it depends on the target group and you will need to take a number of circumstances into consideration, for example holidays and other events. Generally speaking it is preferred to send surveys early in the week in order to get the best response from your target group.
This graph is based on data in Netigate of responses received on different days of the week: