In last week’s blog post I talked about what a Net Promoter Score (NPS) is and how to start figuring out what your score is. In that blog post, I covered the different types of surveys that you’ll need to use to get the information from your customers that you need to calculate how your business is doing, in terms of your customer’s experience (CX).

Because surveys are such a critical component of getting the information that you need, I thought this would be a good time to talk about how to get the best results to your surveys. We’re going to walk through each step for delivering your survey, getting your recipients to open the survey, and how to increase the conversions of your survey.

Survey Deliverability

No matter how well you’ve formulated the questions to your NPS survey, if you can’t get the email invitation to take the survey into the recipient’s inbox, you’ll never get an answer to those amazing questions.

Delivering surveys via email is the most popular method for getting surveys into the hands of the people that you’re trying to get information from. So, step one is, if you’re using a survey platform (i.e. SurveyMonkey, SurveyPlanet, SurveyGizmo, etc) you need to make sure that their email delivery rates are good. There are a couple of things that you want to look at regarding deliverability:

  • The List: This one is on you. You have to make sure that the list of email addresses that you’re going to send to are valid. There are a lot of services that will help you validate your email list. Here are just a couple; Byteplant’s Email Validator, BriteVerify, Email Checker.
  • Spam Filters: Once you’re confident that your list is valid you then have to turn your attention to developing an email that gets through the spam filters because even if you have a valid email address, if the recipient’s email server thinks your email is spam your recipient will never see your message.
    The best thing that you can do to escape the spam filters is to have an email message with quality content. Take a look at every component of your email message, the subject line, the body content and any images that you use in your message and make sure that they are all relevant for the person that is receiving the message.
    • Subject Line: Identify who you are within the subject line. Keep. your subject line as short as possible so people can read it on a mobile device. Don’t use a subject line with all capital letters. Here are some great ideas that you can use to put together your subject lines.
    • Body Copy: Start with a personalized greeting, the explain exactly why they are receiving this invitation and what the purpose of the survey is. They are going to want to know what you are going to use this information for, so this is a great time to tell them. Finally, keep the body of your email invitation as brief as possible and use a short survey link that is in its own paragraph to help it stand out.
    • Using Images: Using images in your email invitation is fine, however, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not using images that are too large of a file size. Remember that the vast majority of your recipients will look at your message for the first time on a mobile device so the faster that your email will download, the better. Most email messages are optimized around 600-800 pixels wide. Don’t make your image wider than the email message.

Survey Questions

According to a recent study from Medallia, more than half (57%) of the respondents said that they abandoned a survey without completing it because the survey was too long! The second most often reason given for not completing a survey is the perception that the information that is given won’t be acted upon.

To get quality answers to your questions, here are some tips for writing good survey questions:

  • Make it easy: Don’t make the recipient of your survey work harder than necessary. Whenever possible, let them answer yes/no or multiple choice. It’s much easier to hit a checkbox, radio button, or drop down selection than to fill out a long text box.
  • Categorize: Try to keep all like questions grouped together. Once they’re thinking about their experience with your website you’ll break their flow if you throw in a question about your product delivery service.
  • Don’t Pontificate: Keep the language of your survey simple and to the point.
  • Don’t lead them on: Try to keep your questions unbiased to get the real answers that you’re looking for.
  • Use closed-ended questions: Open-ended questions require more effort and time to answer. Ask too many of these and your recipient will abandon your survey.


Your customers are a wealth of information and they will give you the information that you need to grow your business, whether you’re trying to calculate your NPS or if you’re just trying to figure out what new product to develop. But, you have to ask them the right way.