Customer Survey Emails: How to Find the REAL Reason People Aren’t Buying

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customer survey emails

Customer survey emails get a bad rap. Most of the time, they deserve it.

Many of us roll our eyes when we see an email in our inbox asking us to spend time answering questions about a brand – even a brand that we like.

And the discount offer in a survey email subject line usually sounds too good to be true (“100 free pairs up for grabs!”).

But (you knew it was coming) – there is a right way to do customer survey emails. And they can help you to understand your customers better, so you can make the right decisions when sales are lower than you’d like.

In this article, we’re taking a deep dive into customer feedback surveys:

  • Need-to-know stats about how many people actually respond to surveys
  • A quick case study on a high-end skincare company that saved themselves a LOT of money through feedback survey emails
  • Quick guide to creating effective survey request emails, from subject line to sign-off

Feedback Survey Emails: the Good, the Bad, and the Spam-Worthy

It’s no secret that a lot of ecommerce email marketing surveys are poorly executed, and give readers unnecessary work.

That’s probably why the average response rate for feedback surveys hovers somewhere between 20 and 30%.

But email surveys are an essential tool in the email marketing toolbox, for a couple of reasons:

They give you the literal voice of the customer: your current and potential customers are engaging with your website and/or ads. So if you want to answer critical questions about your brand, there is nobody better qualified to answer them.

They’re pretty cheap: the costs are relatively low, even if you use a dedicated survey platform. 

Surveying customers shows you care: people in general may not like surveys. But they do like it when a brand listens. If you give them a chance to air their opinion – and then act on that information, you can make a lasting impression.

Email Marketing Case Study: Customer Survey Emails as a Source of Vital Business Intelligence 

One of our newest clients at Hustler Marketing is a high-end skincare brand that uses natural, safe ingredients. 

When they came onboard, they had great products and beautiful, rich digital experiences from website to social.

Despite all of that, sales weren’t what they wanted them to be – and the relatively high price tag looked like the most obvious culprit.

But we’ve seen this before, and we suspected the picture was more complex. So, before rushing to offer big discounts and special deals, the Hustler Marketing team pitched a different strategy: customer feedback surveys.

A Twofold Survey Invitation Email Strategy

Our team created 2 survey invitation emails, for buyers and non-buyers. These emails were plain text, and each contained a link to a simple Google Form with 5 clear questions.

We ensured that there was minimal friction: the survey was easy to complete, and there was an attractive discount incentive for those who completed it.

customer survey email

Buyers Survey: Focused on demographics, past purchases, satisfaction, packaging, shipping, customer service, overall experience, and suggestions for improvement.

Non-Buyers Survey: Gathered information on skincare habits, age, and reasons for not purchasing.

The Results of Our Customer Survey Emails

For non-buyers, the main barriers in order of priority were:

  • I don’t know the brand well enough
  • I want to try out a product sample before I buy
  • Physical shopping is how I like to buy skincare products
  • The price is a little high
  • I need more information before I can make a decision

For buyers, the main areas for improvement were:

  • There are some issues with packaging
  • Product variety isn’t broad enough
  • I liked the product, but the price is keeping me from buying again

The really interesting thing here was that price didn’t make #1 position for either segment.

So, if the store had resorted to discounts to boost sales, they would have lost out on revenue (completely unnecessarily). 

How to Create an Effective Survey Request Email

There’s a simple rule when it comes to survey request emails: reduce friction as much as possible.

Friction comes from things like:

Asking too many questions: the more questions you ask, the less time people spend answering each one. So pick a small number of questions that target the info you really want. In the case study we outlined earlier, we went with 5 short questions .

Demanding long form answers: instead of asking “how do you feel about our prices?”, use something like a scale. For example, the question can be: “Our prices are…”, with options ranging from 1 (really low) to 5 (way too high).

Not offering anything in return: you don’t have to offer crazy discounts, but you’re more likely to get engagement if readers feel like there’s something tangible in it for them.

Survey Email Subject Lines: Clear Trumps Clever

People see through email marketing copywriting tricks. So we recommend just being honest and straightforward.

Here are some examples of effective survey email subject lines we used for our skincare client:

  • How is your order going? ✨ (curiosity)
  • We hope you loved everything✨🌿 (caring)
  • Your opinion = 25% off ✨ (help us help you)

Ecommerce Email Marketing That Gets Results: Hustler Marketing Makes it Happen

At the end of the day, getting to know your customer isn’t just about personalizing your email marketing. If you really listen, you can gain real business intel that translates into cold, hard revenue. 

So here’s some advice from an email marketing agency that’s seen it all: don’t forget the tried-and-test email feedback survey. Make it clear and simple, so the people who know your brand best can tell you what’s up.

As always, we at Hustler Marketing are here to help. Reach out to our friendly team to learn more about our done-for-you email & SMS marketing services, and how they could transform your retention marketing strategy for long term growth,

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