Do you remember as a child when you told your mom that you weren’t feeling well?

Most likely, she probably went and got the thermometer and took your temperature because she wanted to see exactly how you were feeling, and your temperature was a great place to start.

Surveying your email contacts is a lot like taking their temperature. You can find out whether they’re lukewarm or running a fever when it comes to your email marketing.

When surveying your customers and clients, you also have an opportunity to turn their feedback into positive changes that encourage your email contacts to keep coming back for more.

Here are a couple of tips for generating an online survey that your audience will want to take:

Keep it short

When it comes to surveys, the shorter the better. This is true for both the number of questions in a survey as well as the length of each question and your answer options. For the best results, send a survey that contains no more than 12 questions, be sure to include multiple choice questions whenever possible, and limit your open-ended questions to no more than 3. If a survey is too time consuming, your email contacts will be less likely to provide the feedback you’re requesting.

Close the loop

Those that participate in your survey are doing so because they want to be heard.  They also want to know that you’re taking action based on their feedback. Be sure to notify your customers and clients when you make changes as a result of their feedback. This is one of the best ways to set yourself apart from your competition, and your audience is much more likely to participate in future surveys when they know that their voice is being heard.

Think outside the box

While online surveys give you a chance to take the temperature of your customers and clients, you can also use them to encourage engagement and participation. If you’re considering updating your brand, or you’re offering a new product or service, check in with your customers. Ask them to help you name the product, design a logo, or come up with a new slogan. Make it a fun experience while getting them involved at the same time.

Lastly, your clients’ and customers’ preferences will change over time. Survey them periodically to gauge what they want to receive from you. When you deliver relevant content, your email contacts are more likely to take action now and in the future.

Have additional questions about online surveys? Ask me in the comments below.