When we released surveys to the Emma community last month, we couldn't help but send a Emma-powered survey to our customers, too. And, in the spirit of learning how surveys and email marketing campaigns work best together, I used the survey's email invitation to test which link was more clickable: an invitation to take a brief survey or a more specific offer to take a 5-minute survey.
I did some hypothesizing (thanks, 7th grade science teacher!) that the '5-minute' language would be more effective. After all, five minutes means five minutes, whereas 'brief' may just be marketing-speak for 'the longest survey of your life, sucker.' When you're asking for someone's time, there's little question that it's good to be as specific as possible.
The question was: does being more specific in the invitation really make a difference in how people engage with your survey?
Here's what we found. While the difference wasn't outrageous, the five-minute invitation gave us better click-through rates and survey participation rates. Between the 'brief' campaign and the 'five-minute' campaign, we saw:
* An 8% increase in click-through rates in the email campaign
* A 9% increase in people who started the survey once arriving on the page
* An 11% increase in people who completed the 18-question survey
And yes, there's more. In the email campaign, there were two places folks could click through – the top mention, which is where we tested the different language, and the bottom mention, which stayed the same between the two campaigns. What's interesting? The 8% increase showed up *exclusively* in the difference between the top-mention clicks. The clicks on the bottom-mention were statistically identical between the two versions.
Based on that fun little tidbit, I've been doing some rather unscientific speculating (sorry, 7th grade science teacher) that the boost in engagement doesn't come just from a subscriber *understanding* it's a five-minute survey and appreciating the specificity. Perhaps it's connected to the physical act of seeing (and then clicking) the language that's setting the expectation. If that weren't the case, I'd have expected a little more variation in clicks in the lower mention.
The moral of the story: While setting an expectation with a specific time isn't the silver bullet to boosting your survey participation numbers, the people who appreciate the specificity will be increasing likely to visit, start and complete your survey.
Are you using email marketing to promote your surveys and online forms? If so, tell us what's working for you.