Best Practices for Sending
In this article:
- Who should I send my survey to?
- When is the best time to send?
- How often should I survey people?
- How can I improve my response rate?
Who should I send my survey to?
When determining which customers to survey, a few important considerations include:
- Are the customers likely to respond?
- Are you pulling together quality emails and/or phone numbers?
- Are you sending along helpful details for segmenting feedback?
Refining the batch of customers you’re surveying is a critical step to ensure you receive a strong volume of high-quality feedback. Here are a few tips for pulling together the best quality group of customers to survey:
Focus on recent activity
Surveying customers with more recent activity with your product/service can help provide stronger response rates and overall feedback. Focusing on the past few weeks is a great starting point. Customers will have a fresh experience to convey, providing feedback on what was great, as well as what could have been better.
If you need to survey older customers, consider using our Intro Message feature to help provide a bit of context. This can help make the outreach much more clear to those less immediately familiar with your brand.
Refine your list quality
When pulling together customer email addresses, be sure to remove anyone who has previously bounced, unsubscribed, or otherwise. Scrubbing any bad email addresses will ensure you’re only using your plan’s volume for active customers who will be likely to respond.
Add detail with Properties
If you’re collecting important details about your customers (ex. user ID, location, product purchased, etc.), you can send that information to Delighted via Properties. You can use Properties to easily segment feedback once received, as well as help match those responses with records in your own internal database.
Learn more about Properties in section 5. Managing People & Properties.
Translate with customer locales
If you’re sending to customers in different countries, you can include a special property in your CSV/Excel file to localize the survey experience - automatically translating the survey in the customer’s respective language. Learn more about locales in our Translating your Survey article.
When is the best time to send?
The best times for sending can be found between 6am and 9am, particularly on Mondays and Tuesdays. Both open rates and response rates are typically highest during these time windows. Maintaining a weekday (Monday-Friday), early morning (6am-10am) time window is a good bet for achieving the highest open rates and response rates. Keep in mind that your customers may be in a different time zone than you.
Curious if your timing is producing the best results? After you start sending, be sure to check out your survey metrics to determine which days are leading to the best engagement.
How often should I survey people?
Frequency of surveying will depend on your business and industry. Here are a few general guidelines:
Survey your B2B customers 3 months after they convert to a paid account. B2B relationships take a bit more time to grow in order to provide feedback about their full experience. And then every 3-6 months thereafter.
Survey your SaaS customers a month or so after their subscription starts. This affords them enough time to have the full service experience prior to providing feedback. And then survey again every 3-6 months thereafter!
Survey your eCommerce customers a few days to a week after their product arrives. Be sure to take into consideration any shipping time, as well as time needed to experience the product.
After that initial send, consider sending quarterly, biannual, or annual surveys to all customers for a constant pulse of feedback.
You can set your throttling period to automatically prevent anyone from being over surveyed. Our throttling feature will ensure the same person, based on their email address or phone number, isn’t sent a Delighted survey more than once in a time period you select. Your throttle covers all sending methods, including Email, Web, and others. Throttling ensures no-one is surveyed too often, regardless of the survey method.
How can I improve my response rate?
Adjust your sample
As mentioned above, focusing on active, recent customers will really your response rate. Recently active customers (ex. with recent transactions, visits to your SaaS app, etc.) will be more likely to respond and can help provide more actionable qualitative feedback about their recent experience.
Totally fine to survey less active customers as well, but it may be worth including a property for that segment to differentiate their feedback.
For example, including a column header of “Activity” and then the value associated with each person, such as:
- Active Within Last 1-2 Months
- Active Within Last 2-6 Months
- Active Within Last 6-12 Months
- Active 12+ Months
This approach will help you identify if response rates are low overall, or only for less active customers (in which case you can simply increase their sample size for more feedback or, alternatively, focus more specifically on active customers).
Subject Line and A/B Testing
A key to improving response rates is to also amplify the underlying open rates. One of the best ways to do this is to tweak the subject line. You can adjust the subject line via Survey People-> Gear Icon-> Customize Appearance-> Email Customization. To save you the time, here's a quick link.
We've found that mentioning your brand and the time investment can be helpful for ensuring the survey is a bit more appealing to open (as opposed to a survey with unknown length). For example:
Take our quick 30-second Delighted survey
You can use Delighted's special property "Delighted Email Subject" to dynamically update the subject line on a person-by-person basis. This is a great way to A/B test response rates for different subject lines, isolating the phrasing that works best for your customers (similar to how you filter properties currently via the sidebar). More information can be found via our guide on Special Properties.
Note, we suggest avoiding special characters (particularly exclamation points) and caps, as this formatting can often result in spam filtering.
Revise the Intro Message
Use the Intro Message to provide more context. Offer more detail in the Intro Message to help position the context of the outreach and refresh the customer's memory. For example:
This is just a quick 30-second survey regarding your recent experience with Delighted. You currently use our platform to help send NPS surveys, and dig into those results on your dashboard.
Well-constructed intro messages can help convert more survey opens into actual responses. You can customize the intro message via the Customize Appearance page, which is the same area as the subject line (Intro Message being located under “Advanced Customization”).
Send a broadcast
Preempt the NPS survey by reaching out to all those that will be surveyed, providing information on: 1) Why you're reaching out, 2) The nature of the NPS survey (quick, totally open-ended, etc.), 3) How the feedback will be used. We recommend sending this broadcast a couple of days to a week before your NPS send.
These broadcasts work wonders in many verticals, as they help provide far more context, as well as increase engagement since there is a clear connection between the provided feedback and resulting action. If you're sending based on a trigger, it can help to send out these broadcasts on a quarterly basis or so.
While broadcasts are not always a perfect fit for all customers, they’re worth a review as you’re digging into methods to increase engagement.
You can use our special properties to dynamically update the survey's subject line, intro message, and other areas on a person-by-person basis. Including the survey recipient’s name in a subject line or intro message can help personalize the experience and lead to increased engagement. You can learn more about special properties here.
Send from a familiar domain
While we maintain exceptional high deliverability rates, it may be worth authenticating with your domain so we can send via a “From” address/domain that is more familiar to those you're surveying.
We can provide you with CNAME records that would allow you to send from an email address with your domain as opposed to “@delighted.com”. This can help increase open rates, since the address will be a bit more familiar, as well as deal with any edge cases where whitelisting may be an issue.
Interested in setting up these records? Read how to generate them here!
Refine your trigger
Sending manually? Consider transitioning to our API. If you’re triggering surveys to be dispatched based on specific customer events (ex. recent purchase, attendance at an event, key action in your SaaS app, etc.), the customer will better understand why you’re reaching and will, as a result, have more actionable feedback to provide. Check out our Delighted REST API guide for details on making the switch!