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MailChimp survey and polls in email

Embed polls and surveys in Emails via MailChimp to Boost Your Campaign ROI

Are you taking up a customer-centric approach for your email marketing so as to deliver what subscribers are looking for? If yes, you’re on the right track. The cut-throat competition has made it imperative to live up to the expectations of your subscribers/ customers.

You can stand true to the customer expectations by keeping them engaged and asking for their reviews and feedback that is best done through email marketing.

Table of Content:

Importance of customer feedback

1. To know your customers better

A feedback/survey gives your customer an opportunity to share exactly what they like or dislike about a service/product. The information can be helpful in improving operations and customer satisfaction.

2. To retain and recover customers

If your customer is happy, it is obvious that you are less likely to lose them to a competitor. Customer feedback helps to retain customers, as you can act on the suggestions identified in feedback surveys. If an issue is resolved in customer’s favor, there is a  70% chance of return.

3. To manage the negative reviews

A negative review online is a bitter pill to swallow, especially for the service industry. If you provide the customers direct feedback options, it will reduce the amount of negative feedback on review websites, which can hurt you financially. The direct feedback gives you a chance to solve your customers’ issues, thus helping to retain them.

4. To establish a link

If you have run a feedback program for a year or more, it will be possible for you to compare financials to determine whether enhanced customer experience results in better business outcome or not. More often than not, it does.

Types of survey questions

How to collect customer feedback through email?

You can collect customer feedback in two different ways in email marketing.

1. Web-based or Traditional

Many email marketers redirect the subscriber to the respective landing page or Google Forms so that the recipient can hop on to the webpage and fill the survey. This is known as web-based feedback email. Here’s an example by J Crew.

j.crew feedback

The advantage of using this approach is that you can put in the questions of your choice without stressing over the limitations of the email client or ESP.

However, it adds an extra click for the subscribers who want to share their feedback… and it is quite likely that they skip the step altogether. Generating a response from the subscribers would become a challenge if you cannot convince the visitors to go to the landing page.

Consequently, you would end up missing out on a sizable section of potential subscribers.

According to GetResponse email marketing benchmarks, your average click-through rate can be somewhere between 5-7%. Going by this statistic, the success rate of your email campaign would be merely around 2-3%.

Moreover, proper landing page and ESP integration is of paramount importance if you choose to go by this approach; and it naturally takes more efforts and resources to create a dedicated landing page.

Beautiful landing pages help in getting higher conversions by enticing the subscribers to buy.

If you are looking for high converting landing pages for your emails, Monks would love to help.

2. Email-based or Embedded

An email-based feedback email consists of survey questions embedded right there. According to a study, embedded feedback emails enhanced the survey engagement by 210% in comparison to the traditional feedback email.

These one-touch email surveys certainly work better if you have subscribers who check your email on email clients other than Outlook. But in case you have subscribers who use Outlook, here’s how to create emails that render well on Outlook.

USE CASE for Embedded Polls and Surveys in Emails

You have worked really hard to garner 1,00,000 subscribers in your subscriber list.

Out of these, your active subscribers would be somewhere around 67000 and the remaining would be inactive or have a low engagement level.

Active subscribers

Considering industry average, only 2300 subscribers would click-through the feedback email and start filling the survey.

2- performance of the email campaign

According to the average success rate of any email campaign, only 500 are likely to finish the entire survey.

3-response rate

On the other hand, if we include the survey in the email itself, it will eliminate the need to click-through the email and significantly boost the email response rate.

response rate of email

This means that there’s a 160% increase in the response rate if you use embedded email rather than traditional email.

Assume you’re the owner of a restaurant that has recently introduced a new dish on the menu. Embed survey in email if you want to know what the customers think about your new dish. You can even use polls and ask them about their culinary experience, ambiance, etc. at your restaurant – that’ll help you serve them better.

If this sounds like a good idea, you can take help of MailChimp’s survey or poll merge tags. To insert a question and rating scale, you can use the poll merge tag and to insert a question with answer option, survey merge tag becomes useful. You can even make use of custom MailChimp templates.

This link would not help you to create polls and surveys in emails.

You can get in touch with us if you need those templates.

embed polls and surveys in emails

How to Add Polls to an Email Campaign?

  • Go to the Design step of the Campaign Builder.
  • Edit the text content block you wish to work upon by clicking on it.
  • Use the syntax given below to place the poll merge tag into the editor.

*|POLL:RATING:x|*
<Your Poll Question Here>
*|END:POLL|*

  • Click on “Save & Close”.

You’ll be able to determine the orientation of the poll in your campaign by the x value in the merge tag. It can be either H or V. If you want to display the poll horizontally, replace x with H. Replace x with V for vertical placement.

Close each and every *|POLL:RATING:x|* tag with a corresponding *|END:POLL|* to get separate responses.

You won’t be able to change the lowest and highest labels in the simple poll.

The merge tags get converted into a clickable rating scale when the subscriber receives your poll campaign, as shown below.

poll in emailYou’ll be able to view the total votes that each option received, its percentage, and the last vote that was recorded in that poll. By using the poll merge tag, you can check how many subscribers voted for each of the numbers 1-10. To see which subscriber clicked on which number, go to the response numbers in the Option column.

Check out the below image:

embed polls in emails

Points to Remember                      

  • When you use a poll merge tag, it redirects the subscribers to the survey landing page on answering every poll question. If you’ve added multiple poll questions, subscribers will need to come back to the email to answer the next question.
  • Polls will work even if you haven’t enabled click tracking.

Applications of Polls in Email

  • Determine the likeliness of customers to recommend your product or service.
  • Gauge the level of your customer service.
  • Ascertain whether your customers are satisfied with your offerings.
  • Ask the feedback about the quality of content in your resources.
  • After a product delivery, eCommerce websites can get feedback on the product quality and delivery.
  • Companies can ask for feedback about a newly launched product.
  • Travel, food, hotel, and retail industry can make use of polls in emails to know whether a customer enjoyed their services, products, and amenities.
  • Automobile industry can determine how efficient their manufacturing and maintenance programs are.

How to Add Surveys to an Email Campaign?

  • Go to the Design step of the Campaign Builder.
  • Edit the text content block to create the email survey template.
  • Place your survey question into the editor.
  • After the survey question, add the *|SURVEY:|* merge tag into the editor. Type in the survey response after the colon.

Make sure you use a separate *|SURVEY:|* merge tag for each and every response.

Let’s take an example:

Q. What do you prefer as a beverage?

*|SURVEY: Tea|*
*|SURVEY: Coffee|*
*|SURVEY: None of these|*
*|SURVEY: Both of these|*Click on “Save & Close”.

  • Click on “Save & Close”

The merge tags get converted into a survey question when the subscriber receives your survey campaign.

This is how it’ll appear:

survey in emailsThe survey results will appear as below:

embed survey in emails

Points to Remember

  • Your subscribers can vote only once.
  • You can add only one survey in a single campaign. The system will link every response option you add to the first question, as it can’t discern the *|SURVEY:Response|* tags in the campaign. Subscribers will see every question but only be able to answer one.
  • Make sure each of your survey responses is unique. For example, don’t include *|SURVEY:None of these|* more than once in the same campaign.
  • Survey merge tags take up the link style for the campaign section they’re added to. Even when you style the links separately, you should preview and test the campaign without fail so that the changes you made are in sync with the back-end code for the survey merge tags.

Applications of Surveys in Email

  • Get information on customer behavior.
  • Know their interests and preferences.
  • You can identify buyer personas through surveys.
  • Employees can ask employers about their opinion on the latest services introduced.
  • Ecommerce industry can take help of surveys in emails to understand what kind of products customers like, and use the information to personalize their emails.
  • Travel industry can send out surveys in emails to know the most preferred time for vacation.
  • Education industry can send a survey to their students to help improve the teaching method.
  • Electronics industry can understand their buyer persona through surveys and send them product recommendations accordingly.

Some Useful Tips for Polls and Surveys

  • ONLY subscribers on your list can vote in the poll or survey. MailChimp system can’t record the responses received through a forwarded email.
  • MailChimp can record the results only if the recipient responds to the poll or survey from their email inbox. Subscribers can’t respond to the poll or survey if they visit the campaign archive page.

Once the subscriber votes on a question, they are redirected to “Thanks for voting” message.
If the subscriber tries to vote again, they will be brought to the message “Sorry, you can only vote once per poll”.
You can edit these messages from the “Translate it” tab for the survey landing page.

How to View the Poll Results?

MailChimp system stores the captured responses in the campaign report whenever a poll or survey campaign is emailed to your list.

  • Go to the Reports page.
  • Click on the View Report button for that campaign.
  • Go to Analytics360.
  • Scroll down to the Poll Results section on the page.

All the information regarding the poll question- votes cast, pending votes, last vote cast and a table with all results- is displayed under Poll Results.

Creating Segments According to Results

You can segment your list on the basis of responses received on a poll or the specific responses received in a survey. Whether the subscriber has responded to the poll or survey can also be a parameter to segment the list.

Wrapping Up

Despite the limitations of using polls and surveys in emails, it’s a cost-effective method to figure out how your products and services are perceived by your customer. Ask the right questions through polls and surveys to discover the right direction towards business growth.

Are you ready to use polls and surveys in email?

Let me rephrase that.
How likely are you to recommend the usage of polls and surveys in email for your business?

Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Kevin is the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks, one of the fastest growing email design and coding companies. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage, share insights with fellow marketers, and enjoys sharing his thoughts on the latest email marketing best practices at EmailMonks Blog.

18 thoughts on “Embed polls and surveys in Emails via MailChimp to Boost Your Campaign ROI”

  • Jordan

    Hey Kevin,

    Is there a way to embed a form that users fill out which goes to automatically update their profile? There’s an Update Profile link they can click, but having a form directly in the email would be more effective.

    Thanks!

    Jordan

    • Hey Jordan!
      The form for updating the profile cannot be embedded directly within the email, as the information needs to be saved within the mailchimp’s database.
      We’ll need to use mailchimp’s form to make the profile updates.
      Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Fatou

    Thanks for this great article. Do you find that Polls work in outlook.com? The scale from 1 to 10 doesn’t work when I said a test email to that email provider? Do you also find that they work in Microsoft Outlook? Thanks for your feedback.

    • Hello Fatou.
      Polls work in Outlook.com as well as Outlook.
      Kindly get in touch with us on hello(@)emailmonks(.)com if you have any other query regarding the same.
      Hope this helps.

  • Russell

    Hi,
    Can I place the *|SURVEY|* code in a button, rather than have plain text?

    I did a test email and MC doesn’t seem to allow for this.

    Thanks.

    • Hey Russell.

      The text can be styled but it needs to be text, not button. MailChimp does not support the button.

      I hope that answers your query.

      In case you have any further queries, you can contact us on hello(at)emailmonks(dot)net.

  • Hey Kevin
    I’m trying to work out how to embed my first question from a survey-monkey survey into a mail-chimp e-mail .. Is there a template for this, or simple solution to add to the basic survey-monkey template?
    Thanks

    • Hey Chris. Unfortunately, we provide email templates that work in Mailchimp but not in Survey Monkey.
      Do let us know if you need any further help.

  • Hi there! This is super helpful. But when I put together the survey and vote in a test email, it keeps sending me to a 404 page — no “thanks for voting!”. Any insight as to a fix?

  • Linsey

    Hi there – when using the survey tag they show up “blank” or “white” and is unable to be seen. I’ve tried looking at the link style in the design section of the campaign but can’t figure out why the options are colored white – none of the other links are white. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Hey Linsey,
      Can you please elaborate what is unable to see, entire survey section or just the option lists? There’s always a way to style the anchors.
      Can you please come up with the code so we can help you guide you properly?
      We would be happy to help.

  • Hey Kevin,

    I just have one question. I want that people who responded to this survey could be able to leave an open feedback on the “Survey landing page” ?

    Is there any way to do it, by this way or another way (like send an automated mail to those who responded to the email) ?

    Thank you !

    Have a good day !

    Enzo

    • Hey Enzo,

      Mailchimp doesn’t provide facility to receive open feedback from emails. There are just 2 options – Polls and Surveys.

      But you can prepare a landing page for the further feedback, and prepare another email for next open feedback with the Feedback URL.

      MailChimp provides segmentation, so you can send the feedback email to those who responded to the first survey email.

      Hope this helps.

  • Leo

    Hey! I’ve followed these steps and survey worked perfectly on the outlook, but the survey options are not clickable when you open an email on Gmail. Any advice? Thanks!

  • CHIBIN

    Hi Kevin,

    This article helps a lot!! The survey totally works, but I have one question, what if I want to make multiple options in the poll, i.e. check all that apply?
    Thanks

    • Hey Chibin.
      It isn’t possible to check multiple options in the poll.
      However, please send us the code at hello(at)emailmonks(dot)com and we’ll be happy to help you out.

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