Contacting respondents for your online survey

You have several ways to do this. If you have the email addresses of your respondents, you can send the questionnaire directly to their email inbox. If you want to propose a satisfaction survey to your website visitors or your social network fans, you can publish the URL directly on the site or on your company’s Facebook page.

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Contacting respondents for your online survey

Email questionnaire

  • It has the following characteristics:
    – You can control who responds to the survey
    – You can relaunch anyone you want to
    – No one can answer twice
    – You can tie the survey to information that is already known by the respondent and that will be very helpful when you analyze the results
  • Maximize opening and response rates

    – The email subject must really make people want to answer
    – Add an image to it if possible
    – The text must be short and simple and include the following information:
    . Theme
    . Why it’s important to answer
    . When the study starts and finishes
    . How much time it takes to answer
    . That it is not disguised marketing
    . That personal data is protected
    . An unsubscribe link

    If the email contains all this information, you will not need to repeat it on the home page of the questionnaire. You email should be personalized with merge fields so that it addresses the recipient personally.
    If you proceed in this way, you must ensure certain points concerning your email address database: 


    You cannot buy email addresses. Individuals are the owners of their address, and they must agree to receive messages from you.

    Collecting email addresses

    To be solicited, an individual must have agreed that his or her address can be reused later at the time the address is collected (opt-in). In the market study area, a second validation is almost always requested for validating an email address (double opt-in). This is done by sending an email after registration with a validation link, where the individual can click to confirm that the address is valid.

    Complaint management

    Since email addresses have increasingly shorter lifecycles, error returns are numerous. Email sending must be followed by an analysis of error returns so that these erroneous email addresses will not be included in future waves. If you do not do this, you will receive complaints from access providers, who may block the sending of your emails or all emails in general without warning. At AreYouNet, we follow the emails sent by our servers every day, and we are regularly obliged to block emailings when the basic principles listed above are not followed.

    More tips

    – Best Practice: Sending questionnaires by email – errors to avoid
    – Best Practice: Sending questionnaires by FTP
    – Best Practice: Identification of respondents when routing is external to the survey platform

The survey link on a website

Concretely, this involves the survey URL, which is placed wherever you like on a website in an area that is available to everyone (you won’t know who answers) or in a connected area (you will know who answers if you include the respondent’s identifier in the questionnaire).

Publishing a survey on the social networks

It is also possible to publish the questionnaire on the social networks. This is done in two ways:

  • Post a message with the link
  • Include the questionnaire directly on your Facebook page to ensure a neat and properly highlighted message.

The main advantage of publishing a study on the social networks is that you will be able to contact 15- to 25-year-olds who use email less and less.



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