The 4 Survey Emails That’ll Give You Answers to Your Most Pressing Questions

Am I sending too many emails? Or too few?

Why is no one opening my emails?!

Will my subscriber buy the new product I’m going to create?

What do my customers think of my service? Are they happy?

If you’ve asked yourself any of these questions recently, there’s one email that can answer all of them: the survey email.

With a solid survey email, you can decrease unsubscribes, increase engagement and get validation for your next big project before you start working on it.

Ready to find answers? Read this post to learn about four types of survey emails you can send to your audience. Plus, you’ll learn how to write these emails in a way that gets subscribers to complete them.

The new subscriber survey email

You don’t have to wait a year or more to begin gathering information about your subscribers. One of the most valuable survey emails you can send should go to people shortly after they sign up to your list.

Here at AWeber, we send a survey to almost every new subscriber in our welcome automation campaigns. By doing so, we can ask every new subscriber questions that’ll help us send more valuable content and better offers.

We’ve used survey responses from new subscribers to revamp entire campaigns, increase open and click-through rates, decrease unsubscribes and rewrite content.

For our “What to Write in Your Emails” course, we send subscribers a survey email after they finish the course:

In the survey, we ask them what they thought of the course, how we can improve it and more. We received answers from hundreds of subscribers, which we used to totally revise the course. (You can access the revised course for free here!).

New subscriber emails are a great opportunity to discover your audience’s preferences, like how often and when they’d like to receive emails from you.

Here are a just a few questions you might want to ask in this survey email:

  • What did you think of the incentive/freebie that you received when you joined this list?
  • What kind of content would you like to receive from me?
  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • How often would you like to receive emails from me?
  • When is the best time to send you emails?
  • What questions do you have for me?
  • How can I help you?

Pro tip: To encourage more subscribers to complete your survey, keep the survey short. One to five minutes is a good range. Then in your email, explain that it’ll only take a few minutes to complete the survey.

The pre-launch survey email

Launching a new product or service is a lot of work. Of course, once you do launch it, the payoff can be great.

However, there’s always a risk that your audience may not like or buy your new thing. If this happens, you might end up wasting hours of time and perhaps hundreds or thousands of dollars.

To avoid this scenario, send a pre-launch survey email that asks subscribers if they’d like your new product, service, etc. before you actually create it. This email can give you valuable feedback to tweak, optimize or even abandon your New Thing before you spend time creating it.

This can help you avoid the issue of investing copious resources into something no one wants. And it can help you make a better final product.

For example, this survey email from The Path aims to learn about what their audience wants. With the responses they receive, The Path can launch new products that their audience will love.

In your pre-launch survey email, you can ask subscribers questions like:

  • What are your interests or hobbies?
  • What do you think of this product idea? (Or tell us your product or service idea)
  • What is your interest level in this topic or idea?
  • How often do you use a certain product or service?
  • How interested are you in a specific product or idea?
  • Would you purchase a specific product or idea?

Pro tip: In your survey email content, explain how you’ll be using the feedback you receive from subscribers. This can get more people to complete your survey.

The post-purchase email

Another perfect opportunity to send a survey to your subscribers is after a purchase.

In a post-purchase survey email, ask subscribers what they think of your product or service.

You can also find customers who may be willing to give you a positive review or a testimonial. Be sure to collect their email address in the survey as well – if someone shares positive feedback, you’ll be able to reach out to them to get a testimonial or review.

In this email below, Old Navy thanks subscribers for purchasing and asks them to complete a 5-minute survey to share their feedback. In exchange, they offer them a 10 percent discount on their next purchase.

In your post-purchase email, you can ask subscribers questions like:

  • What did you think of my product or service?
  • How was our customer service?
  • How would you rate your customer experience on a scale of 1-10?
  • How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?

And much more! If you have questions for new customers or recent purchasers, this is the place to ask them.

Pro tip: Incentivize subscribers to complete your survey by offering a discount on your product or service in exchange for completing it.

The data survey email

Want to collect data that you can use to create a report, guide or infographic? A survey email is a great way to collect that information from subscribers.

Here at AWeber, for example, we support women entrepreneurs. And to help us better support them, we decided we wanted to learn more about them by gathering information and creating a report.

To accomplish this, we sent a 15-minute survey email to entrepreneurs and offered a $200 Amazon gift card to a randomly-selected winner who completed the survey. We received more than 1,000 responses to this survey!

Pro tip: If you need to send a longer survey, be sure to give your subscribers a compelling reason to complete it. Offering a large prize to a randomly-selected winner or smaller prizes to everyone who completes the survey are great incentives!

Ask questions. Get answers.

Survey emails are great for gathering useful information about your subscribers that can help you increase email engagement and market your business.

Want an easy way to create surveys in minutes? We’ve included fill-in-the-blank survey email copy templates that you can use today! Get them now in our free “What to Write in Your Emails” guide.

what to write


  1. Lee Lo

    7/27/2017 5:15 am

    How many questions are too many? I need at list a couple of questions to find out what they think. I am talking about post purchase email survey. And I would love to get a clear answer that I can use as testimonial. How about that?

  2. Liz Willits

    10/11/2017 4:33 pm

    Hi Lee,

    I recommend keeping your survey under 5 questions. Ideally, it’ll be 2-3 questions. If your questions are multiple-choice and simple, you may be able to get away with including more than 5 questions.

    Let me know if you have any additional questions.

  3. Mike

    7/27/2017 8:34 pm

    Hi Liz, I’ve always been a little wary of sending out a post purchase email survey as I thought it would potentially overload the purchaser.

    I really like the idea of offering the purchaser an incentive though and I can see how the Old Navy example could work. I will certainly think about trying it in the future.

  4. Liz Willits

    10/11/2017 4:31 pm

    Hi Mike!

    Thanks for reading my post. And yes, post-purchase emails could possible overwhelm your subscribers. I recommend sending a post-purchase email a few days or even a week after their purchase. That way, they’ve had some time after their purchase to try the product, and they won’t receive multiple emails in their inbox at once.

  5. Prakash, Digital Marketing Consultant

    7/28/2017 2:08 am

    Hi Liz Willits,

    I found aweber extremely useful for email marketing. It helped me extremely boost our traffic and have increased our webinar subscribers with whooping 70% nearly. Thought of sharing with you. If you really interested, I can share you with our case. You can write a case study about our success strategy.

    Of Course, your email marketing templates are good and useful too but if you could write based on some researches and numbers on how to improve the click through of email campaigns.