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20 Email Survey Subject Lines That Make Readers Click

Kate Williams

Last Updated:  

5 January 2023

9 min read

A digital marketer once told me that we should spend at least as much time on our headline as we do on writing the article. Now, when you first hear it, that sounds absurd. That much time for a headline? But 90% of your readers will probably only read your headline. That’s why email survey subject lines can make or break the game.

When you’re conducting online surveys, you need respondents to click on your email. So, survey email subject lines are the most impactful lines of your article. They are, after all, the first step to them filling out your survey.

What could you say in an email subject to get readers to fill out your survey? Sitting on a blank text box, you might feel lost. But you don’t need to reinvent the wheel here. We’ve got a few great examples of email survey subject lines that work. You can use our subject lines for asking for feedback or conducting an NPS survey. Let’s see what the best survey subject lines are like.

20 Best Email Survey Subject Lines To Get More Responses

If you’re looking for the best email survey subject lines for B2B or for conducting employee surveys, here are some examples of survey invitation subject lines.

1. Tell us honestly, what did you think?

It’s very easy and plain to ask “What did you think?”. But it’s also boring. A customer will receive thousands of emails with that subject line. But just tweaking it a little bit to include a call for honesty changes everything. It makes readers introspect about their thoughts. If you want someone to accurately answer a survey, that’s exactly the mindset you want them to have. Of course, the first time it is difficult to create an original subject line, but do not hesitate to request help from a professional essaywriter that will help you with writing quality and accurate content.

2. <Name>, can we chat?

Like we discussed, personalization goes a long way. This question also has an intimate feeling to it, as if it was a text from a friend. What’s more, the question indicates respect for your customers’ time, asking for it only if they’re available. All in all, this is a cool email subject line that is guaranteed to bring respondents.

3. We can’t get better without your help.

If you want to motivate an action, just let your readers know what the consequence would be – either of taking that action or of not taking it. In this survey invitation message example, you’re telling readers that if they don’t help you, you can’t improve. That again communicates to respondents that you value their help.

4. What did you think, <Name>?

Like we said, questions are gold in an email subject line. Who doesn’t like to feel like their thoughts are valuable? Haven’t you ever wanted to be interviewed, to get the feeling that another person is focused on what you think? That’s the emotion this email survey subject line is working with.

Email survey subject lines: Example 1: Target
Product review survey email from Target. Check out the “Before you write..” section below. Pretty neat! Source.

5. We have some questions for you.

This is one of the more fun survey subject lines on the list. Of course, it sounds like an interrogation by a police officer, but you’re doing it in a different context, so it’s fun. This is sure to intrigue your respondents, and also gives your brand a fun and lightweight vibe while attracting responses.

6. You have a [product]. And an opinion.

This survey subject line is particularly suited for after-sales surveys. If a customer has bought your product, it’s always a good idea to ask them what they think about it. By mentioning their opinion, you’ve brought it to the surface. Now that it’s on their mind, it won’t take them that much time or effort to tell you what it is.

7. <Name>, take our survey, earn 30% off.

We’ve talked about this, remember? Incentivize responses. It’s not just a marketing gimmick. When recipients see such email survey subject lines in your inbox, they will feel like they’re being compensated for their time. That’ll make them more likely to give you that time to respond to your online survey.

Email survey subject lines: Example 2 - Aero
Covid-era survey mail from Aero. Source.

8. Help improve <Brand>.

These email subject lines are tricky because they assume that your reader is interested in improving your brand. However, if you already have a brand presence, it can work wonders. Large companies like Facebook and Twitter often use this email strategy. If readers like your brand or rely on your products, they will be invested in improving it.

9. Your expertise is requested.

Isn’t this a cool email subject line? LinkedIn uses it for their email surveys, and they’re very effective. There’s nothing better than making the reader feel special, and that you want their insights. Who doesn’t want to talk about their area of expertise? So, make readers feel valued with this email survey subject line.

10. Do you feel good about your work?

If you’re conducting an employee engagement survey, this is the perfect survey subject line to go with. We’re relying on posing a question, in this case, one that might as well be in your employee engagement survey. Pick out the most interesting question in your survey, and viola! You have an email survey subject line.

11. Got a minute to spare?

This is one of the more generic survey subject lines to go with, but it works. Somehow, when you ask people this question, they will be more likely to click your email. In their head, they’re thinking “Yes, I’ve got a minute to spare,” and that’s the affirmative response you need to get them interested.

12. Penny for your thoughts?

This is a relatively new trick when it comes to email marketing. Pick up conversational phrases that wouldn’t normally be used in a survey email. Readers know what you’re talking about, and it will help position your brand as friendly. They’ll be more likely to help you out by answering your online survey.

Example 3: Cometeer
Survey mail from Cometeer Coffee. Notice how it uses points 7, 8 ad 12 in its message? Source.

13. Your feedback means everything, <Name>

One of the biggest reasons people don’t answer online surveys is that they feel it doesn’t matter. Your responses will just become a data point that is left ignored. In order to get respondents, you need to undo this notion. By indicating that their feedback is valued, you make them feel more secure about investing their time in your survey.

14. <Name>, tell us about yourself.

Writing the best email survey subject lines is, at its heart, about finding out your respondents’ motivations. It helps, then, to find out what common motivations your audience might have. That’s what this survey email subject line plays upon. People are motivated to talk about themselves.

15. Let’s keep our conversation going.

When you want readers to fill out a survey, you’re faced with the inertia that they’re going to have to get involved in a whole new thing. If it is instead something they’ve already invested in, they’ll be more likely to see it through. That’s how this email subject line helps, by giving readers the impression of continuity.

16. Did we do something wrong?

This question is definitely provocative. So firstly, it will get a lot of people to click on your email. If they like your product, they’ll want to say that you didn’t. If they didn’t, then they’ll tell you what’s wrong. It might seem like you’re focusing on the negatives, but you’re actually just nudging readers to be honest.

17. If you weren’t satisfied…

Following in the line of negatively phrased email subject lines, this one works well. It targets specifically the customers who weren’t satisfied with your product. That is why it’s perfect for customer surveys that are focused on finding out areas of improvement. It’s also a great way to offer discounts.

18. We’re making some big changes, and we need your help.

You don’t need to be making big changes to use this email survey subject line. The spirit of the email is that you want to improve, and you’re enlisting the reader’s help. They’ll be invested in steering you in the right direction.

Example 4 - Shopify
Survey mail example from Shopify Partners. Source.

19. Don’t say we never asked.

This is an email subject line with more personality than you might want to show with your brand. But if you’re comfortable with it, this is a great email survey subject line. You’re positioning yourself as friendly and humorous, while also attracting readers into your survey.

20. Help us help you, <Name>

The formula here again is to incentivize readers to take your survey by offering something in return, in this case, a better product. By focusing on making your customers’ life easier, you’re giving them the motivation to fill out your online survey.  A personalized email subject line like this is bound to give you responses.

Did you know that 47% of email recipients decide whether to open the email based purely on the subject line? That’s half your audience.

Tips To Writing a Good Email Survey Subject Line

How do I get people to start a survey?

People think that the answers to this are good headlines or creative subject lines. People are wrong. There are actually a few simple rules you can follow in coming up with engaging survey subject lines yourself. You just need to understand what will intrigue your readers.

Hopefully, our tips will give you some ideas for the perfect email survey subject lines for your surveys.

Personalize Your Subject Line

The first thing you need to do is make sure that your email subject line is personalized. The verdict is clear on this one: personalization leads to more clicks. When people feel like they’re directly talking to you, they will be more likely to care.

You might think that this trick has gotten old now. But think about some of the email campaigns you’ve received recently. Sure, you may not have clicked some that had your name. But weren’t they still so much better than impersonal marketing campaigns? There’s no running away from the fact that your email survey subject lines need to be personal.

Built in email white label surveys with email survey subject line
Personalized email survey done with SurveySparrow

However, it’s not just the subject lines. You can actually boost response rates by 40% if you personalize certain other aspects of your survey email – like logo, colors, and others. The TinyEmail blog has plenty of such tips around email best practice.

Survey software like SurveySparrow offers a ton of white-labeling features. You can create a free account to try it for yourself.

Incentivize Responses

An age-old trick for getting respondents on your survey is to give them offers in exchange. Domino’s does this particularly well with their discount offer if you take a survey. Another option is to reduce a customer’s bill during purchase if they answer a quick survey.

As an email subject line, offering discounts works particularly well. You could also think of other incentives to offer your customers. That’s up to you. But if you include an offer in one of your survey subject lines, with the proper survey incentive wording, people are more likely to be intrigued. And compensating your customers or employees for their time is, after all, only fair.

Pose A Question

Well, you are sending out a survey, after all. Why not ask one of the more interesting questions of your survey in your email survey subject line? For example, for an employee engagement survey, you could ask “How have you been feeling about your work?” People will be very likely to click on such a survey email.

This is the simplest trick in the book. It is also sincere. You’re not deceiving your respondents into opening the email, which would leave a bad taste. You’re asking them exactly what you’re curious about, so they won’t feel betrayed when they find a survey in the email.

Wrapping Up

We hope that you found those subject lines helpful.

Getting responses on a survey is tricky, and that’s why we’ve designed SurveySparrow to make it as easy as possible. A good email campaign is at the heart of every successful online survey. And at SurveySparrow, we’ve mastered the art of the email campaign. Give us a shot to help you design great surveys and email survey campaigns.

With our online survey tool, you can send out beautiful email campaigns that will generate the responses you need, and then some more. If you put some thought into coming up with an interesting email survey subject line, it will pay off by giving you responses that you can work with.

Kate Williams

Product Marketing Manager at SurveySparrow

Excels in empowering visionary companies through storytelling and strategic go-to-market planning. With extensive experience in product marketing and customer experience management, she is an accomplished author, podcast host, and mentor, sharing her expertise across diverse platforms and audiences.

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