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How to craft a winning NPS survey email

Last updated

2 June 2023


Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Tanya Williams

An NPS (net promoter score) survey is a simple, accurate method for learning how your customers really feel about your company. 

Asking customers how likely they are to recommend your business allows you to quantify their sentiment and make changes accordingly. 

Let’s learn more about NPS and how to write an NPS email for the best results. 

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What is NPS?

Net promoter score (NPS) asks customers how likely they are to recommend your product, service, or business on a scale from 1–10.

Respondents are generally placed into three groups:

  • Detractors: Scores of 0–6

  • Passives: Scores of 7–8

  • Promoters: Scores of 9–10

You may also ask follow-up questions for clarification, such as: 

  • Why did you give that score?

  • What could we do to bring your score up to 10?

Should you send an NPS survey via email?

Most businesses understand the value of NPS surveys. The main challenge is getting your customers to actually complete the survey.

You can use many methods to get responses to NPS surveys, including social media or advertising. 

You could also include a request to complete the survey with physical orders. This could be a card with a URL or QR code for the survey. 

Emailing customers is a viable, economical method. However, the results from emailing surveys will depend on how you approach the task. When it comes to email marketing, every detail matters. 

Tips for sending an NPS survey email

Use segmentation to keep the emails relevant

Segmenting your emails can improve your response rate and the accuracy of your analytics. 

Segmentation means sending a different email based on the customer's preferences, demographics, or stage of the buying journey

For example, you could send different emails to new customers and loyal customers

Similarly, if you offer different products and services, you can send unique emails to customers for each product. You may discover higher scores for certain products, whereas sending the same email to everyone wouldn’t uncover this distinction.

Embed the survey into your email

Embedding the NPS survey into the email will increase your response rate.

An effective approach is to embed the primary NPS question where the customer rates the product or service and link them to any follow-up questions. 

Including the first NPS question in the email makes it easier for the customer to answer, and they’re more likely to continue the rest of the NPS survey. This increases the number of NPS responses you can analyze.

Personalize the email

Personalizing emails with the customer's name can significantly boost your response rate. 

McKinsey reports that 71% of customers expect personalized communications. 

It's better to send an email from a company representative rather than the company. While the email should include company branding, such as your logo, an actual person should sign it. This makes it more like a real interaction than a corporate communication.

Keep your email list up to date

Make sure your email list is accurate and up to date to get reliable survey results. 

Cleaning your email list will improve responses to NPS surveys and other email marketing. Some customers fill out fake emails, while others change their email addresses. 

Your open and response rates will suffer if you send messages to the wrong email address.  

To clean your email list, track open rates and other signs of engagement. You can send incentives to customers who haven’t engaged for a while, such as coupons. If there’s still radio silence, remove them from your list.

Make it easy for people to unsubscribe to reduce spam complaints and keep your email list tidy.

Make the message clear and simple

Use friendly and clear language in the email. 

When sending customers the NPS survey, this should be the only topic of the email. Don't try to combine it with promotional offers or anything irrelevant. 

Additionally, don't go into unnecessary details about the survey. Your customers are probably unfamiliar with net promoter scores, so there's no need to mention the specifics. 

It's best to focus on what the customer knows and cares about. 

Ask at least one follow-up question

You can better understand responses to the NPS survey if you also ask a follow-up question explaining why they chose the score they did. 

Show your appreciation

You'll get a better response and possibly even higher scores if you frame the email as a polite request rather than a demand. Always add a thank you note along with the survey. 

Identify the best time to send emails

As people receive more and more emails, it's crucial to send your message when they’re likely to open it. If you don’t, your message may get buried under dozens of others and deleted. 

Industry research reveals that the best times to send emails are during business hours, especially between 9 AM and 3 PM. 

However, other times may be better if your brand is entertainment or leisure-oriented. 

Do plenty of research to determine when your open rates are best. To complicate things further, you may discover different ideal times to email various segments of your subscriber list. 

Conduct A/B tests for your NPS emails

Test elements such as subject lines, email copy, layout, and time of day for sending messages to make adjustments and improve your results. 

If you segment your email lists, test each list. Different customers may respond better to certain types of wording, times of day, or other factors. 

Follow up on low scores

If customers are not enthusiastic about recommending your business, find out why. Asking a follow-up question in the survey can provide insights into issues you need to address. 

You can also send out follow-up emails to customers who responded with scores lower than 9. 

NPS subject line best practices 

The subject line determines whether someone opens an email or deletes it. 

Let’s check out some ideas for getting more recipients to open and respond to your NPS survey. 

You won't be able to incorporate every tip in all emails, but these are all proven principles.

Personalize the subject line

Personalizing subject lines with the recipient’s name is a great way to improve open rates. 

Campaign Monitor found that recipients are 26% more likely to open emails with personalized subject lines. Personalization could include the recipient’s first name, company name, or product or service they purchased.

Example: (First_Name), would you recommend us?

It's also good to include personalization within the body of the message. 

Use emotion

Using emotional, trigger, or power words in copywriting can motivate recipients to open emails and respond. 

These words inspire, generate interest, and make people feel something. 

For example, you could start the message with "we need your help" or "your opinion matters." 

Keep subject lines relevant

You never want to trick people into opening a message with an irrelevant subject line. Using irrelevant subject lines harms your credibility and increases the chances of spam filters blocking your emails. 

Keep your subject lines relevant by referencing the survey or the product you want them to rate. 

Offer incentives

If you're offering customers an incentive to complete the survey, mention it in the subject line to make the message more compelling. 

You could have a drawing for a free product or gift card that participants can enter by providing feedback. 

However, never imply that you're rewarding customers in exchange for a high score. This will invalidate results. 

Ask a question

A time-tested way to make your subject line captivating is to frame it as a question, such as "How was your recent order?" 

You can also frame the question as a request for help, such as "Got two minutes to tell us how we're doing?" 

Keep it short

Make subject lines short. On mobile devices, longer subject lines may not be readable. Try to limit your subject line to around 16 characters.


What is the response rate for NPS emails?

Response rates can vary based on many factors. Aside from your NPS, a high response rate is a positive sign: It indicates people care enough to respond. 

The NPS Benchmark Report by Customer Think found that collecting surveys using at least two methods dramatically increases the response rate:

  • The response rate was 11–20% for companies using only one method.

  • The response rate was 31–50% for companies using at least two methods. 

While email is the most common method, some people prefer to communicate through other means like social media. 

Are NPS emails transactional?

Transactional NPS surveys are a special type of survey that drills down and measures the customer's reactions at specific touchpoints of the customer journey. 

While most NPS surveys ask more general questions about the product or business, transactional surveys let you track particular areas, such as: 

  • Customer service

  • Experience during a store visit

  • Ease of signing up for a trial offer

What are the best methods other than email to collect NPS feedback?

Aside from email, you can post surveys on Facebook and other social media sites. 

You can also place a pop-up survey on your company website.

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