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GuidesSurveys5 survey email subject lines to inspire you

5 survey email subject lines to inspire you

Last updated

2 June 2023


Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Tanya Williams

Companies send survey emails to customers or subscribers to gather feedback or insights on a specific topic. They are a great way to engage with customers and get to know them. 

Initiating contact shows that you care about your customers’ opinions, increasing brand loyalty. 

Even after creating a survey and emailing it to customers, they may miss your message due to other, more engaging notifications. 

Many people open emails based on the subject line. That’s why it’s crucial to craft a catchy email survey subject line to attract attention and increase response rates

Let’s check out the best approach to get your survey emails opened.

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Why survey email subject lines affect the response rate

The sender's name will contribute to the success of a survey email alongside the subject line. 

Recipients look at the subject line and skim it carefully to identify common spam words. If they detect a suspicious word, they bin the message immediately. Plus, spam filters use the same criteria to analyze subject lines. 

Another critical element is ensuring your subject line is concise and easy to understand. It should contain 6–10 words to receive the highest open rates. 

Factors that engage email survey recipients

You can engage email survey recipients by incorporating the following into the subject lines:


Avoid robotic, impersonal subject lines, and be as personable as possible by addressing your customer directly. 

Research from Accenture reveals that three out of four customers are more likely to spend their money with companies that address them by name and remember their purchase history. 

Personalized subject lines significantly impact the open rate. You can personalize the subject line by addressing them directly or referring to something relevant, like a recent purchase. 


Urgency involves incorporating words that communicate the survey’s time restrictions. It triggers the deep-rooted mechanisms in people when things are time-limited, instinctively suspending logic and taking immediate action.


Some companies give incentives for completing a survey. 

If your business offers gifts, vouchers, or cash to survey respondents, ensure you reference that in the subject line. It draws attention and convinces the reader to open the email. 

However, use this method cautiously: It may attract an irrelevant audience who are only interested in the incentive. 


A subscriber who receives your survey email will receive many other emails in their inbox. Your email survey must stand out in the respondent's inboxes for them to open it. 

Make it relevant to the recipient to increase the open rate. One way to ensure relevance is by sending the right email at the right time. For instance, a company can send a sign-up experience survey immediately after a subscription. 

Tips for crafting subject lines for survey emails 

Here's what you need to create the best survey email subject lines:

1. Personalize your email survey subject lines 

Personalization is crucial for any email marketing strategy. It significantly increases engagement and open rates and makes the recipient feel noticed. 

2. Trigger emotion

Ensure you trigger some emotion in your respondents. Empathy is among the easiest emotions to evoke. Customers tend to identify with other customers as the 'us' and brands as 'them.' 

Let your subscribers know that they can assist their peers in making informed decisions about your organization by completing the survey. 

Always highlight how much you value their opinion. Consumers want companies to listen to their thoughts and take them seriously. When a brand says it values opinions, customers are more inclined to give feedback. 

3. Pose a question 

Posing a question to your readers is an effective approach to attract the recipient's attention. 

An example of a question to ask in the subject line could be: “Ron, what went wrong during your sign-up?”

4. Incorporate incentives into your subject line

Typically, people are motivated to act when there’s a reward. Strong incentives capture the recipient's attention and improve overall click-through rates. 

An example of a subject line with an incentive: “Here’s $50 for your opinion.”

5. Avoid spam trigger words 

You may be tempted to use words like 'free' and 'survey' in a subject line. Unfortunately, these words alert email services to possible junk content that no one likes to read. 

You can avoid spam filters in the email survey subject line by minimizing pushy, desperate, and manipulating phrases. 

Common spam words and phrases to avoid in subject lines include: 

  • Time-limited

  • Order today

  • Urgent

  • No obligation

  • Money back

  • Cash

  • Get paid

  • Click here

  • Prizes

  • Winner

6. Conduct an A/B test 

Sometimes you may need clarification about the route to take when crafting subject lines. Trialing a few options with A/B testing can help you determine which works better. 

The process involves testing different variations of an email's subject line in small portions of the email list to identify the best performers. 

Next, you choose different email benchmarks to establish the types of email subject lines that your respondents engage with or ignore. The choice of email benchmarks will depend on your desired results.

Test two different subject line variations with similar email body copy to ensure results based on the subject lines. After your test, you can see the subject line that performed better.  

Five best subject lines for surveys

Most survey email subject lines use personalization, incentives, and urgency to get people to click on an email. 

Here are some examples of catchy survey email subject lines:

1. Examples using personalization

  • Hi [NAME], how does your [BRAND] freezer cool?

  • [NAME], people want to know more about [INSERT PRODUCT]. Can you assist?

  • Hey [NAME]! 50% off is ending soon.

2. Examples using second-person POV

  • We value your opinion 

  • Your feedback keeps us going

  • What are your suggestions?

3. Examples using incentives

  • Looking for 20% off?

  • Penny for your thoughts on [X]

  • $$ for your feedback

  • Give your feedback, and earn 25% off

4. Examples that create a sense of urgency

  • Last chance! Poll closes at midnight

  • Just two days to get a $300 Visa gift card

  • Ready for tonight’s big reveal? Here’s how to get involved.

5. Examples with emojis

  • This Mother's Day, we’d [LOVE EMOJI] your feedback

  • Answer our survey for a [GIFT EMOJI]

  • Got [CLOCK EMOJI] to spare? Help us out!

Not all emojis render correctly, depending on the email client. Before going all-in on emojis, ensure most of your list uses a supported email service. 

Crafting a perfect email subject line can be challenging: Uninspiring and spammy subject lines are everywhere. Recipients are more likely to open your emails if you make them fun, interesting, and relevant. 

Following our tips can help you optimize your subject lines. Crafting email survey subject lines that inspire will increase the chances of recipients opening your emails and completing the questionnaire.


What are the five factors or parameters that impact the response rate of a questionnaire?

Survey purpose: What you want to achieve with the survey.

Survey audience: Aim your survey at the right audience.

Survey incentives: Give incentives to keep your target audience going.

Survey experience: Ensure your survey is attractive, easy to read, and engaging. 

Survey length: The survey should be concise and only ask necessary questions.

Why should I avoid sending a link to the survey?

When you send a link to the survey, you depend on the email copy persuading your respondents to participate. 

Asking for their opinion immediately by embedding the first question in the email is a better approach since you make the respondents curious. 

They may wonder what other insights you’re asking for or what other opinions they can share, encouraging them to act.

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