Embedding Surveys in an HTML Email

An Overview of Embedding an Online Survey in an HTML Email

Email is currently the most popular mechanism to distribute online surveys to known recipients. The challenge is that email click-through rates are often poor, which means that a certain percentage of your recipients won't even begin the survey because they don't explicitly click on a button in the email to begin the survey.  Surveys embedded in email often produce a higher click rate and survey completion rate because the recipient is actually looking at the first question of the survey when they are reading their email.

Now, the reality is that because there are thousands of email clients (for example, Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Apple Mail, etc) only basic HTML can be used safely across the wide array of email clients, which means we are not able to embed surveys into email from services like Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo. Email marketing providers (such as Campaign Monitor, Salesforce, Exact Target, Pardot, Marketo, Mailchimp, iContact, etc) have done a great job of restricting the types of layouts and HTML elements that you can safely include. You'll want to be sure you are using an email client that provides HTML elements when embedding a survey. 

It's not possible to embed an entire Getfeedback survey inside of the HTML email body. Rather, the approach is to mimic the FIRST QUESTION of the survey by creating an email with your first question mocked up as HTML.  When the user clicks on one of the images or links in the email, their first click is recorded and they are shown subsequent survey questions in a web browser as a standard GetFeedback survey would display.

GetFeedback online survey software embed survey in email

So what is that survey question embedded in that email on the left side of the above image? That question and those little happy and sad face images are simply a block of HTML, which is configured by using your email marketing app (Such as 
Campaign Monitor, Marketo, Pardot, etc) or your customer support app (such as Salesforce. Zendesk, or Desk.com).  Here's the same block of HTML embedded into this HTML web page.  Go ahead and click on the images below and give it a try for yourself:

Try this live example:
We're always looking to improve!
Please rate the quality of support you are receiving today:

OK, so how does it all work and how would you configure your own survey with the first question embedded into an email?  Follow the step by step instructions below and you'll be up and running in no time!

STEP 1: Configuring Your HTML Email

Each one of the images in the example above is an HTML link that launches a GetFeedback survey and passes in a piece of information (the score in this case) as a merge field (more on the basics of merge fields here).  So let's say that when a person clicks on the green smiley face above I want to launch my GetFeedback survey and record a score of "5", and similarly for all of the other options as well.  When the recipient clicks on one of the smiley face images, I'd like to link to my survey, and send the score and the value into the survey as merge fields.  What you'll see here is that every image has a separate survey URL associated with it:

getfeedback online survey software survey embedded in an email

Below you can see how easy it is to associate your survey link with any image you would like to use in your email:

As mentioned above, most email marketing and customer support apps allow you to design emails with a friendly HTML email editor, so you can create whatever images you would like (numbers, smiley faces, etc) and drop them into your survey. Then, you'll hyperlink them to your GetFeedback survey URL and pass along the required merge fields (using the survey URL from your Distribute tab.)  For those of you that like to roll up your sleeves and get a bit dirty, here is the HTML that is required to produce the example above:

getfeedback online survey software survey embedded in an email HTML code

Here's what this HTML block is saying is...if the person clicks on the sad face, launch the following GetFeedback survey (https://www.getfeedback.com/r/iSt5lMns
) and record a score of "1".  Similarly, if the person clicks on the super smiley face, launch the same survey but record a score of "5".  If you have any questions at this point about how you might want to configure your survey questions in an HTML email, please don't hesitate to contact our support team at help@getfeedback.com.

If you need images to represent your NPS question in your email, we have them for you! Just right click and save each number in the set that you'd like to use below:





STEP 2: Configuring Your Survey

Configuring the rest of your GetFeedback survey is now quite easy.  All you need to do is to create and add any additional questions you'd like to ask.  It's important to note that currently, you must ask AT LEAST one additional survey question in addition to the question that was formed in the HTML email. 

Note: You'll not need to repeat the same question you asked in the email in the survey, so feel free to remove it if it's still there, and start with your second question.

So for this example, you'll notice that we asked one simple follow-up question with the following question text: "Hey thanks for checking out this example! We've recorded your score of [score] out of 5. Is there anything specific you think we can do to improve?"  This allows the survey recipient to add any additional information before clicking "Submit"

Note: If a survey responder does not hit 'submit' the response will not be recorded, even as an incomplete response.

We recommend that surveys that start with a first question embedded in an email remove the Title Page to the survey.  The reason for this is that the survey recipients already feel like they have started the survey by clicking first on the email, so we think it would be a bit odd to show the user a Title Page before displaying what the user thinks of as the second survey question.  you can remove the Title Page to your survey by navigating to GetFeedback > Survey > Build and highlighting the Title Page and clicking "Remove" as shown in the images below:

Removing the Title Page:

getfeedback online survey software title page removal

Confirming the removal of the Title Page:

getfeedback online survey software remove title page

From the survey builder, you can now create any subsequent questions you might want to add to your survey and optionally configure a survey Thank You page upon completion.

STEP 3: Displaying the Results

When your survey is completed by your email recipients, the results will display similarly to all of your other GetFeedback online surveys.  On the Results tab of your survey, you will find the survey results, which include any of the merge fields, such as [Region] that you added to the URL.  

NOTE:  Since you are delivering your survey via email to known recipients, you can also include a merge field in the survey link that contains information about the survey recipient, such as their name, email address, or other unique identifier such as a Salesforce ContactID or CaseID.  This way you'll be able to attribute the survey responses to that person and be able to follow up with them for additional information as necessary.  Also, if you use Salesforce and would like to map any of this data into Salesforce, you can do so with ease!  (more on Salesforce setup and data mapping into Salesforce)

To Review
Step 1: 

Create survey in
Getfeedback and email template in desired email system

Step 2: 
Locate survey URL from Distribute tab within GetFeedback

Step 3:
Load images into your HTML email template

Step 4: 
Hyperlink images with the survey URL link, adding a merge field (such as ?Score=1) to each image.

Step 5: 
Delete title slide and first question from your survey in
Getfeedback (since the first question is asked in the email.)

Step 6:
Send your email out and watch the responses flow in!

Related Articles


Distributing a Survey via Email

Using Merge Fields to Track Responses from a Specific Person

Adding Logic to Embedded Email Surveys


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