Get More Responses – Make Survey Invitations Mobile-Friendly

December 4, 2013

The number of people reading their email on a mobile device is sky-rocketing. This includes those receiving your survey email invitations.

If you have not optimized your survey invitation for mobile devices, you could be losing a significant number of survey respondents. Considering that 40.1% of all email marketing campaigns are opened with mobile devices, it is well worth your while. Even if your survey is not intended for mobile devices, given the prevalence of smartphones, odds are that someone is going to try and open it with a mobile device.

If your survey email invitation and survey do not display well, users will quickly move on, and you can bet that they won’t be coming back.

So, if you are looking to increase your survey response rate, follow these mobile-friendly tips for optimizing your email invitations and survey design.

1. Multiple Mobile Platforms

Don’t focus on optimizing for just a single mobile device. You need to consider all of the popular ones or you will lose conversions. While the iPhone is the leader in the market, with 46% of email views, 28% of views come from an Android and another 25% come from an iPad.

2. HTML vs. Plain Txt

While many still hold the belief that plain text is better when it comes to email campaigns, there is no question that HTML is more appealing to the eye. Readers can quickly scan formatted headers and highlighted text to find important information. Links are more visible and inviting.

The key is to keep your HTML version mostly text. Use simple fonts styles and white spaces to create a visual hierarchy that directs readers to key data and your call to action. This is hard to establish with plain text alone.

Make your copy easy to scan by dividing it with clear headings, line breaks, and whitespace between paragraphs and after headings.

Make sure your HTML is properly formatted, as poorly coded emails get caught in filters or don’t render properly. It’s still a good idea to also have a plain text version to ensure compatibility for all mobile devices.

3. Text Wrapping vs. Line Breaks

For those of you who still insist on using plain text emails and use the traditional practice of adding a line break at every 60 characters, stop! This practice makes plain text messages look jagged when displayed on iPhone devices. Instead, let your line breaks fall naturally.

4. Column Layout

While your email content may look great in a 2-column layout on your desktop, these do not render well on mobile devices and are way too hard to read. Stick to a single column layout.

5. Subject Line

Effective and relevant subject lines are key if you want to have a high open rate; know your audience and appeal to their current interests, needs, and challenges. Keep your subject line to 40 characters of less so readers can read the entire message at a glance. Short subject lines have the highest open and click rates.

6. Message Content

Keep the body of your email short, concise and relevant. Paragraphs length should not exceed four to five lines for easy reading.

Highlight the value the respondent will receive and appeal to their emotional hot buttons about why taking your survey is important to them.

7. Font Size

The small size of mobile screens makes regular web fonts hard to read. Some mobile devices (iPhone particularly) have a minimum font size display of 13 pixels. Anything smaller than this will automatically have the font size upscaled which can break your layout.

8. Images

Keep your images small and use minimally. Remember that images are also turned off by default (except iOS devices).

9. Call To Action

Besides the subject line, your call to action (what you want your reader to do – take your survey) is the most important item in your email.

Don’t distract readers with more than one call to action. If the reader moves down one path, bringing them back to your next call to action won’t be easy.

Give your call to action (your survey link) the most prominent real estate. Keep it near the top so viewers don’t have scroll to find it.

Make your action link or button big enough for the mobile user to touch with a large thumb. The recommended hot link area is at least 44px in height and width.

If you are using a link rather than a button, keep the URL short so it does not wrap. Longer URLs can break up and become hard to click on, or copy and paste.

10. Email Scheduling

According to Reachmail, 23.6% of emails are opened within 1 hour of sending. If you know a good portion of your audience is using mobile device (millennials), be sure to target times for your emails to be sent when mobile engagement is at its highest. 10am-Noon has the highest mobile engagement and picks up again between 4pm-6pm.

Make Your Survey Mobile-Friendly

With a mobile optimized email invitation, you have successfully gotten your mobile users to your survey. Don’t lose them now by neglecting to optimize your survey for mobile devices!

Several advanced survey tools have the technology to detect the type of device your respondent is using and display the correct theme. Be sure to set a mobile survey theme for your mobile users desktop users as well as a default theme for your desktop users. Having both themes will help you increase your response rate!

What percentage of your respondents are using mobile devices to take your survey?


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