How to Make Sure Your Survey Emails Reach Your Respondents

Survey Tips
May 20, 2022

Making the most of email campaigns within Alchemer 

By Martinette Botha, Marketing Operations and Project Manager at Alchemer

Distributing surveys through email campaigns from within Alchemer is one of our most popular features. The deliverability of your emails (how often emails reach your contacts’ inboxes) requires continual effort on both of our parts.  

Three factors determine email deliverability: 

  1. The accuracy and quality of your email list 
  2. The content of your email  
  3. The reputation of our IPs 

As you can see, we need to be partners in making sure your emails get through. By managing your email lists well and crafting high-quality emails, you help improve the reputation of our IP, which helps your emails get through more often.  

What is IP Reputation? 

Our IP address is how our servers connect to the Internet. Each time somebody clicks that an email is junk or spam in their email program, the sender’s IP address takes a hit. In the case of a survey that somebody sends to an old email list, the undeliverable emails (bounces) and emails marked as spam count against our server’s IP address.  

For our part, we diligently maintain our relationship with large Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that handle emails sent by our customers. We run automatic and manual tests to stop problematic campaigns from being sent (a health check on a percentage of the contacts). Depending on the size of your contact list, the time it takes for all of your surveys to send out can vary. 

We also recently added AI-driven anti-phishing protections, which help improve the reputation of our IP address. We also run a health check on all campaigns by first sending to a random 5% sample of the list. If the bounce rate of this sample is higher than 10%, we will cancel the send and alert the user who created the campaign via email. A bounce occurs when the email address is found to be invalid. These are most commonly either mistyped or non-existent addresses. 

If the bounce rate is below 10%, up to 5,000 messages will send every 30 minutes until all messages are sent. 

We will also work with our customers to help with good list management and content revisions. These efforts help us protect deliverability for all customers and ensure as many messages as possible reach their intended recipients. 

Focus on Quality over Quantity 

Not long ago, the key to successful email campaigns focused on volume and repetition. The more email you sent, the more likely you were to hit your numbers. Not anymore. Today, sending out more emails dramatically increases your odds of getting marked as an unsafe IP. You need a quality list and relevant content to improve the deliverability of your emails.  

Maintain Clean Lists  

Clean lists are permission-based lists. This means that the contacts in the list have given you permission to send them emails. You create a double opt-in contact when someone asks to subscribe to a list and confirms through a validation email. This double opt-in process ensures that everybody in your list has given permission to receive bulk email and that they have provided a valid email address that will not result in bounced messages or SPAM abuse reports. 

If you are looking for third-party services that clean lists, you can check out BriteVerify or Emailable.  

Reconfirm Old Lists 

Email addresses go stale fast and should be considered inactive after six months of no contact. You can reconfirm that you have permission to send to this contact using a re-opt in process. Simply send them a re-introduction email (it’s best if it is personal in tone and reminds them how you originally obtained their contact information) and ask them to re-opt-in. This re-introduction email should be sent to your contact list in smaller groups from your personal or business email account. Using this up-to-date permission-based list, you can confidently send surveys to these people through Alchemer.   

Keep Your Lists on Point 

  • Make updates when you are notified of an email address that has changed 
  • Remove Bounces 
  • Manage unsubscribes (Alchemer automatically processes unsubscribes for you within your email campaign, preventing reminders from being sent to these contacts) 
  • Remove group email addresses such as sales@, info@, test@, and any listserv addresses 
  • Remove duplicate email addresses 
  • Don’t use purchased or scraped lists (they’re not double opt-in) 
  • Use a list management system 

All of this doesn’t apply if you’re purchasing from our Panels team or any of the Panel Management companies permitted within Alchemer. Those lists are managed to even higher standards.  

Use a Custom From Address 

To enable the use of a custom From Email address in Email Actions and Email Campaigns (other than the above Alchemer defaults), you must either send from your own (or third-party) SMTP server or configure your domain with SPF and DKIM records. You can visit our Custom Email Settings tutorial to learn more!  

If you want to read more about leading practices for email deliverability, check out our Help section.  

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