Email Tips: How to create and distribute effective invitations.

SurveyMonkey does not tolerate SPAM on any level. When using our mail server, please make sure to review our terms of use and anti-spam policy. You can quickly review it here:

Anti-Spam Policy

If any message sent through our mail server is flagged as SPAM or reported in our abuse complaint files, then we will contact you for further information in regards to the message content, the email list, your opt in procedure, etc. 


Email Invitations and SPAM Filters:

If you choose to use our mail server for survey distribution, there is the chance that your recipients' networks may automatically send the message to a SPAM or junk folder. Their networks may have email filters that look for specific words in the message. Since SPAM filters can be configured to be restrictive as possible and unless you know the specific filter configuration for each recipient, there is little you or SurveyMonkey can do to prevent a message from being filtered out as probable SPAM.

However, you can take steps to create an invitation message that is more effective and recognizable by your recipients.

With today's security and email clients, there are now both "technological" and "organic" components for determining a message as SPAM.

  • Most filters have a "computer" component meaning these filters use a point system to determine whether or not a message is SPAM. The more points a specific message collects, the more likely it is to be flagged.
  • Blacklists are the "human" component one must also consider. Blacklists are primarily compiled by individuals. The end receiver mails these watchdogs the received "SPAM", and they review the message to decide whether or not to add the sender to their list.

Because of these computer and human components, make sure your email invitation doesn't raise issues in either group. Your messages should be legitimate and your respondents should know who you are. Finally, ensure that all respondents have given their permission to be contacted by you.


lightbulb   Tips for Creating Effective Invitation Messages


1. Never send unsolicited surveys:

Do not send surveys to current or past customers who have not opted into receiving outside communication from you. It is also a risk to send an invitation to a purchased list. We do not allow purchased lists to be uploaded into our system without consent from these emails.

  • Contact all potential respondents upon any list purchase through your own email client indicating that you want to do business, survey, etc.
  • If anyone opts out of being contacted in the future, they are to be removed before the list is uploaded into our system.


2. Don't mislead your audience by using manipulative subject lines:

Send your survey invitation with the survey/company name as the subject line so respondents know what this involves.


3. Don't type in all capital letters:

All caps are a major SPAM trigger. It may get your invitation forwarded to a blacklist. However, do use professional grammar and punctuation everywhere that is appropriate in a message.


4. Make your intention clear:

Let respondents know who you are, how you obtained their email, the intent of the message/survey, etc. Tell recipients how to unsubscribe from receiving further invitations. Finally, let them know who to contact if they have any trouble. Follow through immediately with any of their requests.


5. Avoid subject lines that flag SPAM:

Words like free, win, and money often trigger SPAM filters. Exclamation points, percent signs, money signs, etc. should also be avoided.


6. Place your company's domain as the From/Reply address.

Sending it from a reputable domain name will help your audience know who is sending them the message.


For more tips on message formatting and increasing response rates, please view the following guides:

arrow  Email Message Formatting Tips (*Available in English only.)

arrow Response Rates & Surveying Techniques (*Available in English only.)