Video Surveys Email Invites: 11 Tips for High Response Rates

by Muazam Krishnan on Dec 15, 2017
Note: for example templates of email and SMS (text message) survey invites, check out the post here.

It can be bothersome to write email invites to respondents for video surveys.

Fortunately, email invites tend to be very similar, if not virtually identical. Here are some quick, tried and true tips for drafting survey invitations, to get high response rates quickly.

1. Choose a delivery method

The survey tool offers both SMS and email invites. Simply choose kind of invite you want, for each respondent

SMS invites tend to have higher response rates, because the respondent can click the link to take the survey immediately, at any place and time, without installing an app.

2. Personalize the invite

Address each respondent by their first name, in both the email subject and the email body. If you use the survey tool to send invites, the system fills in the respondents’ first names for you.

3. Subject line for SMS invites

For SMS text invites, use the first line as a separate "subject line", to grab respondents’ attention

SMS text message survey invite with subject line

4. Take the survey on any device

Let respondents know they can click the survey link on any laptop / tablet/ smartphone, as long as the device has camera, mic, and internet connection.

Sometimes, a respondent’s phone has a broken mic, or cannot open the camera app due to low memory (e.g. if they have many apps open in the background). In this case, the respondent would not be able to record videos properly.

One simple solution, is for the respondent to simply open the survey link on a different device. This almost always solves everything right away, since respondents can switch devices without installing any apps.

Remind them about this "trick" in the email invite, since most respondents do not realize they can use a different device.

Take video surveys on any device, laptop, smartphone, tablet

5. Filming location

If possible, ask the respondent to choose a recording location that is quiet, has a good internet connection, and good lighting.

The survey tool works well even in crowded locations, such as coffee shops or supermarkets, and captures human voice very well.

However, respondents will still need to speak louder than the other strangers standing next to him/her--otherwise the recording will just record the other strangers’ conversations!

Good locations for recording videos

6. Specify how long the survey would take

This usually diffuses respondents’ doubts about the survey "taking too much time", and helps increase survey-response-rate.

7. Specify the expected time for each video response

Most respondents subconsciously follow the expected time you suggest for each video response, as long as you tell them.

Otherwise, the time length of each video response will vary, depending on whether the respondent is a talkative person.

8. Add a survey deadline

Lots of respondents tend to take the survey 1-2 days before the deadline.

If there is no deadline, it’s easy for respondents to forget to complete the survey, even if they intended to.

Deadline for video surveys

9. Add a contact email address

Include an email address for respondents to contact in case of questions.

We recommend this be the support email address from, so we can handle respondent questions for you.

10. Check video playback

After the respondent records each video answer, the survey tool shows a playback of the video. If the video has no sound at all (e.g. if the mic is broken), the tool also displays a "no sound detected" message to the respondent.

Still, be sure to ask the respondents to check the playback, to make sure their voice is completely clear, and their face is completely visible on camera.

11. Camera-shy respondents

On rare occasions, we see respondents that do not want to their face on camera. This happens even if they went through a screener that explicitly states they will need to be OK with being recorded later during in-person focus groups.

If audio-only answers are acceptable, you can let the respondents know in the email invite that they can point the camera at a random object, while recording their voice answers.

Otherwise, the video survey just helped you identify an unacceptable respondent--you can exclude that respondent from your research project to save time.

Camera shy respondents point camera to sock puppets


This checklist should help you with survey invites that engages respondents, leading to higher response rates.

Good luck with your video survey!

Video Survey Email Invites Tips High Response Rate