Forrest Gump’s mom taught him that “life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’ll get.”
Email is showing its own capacity for surprises – unpleasant ones that make headlines. Bear with us, and we’ll tell you in a moment why it’s no surprise that email is bad for recruiting panelists to take consumer surveys. First, some examples of emails gone wrong in the world of politics and government.
You’ve heard how email troubles disrupted the 2016 Democratic presidential campaign, and how the shoe landed on the other foot with the release of email exchanges involving Donald Trump, Jr. And so the beat goes on, with CNN now reporting on the email mishaps of others in the White House and on Wall Street who’ve fallen victim to imposters who posed as powerful figures in the recipients' organizations.
“A self-described ‘email prankster’ in the UK fooled a number of White House officials into thinking he was other officials,” CNN’s article begins, “including an episode where he convinced the White House official tasked with cyber security that he was Jared Kushner and received that official's private email address unsolicited.”
The point here isn’t to dwell on the embarrassment (or worse) that emails have caused for some prominent people. It’s to illustrate why email is falling increasingly out of favor. Please understand that we’re not saying email isn’t a fine thing for many kinds of personal or business interactions. It’s an effective and efficient way of communicating when both parties are willing, above-board, and have a good reason for sending and replying.
But email no longer has a place as the linchpin of the consumer survey process – as it has been for the past generation dominated by online surveys that rely on panel recruitment via email. It's far too inefficient.
With online surveys, respondents are expected to connect by clicking on a link embedded in an email. Before they can start answering questions, they must go through a gamut that only a small percentage will complete:
- Check their email
- Click to open the survey notification
- Click a link that takes them to the website where the survey is housed
- Begin answering the questions
Multi-step processes are so last-decade. It’s no wonder, then, that here in 2017 online surveys are having a tough time generating enough completes from the right consumers.
Cutting email completely from the equation is one of the defining innovations of in-app mobile research. In the case of Surveys on the Go® from MFour, targeted respondents who’ve downloaded the app aren’t pestered with emails; they receive eagerly awaited push notifications sent through the app itself. Answering the push by tapping their app icon brings them instantly into the survey. From notification to completion, the process engages panelists because it's tailored to their expectation that whatever they do on their phones should be wait-free, smooth-flowing and fun -- not to mention an interesting and rewarding way to express their thoughts, actions and feelings concerning products, services, shopping experiences and advertising.
The proof of the in-app mobile panel-recruitment process is in the pudding – and MFour clients can expect response rates of 50% for most projects, with all required completes often obtained in a day or two. For a productive conversation about how in-app mobile aligns with your specific needs, just get in touch at email@example.com.