Best practices for your invitation emails

Now that you have crafted your questions, it’s time to start sending your surveys out to your contacts! Don’t let your guard down just yet, because there’s another important aspect you need to focus on: your invitation text.

The invitation email is how you present your survey to your candidates or your hiring managers, where you let them know why you’re asking for their feedback in the first place.

Having a proper, well thought-out invitation email will help you achieve a higher response rate. If you are interested in more tips on how to increase your response rate, we have a short article with practical suggestions for you.

We have put together best practice invitation templates to help you reach this goal. However, we strongly recommend customizing your text and make it as personalized as possible so that it feels like a personal email to your candidates, as well as something that reflects your brand truly.

Here we’ll cover our most important tips on how to write a compelling invitation email that will help you present your survey in the best possible way.

Subject line

Choose an effective subject line
…because it is the first thing your recipients will see when they open their inbox!

Be clear, but also not

You can go for a more standard option like “Your feedback on your experience with…”, but that will tell the recipient immediately what the email is about, and if they are not in the mood to click through, they most certainly will trash the email.

Instead, you can go for something that will get them to open the email, maybe a subject line that’s not too obvious about the content of the email, but it’s clear enough to get their attention, like:

  • Your interview with …
  • We would like to hear from you!
  • How did it go?

Make it less formal

If that is consistent with your company’s tone of voice, why not go for a more fun, engaging choice of words?

  • Hey, how did we do?
  • Be honest, we can take it!

Personalize it for the respondent

If it’s applicable and appropriate depending on the stage of the candidate journey or the type of survey, you can make the subject line as personal as possible.
With your hired candidates, you could get them all excited with a subject like such as

  • %firstName, congratulations on your new job! We want to hear from you.

And the same goes for your Hiring Manager surveys:

  • Congratulations on your new hire! We want to hear from you!

That is it for your subject line. As far as email content, there are many aspects you can focus on. Let's go over them!

Message body

Tone of voice

First of all, you should focus on the style of your writing: do you want your email to sound very professional and serious, or would you rather make it more fun and engaging?
Here are some things to consider when taking this decision:

  • What is your company’s tone of voice?
  • What is your audience? Are you mostly hiring young adults or are you fishing from a larger pond?
  • Would you rather have a longer email with more information or a more simple and straight to the point text?
  • What can you add to your email to make it special?

Let them know how long it will take

Imagine receiving an email asking you to answer a few questions. You may decide to open it and start answering…first question, second question, third question. Then you get to the fifth question and you are like “Oh my God, I didn’t realize I would have to spend 30 minutes doing this!”. You close the page and you’re gone… Well, there was only one question left, but how would you have known if that wasn’t stated in the beginning?
Starred respects the time of the candidates and therefore surveys will never take longer than 5 minutes to complete. Make sure you inform your respondents about this by giving an estimation of the time they will need or the number of questions you’ll be asking, so they know how much effort it will take to complete the survey. This will make sure that even lazier respondents might decide to actually go on with the survey!

Use tags

On the same note as what we just said, to make the invitation email as personal as possible, almost as if it was drafted just for that person, the best thing to do is to use custom fields as tags in your text. If you’re already including custom fields in your .csv file for your contacts (see here) or you are using Starred Connect and you have added custom fields to your workflow, use them to your advantage in the email!

You could use the tag of the job the candidate has applied for, or the recruiter that they have spoken with. Even the city they were going to work in! Get creative, it will pay off :)

Personalize it to the candidate journey stage

Personalizing the invitation text to reflect the respondent’s experience can really help make the email feel much more personal. Tags also help in this case.

  • (withdrawn candidate) We were sorry to hear that we weren’t the right choice for you at this time. Thank you for taking the time to get to know us!
  • (withdrawn) We’d love to hear your thoughts about your recruitment experience and what we could have done better to keep you engaged.
  • (withdrawn) We are sorry to hear that you've chosen to withdraw from the application process. We are very grateful we got to know and we would love to hear about your experience interviewing with us.
  • (hired) Welcome to [companyname]! We’re excited that you will be joining our family soon.
  • (hired) Congratulations on your new job as [job name]: we’re happy to have you on board!
  • (hired) We are delighted that you have decided to accept our offer for a position at [company name]!
  • (hiring manager) Congratulations on your new hire! Thank you for helping us find the best talent.

Why not use emojis?

Why so serious? 😇 Many of your candidates might be using smileys and emojis in their personal communications every single day. So why not include them in your invitation email, if that suits your brand image? 🫶

Ask to be honest

If you’re asking them for feedback, you want to hear it, right?

By highlighting how important it is for you to get the most transparent and honest feedback, you’ll provide a safe space for your candidates to share their feelings and knowing that you really care can drive them to decide to complete the survey. You could say something like:

  • What went well? Where can we do better? We’d like to hear your honest opinion!
  • We value your feedback and we will use it to improve the experience for our future candidates, so please be honest!

Anonymity

It’s really important to specify in your invitation whether the survey is anonymous or not, or if there are any opt-in or opt-out options (this setting can be adjusted in the Advanced Survey Settings of each survey!)

That is because the possibility to answer anonymously or, contrary to that, knowing that their names will in fact show, could be a big reason why somebody would choose to complete the survey or not. So let your candidates know about this!

And if just saying something like “This survey is anonymous” is not appealing, maybe you could come up with a creative way to “justify” the choice to collect feedback attached (or not attached) to names.

Especially if your surveys are anonymous or if you offer the possibility to answer anonymously, you could link it to the previous point and use this opportunity to reinforce the idea that you want the most honest feedback. You could say something like:

  • Because we value your honest and open feedback, we made this survey anonymous.
  • This survey is not anonymous but you can choose to answer anonymously by checking the box at the bottom of this survey if that makes you more comfortable.
  • Because we want you to feel free to answer as honestly as possible, we made this survey anonymous.

Or, if you are collecting feedback non-anonymously, you could say something like:

  • Because we care about each and every one of our candidates, we have chosen to make this survey not anonymous, so we can reach out to you about your responses and have the chance to really talk to you.

(but only if you do actually follow up. In this article we explain how to respond to candidates.

Thank your respondents

Last but not least!
When somebody does something for you that they didn’t “have” to do, thanking them is the least you could do :) So do not be shy and remind your respondents in your invitation email of how grateful you are for the help they’re about to give you!
Of course, they also will see a nice Thank You page at the end of the survey. If you still haven’t set up your Thank You page, you can do that here.

And that’s it! We really hope you found value in these tips and tricks. If you still have questions or need advice, feel free to reach out to your Customer Success Manager or contact us at [email protected] Good luck!