Email questionnaires


Email Questionnaires are surveys or questionnaires that are distributed online via email.

Being relatively labor intensive, it is an option that is used less and less on account of the increasing number of online survey tools, such as polldaddy and surveymonkey, that facilitate the formatting, distribution, collection and analysis of data from questionnaires sent via email.

  • Can be useful in getting a quick response for short questionnaires with relatively simple questions
  • Participant can respond to questionnaire in email, rather than going to an external website
  • ​Low cost


  • Unsolicited emails or bulk emails might be automatically labelled as 'spam' or deleted by the recipient
  • Formatting questions within the email is often limited, which means many features that might be available to online or paper questionnaires such as tick boxes
  • It is harder to ensure anonymity than it is with a web-based questionnaire, although this can be improved by having separate people collating and analysing the data.
  • Collected data needs to be collated and processed

Advice for using this method

  • Make the emails personal to recipients, e.g. by using individual names
  • Limit the number of questions so as to improve response rate. Only include key questions.
  • Make sure that you address any privacy concerns participants might have, for example assure them that their email addresses will not be passed to third parties

Taylor-Powell E. (2002) Program Planning Evaluation:  EMAIL QUESTIONNAIRE, University of Wisconsin Extension, Wisconsin. 

Black computer keyboard by Marius Iordache

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