As part of my thesis, I have to send off "cold surveys" to small-to-medium businesses and individuals in order to collect data. Sadly to date, I've been getting a 1% conversion rate. I think it is primarily down to the way I am structuring my email messages. Is there anything I can do to improve the language of my email message to make them more persuasive?
This is what I have so far. I would really appreciate any advice:
For individuals: http://imgur.com/T6vY7v1
For businesses: http://imgur.com/uopfMjx
Your emails have a lot of room for improvement. You have to:
1) Give a 1 sentence intro
2) Get right to the point quickly in a clear and easy to understand way. Eliminate all the long winded and confusing language (i.e. everything in quotes: "business attitudes towards....provision")
3) Most people will be very wary of clicking links in a cold-call email. Both because it would take time, and because they're expecting to see a huge survey and/or a crappy app made by some schmo. To get around that negative bias, include an impressive screenshot of your app, and include all the questions of your survey, or if it is super long, include just the most interesting questions to pique their interest. Have those things be in-line, not as attachments. Doing these things will help make them curious and help convince them that it's worth clicking on the link (they'll trust you more).
4) If allowed in this project, look into other routes other than emails. For instance:
A) Post it to relevant subreddits (https://www.reddit.com/r/AlphaAndBetaUsers, https://www.reddit.com/r/sideproject, etc.).
B) Mail a small gift (e.g. a small chocolate) to companies, and have a note on the chocolate with an intro and a link (use an URL shortener) and QR code. Even if they don't go to the link on the note, you could do a follow up email in which you mention that you previously sent them the gift, which will increase your success.
In your initial message, I'd recommend something quite short. Just a sentence or 2 introducing yourself as a student and asking if they'd be willing to give some quick feedback to help you with your thesis project. Just that.
Assuming that's true, some people will respond. Then you can reply as a human being. Even that little bit of relationship building makes a difference.
Meanwhile, all the additional verbiage is off-putting. With the links in your opening email, it resembles a lot of spam that we're conditioned to quickly click past.