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Email Polls: How to Create Quick, Simple Surveys in Gmail

Email polls - How to create quick simple surveys in Gmail

Need to run email polls to get quick opinionsvotesRSVPs, and more? With GMass’s polling feature, you can.

Create simple, one-question surveys in your mass email campaigns. Gather the responses in real time, export the results, and even send automated follow-ups to recipients who don’t respond.

And while you won’t be able to run multi-question, conditional branch logic studies worthy of publication in the Journal of Advances in Data Analysis and Classification, you will be able to run quick, simple surveys that take a few seconds to set up in your emails.

Here’s how to set up email polls in Gmail with GMass.

Email Polls: Table of Contents

How to Run a Simple Email Poll in Gmail with GMass

Before we dive in, we’ll assume you’re familiar with GMass and already have the Chrome extension running in your browser. If not, download GMass from the Chrome Web Store (it’s free to get started) and connect your Gmail or Google Workspace account.

Creating the poll in GMass

First up: Create your email campaign as you normally would in GMass. You don’t need to do anything special in the initial campaign setup process to add a poll.

Compose your email as normal in GMass

When you’re ready to add your poll, open the GMass settings. Then head to the Advanced section. Find the Poll option.

Insert a poll

Click the “Simple email poll” link. That will bring up the GMass simple poll builder.

Add a poll to your email

Type in your poll question here. (You can always change it later in the body of the email.) Then add your poll answers in the fields. Add more options with the + button or remove options with the  button.

Type your poll question

Click the “Add the poll” button to insert your survey into the body of your email.

Poll in your email

Each of the poll options is a link. For instance, in my poll, the Citizen Kane link is “https://www.gpolls.net/poll/[email protected]&a=Citizen%20Kane”. GMass will add unique identification info to those links as emails go out to each of your recipients.

When your email is ready, click the GMass button to send.

Click the GMass button to send

Monitoring and collecting responses

Now that your survey is out in the world, you can watch the results in real time.

Check your campaign report by going to the GMass dashboard, the web-based reporting option, or the Google Sheet connected to your campaign.

To see your poll reporting in the dashboard or web-based report, click on the number underneath “Polls” — it’s updated immediately whenever someone votes.

Here’s where to click if you’re looking at reporting in the dashboard:

Poll reporting in the dashboard

And here it is in the web-based report:

Poll reporting in web-based version

In both cases, clicking will bring up the fly-out panel on the right side of the screen. That will show you who voted, their response, and when they cast their vote. You’ll also get a summary of the votes in handy graph form and you can download the results as a CSV, Excel file, or Google Sheet from the Download link.

Poll results

Also note: In the “Click Rate” section of the stats, each vote is also tallying as a click on your email.

When you’re ready to analyze your poll results, you can download the data as a CSV or Excel file — or export it to Google Sheets.

Export poll results

You can now analyze your poll results however you’d like in your spreadsheet app of choice.

If you connected a Google Sheet to your campaign and chose to update that sheet with campaign data, you’ll also be able to see poll results in that sheet.

Choose to update sheet with reporting data

After you send your campaign, GMass will add a new column at the end of your Google Sheet called POLL_ANSWER where you can see if the person in each row voted and their voting choice.

Polls column in Google Sheet

Much like the other reporting columns GMass adds to your Google Sheets (OPENED, CLICKED, and so on), if you use the same sheet in multiple campaigns, those columns can get overwritten.

POLL_ANSWER works the same. So if you use this same Google Sheet to run two campaigns with two different polls, the second campaign’s results will overwrite the first campaign’s results. You can always see the past results by using Google Sheets’ “History” feature.

Next-Level Techniques for GMass Polls

Now that I’ve covered the basics of setting up a poll in GMass and monitoring the results, I’ll cover a few more advanced things you can with this feature. And yes, I fully recognize these are “simple polls” so discussing advanced techniques is contradictory. Let’s just roll with it.

Auto follow-ups to people who haven’t taken the poll

There’s a reason you’re sending out a poll: You want people to respond to it.

With GMass’s auto follow-ups feature you can stay on email recipients who don’t vote — and continue nudging them until they do.

When you’re setting up your email with the poll, head to the settings box and open the Auto Follow-up section.

Auto follow-ups to email polls in GMass

Check the box under Stage 1, then set the follow-up to go out If No Click after 3 days. (You can set the number of days to whatever timeframe you want.)

Now your auto follow-up will go out to anyone who doesn’t click (and, thereby, vote) on the email. However, you’ll need to make sure there aren’t any other links in the email — as clicks on those will still count as clicks.

Set up auto follow-ups

You can set up to eight stages of auto follow-ups. If someone hasn’t voted on your poll after nine total emails… they’re not going to, and you’ve more or less done all you could.

Once you’ve set up your follow-ups, you can test the entire sequence by scrolling to the top of the settings box and clicking the arrow next to the Send Test button. Then check the box to “Send all stages.”

Send all stages

Click the Send Test button and you’ll get a test email featuring your first message along with all of its follow-ups.

And if all looks good, send the first email in the campaign by clicking the red GMass button.

Styling the poll options as buttons

These are simple polls and they look simple. But they don’t have to look that simple.

GMass gives you the capabilities to edit the HTML of your emails — which means you can add some styling to your poll options.

If you’re skilled at design and CSS, you can create a button design from scratch. You can also grab button design code from any number of websites (there are lots of good button designs at CSS Scan, for instance), then make a few modifications so it works in your email.

First step: Create your email and insert your poll.

Then go to the GMass settings box and click the HTML link above the templates selection box.

The HTML button in the GMass settings

Add the CSS for your buttons.

I am going to add the following code for some attractive gray-ish buttons. I’m adding this CSS code inline to every button (that’s the only method that works; you can’t add a stylesheet to the email in the HTML editor):

style="background-color: #FAFBFC; border: 1px solid rgba(27, 31, 35, 0.15); border-radius: 6px; box-shadow: rgba(27, 31, 35, 0.04) 0 1px 0, rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.25) 0 1px 0 inset; box-sizing: border-box; color: #24292E; cursor: pointer; font-size: 14px; font-weight: 500; line-height: 20px; text-decoration: none; padding: 6px 16px; vertical-align: middle;"

Adding CSS code

Which gives us these buttons:

Styled poll buttons

Here’s how those buttons look to the recipient (the same as in the compose window, which is the goal):

Buttons in the sent email

And the stylish buttons function exactly the same as the default links.

GMass Email Polls FAQ

Can I make more complicated surveys?

The GMass polling function is for simple, one-question surveys. It’s not intended for anything more complex. If you have more advanced survey needs, you should direct your email recipients to the survey on an external site. (Where you can use Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, or other polling software.)

Can I edit the text of the poll after I create it?

Yes, you can change the poll question and the poll links in two different ways: By editing them in the Gmail compose window, or in the poll link in the settings.

Editing a poll with the GMass poll settings

Here’s my original poll:

Email poll pre-change

I’ll go back into the GMass settings, to the Advanced section, and click the Simple Email Poll link.

Click the polls link to update

That brings up the polls pop-up — with my current poll in there. I can now edit it.

Update a poll in settings

Click the “Add the poll” button and… the updated poll is now in the email.

Updated poll in email

Editing a poll in the Gmail compose window

Here’s my original poll:

Email poll pre-change

I clicked on the “Yes” link, which brought up the link options.

Link options in Gmail

I clicked “Change” and then changed “Yes” to “Yeah” in the two necessary spots.

Changes to the polls

Now when I send the email, my recipients will see “Yeah” as the option (and if they vote for that option, I’ll see “Yeah” in my results data).

Yeah in the data

Can I change the landing page?

At the present, you cannot change the landing page someone sees after they vote in the poll.

Will polls work if I use a custom tracking domain?

Yes, polls will work if you use a custom tracking domain for click tracking in your emails.

Can I create a poll from the API?

Not yet. For now you won’t be able to create polls using the GMass API; you’ll need to create your email polls from the GMass settings box in Gmail or Google Workspace.

Do I need to leave click tracking on for polls to work?

You can turn off click tracking and your polls will still work. If click tracking is OFF, you’ll see poll data in your campaign analytics — but those poll votes won’t count as clicks (your click rate will stay at 0%, since you’re not tracking clicks). That means you won’t be able to send auto follow-ups using the “no click” technique I described earlier in this article.

If click tracking is ON, poll votes will count as clicks on your email.

Email Polls: Get Started

Email polls are available with all GMass accounts. To get started, create a campaign then add your first poll from the Advanced section of the GMass campaign settings box.

And if you aren’t a GMass subscriber yet and want to get in on this sweet polling action (plus GMass’s dozens and dozens of other great cold email and email marketing features), get started by downloading GMass from the Chrome Web Store.

It’s free to get started and you can send up to 50 emails per day until you’re ready to upgrade to a paid plan. I don’t need a poll to tell me that’s a great deal.

Ahem.

I’ll see myself out.

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