What is the most user-friendly way to ask a 'yes' or 'no' question via e-mail?

  • I'm interested in finding out the most user friendly way to ask a 'yes' or 'no' question via email. I have included an example and a couple of possibilities below.

    It's a huge plus if whatever method chosen allows my system to unambiguously auto-parse the "yes" or "no" (or whatever choices there are), so that I don't have to spend time manually going through the replies and manually determine what the user answered. Suppose my e-mail system is sending this to a user:

    Dear Mr. X,

    We have now reviewed your submission and found that it was excellent. Only a very small portion has been edited, namely this part:

    "foog for thought" was changed into "food for thought".

    Do you accept our change and wish for us to publish the submission?

    Yes / No

    The "Yes / No" part, I imagine, would be two hyperlinks, going to https://example.com/actionid=123...&action=yes and https://example.com/actionid=123...&action=no respectively.

    However, that requires me to rely on a website, which is not optimal in my situation.

    I believe making them respond to the e-mail with "yes" or "no" to be error-prone. If I go that route, they will inevitably respond with "yeah" or "sure" or "okay" or "OK" or other versions, possibly with further comments included. This might mess up the quoting or use non-standard HTML quotes which are not easy for me to remove to extract their actual answer. Sending an e-mail for such a signal does not seem effective.

    I remember reading about "e-mail forms", would this be a viable option?

    Of course, another version would be to make the "Yes / No" hyperlinks have hrefs such as: mailto:info@example.com?subject=AUTOMATIC%20PARSING&subject=actionis:%20123...

    But that would also be finicky at best, confusing many users as they probably don't even know what happens when they click the hyperlink and it opens a new e-mail for sending.

    Of course, none of this HTML stuff will be available for the plaintext version of the e-mail. I plan to send both plaintext and HTML versions in each e-mail. I suppose those who have "plaintext only" turned on can be expected to not get scared from seeing long URLs such as:

    Yes: https://example.com/actionid=123...&action=yes

    No: https://example.com/actionid=123...&action=no

  • For the UX part, you could put buttons/ link buttons and the buttonClick records true/ false, or yes/ no. Google forms could also be an option since the responses from those are recorded in a spreadsheet.

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