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How To Ask For Feedback From Your Subscribers Through Email

Have you ever thought about how to ask for feedback from your subscribers?

Even though statistics can give you good insight into your audience’s wishes and needs, they can rarely provide a full understanding of what is going on in their minds.

Therefore, in this article we will explore the best ways to ask your customers for feedback, and how you can use the goldmine of information you get in return.

Why you should ask for feedback

Talking to your customers and having them share their thoughts offers many benefits for your business.

Take a look at the following points and you will quickly realise why this process is very important for any business that wants to serve its customers better.

1. Understand what your customer needs

Feedback is essential when it comes to understanding your audience’s needs and expectations

Quality feedback will provide detailed information about what your readers think when reading your content, and also help you understand where their interests lie. 

Your audience’s needs are ever-changing and what works one day may not work the next. 

Therefore, based on the feedback, you will know which parts of your campaign are still relevant and which need to change.

Simply put, if you fail to remain relevant – or slip away from the topics you usually cover – a bunch of unsubscribes will come rolling in.

2. Improve your emails

In our continuous efforts to become better digital marketers, some of us will ask their readers for feedback on the quality of their content.

But, have you ever thought why that is important?

You’d be surprised at the amount of insight you can get simply by implementing a quick (but well-planned) feedback round.

Once you collect enough feedback, you will get a clear indication of what works and what doesn’t. Use this insight to improve your emails, but also to see an increase in open and click-through rates.

3. Turn readers into customers

Asking for feedback makes for a more personalized communication approach, compared to other channels.

As such, your one-on-one engagement with subscribers is also increased, which in turn leads to a more satisfying experience.

And, speaking of a good experience…

Studies by Oracle showed that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for overall better customer experience.

The data speaks for itself. Happier customers form an emotional bond with your (personal) brand and are more willing to support it financially. Therefore, next time you wonder how to ask for feedback and if it’s even worth it, remember Oracle’s study.

4. Make data-driven decisions

An additional benefit that comes when asking for feedback is the large amount of data you receive.

This information is going to be related to the questions you ask for, so it’s important to set clear goals about the objectives you want to achieve.

When data starts coming in, you will slowly start to get a clear picture of your email marketing performance. In more detail, you will get information to help you solve existing bottlenecks or problems.

For this to happen, however, a goal oriented approach will be necessary. Too often, email marketers tend to ask generalised questions that lead to further confusion down the road.

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To summarize, feedback will help you through:

  • Understanding what your customer needs;
  • Improving your emails;
  • Turning readers into customers;
  • Making data-driven decisions.

Now that you have a better idea of the benefits, let’s take a look at the best ways to collect all that information.

How to ask for feedback

The method you use to ask for feedback is directly related to the amount (and quality) of replies you receive.

So, what are the best ways to have more people open up and share their opinion? 

As mentioned above, it is crucial to understand why you collect feedback. 

So, consider the following before creating an outline for a successful feedback campaign:

  • What is the best way to ask for feedback, when looking at the formulated questions?
  • How will you use the information you collect from your subscribers? 
  • How do you intend to adjust your strategy based on the feedback you receive?

The second and third question can be answered by yourself. The third one will be answered in further detail down below.

Best ways to ask your subscribers for feedback

When it comes to email marketing, there are two main ways to ask your subscribers for feedback:

1. Ask questions in your emails

Not many marketers are aware that email can act as a great channel for a two way communication. There is no limit when it comes to the word count, it’s private and, most importantly, it is a great way to increase your engagement rates.

Therefore, if your creativity is running low, or you are trying to improve your engagement rates, you could try to ask your subscribers questions as if you would ask them in a one-on-one conversation:

  • What encouraged you to sign up to this newsletter? 
  • What are some points you think we should work on? 
  • Do you like the new structure of our newsletter? If not, why?

Not only will readers feel like you value their opinion, but they will likely loosen up and share more personal experiences with you.

Side note: Through my personal experience, I can tell you that when asked directly, people tend to share personal stories that relate to some sort of struggle. You will uncover problems you didn’t even know exist. And then, you will start thinking of new ways to solve these problems.

The key to getting quality answers, as you have probably guessed from the examples above, is to ask short and insightful questions that get to the point quickly.

Try to get a good understanding of your list segments before reaching out with your feedback questions. 

The best way to do this is to think about their customer journey, and how they ended up on your list.

To increase your chances for honest answers, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Use simple email design;
  • Ask both specific (closed) and open-ended questions;
  • Have a defined purpose behind each question you ask;
  • Tell your customers why their input is important.
  • Explain to them how you intend to make use of their answers.

2. Send a survey

Remember that undergrad student struggling to get her surveys filled in? She would approach you on the street, send you messages on Social Media and even call you, hoping to win those precious 5 minutes of your time.

With email, however, all this is different – and easier. In fact, creating an email survey is the most convenient way to collect feedback. If done correctly, you will:

  • Gather lots of quantitative data in a short period of time. 
  • Save time as you will only have to create one template for a segment.
  • Analyse the collected information a lot easier than the previous method.

So, what kind of wizardry does one need to create awesome looking surveys?

In 2019, thankfully, none!

Building and sending surveys doesn’t require any special skills since there are many tools that help you out with the process. The more effort you put into learning the functionalities of these tools, the easier it will be.

One of the most popular tools for creating surveys is Google Surveys. This tool is great for businesses of all sizes who look to gain valuable feedback for their services. 

And while Google surveys are beautiful and easy to use, if you own a business and need to create high quality surveys, they might be somewhat limiting. 

As a result, business owners often choose to use software that creates more professional looking surveys.

If you happen to be among the few that want to create world-class surveys for their mailing list, you might want to consider using Mailigen

mailigentrial

How to create a survey with Mailigen (step by step)

So, let’s dig in and create a survey with Mailigen:

STEP 1: Navigate to the Surveys Menu and click on My Surveys to open the  Survey Wizard.

how to ask for feedback

STEP 2: Click on Create New Survey to open a drop-down list with two options; Start a New Survey and Use a Template

how to ask for feedback 2

STEP 3: Decide if you want to start a new survey or use a template

By starting a new survey you will have a variety of customization options. Otherwise, you can also use a pre-existing template by clicking on Use a Template. 

If you decide to go for the latter, you will see surveys that you previously created and saved for future use.

STEP 4: Select your preferred type of survey from pre-defined templates, saved templates, or a blank survey. 

Blank surveys and saved templates are pretty obvious and don’t need any further explanation. However, if you choose from Predefined Templates, you will see six different survey types to choose from:

choosing templates

Now, let’s assume that your goal is to obtain feedback through a 2 Week Testimonial. 

STEP 5: Click 2 Week Testimonial and you will be prompted to create a new survey. The following window will be opened:

2 week testimonial

Each type of survey has the same layout in the Create Survey Window. The layout has five main areas:

how to ask for feedback 5 questions
  1. Logo;
  2. Welcome Message;
  3. Survey Questions;
  4. Thank You Page;
  5. Survey Options.

In the next step we will explore each one of these:

STEP 6: Adjust each of these five areas according to your needs. 

1. Logo

In the Logo area, you can change the logo at the top of your survey. Just click on Add your logo here to open Image Manager

Once there, you can select and upload your logo. Resize your image prior to uploading for better quality results.

2. Welcome message

You can change the Welcome Message that will appear below your logo. It might be a good idea to give a short description of your survey and explain its objectives.

Click on the Edit button to change the text, make your adjustments and click Save when you are finished. 

If you use a predefined template, there will be an option to add premade Survey Questions. You can use and edit them easily:

  • Move it – use the drag and drop option to move questions around;
  • Copy it – click on Copy to make a copy of a question below;
  • Edit it – click on Edit to open Question Editor window for any question;
  • Delete it – click the X button to delete a question;
  • Remove a Page Break or a Question Block by clicking on the X button.

3. Survey questions

Creating new questions is also easy. Just click on the Questions main area to open nine question formats (see picture below). 

questions

To add a new question click and drag the question block into the builder. Once you do that, you will see a window like in the picture below:

question blocks

Here, you can write your question, add a logo and, depending on the format, add possible answers as well. If you wish, you can also add pictures.

Here are some additional options for the format of your survey’s questions:

  • Question required. This field specifies whether answering is mandatory. 
  • Add answer to contact info in database. If you wish to see the answer in your database next to the contact, check this box. If you do this, you have to add a corresponding list and the field where you want to see the answer. 
  • ‘Other’ option. Check this box if you want your respondents to add their own answers to the existing ones. 
  • Comment field. This allows your respondent to leave a comment or a larger answer. 

4. Thank You page

Under the survey you will see a Thank You Page. 

  • Click on the Edit button to open the editor window (see picture below). 
  • Change and/or add style to your text
  • To confirm your edit, click on Save Question button. 
thank you message

5. Survey Options

Once that is done, let’s explore Survey Options:

how to ask for feedback - survey options

In this tab you can:

  • Add a Title to your survey;
  • Organize your surveys by adding them to a group;
  • Disable or enable the Welcome message;
  • Disable or enable Question numbering;
  • Add a redirect link;
  • Choose the survey’s Language;
  • Choose which part of your mailing list has access to your survey. 

After you complete all the necessary edits, you can save your survey by clicking on the Next Step button, or save it as a draft. 

You can also save your survey as a template by clicking on Save as New Survey Template

When your survey’s contents are finished, you will be able to create a design to accompany it.

And that is how you make a survey with Mailigen. As easy as it gets!

Now, let’s take step up our game and look at the best ways you can use to reach out to your audience.

Email survey examples – and how to get people to answer the surveys you create

In order to have people take the time to fill in your surveys, you need to be creative. And this is where email invitations come in.

Appealing survey invitations help you get more people to complete your survey. Get some ideas on how to ask for feedback by going through the five examples below.

Be a good listener. An example by Artifact Uprising.

People like to be heard. 

Knowing this, you can strategize on ways that lead to better engagement. Make your readers feel like they are being heard instead of being interviewed. 

The example below demonstrates how to use this tactic to good effect.

feedback invitation template

As you can see, not only does Artifact Uprising reach out with text that is friendly and customer oriented, they also reward the ones that actually take the time to fill in the form by offering store credit.

Exclusiveness. An example by Piperlime.

You can create a sense of exclusivity in your survey invitation email. One of the ways of doing this is by creating an opening line that states exclusivity.

In other words, make you readers feel important.

One example of doing this is by placing a line like “You are amongst a selected group of customers” into the first lines of the invitation. 

Additionally, you can add “Thank you in advance” to encourage your customer to take action. 

feedback invitation template 2

Be polite. And example by Artifact Uprising.

One of the best ways to approach your customers is to be polite and respectful. You can use this method to show your customers that you respect them and their time. 

Once again, you can offer some form of reward to your readers who take the time to fill in your questionnaire.

feedback invitation template 3

And since we are talking about rewards:

Offer an irresistible gift. An example by Frye.

This method often gets the best results since your customers don’t want to give away their time for free.

Frankly, I think everyone should offer at least some sort of reward to their readers. Not only does it show that you respect your readers’ time, but it also create an emotional bond with those who you reply to.

You can offer a prize to a few lucky readers or offer a discount to everyone who fills in the survey. 

Use your creativity and you will be one step closer to getting into your reader’s mind. 

feedback invitation template 4

Use a punchline or a quote. An example by City Farmers.

Another way to get attention to your survey is by using a punchline or quote.. “Don’t be a Chicken” might be risky or even slightly offensive to a few, but it does challenge your customers to take action. 

And, while stepping out of your comfort zone for these ones is a good tip, don’t do so if you don’t have a really good understanding of your audience. Using the wrong punchline here can easily get you in trouble.

feedback invitation template 5

Here are some things to remember before moving on to more particular examples of email surveys:

  • Craft your email survey invitation to be unique so that it grabs the reader’s attention;
  • Be direct and explain why are you interested in this feedback;
  • Focus on giving your customers value to increase your chances of having them fill out the survey. 

Email survey templates

The key to getting valuable feedback is to ask the right questions. Create thought-provoking questions to bring results. 

To help you with this task, we have created a few examples. Each of these 3 examples corresponds to a different type of survey:

  • Customer satisfaction survey
  • Customer profiling survey
  • Brand awareness survey

These are some of the most popular survey types out there. 

Template #1: Customer satisfaction survey about your product

One of the most popular survey types is a customer satisfaction survey. This survey can help when it comes to understanding your customers’ opinion regarding your products and services. 

Here are a few questions you could ask in this type of survey:

Question 1: Rate answer

How likely is it that you would recommend our product to a friend? 

Answer: Rate from 1 to 10.

Question 2: Single answer

How well does our product meet your needs? 

Answer: Include 4 options – (e.g. badly, fine, well, very well) 

Question 3: Multiple answers

Which three features of our product you value the most? 

Answer: Create a list of your product’s existing features (e.g. Design, Easy navigation, Custom responses, etc.).

Question 4: Multiple answers

What are the three features you would like us to improve? 

Answer: Here you can include the same features as before or add some more features in addition to the ones already listed.

Question 5: Open-ended question

Please share with us one thing that you would like to change about our product?

Question 6: Rate answer

How would you rate the pricing of our product compared to the value it offers? 

Answer: Rate from 1 to 5.

Template #2: Market research survey on customer profiling 

This survey template will provide valuable insights into your readers’ demographics. The knowledge you receive will give you the power to shape your products and services according to customer needs. 

Question 1:  Single answer

Which of the categories below includes your age group? 

Answer: Provide age categories (For example: 17 or younger, 18-20, 21-29, 20-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 or older, etc – as most appropriate).

Question 2: Single answer

What gender do you identify with? 

Answer: male, female, prefer not to say, etc (make sure this is appropriate to your audience!).

Question 3: Single answer

What is your household size? 

Answer: Provide ranges ( <3; 3-4; 5-8; 8<).

Question 4: Free response

Which city do you live in? 

Question 5: Free response

What are the three topics that interest you the most?

Question 6: Multiple answers

Which three types of media do you use the most?

Answer: Social media, messaging, television, print media, radio broadcast, video games, other.

Question 7: Free response

What is your typical budget for [insert something related to your business]?

Question 8: Free response

What specific benefits are you looking when you purchase [your type of product or service]? 

Template #3: Brand awareness survey

This type of survey will let you know how subscribers perceive your brand’s image. Remember – Brand awareness can be measured by the level of familiarity.

Question 1:  Single answer

When did you last use this product category? 

Answer: Provide ranges (In the last week, in the last month, in the last 3 months, in the last 6 months, more than 12 months ago).

Question 2: Free response

Which brand comes to your mind first when thinking about this product type? 

Question 3: Single answer

When was the first time you heard about our brand?

Answer: Provide ranges (In the last week, in the last month, in the last 3 months, in the last 6 months, more than 12 months ago).

Question 4: Free response

Where have you seen or heard about our brand in the past 3 months? 

Question 5: Single answer

How well do you know our brand? 

Answer: Extremely well; very good; good; not so good; not at all.

Question 6: Single answer

What is your overall opinion about our brand? 

Answer: Extremely favorable, very favorable, somewhat favorable, not so favorable, not at all favorable, I haven’t heard about your brand.

Question 7: Rate answer

How likely is that you would recommend our brand to others?

Answer: Rate from 1 to 5. 

Question 8: Free response

What are the first 5 words that come to your mind when thinking about this brand? 

There are many different types of questions you can ask your customers, depending on your niche. Adjust the questions above in order to get the most value from the responses. 

Wrapping up: Feedback does matter

Let me stress this again – asking for feedback might be the best way to improve your campaigns. 

Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a better idea of the importance of asking the right questions and building surveys. So how to ask for feedback? Let’s go through the main points:

  • Feedback surveys with a well-thought purpose will bring you the best results;
  • You can use surveys as a tool for understanding your weaknesses and strengths;
  • Use proven tricks to increase engagement with feedback surveys;
  • Adopt these techniques according to your specific needs. 

Now that you know how to ask for feedback, all you need to do is reach out to your list!

If you have any questions feel free to post them below. We may be writing about feedback, but we are also really interested in getting yours!

How To Ask For Feedback From Your Subscribers Through Email
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