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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 a good insight into your audience‘s wishes and needs, they rarely provide a full understanding of what is going on in their minds.

In this article, we 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 realize 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, we ask our 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…

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

Happier customers form an emotional bond with your (personal) brand and are more willing to support it financially.

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. You will get information to help you solve existing bottlenecks or problems.

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

To summarize, asking for email feedback will help you:

  • Understand what your customer needs
  • Improve your emails
  • Turn readers into customers
  • Make 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?

You can answer the second and third questions. The third one will be answered in further detail down below.

The 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

Email can act as a great channel for 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: 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 existed. 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 those undergrad students struggling to get their surveys filled in? They 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
  • Analyze the collected information a lot easier than the previous method

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.

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