When was the last time you surveyed your e-mail list?
When was the last time you surveyed your email list?
Though you don't want to conduct surveys all the time, I find this easy, cost-effective tool for learning about your list is too often underutilized. You should be able to survey your list two to four times a year without causing a backlash or creating a situation where oversurveying leads to greatly diminished response.
There are so many things you can learn by surveying a list:
Most best practices associated with offline surveys hold true in the online realm, including:
One mistake some companies make is the type of information they request. You don't want to ask respondents to do your job; you want to ask them for information so you can do your job better. It's a fine line. Let's say you publish an email newsletter. Asking respondents to provide article topics and ideas is asking them to do your job. Offering them a list of industry issues and asking them to rate the importance of each gives you information to do your job better.
Open-ended questions are a double-edged sword. Use them wisely. They're harder to tabulate than multiple choice questions because you must do it manually. That's the down side. But their very nature can yield responses you'd never have dreamed of. That's the up side. Mix a few in with easier-to-manage multiple choice options.
Now, a few words on technology. Some email service providers (ESPs) have "in-email" survey capability, meaning recipients see and can complete the survey right in the email body. Though I'm not against this, be sure the technology works for the majority, if not all, of the recipients. It sounds simple, but Outlook is slightly different from Gmail, which is very different from Lotus Notes. If the technology doesn't work with all of them, you won't get the results you're looking for.
I know it adds an extra step, but I like to set up surveys online and send an email with a link. I use SurveyMonkey.com, although I've heard good things about similar services. In addition to providing a great deal of flexibility in the survey creation process, SurveyMonkey's reporting capabilities are very impressive. It's amazing how it can offer this level of service for such a low monthly fee.
If you haven't lately, it's time to survey your email list! Let us all know how it goes.
Want more email marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our email columns, organized by topic.
On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!
Jeanne Jennings is a recognized expert in the email marketing industry and managing director of digital marketing for Digital Prism Advisors. She has more than 20 years of experience in the email and online marketing and product development world. Jeanne's direct-response approach to digital strategy, tactics, and creative direction helps organizations make their online marketing initiatives more effective and more profitable. Digital Prism Advisors helps established businesses unlock significant growth and revenue opportunities in the digital marketplace; our clients learn to develop and implement successful digital strategies, leveraging data and technology to better meet bottom line goals. Want to learn more? Check out Jeanne's blog and Digital Prisim Advisors.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.
Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.
June 10, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT