We’ve all been there. You create the perfect email campaign filled with great content, sharp images, and helpful links only to hear crickets. At some point, a disconnect formed between you and your audience, and the content you produced was no longer relevant or interesting to them. What’s the solution? Well, luckily, digital marketing offers a variety of methods to learn about your audience and how to engage them, but perhaps the simplest way to learn what your audience wants is to ask them through an email survey.
Of course, not all surveys are created equal. Some of us hear that s-word and get shivers down our spine, but email surveys can actually be an incredibly effective way to learn your audience in a relatively short amount of time and with minimal effort.
The quickest way to lose interest in a survey is to make it too long. Remember, your audience doesn’t owe you anything, and if they feel their time is being wasted or taken advantage of, they’ll most likely leave the survey before they ever reach that submit button. A good completion time to aim for when creating an email survey is 1-2 minutes. In addition to keeping your survey brief, you should also aim to keep your individual questions short and sweet. The simpler you make your questions, the more straightforward your audience will answer, and that will lead to clearer data in the long run.
In order to successfully keep your surveys as short as possible, you’ll need to determine your goal before creating any questions. Notice that word goal is singular. One of the biggest mistakes to make when developing a survey is to make it all-encompassing. After all, wouldn’t it be great if we could learn about our audience’s demographics, brand preferences, professional history, purchase habits, and food allergies all at once? Really, though, the most focused surveys are the most effective surveys. Decide on one area you’d like to know about your audience and build all your questions around that. Your audience will thank you.
A survey’s data is only as good as its completion percentage. If only 13 percent of your audience completed your survey, the concluding data probably won’t be very reliable. While you can’t force anyone to take your survey, you can certainly make it more appealing by offering different incentives. For example, those that complete your survey could be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card or a free product from your store. The options are nearly endless, so don’t be afraid to get creative! The better the incentive, the more people will likely take your survey, and all that data you gain could turn out to be priceless.
Just like your website or social media accounts, the surveys you produce should be an extension of your brand. If your content tends to have a whimsical or humorous undertone, make sure your survey questions aren’t dry or colorless. On the other hand, if you tend to approach subjects with a more professional voice, don’t make your survey too corny. Instead, own your brand voice and let that dictate the wording of each question.
Here at Keyhole Marketing, we really believe surveys are a powerful resource for gaining insight and feedback, but you can always have too much of a good thing. If your audience is receiving 3-4 surveys in their inbox each month from you, they may just stop reading your emails altogether. Again, your audience doesn’t owe you anything when it comes to providing feedback, so ask for it sparingly. When it comes to email marketing, try to limit surveys to just 2-3 times per year. This will prevent your audience from feeling harassed or bombarded which will actually make them more willing to share their opinions when the opportunity comes.
Are you ready to step up your survey game, but don’t know where to start? We’re here for you! Below is a recent email survey we sent to our clients in order to learn about their newsletter preferences. Take a look and let us know what you think!