How to Collect Email Campaign Feedback
Many people over the years have said that email marketing’s days are numbered and that it will soon become a dated, perhaps even obsolete technology. But actually, this assumption couldn’t be more wrong. Email marketing still remains one of the most effective marketing channels with the highest return on investment (ROI).
Much like other marketing channels however, email campaigns do offer up their fair share of challenges. Surprisingly, many of these challenges revolve around a lack of understanding and engagement with the target audience. It seems that with many campaign emails, communications are only outbound, leaving marketers with no real insight into how their email was received by their readers. This lack of insight into the performance an email campaign is precisely why it’s important to start collecting email campaign feedback.
In this article we will investigate why email campaign feedback is important for email marketers and provide you with some tips / advice on how to collect email campaign feedback.
Why use Email Campaign Feedback?
First and foremost, email feedback plays an important role in customer-centricity. By collecting this feedback within your email campaigns, you are providing a platform for two-way communication with your customers where they can share their thoughts and perceptions of your email(s) and the information you’ve provided. In other words, you as a marketer gain insight into what your readers truly value.
For example, say you’ve sent out an email with your company’s latest product updates, along with several promos. In the (likely) event that your readers say nothing in response to your email (and you do not collect email feedback), you will have no way of knowing how it was received by your readers. Was the content relevant? Was it useful? Was the promo relevant for these readers? Do your readers have suggestions on how you can improve? These are the blanks that email campaign feedback will fill in for you.
Collecting Email Campaign Feedback
The easiest metrics to collect in email marketing are the bounce rate, open rate, click-through-rate (CTR) and conversion rate (CR). While these are great ways of measuring the performance of the emails within your campaign(s), they don’t tell you everything.
This is when email campaign feedback becomes a critical component – as it gives us an explanation as to why these metrics are low or high. The process of collecting this feedback, however, is slightly different from the standard metrics. Below we have a few tips for those of you just getting started.
Segmenting your readers
Segmentation is a great starting point in your feedback collection process. Knowing which readers have engaged with your email campaigns and comparing that information with feedback data can be really beneficial in that it will give you some background information and perhaps insight into why they did or didn’t like something you sent.
Here are some examples of reader segments:
- Subscribed readers / customers who didn’t open the email
- Subscribed readers / customers who did open it
- Non-customers who opened it
- Non-customers who opened it AND click on one of the download links
Note: it might be helpful to have an email marketing service in place, such as MailChimp, CampaignMonitor or AWeber, beforehand. Many of these tools help marketers create highly engaging emails, manage contacts, segment users (see above) and track performance (e.g. standard metrics mentioned previously).
Email Campaign Feedback: What to ask?
Next is formulating the question(s) you will ask your readers as feedback.
Here are a few tips for doing so:
- Be as brief as possible. Keep the question(s) short and to the point. Often the more questions you ask, the less responses you’ll receive. Make sure your readers can quickly scan the text.
- Ask questions that meet your goal. You can use questions that steer your customers in the right direction in terms of the feedback you want to collect from them.
- Use smart, open-ended questions. If you leave your readers with the option to submit open-ended feedback, you are more likely to receive a more detailed response.
Email Campaign Feedback: When to ask?
The next step is to get your timing right.
Here are some tips for WHEN to collect email feedback:
- Add it at the end of your email. Only once your readers have read through the email are they then equipped to provide you with feedback.
- Use it when you know you can act on the results. If you can demonstrate real change from the feedback you ask for, it will boost any future response rates and keep your readers engaged. That is why it’s important that you have the means to act on your feedback responses on time.
Email Campaign Feedback: How to ask?
Lastly, there’s the question of how you are going to ask your readers for feedback.
We’ve got some tips here below:
- Make it easy. As previously mentioned, don’t over-complicate the process with multiple questions or questions that are too detailed.
- Tell people what you will do with their feedback. The likelihood that people will provide you with feedback is much higher if they know why they’re providing feedback. For example, let your readers know that with their feedback you intend to improve any future email(s). If your readers know it’s something that will really change for the better, they will be more likely to take the time to send the feedback.
- Make sure you have the right tool in place for collecting email campaign feedback. No need for collecting and analysing your feedback by hand… Try using a software that offers built-in email feedback services.