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Asking Email Subscribers for Feedback

How often are you asking your subscribers for their opinions and feedback? We explore why proactive email feedback creates loyal email subscribers.

A greyscale image of a poster saying the words "we hear you" receding out of focus

How often are you asking your email subscribers for feedback?

We feel a little guilty here...🙃

We had the privilege of catching up with Ciler Demiralp who runs Newsletter Circle earlier this week.


Simple: Ciler is asking subscribers of Newsletter Circle how it can improve and grow (and this led to a new collaboration we're working on for Email Advice in Your Inbox - stay tuned).

Ciler has taken obtaining feedback a step further:

  • She sent an email to her most engaged audience members to ask who would be willing to fill in a quick survey and provide feedback.

  • Ciler went on to set up calls with almost 100 members of her audience.

  • Ciler intends to test and try to improve her newsletter, based on this feedback, while creating products that serve her audience and their needs best.

This illustrates the immense care and respect Ciler has for the Newsletter Circle readers.

This got us thinking about our efforts to obtain subscriber feedback and how lazy we often get when doing so.

Is your newsletter or email feedback process lazy?

We often receive emails with a small "love it/ it's okay/ hate it" poll at the end. We honestly never click these, and we doubt we're alone in this, are we?

Solid feedback is one of the biggest sources of improvement for almost any email sender.

Not proactively hunting feedback is a common mistake, but you need to remember emails are an interactive communication channel, not simply you sending emails to an audience.

Humans love to be heard, and nobody likes to feel like they're constantly being sold to.

Think back to the last time you got an email asking for your opinion. Did you feel valued and heard?

You see, Good email senders don't just send emails; they initiate conversations.

They're the friend who remembers your birthday, not the acquaintance who forgets your name after you've just said it (guilty here too).

If you make your subscribers feel valued, understood and cared about, you'll create a community that's excited to engage with your emails.

Perhaps it's time to make the feedback process for emails a little more proactive.

A person standing in a field, out of focus, with just their hands in view covered in dirt to illustrate hard work

Get your hands dirty and do the work

Proactively asking email subscribers for feedback means getting some work done. It may not be easy initially, but making this an ongoing and well-planned part of your email strategy is necessary to obtain the right feedback.

But, it's worth it.

Aside from building connections, feedback on your emails provides you with direct insights into your customers' thoughts about your offers and content. This will help you identify areas for improvement in what you have to share with them.

There are several ways to obtain feedback from your newsletter subscribers actively:

Direct Email Surveys:

  • Use simple (quick) questionnaires: Short emails with a few targeted questions about your newsletter or offer (like Ciler did) work super well. Use a clear call to action (CTA) with a link to a survey or ask them to reply directly. It also doesn't have to be insanely fancy. Google Forms works well as a quick solution to grab this info!

  • Use an NPS (Net Promoter Score) tool: Including a quick NPS question in your email, asking subscribers how likely they are to recommend your newsletter to others on a scale of 1-10 is what we mean here. Use this strategically and make sure that where folks land after clicking their score of choice is relevant. Don't simply send readers into the ether.

Interactive Content:

  • Embed polls (If you use AMP email): Integrating short polls directly into your newsletter on specific topics or content is also a clever way to do this. This allows for immediate feedback within the email itself, but interactive emails aren't easy to build, so keep this in mind as a novice and remember, interactive emails don't work in all inboxes either.

  • Click-through surveys: If you want to get a little more fancy or formal with your surveys, direct subscribers to a dedicated survey landing page through engaging CTAs within your newsletter. These work well if you're trying to drive home your incentive for providing feedback, and also give you the chance to get a little more creative.

Open-Ended Feedback Mechanisms:

  • Reply options: Encouraging replies to your newsletter by posing open-ended questions and offering to answer reader queries is where you'll begin here. This can spark conversations and provide valuable insights, and you'll have the advantage of obtaining more detailed feedback from subscribers who care enough to answer you.

  • Feedback buttons: Including a "Feedback" button in your email that links to a dedicated feedback format of choice is valuable. Don't simply make this a forgotten, subtle link - Make it prominent and use it often if you really want to ask.

Many options also present themselves, like asking folks via SMS or using your social media channels, but you won't know unless you ask, right?

White surface with various vegetable ingredients displayed in a creative way

The key ingredients for obtaining sound feedback

Being proactive in your requests for feedback on your emails needs a few key ingredients to work. If you want to create the perfect dish, you need all the components of your dish to come together.

This is where a few key ingredients come in. It's the same for your email improvement and feedback process.

What are we talking about?

Try these:

  • Incentivise participation: Offer small rewards like discounts or early access to content for completing surveys or providing feedback. Make sure this is valuable to your audience over everything.

  • Segment before asking: Send feedback requests to specific segments based on interests or engagement levels. Your feedback will be contextual and relevant.

  • Don't ask once: Don't be naggy or annoying, but ask regularly. You'll keep on top of changing preferences and show your audience you take their feedback seriously.

  • Get personal: When last did you send a one-to-one email to ask for feedback? Pick an engaged subscriber or regular buyer and ask them for feedback. Do the same with folks who are ghosting you. You'll learn where to improve quickly.

We're making a change and hope you do too

There's going to be a massive effort to improve the way we ask for feedback and improve Email Advice in Your Inbox (scroll to the bottom of this article to join us and get a free gift to help you grow while you're there) If you make obtaining feedback part of your email strategy and approach it consistently and smartly, you'll not only improve exponentially but also illustrate to your audience that you put their needs first.

Go on, try it for yourself, we're rooting for you!

Before you go! You'll need an audience to send emails to before you begin. Learn the fastest ways to grow your email list today by using the tried and tested Email Database Growth Playbook.

Click here or on the image below to get your FREE copy👇

Preview of The Ultimate Database Growth Guide for Email Marketing by Email Expert Africa

Want to become an email expert? Get our expert email guide today! Click here to find out more

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