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Have you ever sent out an email or written a post on your site that got a phenomenal response? Have you ever tried to unlock that magic again and failed? If so, this article is for you!

There’s a sure-fire trick that is almost guaranteed to get your customers and potential customers interested and engaged in a way that traditional methods often fail to do. The humble survey is frequently overlooked as a marketing tool, but in any situation, most people love talking about themselves or being asked their opinion and that’s exactly what targeted surveys do. We have three simple methods for increasing customer engagement, below…

Method 1 – New Subscriber Survey

This is the quickest and easiest survey method to spark the interests of new subscribers. When you compose your welcome email, you simply add a quick questionnaire that asks your subscriber what they really want. Marketers who have tried this technique report that they have seen an almost instant increase in their retention rates, engagement and customer satisfaction. To use the new subscriber survey technique, you can add something like this to your welcome emails:

“Thank you for subscribing, it’s great to have you on board! I would love for you to be part of our team and take part in the growth process of our business, so if you’d be willing to do me a favour, could you please reply and tell me what you’d most like to know about [insert your product or service name]? By replying, you’ll not only help me bring you and other customers the products / services that you most want, but you’ll also be helping to create content for my website and helping me understand what drives customers to it. You’ve got nothing to lose and plenty to gain, so I truly look forward to hearing from you.”

The answers you get will either help you create customised content or choose targeted products for your subscribers and their kin. This in turn will almost definitely boost your sales or site views, so like the above blurb says, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by adding one small paragraph to your welcome emails and the best part is, it won’t cost you anything extra than what you’re already paying!

Why it works

The reason this works is because you’re not only asking for a response right at the start when your customers are at their most engaged, but also during the time they’re most likely to see and respond to your message (because welcome emails are known to be the most highly opened email besides transactional emails). People also love feeling like they are contributing to something great or helping somebody at no real cost, so when you combine the above humble wording with the message that they’re helping many people and a request for their opinion, customers get a boost of the ‘feel goods’ and go gaga over it.

NOTE: This method also works great for social media posts, so don’t forget to set up a welcome message for those who subscribe to your social media too.

Method 2 – More Amazing Questions for Loyal Customers

The next method can be used for customers at any stage of their journey and are best used for product launches or similar. This method asks the customer 3 question but retains the question from the first method (above) and also like the first method, you can simply email it out to your subscribers or you could post it on social media, a pop-up or a banner. The three questions are:

  • What would you most like to know about [name of product or service]?
  • On a scale of 1 to 5 (where 1 is ‘really easy’ and 5 is ‘really difficult’), how difficult has it been to find information about [name of product or service] until now?
  • What prompted you to begin your search for [name of product or service] in the first place?

Why it works

It seems like such a simple survey, right? It’s a very powerful tool though. This is firstly because it allows for a huge uptake due to its small size – a longer survey may yield more information, but then again, the two open-ended questions often result in much more information that expected. Conversely, a longer survey may cause a lack of participants and less quality in the replies. This three question survey also gives you the answers to key marketing questions; namely, it tells you what your customers really want to know or buy and whether they would be willing to go to any great lengths to find it (which usually translates to whether they would pay for it). Finally – and this one is seriously important – it tells you which information / products have been hard to find and what conditions motivated the customer to seek it in the first place, which can then guide you in creating a unique but sought after product or service!

Method 3 – Survey for Understanding Unsubscribers

This survey has been around for quite a long time and it simply asks people who are unsubscribing why they are doing so. It uses survey responses such as ‘I never signed up’ or ‘I no longer want to receive these emails’ and the unsubscriber simply ticks whichever reason is applicable. If you have no access to edit your unsubscribe survey questions, it’s definitely worth scrutinising the analytics for the main reasons your customers are unsubscribing. Knowing why they are leaving can tell you what email content you need to create / include or what to leave out.

If you do have access to edit your unsubscribe survey, asking the below survey questions alongside the regular ones may help you retain those customers by altering their decision to unsubscribe and they will definitely help you learn the deeper reasons behind why they are leaving. Here are the questions and reasons why they should be asked:

‘The information/deals were not as good as expected’ or ‘There are not as many savings as I expected’ – when people sign up with a particular expectation, they’ll leave in droves if you don’t meet those! It’s really important to list everything customers can expect before they sign up. If you get this response a lot, consider upping your promotions to meet expectations but don’t make promises you can’t keep.

‘Your products/services are too expensive’ – Again, don’t set up false expectations. Review your prices if this is a common reason.

‘Your emails are too long’ – This is pretty self-explanatory, but it may not always be about the length of emails, but about the placement of the interesting content.

‘Your emails don’t work on my mobile’ – If you’re getting this reason, it’s time to check your emails on as many devices as possible to make sure they are visible and have working links.

‘I’m not unsubscribing, just changing my email address’ – this really should be made an available option long before anyone clicks the unsubscribe button, but it does happen quite a bit and knowing this is the reason would definitely ease some of your worries.

‘I no longer have a need for your services/products’ – It’s always a good idea to have a text box to allow the customer to clarify why this is selected. This is another opportunity to improve your product range, content or services offered by following up with an email asking what products/services the customer would have liked to see from you.

Finally, it’s a really good idea to offer the option of changing the way in which you communicate with your customers. This may be as simple as offering a different email frequency to your subscribers, such as a weekly / monthly summary email instead of daily. Email exhaustion is getting more common and this can be a simple step to avoid an unsubscribe. Another option you can offer to unsubscribers is to instead follow you on social media. You can do this by saying something like: “we understand you may not want your inbox clogged up with our emails and that’s no problem. How about following us on FaceBook / Twitter / LinkedIn instead so that you can just drop by when you’re in the mood to hear from us?”. Your best bet to reduce unsubscribes though is to prevent it long before it happens using strategies like marketing automation, so give Swift a call today and let us help you keep your existing customers, as well as attracting new ones.

If you’d like a chat about these or other methods of attracting or retaining customers, give Swift Digital a call on 02 9929 7001 or send us a message and we’ll help you personalise your own amazing strategies!