Do Subscribers Like Your Emails? Ask!

When you are the sole creator of an email marketing campaign, the content of your messages is near and dear to your heart.

You spend countless hours pruning your emails to perfection, finding the perfect content to drive subscribers to engage with your brand and product.

You might think your messages are the best they can be, but what do your subscribers think?

Invite Feedback: Let Subscribers Rate You

There are a few ways that you can find out what your subscribers are thinking.

Maybe in the past you’ve used subscriber preferences or reviewed unsubscribe comments from previous subscribers to formulate your message content.

Now there’s an even simpler way to measure the effectiveness of particular messages in your campaign and gauge your subscribers interest before subscribers get to the point of unsubscribing.

Add a rating scale to your messages and allow subscribers to effortlessly give feedback just by clicking on a link.

For Example:

A rating scale consists of a few links inserted in a logical order in your message, but there are different ways that you can approach the rating of your messages.

Thumbs Up/Down

Your rating could be as simple as a thumbs up or thumbs down.

In fact, you can use these exact images if you would like!

Just save them, upload to your site, and then put them into your emails.

Descriptive words

Subscribers may identify better with descriptive choices.

Feel free to copy and reuse any of these images as well.
emoticon-sad emoticon-meh emoticon-happy emoticon-excited

Simple ratings

Not sure if it’s worth the hassle of inserting images or coming up with clever text? Create a foolproof rating scale in under 2 minutes.

Thank Them for Their Feedback

No matter what type of scale you choose, each of the links on the scale has to go to a thank you page. This will be the same for every link on the scale.

The thank you page should be a simple page that you create on your website to thank subscribers for their response and assure them that their actions will help you create better messages in the future.

There’s no need to be elaborate, but you can certainly use the thank you page to further engage your readers once they have rated your message.

thank-you-page

Because the thank you page is the same for each link, when you are inserting the links in your message you have to differentiate between the links so that you can properly track your ratings.

Add ?r=something to the end of each link when you are inserting it into to your message.

For example:

link-differentiate

Weigh the Results

With click tracking enabled, once you send messages that contain your rating scale you will be able to view reports that illustrate how many subscribers clicked on the particular links on your scale.

You can also examine the number of subscribers who opened your message, and the number of subscribers that clicked on certain links on your rating scale.

While you can use click-through statistics for any links in your message to measure the effectiveness of your language and particular link text, using a rating scale allows you to explicitly ask subscribers to participate in your campaign.

You don’t ask subscribers outright to click on each and every link in your message by posing a question or asking for a response. The call to action is what makes the rating scale an effective method that differs from regular click-through stats.

What Do You Think?

Have you ever given a company your feedback on a rating scale? Do you think your subscribers would be inclined to give you feedback this way?

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20 Comments

  1. There’s no surer way to know what your subscribers want than asking them, and it seems to work even better to find out what products they want to buy, even how much they’re willing to pay. Thanks for the images too. I would have retweeted the old-fashioned way if I’d seen that we could use the images on first read.

    1/11/2010 3:41 pm
  2. This is great information for someone new like myself to newsletters. Thank you so much for the idea and images for all to use!

    1/11/2010 5:42 pm
  3. That’s a great idea, thanks so much for the suggestion! I really like the simplicity of making one thank you page but adding a qualifier on the end of each link. I just might try this.

    I do feel like I must be doing something right though from the feedback I get from my unsubscribes. Just about every time I get an unsubscribe they compliment my emails but say they’re paring back on the email they receive – I enjoy hearing they didn’t leave because my emails suck! lol (though I would always appreciate constructive criticism).

    1/12/2010 12:17 am
  4. That is a great idea, much better than the way Amazon tries to get feedback by asking the customer to follow a link to a page on their website. Do you have any figures that illustrate the effectiveness of the idea?

    1/12/2010 5:31 pm
  5. Mei

    Great Idea. I am just looking for a way to find out my blog population. A rating scale will the best. But can you tell me how and Where can i get a rating scale to insert in my blog.? Thanks

    1/12/2010 8:02 pm
  6. Pam

    I think this is a good idea. But I’d pay a lot more attention to what people say they like — because that tells you the kind of content they want more of.

    When people say they don’t like something, you don’t know what they would like instead. So it’s somewhat less useful info.

    So I’m actually thinking of doing something like what you’re suggesting, but only having one button — a “vote for this” or “I want more like this” button. This could even be a “contest” over several issues of the newsletter. Then announce the results and say how you’re going to give people what they wanted.

    Just brainstorming some variations on your great tip. Thanks!

    1/13/2010 12:47 am
  7. Aweber could start some survey feature like one of the competitors does as well. BTW I am starting the feedback now.

    1/14/2010 11:27 am
  8. Tinu and Sharon,

    So glad you found this information helpful! Let us know how it goes when you use the images in your messages, we’d love to hear your feedback.

    Angela,

    You are completely right. The feedback that you receive when someone unsubscribes is really valuable too. It’s great to round up as much information as possible and use it to better your campaign.

    David,

    I’m not familiar with Amazon’s tactic, but it does sound like you have to jump through a few hoops just to tell them how you feel about their emails!

    Mei,

    I assume that you can use the rating scale in the same fashion on your blog, as long as you have thank you page to direct readers to after they rate your post.

    Pam,

    What an excellent idea! It’s such a simple action that I imagine subscribers will really take the time to submit their votes. Keep us updated, I would love to hear how this works for you.

    1/15/2010 4:43 pm
  9. Lance Nelson

    This is a really excellent idea, thank you. I will implement in my next email.

    3/16/2010 12:20 pm
  10. Here’s what I’d like to see… I’d like to have a way for my blog posts to have the rating scale and for AWeber to keep the stats for me. If I tried to put a sale on my blog I’m not sure how I would keep track of the responses.

    3/16/2010 12:31 pm
  11. FG

    Hi guys

    Excellent idea. It’s essential you receive feedback from the people you want to develop long term business relationships with. Excellent!!

    3/16/2010 1:02 pm
  12. Is there some way to capture comments as a result of the rating?

    Also if there html for the design is available, that would be helpful. Using the images above only work for the thumbs up or down, the others would be much harder to program…unless we have a template we can customize.

    Thanks for the idea

    Adele

    3/16/2010 11:56 pm
  13. Great idea, I’m going to try that.

    It would make the whole process a lot easier if there was a click and paste template with images and all and the option to use a thankyou page at AWeber with the usual branding features.

    When writing an email I would just select from 3-4 quiz templates with the option to use my own thank you page or one at Aweber.

    How does that sound?

    3/21/2010 1:29 am
  14. Great idea – I’ll give this a shot as soon as I get an html template for my emails… I’ve been going for years on pretty much text only…

    3/23/2010 10:15 am
  15. Tried the code ?r=1 at the end and could not get it to work to the page I set up?

    11/9/2010 12:45 pm

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