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Using Email Marketing to Get Feedback

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Email marketing can be a valuable source of information for your business. In this lesson, you'll learn how it can be used to gain feedback, make decisions and get opinions.

Ask Me Anything

Have you ever filled out a survey? Maybe it was a quick one-question quiz about your favorite store as you're walking through the shopping mall. Maybe you filled out an online survey about your hobbies and interests in exchange for a coupon offer. Perhaps you responded to an email from an online store that you frequent, seeking your thoughts and opinions.

Surveys, in whatever form, can be a great way to gather information to make your brand or business better. Read on to learn more about using this marketing tool in your business.

What is Email Marketing?

Many people think of email marketing as a one-way conversation when, in fact, it is a perfect vehicle for a two-way chat between a brand and its customers and prospects. Email marketing broadly refers to any digital communication sent to your customers and prospects via the electronic mail platform.

Email marketing can give you a lot of insights into your customers

Email marketing can be a hugely successful marketing tool because it is traditionally low-cost to implement and is seen quickly by most recipients - especially in today's digital age where email is just a tap away on our tablets and smartphone devices. Marketers typically view email as a way to disseminate information, content, special offers and promotions to customers. It can also be used to gather intelligence, and opinions and information that can strengthen your brand, your products and your appeal to existing and potential customers.

Let's take a look at how email can be used to gain feedback, make decisions and get opinions through surveys and other tools.

How Can It Be Used?

Surveys are a really effective way of obtaining feedback not only on what you're doing right, but also on what you can improve. Without input from your customers, how do you know you're offering products they need, setting the right image or how you can make your brand better?

Email surveys are fairly simple to conduct and a lot of the work is already done for you. After all, you have already built a list of customers and prospects; now, you just need to get the survey into their hands.

Once you start building your survey, decide what types of questions you'd like answers to. Maybe you want to know if your prices are fair or if the shipping speed meets your customers' satisfaction. Perhaps you want to ask about a specific product or gather opinions on how your overall brand is perceived. Set some objectives for yourself before assembling a survey so that you can maximize the results you obtain. Random questions with no direction that benefit you as an organization are a waste of time - for you and your email recipients. Likewise, consider using a mix of open-ended and closed-ended questions. Open-ended questions lend themselves to more in-depth feedback whereas closed-ended questions are seeking a more direct answer.

After your survey questions are designed, determine whether you will build the survey into your website or use an external survey company to gather your results. There are a host of survey companies, both paid and free, available on the internet.

Always include blank comment boxes for customers to contribute thoughts and ideas that do not fit elsewhere in your survey. If you don't include this feature, you're missing out on a chance to gather really honest feedback that you may not have thought to ask.

Be ever collecting data. Instead of sending a specific email survey, start incorporating a question or two in any email message you sent out. For example, when you send an order confirmation/receipt to a customer, it's easy to add a question such as, 'How could we have improved your shopping experience today?'. This is a great way to collect ongoing feedback.

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