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Polls and Surveys

How to Get Better User Feedback

Getting to Know Your Users through Polls and Surveys
Most business owners know exactly how their customers feel regarding the products, services, and the brand itself. Or so they believe. If you are not sure what your audience thinks about what you're doing, it's about time to take the necessary steps to find out. User feedback is invaluable, and without a reliable way to capture it, you could be missing out on opportunities to increase retention and take your business to the next level.

Even though email is a tool that makes it easy for subscribers to reach out whenever they have something to say, not all take advantage of this luxury, and many only use it to give praise. It is similar to how we are quick and eager to compliment a company for providing a great service but often don’t even bother to respond when they fail to live up to expectations. Don’t assume that everything is fine and dandy just because your customers aren’t complaining. You want the good and the bad, and polls and surveys are viable methods for obtaining it.

There are many types of polls and surveys an email marketer can use to gather feedback. You have your basic methods that are used to learn more about aspects such as customer satisfaction, and more advanced tactics that help you measure awareness and identify advocates. Regardless of which approach you take, keep in mind that a good poll or survey should consist of the following:

A Well Defined Objective - You should clearly define exactly what you want to know before making an attempt to gather feedback from your users. Outline your objective and use it as the basis for designing your questionnaire.
Sensible Questions - This is your opportunity to gain valuable information. Don't waste it by asking your audience questions you already know the answers to. Ask questions that will enable you to gain new insights and make users more likely to participate.
A Comprehensive Format - What survey format will you use to obtain feedback? Is it open ended questions, closed-ended, or a multiple choice format? It is entirely up to you. The right choice will be the one that gets you the best possible feedback, so experiment.
A Solid Structure - Similar to a novel or movie, a good survey has a beginning, middle and end. How can you use this information? Start off with the easiest questions to encourage participation, get more specific in the middle, and close with questions that make your audience have to think.
Clarity - Do you want to know how your customers feel about a new product, or their thoughts on how the marketplace is changing? It could be both, but the last thing you want to do is ask questions that confuse the respondent. Keep your polls and surveys crystal clear and focused on the topic at hand.
Relevance - Is your entire list equipped to answer your survey questions? Do those questions hold the same meaning for everyone? If you are not sure, it may be best to create questionnaires for different segments of your list.

The value of user feedback is immeasurable, yet the amount of feedback, the who, what, when, where and how, is simply a matter of consulting your email metrics. It is these responses that can help you determine which products to include in the next launch or even take your business in new directions. Consumers love to know that their opinions matter and if you make the process convenient they will be delighted to give it. When gathering feedback from your audience, make sure you are prepared to listen and act on the responses.