In a recent commentary, one of the six tactics identified as having the potential to boost email marketing results was inviting your recipients to give you feedback on your email program.
Many times, companies seek this feedback at the point of subscriber disengagement-- if you can’t dissuade a recipient from opting out or get her to change her communication preferences at the farewell stage, then you can at least still get some valuable feedback as to why she is choosing to opt out. True, the last thing your unsubscriber is looking to do is write you a lengthy and tear-daubed “Dear John”, but she may be happy to tick a few boxes or rate you in some way. This feedback can result in valuable knowledge you can apply in the future.
However, the key to success lies in not waiting until it’s too late. Make seeking feedback a priority throughout various stages of the subscriber lifecycle.
With this in mind I casually invited some of my clients to share their thoughts on the service I provide to them. Once I invited them to respond to me I waited eagerly for the emails to come and over the course of a couple of days they started to trickle through.
The good news is that they were more than willing to share their feedback—both praise (well done, me!) and suggestions, and relationships were strengthened as a result.
On a larger scale, email marketers should make feedback management a daily process. Promote a feedback email address in all your different email programs and monitor the inbox. Also keep a close eye on what is being said about your company or brand on social networks, bulletin boards and email industry blogs and in consumer reviews.
By instigating the conversation, and making it easy and comfortable for customers to share feedback and express their opinions on a regular basis, you will be rewarded with opportunities to adjust approaches to better suit their needs. To truly engage with customers you must listen to them and be prepared to hear and act on both positive feedback and constructive criticism.