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Engaging Subscribers with Surveys

Surveys are often too dry and seem meaningless. The Financial Times achieved a phenomenal result by focusing first on the experience of being surveyed. Here are the steps they took. (Note this was a survey of email newsletter subscribers, not all subscribers.)

Step 1: Make it easy AND relevant. They placed a feedback link at the end of all the newsletters, asking the reader how satisfied they were.

Step 2: Offer a meaningful reward. They staged a rolling drawing for $100 credit toward book purchases on their site. Gift cards would probably work as well.

Step 3: Start with easy questions. The first few questions simply asked readers to rate satisfaction on a 5-point scale.

Step 4: Open things up. The first open-ended question was "How can we improve?"

Step 5: Let them rate some options. The Financial Times presented some ideas for improving the newsletter, requesting a response to the ideas.

Be fun, sincere, easy but open. They were delighted with some extended suggestions they received. Click the link below to find out what they learned and how it will change their strategy.

Inbox Collective: How The Financial Times Got More Than 78,000 Replies To A Survey, 2022-Oct-19 by Sarah Ebner and Michael Hoole

First, we created a one-click feedback mechanism that was actually embedded into the bottom of the newsletter, providing an opportunity for our readers to give feedback at the point where they finished reading. [Emphasis added.]