9 Ways You Can Get To Know Your Subscribers Better

You’ve heard it a thousand times: you need to send personalized, relevant emails to your subscribers to get the best results. Makes sense. Who likes generic emails that waste time?

There’s proof behind the theory, too. The MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report found that 99% of marketers surveyed reported that segmenting campaigns based on subscriber behavior was “somewhat to very effective.”

But how do you learn what your subscribers want? How do you determine what behavior to base your segments on? The answer is, you’ll need to get more acquainted with your subscribers, and we’ve got some resources to help you out with that.

Resources to Get You Acquainted

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Set Up a Preference Center

You can ask visitors questions about themselves right on the sign up form. Ask anything from interests to frequency preference, then segment your list based on those responses.?

Track Web Form Usage

Each sign up form can have a specific “ad tracking” keyword associated with it. Use that to find out which page subscribers used to sign up. Where a subscriber signed up can indicate what they’re most interested in.?

Broadcast a Survey

Find out more about your subscribers by asking questions in your broadcast message. You can provide multiple choice answers for them to click on, and then you can segment a list based on a particular link that was clicked.

Ask For Feedback

Ask your subscribers if they like a particular email by including “Yes” and “No” buttons or a rating scale. Not only will you learn what they majority likes, you’ll have a better idea of what each subscriber likes on record.?

Get Creative

Go beyond surveys and present preference options to your subscribers in a fun way. Set up an email that offers subscribers different things to click on based on what they find most interesting.?

Send a Google Docs Survey

You can easily set up surveys through Google. Send subscribers a link to your Google Docs Surveys and check out their answers there. It’s free!?

Look At Comments

Check out what people are saying about you. You can grab some good testimonials, answer any questions and join in on discussions – it’s a good way to really find out what’s on your subscribers’ minds.?

Make It Fun

Offer videos, picture and freebies to subscribers and see how they respond. Do they like the fun stuff? If so, should you make an effort to send more? If you’re seeing a lot of opens and clicks from these emails, it’s something to think about.?

Split Test Your Messages

Split test your broadcasts to find out how your subscribers react to different versions of your messages. Do they respond to a specific call to action? A different format? Find out what works and you might see more sales.?

Keep Your Segments Updated

Establishing relationships and learning more about your subscribers will be an ongoing process. If you decide to ask questions or send out a survey, remember it should not be a one-time thing; it’s something you’ll want to do periodically.

Subscribers needs and wants can change, so you need to update your segments regularly to make sure they’re getting the best messages for them.

How do you find out what your subscribers want?

One Comment

  1. Matt

    2/23/2012 1:04 am

    Thank you for this list! I guess I’m wondering though: how do you deal with subscriber apathy. Yes, one can provide wonderful volumes of value packed into a weekly message, but after a while, don’t open rates go down naturally?

    Enquiring minds want to know.