Segment Your List with Survey Results

Using an innovative rating scale in your emails sets you apart from your competitors and shows subscribers that you are thinking outside of the box – that you really care about what they want. It allows you to creatively request opinions from readers and build your email marketing campaign, making it more specific, relevant and well-received by your subscribers. But what do you with the information once it is collected?

In a recent post we showed you how to easily ask subscribers for feedback by including a rating scale in your emails.

Using an innovative rating scale sets you apart from your competitors and shows subscribers that you are thinking outside of the box – that you really care about what they want.

It allows you to creatively request opinions from readers and build your email marketing campaign, making it more specific, relevant and well-received by your subscribers.

But what do you with the information once it is collected?

Divide and Conquer

Once you have subscriber responses, you can easily segment your list and send targeted messages to subscribers that will benefit most from your information (which ultimately leads to a greater return on your investment).

You know that no matter what response your subscribers give on your scale, they at least have an interest in your email because:

  • They opened your message
  • They read it through to the point of seeing your rating scale
  • They were compelled to rate your message

A Practical Example

For example, let’s look at The Friendly Plumber, a plumbing service that sends a monthly newsletter to customers who have used the service in the past. They most recently sent a message with handy tips for clogged drains and asked subscribers to rate their satisfaction at the end of the email.

Now, the number of subscribers who voted is evident in the total number of clicks for the message on the Broadcast Totals report.

Click Report

Plumbing is a personal business. Plumbers rely heavily on local, repeat business and word of mouth referral. Relationships are crucial to their success. Because a fairly large number of subscribers responded to their email, The Friendly Plumber could take the survey results and send a unique message only to the people who responded.

For the people who responded positively, they can offer a discount on their next service call and solicit testimonials for their new website.

On the Search Subscribers page, they would perform a search for the appropriate link:

link clicked

Then save the segment and send a message only to those people.

Satisfactory Segment

For those who didn’t find the email helpful, The Friendly Plumber could extend the olive branch and send a message asking for constructive criticism. Nothing is more appealing to a customer than a company that reaches out and engages in honest conversation.

Another Way to Use Feedback

The Friendly Plumber also has a blog where they discuss common plumbing issues and concerns. They send an email to their blog subscribers each time they post something new to the blog.

At the bottom of each blog broadcast, they could also include a rating scale, asking for feedback on individual posts.

At the end of the year, or whenever their newsletter needs a little boost, they can send out an email with the top 5 rated posts.

Don’t have a blog? You can still use the same concept, only with your follow up messages. Include a rating scale in each follow up email, then at the end of the year send a broadcast extrapolating on the top 3 rated follow up emails.

Now It’s Your Turn to Give Us Some Feedback!

Have you tried using a rating scale in your messages? What is your experience?

Share your thoughts below!


  1. Shabbir

    3/13/2010 10:50 am

    I already have the same feedback system on my list for my blog and when I see too much negative on any follow-up I ask them about the things they want to read and use that feedback to enhance the follow ups.

    Now I am asking for feedback on content and I see astonishing results and am now working on editing the course content.

    This not only helps me in making course better but also helps me get ideas for my blogposts because that is what users are looking to read.

  2. William Wallace-Bruce

    3/15/2010 12:26 pm

    I’ve not really started using AWeber as my website is not properly ready but I’ll definitely use the service. This is really great, all the tips and “how
    to’s”. Keep up the good work.

  3. Don Vance

    3/15/2010 1:59 pm

    I am excited about using Aweber’s auto-responder system to increase my number of business partners and customers base for the greatest health tool ever!

  4. Rodney Daut

    3/16/2010 12:28 pm

    My only problem with using these segmenting features is that they don’t work too well if you are sending messages to multiple lists.

    Can you show us how to use these features when you have several lists? For example, I have different lists depending on the source of traffic that produced the list. I also have a seperate customer list from a prospect list. And different lists in which I test different autoresponder sequences to see which produce more sales.

  5. Rebecca Swayze

    3/16/2010 3:58 pm


    Getting feedback is always a great way to monitor progress and quality. I’m glad to hear it’s working well for you.

    William and Don,

    Welcome to AWeber, we’re happy to have you!


    At this time, segmenting in this fashion can only be used in an individual list, so you would really need to do this on a list by list basis. I’d be more than happy to pass this along as a suggestion for you, though!

  6. sam haschke

    3/17/2010 1:20 am

    Fantastic idea. One more way for me to fine tune my autoresponder campaign.

  7. Adam Taha

    3/17/2010 10:12 am

    Yes, definitely a great way to get feedback. I did a survey on what blogging and forum friends want to learn.

    This helped to create the How To Create Killer Facebook Fan series. It’s been the top articles so far and the sharing, the numbers of comments is amazing.

    I’m going to keep asking my customers, prospects, want they want and more, cause it helps. End of day, write and give what they want and I’m not going to know that until I ask them.

    So great article! Thanks.

  8. Robert Deveau

    3/18/2010 11:04 pm

    This is an excellent tactic that I’m going to use immediately. I’ll really find out who is benefiting from my stuff and who isn’t.

    I can’t wait to try it.

  9. John Waterman

    3/19/2010 9:30 am

    Can’t see "link clicked " on my list of options?

  10. Stan Horst

    3/19/2010 9:17 pm

    Regarding Rebecca’s post above, it would be great if you could apply tags to a list. That way the tags would control who gets which emails. For instance, all the hikers could get a series of emails about local hiking trails, while the golfers would hear about golf courses.

  11. Neil

    3/21/2010 11:59 am

    One of the things I like about Aweber is that not only do you guys provide a reliable email marketing platform, but you add value to your service offering by providing these nice tips too.

  12. Rebecca Swayze

    3/22/2010 1:24 pm

    Sam and Adam –

    Can’t wait to hear how this works out for you! Be sure to share your experiences.


    If you do not have the Email Marketing and Analytics package, you won’t be able to see who has clicked on links in your messages. It is currently the only package that we offer, but if you signed up before it was available you would not be moved over automatically, as pricing and details differ. Get in touch with our Customer Solutions team so that they can look into your individual account. They will be able to help you with this!

  13. Bee

    3/23/2010 10:18 am

    When I first read this article, I thought that it was about something else, then I realized that it was about surveying your current subscriber base, and even further segmenting it. Wow! didn’t realize you could do that! Thanks for the added insight on how to use this system.

    The only thing I don’t know how to do is for clients that do live workshops and collect emails, how to get them to add the emails to aweber without having them lose a lot of emails in the verification process.

  14. Michelle

    4/1/2010 11:38 pm

    I never thought about adding a rating survey to my emails. I am going to try it. Wondering when it’s an appropriate time to do so. In the middle of an auto series or just any old broadcast?

  15. Chris

    5/4/2010 10:45 am

    I love the segmenting in AWeber. I use the "not clicked" segmenting to then send another email to the prospect to get a better open rate for my offer.

    Your segmenting is really good ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Maria Annell

    7/6/2010 11:29 am

    I’ve been trying this for a few weeks now, and it works GREAT! People seem happy to be able to share feed-back… And I feel great when they give me a good “mark”! ๐Ÿ™‚ I believe it rubs in the value they got from reading the message, as well…

    Also, I send them to a custom “Thank you!” page after evaluating, where I do a kind of feed-back upsell: a link to expressing even more through a survey! This link has a lot more clix than the same link in the actual newsletter…

    Thank you so much for this tip!

    Cheers from France ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Maria Annell

    7/6/2010 11:31 am

    Michelle – I started trying it in a few broadcasts… Seen that people really seemed to appreciate it, I’ve added it in my follow-ups, but not the first few… Seems a bit pushy to say “Hello! Would you rate me, please?” I’d rather they get to know me a bit first…

    Hope this helps! ๐Ÿ™‚ Let us know what happens!

    Cheers from France ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. How To Reengage Inactive Subscribers

    8/5/2010 10:12 am

    […] are lots of ways to investigate the activity on your list, but segmenting and sending surveys is a good place to […]

  19. James Moralde

    9/4/2010 3:06 am

    In a few weeks, I’ll be starting on my venture into listbuilding and on top of my list is Aweber. There are others out there (some even offer it free for a 500-limit) but a lot of my friends can’t be wrong in their enthusiastic approval of Aweber. I only hope that the prices remain as they are when I do start with my account. These posts are helping me prepare for that day.

  20. Conrad Jagger

    9/27/2010 4:53 pm

    I’ve been analysing ‘sales’ emails I get with a view to seeing which ones work and which don’t. Interestingly, I noted that most of the emails I got which managed to call me to action are managed by Aweber. So, whilst I was looking for content that worked, I actually ended up deciding on a mail manager.
    I’m ready to sign up and try it out now. Potential customers, here I come….

  21. Greg Thompson

    11/8/2010 1:34 am

    I haven’t starting using AWeber…my website is just not ready for it, but i’ll have to use the service. Thanks for all the tips and how-tos! Looks like some solid information.

  22. James Dunworth

    12/27/2010 6:21 am

    Great idea. The only thing I can’t work out is how to send out follow up messages to a segmented list.

    I’m not sure if you have this function but it would obviously be extremely powerful if you could slowly separate readers into groups and send them automated series messages based on their personal interests.

  23. Amanda Gagnon

    12/27/2010 9:30 am

    James ~ Thanks for the suggestion! Another way to do this is offering different newsletters based on interests, with a different sign up form (and different list) for each one.

  24. James W. Deo

    2/5/2011 8:45 pm

    I’m currently exploring the prospect of list building. I have began researching on the various autoresponders in the market today.

    Fact is, I wanted to get myself wet so I signed up for a free account (since I’m still not sure how to go about this). My researches so far point to aweber as the most viable choice. The features are just too good for me not to notice.

    Segmenting of subscribers – this is still not a very solid idea for me as I have no first hand experience in this but I got a feeling that this is a very brilliant feature that I can use one of these days.

  25. Herman

    4/22/2011 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I’m going to go signup for your service now. I’ve been using one of your competitors and they don’t even come close to offering the capabilities that you have for analytics, segmentation, sign-up forms, etc.

  26. Create Surveys to Segment Your Subscribers: 5 Steps

    5/12/2011 8:43 am

    […] seen how surveys can help you deliver more targeted email campaigns, now here’s a nuts-and-bolts look at how to set it […]

  27. Denis

    5/17/2011 5:55 pm

    What program should i used to create a survey?

  28. How Personalized Emails Create Happy SubscribersInbox Ideas

    6/1/2011 9:48 am

    […] Ask for more information for further personalization- While it’s nice that has a bunch of resources to share, I’m most interested […]

  29. Are You Marketing to the Right Audience?

    11/10/2011 12:08 pm

    […] set up a survey and ask subscribers to provide more information about themselves and what they like. […]

  30. Cedar Hamilton

    11/28/2011 11:42 am

    Dennis, the program that you use it not critical. AWeber Communications already has the software embedded to your account to track your links. This is a free service they provide for being a customer of theirs. All you need to do is create 2 unique pages with your response to each link. Then put 2 links, each one going to one of those pages and labeled appropriately. When you send that email, make sure AWeber’s link tracking check box is checked for that message. Then you can see the results in your reports of your account. Additionally, you can create more complex surveys by creating a unique link from your email using AWeber’s personalization variables to a page with scripts that has the survey. If you want to learn more about this kind of thing, visit my blog at , as I have plenty of links and articles there about marketing and technology.

  31. Julie

    3/17/2013 8:04 pm

    I noticed that when I segmented my list with a number of subscribers say for instance the number on the day was for 612 subscribers, and this appeared in the drop down menu, which is located in the in the scheduling section for ad sending. When I selected it a week or so later, I found that 612 suddenly became 200 subscribers instead of the initial 612 saved.

    If you are sending separate ads to your list, I would suggest check your saved segmented list numbers to ensure that it hasn’t changed from the original saving.

    I would also like to know how do I delete these segmented saving from my drop down menu.

  32. Eric

    10/12/2013 2:28 pm

    So odd that there was no response on how to delete a segment, Julie. Nor have I been able to find an answer under Help. I’d expect this to be an obvious and basic functional capability, wouldn’t you?

  33. Rachel Acquaviva

    10/21/2013 10:29 am

    Hello Eric,

    To delete a segment you’ve created, choose “Manage Subscribers” under the Subscribers tab. You’ll see the segments you’ve created listed along the left side under “By Segment”. Click the segment you wish to delete. Clicking it will highlight it in blue, and an “x” will appear. Then, just click the “x” to delete.