How 4 Companies Find Out What Their Email Subscribers Want

Your readers have information that you need. Namely, they know

Your readers have information that you need. Namely, they know what they want.

Since the goal of content marketing is to give people what they want in order to keep them coming back for more, you need to know what that is.

The easiest way to find out is to send a survey to your email subscribers. Sending the survey is simple (here’s how). Getting subscribers to answer takes a bit of strategy, though.

So here we present four companies’ email survey strategies. Take a look:

Hit Two Birds With One Survey

If you want to send different emails to different segments of subscribers based on their interests, you can create a survey that will help you group readers into those segments, as well as give you a look at your audience as a whole.

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ModCloth asks their subscribers to fill out a style survey. Not only can they use the information to create those segments and send targeted offers, they’re also getting a good look at the preferences of their customer base as a whole.

And of course, the flattery never hurts.

List A Preview Of Your Questions

People hesitate to click links to surveys. They’re not sure exactly what they’ll be asked to reveal or how long it will take. Listing your questions directly in the email dispels that apprehension.

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The Bee Folks want their honey to appeal to those who keep Kosher. Since they don’t keep it themselves, they’re not sure where to put the Kosher mark. So they sent an email to ask, and they listed their questions directly in the email so readers could see what they were getting into.

Allow Responses Right In The Email

Padiact knows that subscribers who aren’t using their accounts most likely don’t have a heck of a lot of interest in emails from the service.

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So they make their survey as quick and easy to answer as possible. The questions are right in the email, and readers don’t have to bother to go anywhere else to answer. Read one question, click one option, and they’re done. Easiest survey ever.

(Here are instructions to do this in AWeber.)

Let Them Show Off

Like Elance does here, invite your readers to brag about their own success stories.

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It’s good for you: look at the cool customers you have! You can use their responses to show other prospects why they should choose you.

It’s good for your readers: it gets them exposure to a whole new market. Knowing this, they’ll be more likely to respond, and respond fully with all the information you want to know.

Have You Surveyed Your Subscribers?

Here’s us taking our own advice and inviting you to show off. If you’ve sent a survey in your emails, comment below and tell us a bit about it.

Did you ask in the email or use a survey tool? How high were responses? Did you learn what you wanted to know?


  1. Andrew Woo

    7/31/2012 11:45 am

    Nice article Amanda. My favorite tip was to include a preview of the survey in your email. Thanks

  2. Eddington

    7/31/2012 11:47 am

    Thanks for these insights. I have been wondering how to get people take part in my surveys. These tips are interesting and worth a try.

    Really stimulated my thinking.

  3. Amanda Gagnon

    8/1/2012 8:10 am

    Thanks, guys! If you run a survey with any of these techniques, let us know how it goes!

  4. Leah Waters

    8/4/2012 11:07 pm

    It’s always interesting to see what the ‘big boys’ like Elance do to collect additional data. What a clever way of asking for their customers to ‘share their success’. thanks for sharing!

  5. Randall Magwood

    11/16/2012 6:29 pm

    I’ve surveyed my subscribers before. I asked them if they like it if I wrote just 1 blog post per day, or 3 blog posts per day.

    Hands down 95% of them said to write 1 blog post per day. Some even emailed me personally and said to write 1 blog post every 3 days. Powerful and eye opening stuff.

  6. CR James

    12/8/2013 6:48 pm

    Great article Amanda. I was just thinking about surveying my list again. I did it about 5-7 years ago and it turned out to be worth it. My customers fell in love with a unique product that I created. And I would have never in a million years thought to create it without the survey.

    But these methods are a much better way of going about it than I what I ended up doing (ie. link to survey monkey).

    I’m going to decide on one of these methods and let you know how it performed. Thanks again. Take care.

  7. Amanda Gagnon

    12/9/2013 11:01 am

    CR – So glad to help. Best of luck.