No harm in asking

Ep. 6 Takeaways from Survey Sweets

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About this episode
Let’s dive into the strategies and methods used in the feedback request email, featured in Episode 5.

(2:03) Takeaway #1: Show, don’t tell. (But, for real.)
(3:32) Takeaway #2: Turn likability into reciprocity by using You vs. We
(5:23) Takeaway #3: Couple logic with inspiration to get over your fear of surveying customers
(6:50) Takeaway #4: Try psychological incentives before physical incentives
(8:32) Takeaway #5: Test best practices
(8:56) Takeaway #6: Listen to your intuition, especially when dealing with humans
(9:29) Takeaway #7: Couple list-wide feedback initiatives with individual, behavior-based surveys

Links from this episode:
Take another look at the email we featured in Episode 5
Take a look at the non-customer version of the email
Take a look at the survey sent to non-customers
Be more persuasive with the 7 persuasion principles presented in Influence by Robert Cialdini (Pre-fluence is his latest, but I haven’t read it, so I can’t recommend it.)
Understand when to send feedback / review / upsell / and other strategy emails when you join Email Mastery. Get Nikki’s email musings at ⁠ ⁠

Subscribe to Email Swipes and never miss another episode.


Nikki Elbaz  0:00
Take art that maybe just maybe the richest guy in the world maybe hiding on your email list and it’s just waiting for you to send out that feedback survey.

Speaker 1  0:07
Welcome to email swipes, where we peek behind the scenes at the emails that catch your attention and earn their place in your swipe file.

Nikki Elbaz  0:14
Every other week, we’ll talk to an email expert about an experiment they ran and then the following episode, we’ll dive into the strategies and methods used in the email so you can inform and inspire your own email work.

I’m Nikki Elbaz, the copywriter behind winning emails for eight and nine figure SaaS and ecommerce brands like Shopify, Four Sigmatic, and Sprout Social and I know that hearing the background stories to these emails will help you turn pie in the sky insights into plug and play actions ready to make inspiration tactical. Let’s go. Wow, I absolutely loved Jonathan’s story. I’m racking my brains trying to remember how I found licorice TOCOM. And I think they were mentioned in morning brew or the hustle or something. I was totally taken by the idea of a site solely dedicated to Lake Ridge, and their UX. And just overall site flow is fabulous morning, be prepared to spend an hour or so drilling. If you go check them out. Of course, I signed up for their email list. My favorite way to do that is to abandoned cart, by the way, and their emails were just as good as their site. So they made the shortlist of brands that I wanted to interview for season one of email swipes. So I reached out to Jonathan. And when he showed me this email that he wanted to feature I was like, Hey, he I know this email, but we know I don’t. It’s different. And I realized that I got the non customer version of this email. And at the time, I thought it was so well done that I actually did a LinkedIn post about it. Still, I had no idea what the email did for the company. I thought it was a great ask, I thought the survey flowed very well, the whole thing felt so friendly and natural. But that was just from the customer perspective, it was so exciting to hear just how much it did for the company for their data for their connections, and probably most importantly, for their confidence just makes you fall in love with email all over again now. Okay, so what made the email so great. Anyway, let’s get into our takeaways. Let’s start with the actual copy of the email. There’s one line in the email that I think shines, and it’s something we didn’t even get into in the interview. Can you guess which line I’m talking about? With love and licorice? Nope, it’s not that one. Although that line is super fun. It’s I’m not sure if you know this, but you’re actually one of our very first customers. That line is genius. Because it does two things. Number one, it’s super persuasive. It tells a customer that any feedback they give will be super impactful. We’ll get into this more later in the episode when we talk about incentives. But one of the best ways to get people to give feedback is to make it feel really meaningful to give feedback. Often we can’t show this so well, we can just tell the reader just you know how much we value their feedback. But we know the copy principle show don’t tell. Anytime we can just illustrate something without spelling it out. For the customer. It’s that much more convincing. It feels more authentic, less cliche, more believable, telling the customer that they are one of the first customers is actually showing them how meaningful their feedback is, without having to actually tell them how meaningful their feedback is, which sometimes can come across as really eyeroll worthy. So TAKEAWAY NUMBER ONE show don’t out. You may know this principle. But how often are you using it wherever possible illustrate what you’re trying to share. There’s really no end to how you can do this creatively. If you give it the time and the effort, it is so much easier to say your feedback means so much to us. But even that is showable as we can see from this email. The second thing this line of you’re actually one of our very first customers does is it creates a feeling of importance, it makes the reader feel really cool. They discover the new kid on the block. That’s pretty sweet. I will not make a pun here telling the reader that they are one of the first creates a feeling of being in the know, which creates a great connection to the brand. On the one hand, they feel like they impact the brand, but it also makes them very subtly indebted to the brand because it’s the brand that gave them this feeling of being cool. It’s kind of like a combo of likability and reciprocity, two very powerful persuasion principles that shield the need discovered connect people or brands. So TAKEAWAY NUMBER TWO, likability can actually create reciprocity, which means that if you’re asking for something, in this case, feedback, do as much as you can to be really charming, or to use a proof point that makes the reader feel tangibly great to make yourself likeable. Basically, this is the base upon which the principle you versus we sets. Why don’t we want to talk about the brand? Where does this principle of you versus we come from? Why do we always want to spin it around to the customer and help them see what’s in it for me, because it is so much more likeable and relatable and meaningful when it’s about that? Let’s illustrate this for a second because we’re getting a little theoretical, imagine that like Russia comm wrote, we’re a brand new brand instead of your one of our first customer. That customer may really like the brand. Let’s say they had a great purchase experience, but it just doesn’t create that feeling of responsibility and recipe process, it’s not about them. They mean like the brand well enough, but they don’t feel that push to help, the connection just isn’t there. To summarize, because TAKEAWAY NUMBER TWO got a little longer with it, making it about the reader can actually make it about the brand, use the copy principle of you versus we to create connection between your reader and the brand. Oh, and by the way, check out the show notes for a link to influence by children eight, because if you haven’t already yet, it’s fascinating. Next, let’s talk about the emotions behind this set. asking for feedback can feel really scary, we often catch the fear of asking for feedback under being scared to bother our customers. But I think the feedback itself is what scares us, it is a scary thing, critiques stink, even if we’re looking to grow even if we want to know for real, for real, it’s hard. The even harder thing is that our brains focus seven times more on negative reactions than they do on positive ones. So even if we do get amazing feedback from seven people, we will still focus on that one comment from that one downer. So stories like this can be a real inspiration. They show us that you’re there’s a risk of seeing that we’re not serving our customers as best as we will propel us in ways we can’t even imagine. You think the team thought one of the wealthiest individuals on the planet would respond, and more than respond would offer one on one ongoing guidance. So TAKEAWAY NUMBER THREE, give yourself all the logic talks? What’s the risk of asking customers for feedback? Are people not going to buy again? Because you had the audacity to ask them how their experience was? Or is it actually just going to make them see that you care about your customers? are you bothering people who like you and want to share their experience? Or people who actually weren’t so happy and could use the validation? How will you grow if you don’t uncover your blind spots and take art that maybe just maybe the richest guy in the world may be hiding on your email list and is just waiting for you to send out that feedback survey? Okay, let’s talk incentives, incentives, our external motivators. As humans, we do so much better if we’re intrinsically motivated than if we are externally motivated. It is sheer craziness. We are more creative, we are more focused, we’re more gracious, more everything. When the drive comes from within, do a quick Google Scholar search on external versus internal motivation. There are countless studies and they are so cool, and so fun. So in an ideal world, we want feedback that comes from responders who are giving feedback of their own accord from respondents who want to share their experience, just because they want to share their experience, their answers will be longer, there’ll be deeper, they’ll be more honest. Now, that doesn’t mean you can just ask for feedback and hope that people are going to want to respond out of the goodness of their hearts. And it definitely does not mean you can just wait for people to give you feedback without asking for it. Unless you have developed a cult brand, you need to work a little to tap into that internal motivation. And quite honestly, that’s kind of what copywriting is always doing. We never actually sell people on anything that they don’t already believe themselves. We’re just aligning whatever we do with what they already believe and want. So like we touched on. And TAKEAWAY NUMBER ONE, we want to show our respondents just how much of this feedback means to us, which means that currency that we are giving them in exchange for their feedback, the incentive we’re giving them is a feeling of mattering of goodwill. That should be the what’s in it for me that we are framing the Ask around. caveat. This may not always work sometimes often really you have to incentivize with money or gift to get responses. And that’s okay. But definitely try once without offering an incentive. So TAKEAWAY NUMBER FOUR, try once without a real incentive and focus on giving them a psychological incentive instead, moving right along. I love that the team knew that using a female name is a best practice that gets better opens. But they didn’t just take the best practice at face value, but tested it and tested it and does it it does it. Takeaway number five best practices can be amazing or they can totally not work for your brand. And the only way to know is to test it and test it again. And again. Another thing I was really impressed with was how the team trust their gut, how if they feel out of touch, they send a survey and get back in touch. This is huge. As a society we don’t value intuition enough, but it actually is a real thing. In their case, it even engenders connection. It builds authenticity and helps the brand feel more human because they are acting human and not just working on cold hard numbers. TAKEAWAY NUMBER SIX might sound a little fluffy, but if your gut is telling you something, follow that insight and see where it takes you. Okay, last bit before we do the non customer version of this email, timing your feedback. Jonathan mentioned that once a year surveys aren’t frequent enough, you don’t want to send a feedback survey a whole year after someone buys and a great fix for this is yes to run a brand wide annual survey just to get in feedback crunching mode, but also to run behavioral based surveys. Joe from copy hacker has popularized the thank you page survey when a customer purchases she asked them why they bought on the thank you page the timing is perfect. The customer is excited about the purchase and willing to share their expense means not to mention that they remember very vividly what brought them to purchase. And then when enough time has passed for them to receive the product to use the product to appreciate it, that’s when you can send them a full survey that is timed exactly right for them to give you accurate data of both their emotional experience and their product experience. So TAKEAWAY NUMBER Seven, sign up for email mastery to learn exactly when to send that post purchase feedback email, along with requests for reviews, referrals upsells. Just kidding takeaway number seven is to set up a thank you page survey and a post purchase survey email for each customer in addition to your annual survey, however, if you do want to learn more about email strategy, you are very welcome to get on the email mastery waitlist, the link is in the show notes because that is the kind of stuff that we do talk about. Okay, let’s take a look at that non customer version.

Hi there. Our family business has been working hard on making the first Telkom the best brand and experience it can be. But we noticed you haven’t purchased yet. And we wanted to know why. Since we’re always looking to improve, we’d be grateful if you could take a quick survey is one question. And I’ll take 30 seconds, just click the button below to get started sending licorice love Sarah, co founder. There are a few key differences. Number one, this email is all about them feeling indebted to you as a subscriber. Again, they’re playing up the meaningfulness of the feedback. The only option they have for show not tell is saying family business. So there is a lot of telling here, but it’s done very well. It’s said very naturally, they’re asking for help, but they’re not begging for it. The second key difference is that they are only asking one question, which is a much smaller ask because they’re asking from someone who is much less connected to the brand. Finally, the sign off is different. It’s a nice touch to include a warmer sign up for your customers than for your non customers to just show your customers your gratefulness. Give them a little bit more of a VIP feel. By the way, I included this survey itself in the show notes too. It’s pretty cute what they did, but I’ll let you take a look for yourself. Thanks for listening. I don’t know about you, but I am off to go eat some licorice. Thanks for geeking out with me about that email story. If you enjoyed either of these episodes, you’ll probably enjoy getting my emails Plus, you’ll never miss another episode sign up at Nikki And yes, that link is in the show notes. Up next on email swipes. So here I was drooling over all these gorgeous Instagram feeds. And in the back of my head is also all this talk about how much they love their customers and how much they appreciate their customers and how they know how hard their customers are working. And I suddenly had this thought

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