How to Ask for Feedback in Your Emails… And Actually Get a Response!
Ah yes, customer feedback. So important yet so difficult to get, right?
We totally get it…
You want some insight into what your customers are really thinking so you can use that information to improve product quality, gauge customer satisfaction, and a million other things.
But it really isn’t as easy as just asking for it.
A lot of the time, people aren’t willing to fill out surveys, and understandably so.
Sometimes they’re too long. Sometimes they’re sent to the wrong person. And sometimes it’s not immediately clear that all you really want is their opinion!
Here, we’ll dig deeper into this and share some quick tips on how you can effectively ask for customer feedback in your emails.
So, if you’re ready to give it another shot, these are the tips you should follow to get real results.
Let’s jump right in!
1. Know When to Ask For Feedback
A simple customer feedback email can get you the answers you need. That is, if you’re asking the right questions at the right time.
After all, you don’t want to send your feedback email message to the wrong person because their responses wouldn’t help you solve your target customers’ pain points. And if you send it at the wrong time, you might not even hear back.
There goes a wasted opportunity.
Here’s the deal: the best time to ask for customer feedback is immediately after they’ve experienced the product or service you’d like to ask about. Makes sense, right?
For example, if you want to know how likely they are to buy from you again, you’d want to send out the email after they’ve received their product.
And the reason is simple.
It’s because they’ve just completed the customer journey so the experience is still fresh on their mind.
Which means this is the best time to ask them to share it with you!
Sending feedback request emails at the exact right time can also help you learn about the negative experiences your customers have which would be difficult to do otherwise.
Let’s say a customer cancelled their subscription after using your product for several weeks. You’ll be able to get valuable insight by sending them an email right way as opposed to sending it a few days later.
An immediate request for feedback shows the customer that you actually care that they’ve made the decision to cancel, and are truly curious about the reasons why. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to win back that sale!
Circling back to that same hypothetical customer who cancelled:
Say their feedback was all about how your product’s user interface needs improvement but you’re literally releasing a UI update next week.
You can follow up right away, share that info and maybe even sweeten the pot with another free trial so they can check it out risk-free!
Or, perhaps they were unhappy because your solution was missing a feature they were looking for. But the thing is, the feature is there and they just didn’t know how to find it.
If you catch this issue quickly, you can put them in touch with a Product Support Specialist to walk them through using the feature they needed!
See how important your timing can be?
If you waited a few days in either case, that unhappy customer may have found a competitor they liked better and forgotten all about your business!
To this end, you should consider automating your emails to reach out to the right person, with the right message, at the right time.
2. Use a Simple, Goal-Oriented Design
We’ve said this time and again, but it’s always worth repeating: when it comes to email design, less is more.
The key to getting valuable responses is to keep your emails short, simple, and to the point.
Think of it as a quick message rather than a drawn out letter – the shorter, the better. Just like how Slack does it:
Fair warning: you may be tempted to throw in a few GIFs, clever CTAs, and promotional offers. And in any other scenario, we’d definitely recommend that!
However, when you’re asking for feedback your primary goal is to…
You guessed it: get their feedback.
In other words, you don’t want them to get distracted – or even confused – by your entertaining, promotional email that makes compelling offers and also asks for feedback.
Instead, use the inverted pyramid technique to structure your emails. This will help you make sure you’re including only what’s absolutely necessary. And remember, don’t be extra!
To make things even easier for you, we’ve shortlisted the four elements you should include in a simple, goal-oriented feedback email:
- Always include your brand logo in customer feedback emails
- Start the email off with a clear headline and your message
- Add a strong, goal-oriented CTA
- Finish off with a quick thank you note
This way, you’ll be able to effectively keep recipients focused on your main conversion goal: getting customer feedback. It’s a win-win!
Pro tip: Before you hit Send, read your email out loud to make sure the feedback request is clear. Or, better yet, use our Send a test email tool to share with a colleague and get their opinion first:
3. Personalize Your Emails
If you already have access to your customers’ data, why not make the most of it?
You’re already taking the extra step of actively sending out customer feedback requests as opposed to letting customers find a feedback form on your website. Adding a little personality and sounding less robotic can help you effectively increase response rates.
Your customer feedback email gives you two clear opportunities to speak directly to the reader. Specifically, the subject line and the opening line. And we highly recommend that you make the most of it.
How, you ask?
It’s pretty simple actually. Throw a personalization tag into your message and some info about the purchase or event you’re inquiring about (if you have it) to make the recipient feel like you’re sending just to them!
Seeing their name immediately catches their eye and intrigues them to click through. And, once you have your foot in the door, it’ll be that much easier to get their feedback.
This simple gesture lets them know you’re interested in their unique opinion and, as a result, motivates them to respond.
Here’s another quick personalization tip:
Signing off emails from someone on your team (versus using a nameless, faceless company signature) also adds some personality to your emails and humanizes your brand.
Emails sent by companies almost always give off a generic, we-just-sent-this-email-to-literally-everyone vibe whereas emails sent by, say, the marketing manager or CEO, feel more important and deserving of a thoughtful response.
Check out this personable example from Code Camp:
Now, this example is a little over the top but the entire vibe of the email is pretty friendly and fun, right?
Plus, the sign off directly from Amy makes the request feel that much more genuine!
Simply put, emails sent by real people are more likely to be clicked.
Combine these two simple email personalization tips to set yourself up for success. You can pretty much rest assured you’ll hear back soon.
Pro tip: Always remember to thank anyone who sends you their feedback for taking the time to share.
4. Explain Why You’re Asking For Feedback
Let’s talk about your customer feedback email messaging. Before you write the email, you need to take a step back and ask yourself why you’re asking for their opinion in the first place.
Is your company thinking of adding new features to a product?
Are you gauging customer satisfaction with your services?
Are you trying to figure out different ways you can deliver better customer experiences?
Think of it this way: if you don’t have a good enough reason for collecting it, it’ll be difficult to convince customers to provide it.
People are more likely to help you out with something when you tell them why it’s important to you. So it’s no surprise that you’ll get a better response if you let customers know why you’re asking for their feedback.
Specifically, tell them how they will benefit from responding to your request.
In other words, if you tell them:
- Why you’re asking for their opinion, and
- What you intend to do with the feedback they provide
…it’ll be easier to convince them to provide valuable responses.
Check out this example from Uber:
As you can see, the formula Uber used is pretty simple:
“We’d like to [your plan of action] and [your feedback question] will help us do that!”
Now, your email message might be something like:
“We’d like to know which three features are most useful to you so we can work towards enhancing them. ”
The benefits here are two-fold:
- You’re effectively communicating your reasoning for sending them the request.
- You’re incentivizing them to provide their feedback by letting them know how they will benefit from it.
Knowing their opinion will make a positive difference in their experience with your brand is reason enough to fill out a survey or answer a few questions.
It’s a simple trick but super effective!
Pro tip: Consider mentioning how long it will take to complete the feedback form for best results (e.g. It’ll only take two minutes of your time!).
5. Choose The Right Call to Action
Last but not least, you need to make sure you’re using an irresistible call to action.
Regardless of how you decide to collect feedback, you need to make it immediately clear what they need to do next.
Should they fill out the survey that’s embedded in the email? Do they have to go to your website to provide their feedback? Have you used a third-party survey tool (like Google Forms) to send customers a feedback request?
Either way, make sure you’re using a strong, clear CTA button that takes recipients directly to the questions you’d like to ask.
See how Nokia’s CTA is super direct:
You’ll also notice that their CTA button is designed to stand out.
Instead of burying a text link in your email message or using a confusing image, keep your CTA simple with a single, high-contrast button.
Of course, you can always embed a feedback survey or poll directly in your email or ask to setup a quick phone call, but (if you recall from tip 2 above) simple works best!
Our advice: let there be no confusion about what you want them to do. You’ll be doing yourself a favor in the long run!
Can We Get Your Feedback?
Done right, asking customers for feedback should get you the answers you’ve been looking for. Start by making the small changes first and work your way up to the bigger ones.
As a quick recap, the best feedback emails (aka the ones that get the most responses) are:
- Timed perfectly – Make sure your message arrives promptly after a major event, whether it’s a purchase, a cancellation, or whatever else may be happening!
- Simple and goal-oriented – Your request should be short, sweet and to-the-point!
- Personalized – Speak directly to the person you’re sending to. Include their name and any other relevant info you can to help the message feel targeted just for them!
- Convincing – Explain the purpose of your feedback message and what the info will be used for so the reader sees the value in sharing their opinion!
- Clearly actionable – The easier you make it for your contact to complete your request, the more likely they are to actually do so!
If you follow these 5 tips, we guarantee you’ll have valuable customer feedback pouring in in no time!
So… let’s give this a shot:
Did you find any of these tips useful?
What are some of the ways you encourage customers to provide feedback?
We’d love to hear from you so let us know in the comments section below!
Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!
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