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  • James Odene

Survey Optimisation: Make it easy, make it personal!

Considering the EAST framework for building an effective campaign (EASY, ATTRACTIVE, SOCIAL, TIMELY), it can be underestimated just how easy something has to be for it be completed.


How many people do you think:

- Recycle correctly (rinsing, separating, storing...)

- Put their shopping trollies back (I like to consider myself a good citizen but can admit that on occasion, I have been guilty of this!)

- Enter a competition by mail

- Write reviews


I would say, just not that many - because, in today's society, these things are considered just too hard.


Emails are no different

When considering a method of communication, I would suggest that emails are not the best for a more personal interaction. I don't know about you, but I certainly see them within the context of work, and therefore a chore and something to just be sorted out and then forgotten about.


If you are after some really key data that feels in some way personal, like a survey - maybe there is a better solution.


Challenge 22+ have recently conducted a very interesting experiment with faunalytics. They used WhatsApp to collect survey results.


How'd it go?

Well, they had great stats on the impact of Challenge 22+ over the years, but these were always based on pretty low return rates of about 15%.


When they conducted their survey via WhatsApp... they had a return rate of 50.3%!


Holy wow!


Whereas emails sit within the context of work (hard-work, chore, something to be sorted quickly and moved on from), WhatsApp sits within social media - so now the survey request sits within the context of fun, social, engaging, constant interaction.


I think this shows the power of context and indeed making something easy.


Content is king

An interesting experiment with survey requests looked at the impact of different content within the emails. The aim was to increase better participation in the survey.


They used six variants of a key line of text, one of which was the control line. Each one was targeted towards a different behavioural insight. Each recipient group consisted of 22,000 contacts.


So here are the six lines:


1. Control

We’re always trying to improve our products and services for our customers. That’s why we’d really appreciate it if you filled in our short survey about your experience on [BRAND].


2. Endowment

We’re always looking for ways to improve the products and services you own. Your views and opinions are a vital part of this process – that’s why we’d really appreciate it if you filled in our short survey about your experience with [BRAND].


3. Loss aversion

We’re always trying to improve our products and services for our customers. Don’t miss out on great [BRAND] experiences. Make the most of our products and services in the future by filling in our short survey.


4. Personalisation

You have been chosen to take part in our survey. Help us improve our products and services in the future by sharing your thoughts about [BRAND].


5. Social proof

We’re always trying to improve our products and services for our customers. The feedback we receive every day from customers like you helps us do this. Join the many customers who have let us know what they think about their experience with [BRAND] by filling in our short survey.


6. Endowment + Social Proof

We’re always looking for ways to improve the products and services you use.

Your views and opinions are a vital part of this process. Join the many customers who have let us know what they think about their experience with [BRAND] by filling in this short survey.


Drum roll please...


Personalisation provided the biggest increase in return rates, exceeding both the control and other variants.



Source: Behaviouraleconomics.com

Of course emails are still a huge driving force for marketers, and with the trillions we send per year, I wonder how many of those are truly optimised through testing what works best - considering the average CTR according to MailChimp barely ever surpasses 3%.


When working to optimise something like return rates, the key is to test, test, test!



I should also mention that within the Challenge 22+ experiment they also signed the survey messages from Neta Rosenthal, Challenge 22+ Director and made sure that the content had some personalisation, which seems likely to have also played a part in the big uplift.


Happy testing!

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