5 things you should be asking your email subscribers

One of the most common and hurtful misconceptions about email marketing is that all the communication must be one-way. Email subscribers are real people on the other side of the screen who are reading what you write and have an opinion about it.

There is a variety of plugins you can use to poll your audience, and there might be one built into your email marketing software. Here are a few things you should be asking your email subscribers.

1. How often would you like to receive emails?

According to a report by Chadwick Martin Bailey, 69% of U.S. email users unsubscribe from an email because the organization sends too many emails. Considering thw importance, it is surprising that email marketers often have no idea if the frequency of their email blasts is right for their audience.

Asking your audience how often they’d like to receive emails will not only help decrease unsubscribes, but it will also make your readers feel like they are cared for and not just another subscriber.

2. What should the next newsletter be about?

Rather than spending time on a new newsletter without knowing how it will be received, just ask what your readers want to see. This is a great way to test multiple topics to optimize for your audience and get a feel for their interests.

3. How Much Water do You Drink?

Asking leading, personal questions is the best way to really get better acquainted with your audience. Remember, you are sending newsletters out to real people, who are really interested to see where they fit in the matrix of society.

Asking these kinds of questions and then showing the surveyed subscriber where they fit in is a great way to not only learn about your audience, but also keep them engaged. The data colelcted could be easily re-purposed in other forms of content like a whitepaper or a blogpost. If you send out newsletter regularly, try tying the questions in a series.

4. Would you like to use our service or product?

Be careful here, overly advertising yourself can lead to unsatisfied subscribers, but it’s important not to forget to put your own ad in newsletters. Conrad Levinson, author of Guerilla Marketing points out that sometimes it takes people 10-15 impressions of an ad to really look at it, so keep that in mind with your newsletter.

5. Who should be the Next President?

Lack of customer data is the number two challenge email marketers face according to a survey by JupiterResearch. Questions in your newsletter are a great way to pull in data for a new article on your site and learn about your readers. If it’s near election time, ask who your readers think should be the next president and use the statistics from your responders as the basis for a factual article. This tactic works any time of the year and is especially powerful with time-sensitive topics.

Your email list is a window into customers’ minds. Don’t be afraid to engage with subscribers through pointed, personal questions. You will be surprised how many subscribers take the time to answer a well-written question and want to see how their answer compares to other respondents. On your next campaign, take the time to add a question, and begin interacting with your readers.

Image via flickr


Josh is an internet entrepreneur and marketing specialist who's worked with brands around the world to increase their presence online. He has started and sold several of his own sites and is currently co-founder of Interact, an interactive content platform designed to help websites draw in targeted leads.