Email Strategy

Are surveys dead? We ran one for a health brand, here’s what happened after 7 days

I'm Maila!

And this is our little corner of the internet where my team and I share marketing experiments, tools and tips that we come across while working with lifestyle ecom brands.

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It was one of those Messenger chat sessions where we put on our marketer’s crown to come up with fun ways to grow an online business.

As Australia’s largest online seller of organic herb plants, our client was stuck in a rabbit hole that branched into 15 different directions.

His team had plans to create a new product line but with hundreds of ideas and dozens of options, it was hard to figure out where to start.

And because of this analysis paralysis, they were back to square one despite oodles of brainstorming sessions.

Just in time, we had a light bulb moment and suggested we ask their customers what their problems are so we can decide which direction to go.

After all, creating a product based on assumptions is like serving food to diners…

…without asking them what they want to eat first. Pretty sure, we wouldn’t go to such a restaurant, ever.

The solution we came up with?


Yes, I know some people might cringe at this word because of how boring typical surveys are…

… which is why we paid a lot of attention to make sure we didn’t use the word ‘survey’ and it was on-brand + a smooth experience.

🔷 For this purpose, our tool of choice is because it’s sleek and fast (plus you get 15% off if you sign up using this link (*yes, it’s an affiliate link where you save money*).

Feel free to use any other tool you have as long as it does the job.

Here’s a breakdown of our process:

1) First, we came up with 4 open-ended questions that will give us all the information we need.

The goal behind these questions was to understand:

💡 Their #1 health issue

💡 How that issue affects their lives

💡 What solutions they have tried that worked + those that were a total dud

💡 Whether they were open to trying an all-natural solution from this brand

2) At the end of the questionnaire, we put a comment box for any extra stuff the participants had to say.

3) We also added an area where they could leave their email address. This was for followup purposes and not compulsory. We wanted people to have the option to remain anonymous.

4) We added a welcome page to the start of the questionnaire to make sure they knew what was ahead and that it was not a survey with 100+ questions.

5) Once they submit their answers, we whisk them off to a thank you page with a 10% coupon. Underneath the discount code is a call-to-action button that takes them to the store.

6) We wrote a very short yet warm email from the founder, asking her customers to share their health journey so she can understand them better.

7) We scheduled the email to go out on Saturday morning to a segment of 7000+ subscribers.

On Monday, We woke up to the news from the client that our experiment was a success.

Even though the client was initially hesitant, our gut feeling to email on a weekend was spot-on because people had time to fill out the survey in detail.

These were the results of our campaign:

🎉 We kept surpassing the user limit so the client had to upgrade the software twice!

🎉 Email open & click-through rates were in double digits and higher than industry standards.

🎉In less than 2 days, we received 300 responses and made a few thousand $$$ in sales!

🎉 At the time of writing (one week after the survey went out), we have raked in 578 responses so far.

BTW, did you see the average time people took to fill this survey? ☝️

In a world of 3-second attention spans, 7 minutes is like a decade!

And oh boy, the answers we received felt like we had hit the jackpot!

✏️ The words customers used to describe their pain…

✏️ The popular, expensive solutions which failed to help…

✏️ The extra notes they left in the comments box…

It’s all precious fodder that we will use to not only focus on which product to create…

But also to craft the persuasive product messaging and emotional marketing copy.

Because we managed to peek into their thoughts and daily struggles, it feels as if we have crawled out of a dense forest… and into a sunny meadow.

We finally have the clarity that we need to take the next step, without wondering if our customers will buy once we launch.

Here’s my next step for this campaign:

✔️ Email all those who didn’t open the email the first time around because they have missed it or it could have slipped their mind.

✔️ Export all their answers and sort them into voice-of-customer data banks

✔️ Segment the customers based on their health issues so we can email relevant content

Now that you have got the deets, let us share why we wrote this case study.

Contrary to what we made you believe so far, this post is not 100% about surveys. Or how cool we are. Or how great our clients are. Scratch thatour clients are the best!

Instead, this case study is more about putting our customer’s needs first so they’ ll reward us with their time, money and trust.

A lot of business owners we know boast of huge email lists. And most of the time, the only thing they send out to customers is the occasional, dry-as-a-biscuit promotional email.

List size doesn’t matter if you are missing EMPATHY in your marketing.

By asking our customers to share their struggles that relate to our expertise, we tap into their innate desire for someone to listen to them.

Like how we listened to our client and came up with a way we could understand his customers better(full-circle yo!).

🌟 Empathy mixed with strategy is what builds brand loyalty faster than any gimmicky tactics.

And this unwavering loyalty translates to a flood of referrals from powerful word-of-mouth marketing- the kind you can’t buy, no matter how much money you spend.

👏 If you found this article even a pinch useful, please drop a comment, this way we will know we are not writing for an audience of crickets 👏

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