The very fact that you’re on this page is a good sign that you want to know what’s working for your customers – and more importantly, what’s isn’t working. You’re ready to learn what you don’t (yet) know, use that information to improve your product or service and convert more customers to brand champions.
You’ve definitely received a customer survey of some kind in your inbox before. Did you actually fill it out and give feedback? Well, that’s another question.
The bad news is that there are a lot of companies out there making pretty terrible requests for feedback. The good news? It’s easy to stand out if you can get a few things right.
The 3 decisions you need to make before you even write the email
→ Should we send a branded, marketing email or a plain text email?
Consider the two examples below. Ignore the copy, just look at the visuals. One is a traditional marketing email, obviously auto-generated, while the other looks like it could’ve come from a human.
Which format should you choose? Well, there’s a time and a place for both.
One benefit of sending a plain text email is that it frees you up to play around with personal sender names, which tend to get higher open rates.
Think: “Amy from Wine Time” or “Amy Johnston” vs. “Wine Time”
Plain text emails (if done correctly) feel more human, specific and compel the recipient to “do you a favor” more so than a branded email. It also leaves the door open for customers to reply directly to the email and open conversations that might have otherwise been missed.
If you’re just starting out asking for feedback, we recommend starting out with a plain text email. One disclaimer: If you’re a large company that wouldn’t have the capacity to personally email customers, don’t pretend to personally email customers.
Branded, marketing template
- Best for large, established companies where it wouldn’t be feasible to personally email customers for feedback
Plain text email
- Best for small companies that could potentially have the bandwidth to personally email customers (or large companies that phrase the message as if they’re doing super targeted customer outreach)
Remember: With email, nothing is set in stone. If in doubt, pit a branded template against a plain text message and A/B test it!
→ What kind of feedback are we looking for?
When you ask customers for feedback, you’re asking for their time. You need to get crystal clear on what you’re trying to learn and only ask the questions you’re dying to know.
Your department head might want a bunch of data points, but do your customers really have the patience to answer how they feel about 20 different things on a 1 to 5 scale? Will they actually take the time to write text responses to 5 different free answer questions?
Customers don’t owe you feedback and they’ll gladly delete your email or close out of your survey if they get bored. Take the time to design thoughtful, easy to answer questions that show your customers you value their time.
At the end of the day, which is more valuable to you: 100 responses to a 3-question survey or 3 responses to a 100-question survey? The former.
Examples of feedback that respects your customers’ time
Would you take 3 minutes to answer 3 questions about your experience? We want your honest opinion and use every piece of feedback to improve for future customers.
Got a minute, Nelson? We’d love to hear about your experience. Answer only the questions that stand out to you!
Why did you ultimately decide not to purchase ____? What could we have done better to meet your needs? Seriously, reply to this email and let us know.
Alice, we want to hear from you. Take our 10-question survey and get a 10% discount on your next purchase!
→ How often do you want feedback?
Allow us to make a recommendation: You always want customer feedback! It’s an easy thing to automate and will give you constant, well…feedback…into what your customers are thinking and feeling.
But really, you have two options.
One-time feedback: There’s a specific event you want feedback on – maybe a new product launch, something seasonal or even an “oops” you want to learn from. This is an opportunity to be specific (and if people understand exactly why you’re asking, they’ll be more likely to reply!)
Recurring, automated feedback: Set it and (kind of) forget it. Here are a few examples of where you could work a feedback email into your existing workflows:
- 3 days after a customer buys a product
- When a customer cancels their subscription
- After being a paying customer for a few months
- Midway through a free trial month
- If they open 5 emails but never click
Don’t forget: When you commit to asking for customer feedback, you commit to closing the loop. If someone goes out of their way to reply to your plain text email or give you thoughtful survey responses, shoot them a quick email to thank them!
A plug-and-play email template
Here’s an example of a solid customer feedback plain text email, written for a customer who didn’t convert to a paid plan after a free trial. Use this as a starting point and customize the template for your own business.
Hi [FIRST NAME]!
Hope this email finds you well. First off, I wanted to thank you for giving [PRODUCT] a shot. Even if you decided it ultimately wasn’t for you, we’re so glad you were able to get a sneak peek of what we have to offer.
I have one small request. Do you have 3 minutes to answer 3 questions about your experience?
Here’s a link to our quick, 3-question survey →
We take feedback very seriously here at [COMPANY]. In fact, my team reviews every piece of customer feedback in a weekly meeting and we actively use it to improve the experience for future customers.
I’d be so grateful if you’d take a moment to let us know what you thought of [PRODUCT] and why you decided not to sign up after your trial ended. Feel free to also reply directly back to this email with your thoughts. Please be honest – you won’t hurt my feelings!
Thank you so much for your time!
Need help getting an email like this set up in your system? We’d love to help! Get in touch.