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From The Honest Company to TOMS, Plus Key Event Highlights From Tinuiti Experts

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From The Honest Company to TOMS, Plus Key Event Highlights From Tinuiti Experts

Every year, Amazon brings together thousands of advertising professionals for their flagship event, unBoxed. Industry leaders share insights on how to up-level Amazon knowledge through insightful keynote sessions, engaging breakouts, and various networking events. From groundbreaking product announcements to game-changing new features, this event is a window into the future of retail, advertising, and ecommerce.

We were on the ground (and on the stage) at this year’s event taking in the latest and greatest announcements from the ecommerce giant as well as sharing a few expert tips and tricks of our own.

Join us as we unpack this year’s unBoxed where we’ll bring you up to speed on Amazon’s latest and greatest news, key takeaways from our experts, and insights you can incorporate into your Amazon strategy in 2024. 

Let’s jump right in.

Innovating for You: TOMS and Tinuiti Join Forces in Keynote Session

At this year’s unBoxed, Tinuiti was thrilled to be on the ground at the event, not only as a platinum sponsor, but also as an industry thought leader. During the second day keynote session, Tinuiti’s Senior Director of Strategic Marketplaces, Joe O’Connor, was joined on stage by Jenny Fung, Director of Channel Marketing at TOMS and Teresa Uthurralt, Director of Partner Development and Marketing at Amazon Ads to discuss the important world of brand and partner collaborations.

To start the session, the team took a deeper look at how TOMS and Tinuiti worked together to inspire customers to take action for a good cause. 

 

Tinuiti’s Senior Director of Strategic Marketplaces, Joe O’Connor, was joined on stage by Jenny Fung, Director of Channel Marketing at TOMS and Teresa Uthurralt, Director of Partner Development and Marketing at Amazon Ads.

 

Fung started the keynote by describing how TOMS faced a new challenge when they recently shifted their philanthropic approach from the One for One model to their ‘Wear Good’ model, donating a third of their profits to help support a wider variety of organizations through cash grants. She described how one of the biggest challenges they faced with evolving their impact strategy was that the previous One for One approach was well-known and easy to understand. TOMS found that spreading awareness of their new ‘Wear Good’ impact model was difficult for a couple of reasons including budget constraints and character limits on traditional Search ads.

The Process:

O’Connor went on to describe how the Tinuiti team solved this challenge for TOMS. To enhance TOMS’ “Wear Good” messaging while managing budget constraints, Tinuiti seized an opportunity from Amazon. The Amazon team offered funding for the creation of Streaming TV (STV) creative if a QR code was included in the content.

This approach had multiple benefits: it allowed for the use of motion and sound to convey TOMS’ brand story, alleviated budget constraints by eliminating the need for video creative expenses, and facilitated direct user engagement with the brand creative.

Although TOMS had not previously run an Amazon STV campaign, they agreed to participate in this beta test due to its alignment with their brand objectives. The STV ad was designed with non-skippable video and audio, directing users to the TOMS Amazon Store, where they could learn more about the brand’s story and explore its products. The ad also prominently featured the “Wear Good” call to action in both audio and video formats. To maximize the value of the video media, Tinuiti created remarketing segments for users exposed to the STV campaign, re-engaging those who did not convert with Amazon DSP ads to guide them through the funnel towards conversion.

The Results:

– With the reallocation of 50% of the DSP budget to STV, we anticipated a 53% decrease in impressions but were pleased to see a month-over-month increase in new-to-brand units sold (+58% MoM), branded searches (+25% MoM), and product sales (+32% MoM)

– The higher MoM searches and sales with lower overall MoM reach implies Amazon shoppers who saw the brand’s video message engaged more with the brand than when only seeing a conventional DSP banner and ad

When asked about the team’s collaboration throughout this partnership, Fung and O’Connor both highlighted the importance of communication, transparency, and alignment… 

“Not only does this alignment of goals and priorities better enable Tinuiti to bring the right opportunities to TOMS but it also empowers us, Tinuiti, Amazon and the TOMS team, collectively, to move fast. With all the new features and capabilities that Amazon brings to market and how quickly overall market dynamics can change, and have changed particularly over the past 2-3 years, being able to align on strategy with speed has become increasingly important to delivering success.”

– Joe O’Connor, Senior Director of Strategic Marketplaces at Tinuiti 

“We’ve built a strong foundation based on trust, collaboration, and communication, but what we also have is transparency in our partnership. Tinuiti knows our business and is really an extension of our brand. We act as one team trying to reach the same goals and objectives and ultimately, this is how we are all successful together.”

– Jenny Fung, Director, Channel Marketing at TOMS

To wrap up the session, O’Connor highlighted two tips for brands that want to work with partners to freshen their approach.

First being that businesses don’t need huge budgets to build their brand with STV. This strategy can be applied just as successfully whether you are re-branding or just aiming to build your existing brand.

Second, building trust and communication is key. He covered how it’s crucial to be passionate about the brand and the importance of having a testing mindset that’s grounded in the use of data.

Key Takeaways

Attendees left this session with three important takeaways to keep in mind as they build their strategy for 2024… 

  • Streaming TV can be accessible to brands even with modest budgets. It can drive great results and complements Sponsored Ads. 
  • Great partners know their brands’ businesses like their own and have earned their trust. Having both parties be in lock-step helps deliver the best possible results.
  • The importance of partner collaboration cannot be overstated. Brands can accomplish amazing things when they prioritize customers and innovate on their behalf.

 

The Power of Amazon Marketing Cloud: Delivering the Right Message at the Right Time (Featuring Tinuiti and The Honest Company)

As performance marketers, we all understand the increasing importance of connecting with shoppers through personalized ad experiences. But as we quickly move toward a cookieless future, determining how we’ll build and execute those relevant marketing messages is a topic in near-constant discussion. 

Nancy-lee McLaughlin, VP of Commerce Media at Tinuiti, dove into the topic during her session at Amazon unBoxed 2023 —The Power of Amazon Marketing Cloud: Delivering the Right Message at the Right Time.  

 

Nancy-lee McLaughlin, VP of Commerce Media at Tinuiti at Amazon unBoxed 2023.

 

McLaughlin explored the incredible brand-building opportunities available on Amazon today thanks to the platform’s ongoing advances in all facets of advertising, including audience segmentation and omnichannel measurement. 

Released in 2012, the Amazon Ads Platform (AAP) helped advertisers reach relevant audiences from the beginning. However, when first launched, the only pre-set audience options available were bucketed into In-Market and Lifestyle behaviors. 

When AAP evolved into Amazon DSP, it brought with it more than a name change, including advanced audience capabilities that enabled marketers to build segments based on Amazon 1P events of their own within the ADSP self-service console. However, there were still some limitations regarding the behaviors you could build segments around—particularly connecting behaviors across media channels, such as reaching users who were exposed to an STV ad with a DSP-Display ad. We know that 75% of shoppers are omnichannel, and so more than ever, it is vital to ensure we have a connected commerce strategy and know how to communicate with specific audiences. 

In 2023, fully custom audience creation is possible thanks to the release of AMC Audiences in Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC).    

“Amazon’s flywheel of price, selection, and convenience not only revolutionized e-commerce, it forever changed how brands engage with their customers. While that flywheel is just as important today as it was on day one, Amazon’s ever evolving AdTech suite ushers in the next generation flywheel, built on AWS and powered by Amazon Marketing Cloud’s interoperability.”

–  Nancy-lee McLaughlin, VP, Commerce Media at Tinuiti

Nancy McLaughlin

Tinuiti’s team of Amazon advertising experts understood that AMC Audiences would give them the power to marry their creative message with specific consumer behaviors at a more granular level, and massive scale.

With AMC seemingly limitless in its applications and capabilities, McLaughlin noted that Tinuiti took a page from Amazon’s own Leadership Principles, Customer Obsession, and started with a client challenge—improving a 25% cart abandonment rate.

The Future of Delivering the Right Message, featuring The Honest Company

As long time partners, Tinuiti had worked with Honest to establish a sophisticated full-funnel approach with their Amazon media, with active campaigns across all Sponsored Ads formats, as well as cross-channel ADSP (display, mobile, and video). 

To tackle Honest’s specific challenge—better maximizing the value of their bottom-funnel shoppers—our teams turned to AMC to identify potential gaps in our customer acquisition strategy.

The Process:

Tinuiti closely reviewed the Honest campaign’s previous 3 months of activity and found that almost 25% of customers who added an Honest product to their cart did not follow through with a purchase. Closing the loop with these cart abandoners represented a potential 30% incremental sales opportunity over that time period.

This is especially important when considering the customer lifetime value of certain products, like diapers. We need products in the home—not in the cart. 

Using AMC’s audience creation capabilities, Tinuiti built audience segments of customers who left an Honest product in their cart over the past 30 days without completing a purchase. To ensure the most relevant creative messaging, they built three separate segments of cart abandoners for each of Honest’s primary product lines—Diapers, Wipes and Personal Care—launching these audiences as an experiment on 8.1.23. 

The creative is also extremely important; in these campaigns, they were looking to create habitual buying, and offered a Subscribe-and-Save to support this behavior. 

The Results:

The performance against all three segments has been highly encouraging:

  • AMC audiences have delivered a ROAS 172% higher than the overall DSP campaign average
  • NTB CPA (new-to-brand cost-per-acquisition) within those segments is 65% lower than the campaign average
  • Honest is acquiring new Subscribe-and-Save customers 55% more efficiently than the legacy campaign strategy

 

Next Steps

Tinuiti’s Amazon team is expanding this audience strategy throughout The Honest Company’s customers’ journey, starting by building a segment of users exposed to our Online Video campaigns to more directly move those customers down the funnel. They’ve also built a segment of customers who have clicked on Honest’s Sponsored Product ads to introduce them to a point of purchase, and are building a segment of customers who searched relevant category keywords to help educate customers on the amazing options Honest has relevant to their search. 

Key Takeaways

McLaughlin closed her informative session with three key takeaways important for all marketers to keep in mind, on and off Amazon:

  • Full-Funnel Approach: It’s crucial that audience-level optimizations are implemented across your entire media strategy for optimal success, not only your performance-oriented campaigns
  • Always Be Optimizing: AMC allows marketers to pull granular insights to better understand shopper behavior. But this treasure only has value if you regularly tap into it!
  • Stay Relevant: Your creative message should always be curated to the customers you’re aiming to reach, educate and connect with

 

While Amazon unBoxed featured over 60 sessions, here’s a select glimpse of some of our most significant expert insights.

Build Comprehensive Funnel Measurement Strategies Leveraging Collaboration, Evergreen Solutions, and AI

Building a comprehensive funnel measurement strategy isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor; it requires collaboration between various sources and a commitment to evergreen solutions. 

During a discussion featuring Lily Fong from Amazon Ads brand measurement and Deepak Jose from MARS, Fong emphasized the need to adopt solutions that are not only effective now but also sustainable for the long term. 

She illustrated this with Amazon Ad tags designed to adapt to a cookieless future. Deepak and Lily also unveiled the AWS clean room, offering brands using AWS access to a data repository akin to an “AMC-like” cloud room, enabling them to query data from their AWS-supported applications. 

Regarding AI-driven measurement strategies, Deepak advised a three-fold approach:

  1. Do things,” focusing on automating manual tasks and setting up API pipelines;
  2. Do things better,” optimizing data ingestion and AI-driven data summarization; and 
  3. Do better things,” deploying improved solutions to enhance data measurement strategies

 

“It is one thing to be able to measure strategies as clients activate across the funnel, but it’s an even greater responsibility to help brands make those insights actionable. AI-based suites like Amazon Cross channel Planner & Template Analytics beta are the next wave that will help us as an agency be able to synthesize the largest of data sets into actionable insight that actually will drive performance.”

Aaron Gooden, Director Commerce Media 

 

Unlocking the Power of Video Creativity and Compelling Content for Impactful Brand Storytelling

Another topic that stood out to our experts was how important it is to use high-quality images and videos in various Amazon channels, like Amazon Shopping, Alexa, Fire TV, and more. Amazon shared some impressive numbers, showing that investing in top-notch content can lead to a 12-fold increase in advertising profits. Amazon stressed that it’s crucial to provide the right information that customers are looking for. For example, if you’re selling beauty products, not sharing details about the formula and ingredients can mean missed sales opportunities since 61% of customers consider these factors when making a choice.

Amazon also emphasized the power of video. Many customers want to see videos when they shop, and 89% said that videos influenced their purchase decisions. Additionally, 92% of marketers found that video content provided a great return on investment.

Finally, they showcased how leading brands use voice-activated devices like Alexa to connect with customers. For instance, Coca-Cola used Alexa to create connections between game nights and enjoying a Coke without needing to use a phone.

“Overall keep investing in high-quality assets and make sure your brand is top-notch on Amazon as the data shows the brands that do this best convert better than those that don’t.”

Phil Stolt, Senior Vice President , Retail Operations at Tinuiti

 

Demystifying Clean Rooms and Accelerating Business Outcomes With Amazon Marketing Cloud

In a panel discussion led by Miranda Chen, Amazon’s Director of AMC Growth & Monetization, joined by Louis Goldberg, VP of Consumer Analytics and Business Data Strategy at Cox Communications, and Megan Pukala, P&G brand lead for Amazon media, the focus was on clean rooms and their benefits for brands. 

Clean rooms are specialized data spaces designed to store user-level information while removing personally identifiable data (PII), ensuring user privacy. They allow brands to create tailored data views and reports. What’s critical, as emphasized by the panel, is the collaboration between a brand’s media and data science/analytics teams, which is essential to unlock the full potential of clean rooms. 

The discussion also stressed the rising importance of respecting user privacy online, especially with the ongoing deprecation of cookies, which has posed a challenge to the industry. Clean rooms, by scrubbing data of PII upon entry and allowing only aggregated data extraction, provide robust privacy protection and enable brands to enhance the addressability of their media in a privacy-compliant manner.

A few key trends emerged from the discussion. Firstly, it’s clear that respecting user privacy is a top priority for brands. Simultaneously, brands aim to deliver relevant advertisements to consumers. Clean rooms stand out as a solution that can help achieve both of these objectives effectively.

“Clean rooms, like Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC), are powerful tools that empower brands to simultaneously respect user online privacy while also mining anonymized data to increase the relevance of their ads. Through AMC, Tinuiti clients have discovered new relevant audiences to reach and have a better understanding of a customer’s path to purchase and how each impression delivers value along that journey. It is a powerful tool that is increasingly becoming table stakes to unlocking the full potential of your digital marketing strategy.” 

Joe O’Connor, Senior Director of Strategic Marketplaces at Tinuiti

Joe O'Connor

Conclusion

And just like that, another unBoxed has ‘wrapped up’ just in time for the holiday season! We’ll be applying what we learned from Tinuiti’s own experts—and the incredible full lineup of presenters—to continue helping our clients achieve success on-and-off Amazon. For more information on the latest, be sure to visit our blog.

 

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The Complete Guide to Becoming an Authentic Thought Leader

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The Complete Guide to Becoming an Authentic Thought Leader

Introduce your processes: If you’ve streamlined a particular process, share it. It could be the solution someone else is looking for.

Jump on trends and news: If there’s a hot topic or emerging trend, offer your unique perspective.

Share industry insights: Attended a webinar or podcast that offered valuable insights. Summarize the key takeaways and how they can be applied.

Share your successes: Write about strategies that have worked exceptionally well for you. Your audience will appreciate the proven advice. For example, I shared the process I used to help a former client rank for a keyword with over 2.2 million monthly searches.

Question outdated strategies: If you see a strategy that’s losing steam, suggest alternatives based on your experience and data.

5. Establish communication channels (How)

Once you know who your audience is and what they want to hear, the next step is figuring out how to reach them. Here’s how:

Choose the right platforms: You don’t need to have a presence on every social media platform. Pick two platforms where your audience hangs out and create content for that platform. For example, I’m active on LinkedIn and X because my target audience (SEOs, B2B SaaS, and marketers) is active on these platforms.

Repurpose content: Don’t limit yourself to just one type of content. Consider repurposing your content on Quora, Reddit, or even in webinars and podcasts. This increases your reach and reinforces your message.

Follow Your audience: Go where your audience goes. If they’re active on X, that’s where you should be posting. If they frequent industry webinars, consider becoming a guest on these webinars.

Daily vs. In-depth content: Balance is key. Use social media for daily tips and insights, and reserve your blog for more comprehensive guides and articles.

Network with influencers: Your audience is likely following other experts in the field. Engaging with these influencers puts your content in front of a like-minded audience. I try to spend 30 minutes to an hour daily engaging with content on X and LinkedIn. This is the best way to build a relationship so you’re not a complete stranger when you DM privately.

6. Think of thought leadership as part of your content marketing efforts

As with other content efforts, thought leadership doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It thrives when woven into a cohesive content marketing strategy. By aligning individual authority with your brand, you amplify the credibility of both.

Think of it as top-of-the-funnel content to:

  • Build awareness about your brand

  • Highlight the problems you solve

  • Demonstrate expertise by platforming experts within the company who deliver solutions

Consider the user journey. An individual enters at the top through a social media post, podcast, or blog post. Intrigued, they want to learn more about you and either search your name on Google or social media. If they like what they see, they might visit your website, and if the information fits their needs, they move from passive readers to active prospects in your sales pipeline.

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How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips

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How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips

Collecting high-quality data is crucial to making strategic observations about your customers. Researchers have to consider the best ways to design their surveys and then how to increase survey completion, because it makes the data more reliable.

→ Free Download: 5 Customer Survey Templates [Access Now]

I’m going to explain how survey completion plays into the reliability of data. Then, we’ll get into how to calculate your survey completion rate versus the number of questions you ask. Finally, I’ll offer some tips to help you increase survey completion rates.

My goal is to make your data-driven decisions more accurate and effective. And just for fun, I’ll use cats in the examples because mine won’t stop walking across my keyboard.

Why Measure Survey Completion

Let’s set the scene: We’re inside a laboratory with a group of cat researchers. They’re wearing little white coats and goggles — and they desperately want to know what other cats think of various fish.

They’ve written up a 10-question survey and invited 100 cats from all socioeconomic rungs — rough and hungry alley cats all the way up to the ones that thrice daily enjoy their Fancy Feast from a crystal dish.

Now, survey completion rates are measured with two metrics: response rate and completion rate. Combining those metrics determines what percentage, out of all 100 cats, finished the entire survey. If all 100 give their full report on how delicious fish is, you’d achieve 100% survey completion and know that your information is as accurate as possible.

But the truth is, nobody achieves 100% survey completion, not even golden retrievers.

With this in mind, here’s how it plays out:

  • Let’s say 10 cats never show up for the survey because they were sleeping.
  • Of the 90 cats that started the survey, only 25 got through a few questions. Then, they wandered off to knock over drinks.
  • Thus, 90 cats gave some level of response, and 65 completed the survey (90 – 25 = 65).
  • Unfortunately, those 25 cats who only partially completed the survey had important opinions — they like salmon way more than any other fish.

The cat researchers achieved 72% survey completion (65 divided by 90), but their survey will not reflect the 25% of cats — a full quarter! — that vastly prefer salmon. (The other 65 cats had no statistically significant preference, by the way. They just wanted to eat whatever fish they saw.)

Now, the Kitty Committee reviews the research and decides, well, if they like any old fish they see, then offer the least expensive ones so they get the highest profit margin.

CatCorp, their competitors, ran the same survey; however, they offered all 100 participants their own glass of water to knock over — with a fish inside, even!

Only 10 of their 100 cats started, but did not finish the survey. And the same 10 lazy cats from the other survey didn’t show up to this one, either.

So, there were 90 respondents and 80 completed surveys. CatCorp achieved an 88% completion rate (80 divided by 90), which recorded that most cats don’t care, but some really want salmon. CatCorp made salmon available and enjoyed higher profits than the Kitty Committee.

So you see, the higher your survey completion rates, the more reliable your data is. From there, you can make solid, data-driven decisions that are more accurate and effective. That’s the goal.

We measure the completion rates to be able to say, “Here’s how sure we can feel that this information is accurate.”

And if there’s a Maine Coon tycoon looking to invest, will they be more likely to do business with a cat food company whose decision-making metrics are 72% accurate or 88%? I suppose it could depend on who’s serving salmon.

While math was not my strongest subject in school, I had the great opportunity to take several college-level research and statistics classes, and the software we used did the math for us. That’s why I used 100 cats — to keep the math easy so we could focus on the importance of building reliable data.

Now, we’re going to talk equations and use more realistic numbers. Here’s the formula:

Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.

So, we need to take the number of completed surveys and divide that by the number of people who responded to at least one of your survey questions. Even just one question answered qualifies them as a respondent (versus nonrespondent, i.e., the 10 lazy cats who never show up).

Now, you’re running an email survey for, let’s say, Patton Avenue Pet Company. We’ll guess that the email list has 5,000 unique addresses to contact. You send out your survey to all of them.

Your analytics data reports that 3,000 people responded to one or more of your survey questions. Then, 1,200 of those respondents actually completed the entire survey.

3,000/5000 = 0.6 = 60% — that’s your pool of survey respondents who answered at least one question. That sounds pretty good! But some of them didn’t finish the survey. You need to know the percentage of people who completed the entire survey. So here we go:

Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.

Completion rate = (1,200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%

Voila, 40% of your respondents did the entire survey.

Response Rate vs. Completion Rate

Okay, so we know why the completion rate matters and how we find the right number. But did you also hear the term response rate? They are completely different figures based on separate equations, and I’ll show them side by side to highlight the differences.

  • Completion Rate = # of Completed Surveys divided by # of Respondents
  • Response Rate = # of Respondents divided by Total # of surveys sent out

Here are examples using the same numbers from above:

Completion Rate = (1200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%

Response Rate = (3,000/5000) = 0.60 = 60%

So, they are different figures that describe different things:

  • Completion rate: The percentage of your respondents that completed the entire survey. As a result, it indicates how sure we are that the information we have is accurate.
  • Response rate: The percentage of people who responded in any way to our survey questions.

The follow-up question is: How can we make this number as high as possible in order to be closer to a truer and more complete data set from the population we surveyed?

There’s more to learn about response rates and how to bump them up as high as you can, but we’re going to keep trucking with completion rates!

What’s a good survey completion rate?

That is a heavily loaded question. People in our industry have to say, “It depends,” far more than anybody wants to hear it, but it depends. Sorry about that.

There are lots of factors at play, such as what kind of survey you’re doing, what industry you’re doing it in, if it’s an internal or external survey, the population or sample size, the confidence level you’d like to hit, the margin of error you’re willing to accept, etc.

But you can’t really get a high completion rate unless you increase response rates first.

So instead of focusing on what’s a good completion rate, I think it’s more important to understand what makes a good response rate. Aim high enough, and survey completions should follow.

I checked in with the Qualtrics community and found this discussion about survey response rates:

“Just wondering what are the average response rates we see for online B2B CX surveys? […]

Current response rates: 6%–8%… We are looking at boosting the response rates but would first like to understand what is the average.”

The best answer came from a government service provider that works with businesses. The poster notes that their service is free to use, so they get very high response rates.

“I would say around 30–40% response rates to transactional surveys,” they write. “Our annual pulse survey usually sits closer to 12%. I think the type of survey and how long it has been since you rendered services is a huge factor.”

Since this conversation, “Delighted” (the Qualtrics blog) reported some fresher data:

survey completion rate vs number of questions new data, qualtrics data

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The takeaway here is that response rates vary widely depending on the channel you use to reach respondents. On the upper end, the Qualtrics blog reports that customers had 85% response rates for employee email NPS surveys and 33% for email NPS surveys.

A good response rate, the blog writes, “ranges between 5% and 30%. An excellent response rate is 50% or higher.”

This echoes reports from Customer Thermometer, which marks a response rate of 50% or higher as excellent. Response rates between 5%-30% are much more typical, the report notes. High response rates are driven by a strong motivation to complete the survey or a personal relationship between the brand and the customer.

If your business does little person-to-person contact, you’re out of luck. Customer Thermometer says you should expect responses on the lower end of the scale. The same goes for surveys distributed from unknown senders, which typically yield the lowest level of responses.

According to SurveyMonkey, surveys where the sender has no prior relationship have response rates of 20% to 30% on the high end.

Whatever numbers you do get, keep making those efforts to bring response rates up. That way, you have a better chance of increasing your survey completion rate. How, you ask?

Tips to Increase Survey Completion

If you want to boost survey completions among your customers, try the following tips.

1. Keep your survey brief.

We shouldn’t cram lots of questions into one survey, even if it’s tempting. Sure, it’d be nice to have more data points, but random people will probably not hunker down for 100 questions when we catch them during their half-hour lunch break.

Keep it short. Pare it down in any way you can.

Survey completion rate versus number of questions is a correlative relationship — the more questions you ask, the fewer people will answer them all. If you have the budget to pay the respondents, it’s a different story — to a degree.

“If you’re paying for survey responses, you’re more likely to get completions of a decently-sized survey. You’ll just want to avoid survey lengths that might tire, confuse, or frustrate the user. You’ll want to aim for quality over quantity,” says Pamela Bump, Head of Content Growth at HubSpot.

2. Give your customers an incentive.

For instance, if they’re cats, you could give them a glass of water with a fish inside.

Offer incentives that make sense for your target audience. If they feel like they are being rewarded for giving their time, they will have more motivation to complete the survey.

This can even accomplish two things at once — if you offer promo codes, discounts on products, or free shipping, it encourages them to shop with you again.

3. Keep it smooth and easy.

Keep your survey easy to read. Simplifying your questions has at least two benefits: People will understand the question better and give you the information you need, and people won’t get confused or frustrated and just leave the survey.

4. Know your customers and how to meet them where they are.

Here’s an anecdote about understanding your customers and learning how best to meet them where they are.

Early on in her role, Pamela Bump, HubSpot’s Head of Content Growth, conducted a survey of HubSpot Blog readers to learn more about their expertise levels, interests, challenges, and opportunities. Once published, she shared the survey with the blog’s email subscribers and a top reader list she had developed, aiming to receive 150+ responses.

“When the 20-question survey was getting a low response rate, I realized that blog readers were on the blog to read — not to give feedback. I removed questions that wouldn’t serve actionable insights. When I reshared a shorter, 10-question survey, it passed 200 responses in one week,” Bump shares.

Tip 5. Gamify your survey.

Make it fun! Brands have started turning surveys into eye candy with entertaining interfaces so they’re enjoyable to interact with.

Your respondents could unlock micro incentives as they answer more questions. You can word your questions in a fun and exciting way so it feels more like a BuzzFeed quiz. Someone saw the opportunity to make surveys into entertainment, and your imagination — well, and your budget — is the limit!

Your Turn to Boost Survey Completion Rates

Now, it’s time to start surveying. Remember to keep your user at the heart of the experience. Value your respondents’ time, and they’re more likely to give you compelling information. Creating short, fun-to-take surveys can also boost your completion rates.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Take back your ROI by owning your data

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Treasure Data 800x450

Treasure Data 800x450

Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.


Click here to view more MarTech webinars.


About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for CNBC.com and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

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