When you start your blog, you think about what you want from your blog. You think about what kind of content you want to create. You think about what kind of design you want, what kind of logo you want… all of which are very important.
But have you thought about what you want from your readers.
Is it just enough that they come to your site? That they read your blog posts?
Do you want them to comment?
Do you want them to say nice things to you or about you?
Do you want them to click on your links?
Do you want them to buy your products?
Do you want them to be your friends?
Do you want them to link to you from their blogs?
Do you want them to make you a cake and serve you breakfast in bed?
OK… the last one may be going a little too far. But it serves a purpose. We spend so much time thinking about what we think our readers might want, but how much time do we think about what we want from our readers?
It's just as important to think about what you want from your readers as any other element of your blog. Knowing what kind of readers you want and what actions you want them to take will shape your content to help meet your goals. How are you communicating what you want your readers to do if you don't know what you want from them?
Sooo… what do YOU want from your readers?
4 Ways to Get Actionable Feedback from Your Readers
No matter how many innovative things you want to bring to your website or blog, they might not work properly. This might happen if your ideas are not achieving the high level of expectations your readers have from your site. However, the failure of big movements can be avoided with one simple strategy: Ask your audience for their opinion.
Usually, it's a highly neglected strategy, and under some circumstances, it can backfire. But, if used with caution, you can discover what the weaknesses of your brand are and even how you can improve them! Giving your public a chance to improve their experience on your blog or website will even make them more loyal to your content. You are putting them on the scene for the first time, and allowing them to help you will be their first step to consistency.
There are four main strategies to push your readers a little in the direction of actionable feedback. Let’s see what they are and how you can put them into practice.
1. Conduct Reader Surveys
Surveys are the best method to feel the pulse of your public. They are much better than the other approached methods for gathering feedback, and I’m talking about phone calls or chats. When asked directly, the people feel too exposed, and they resort to cushioned and brisk answers so as not to damage the relationship. However, hidden by the shadow of anonymity, people are no longer feeling the consequences of their words, so there is nothing to hold them back from the sheer truth.
Nothing but time, actually. The surveys should always have a call to action part in order for them to become more effective. Setting a deadline is a reasonably good technique to acquire a higher rate of reach. However, a deadline plus a reward at the end of the survey is a miracle worker combo.
The answers should then be collected in a spreadsheet and actually be analyzed. You may feel the need to ignore the bad feedback because there was a higher rate of good answers. However, remember that negative criticism is actually a constructive feedback which does better that the nice and friendly criticism. Even though some kind of feedback was gathered from a lower number of people, don’t forget that these people are also representing the ones that refrained from taking part in your survey, just because they came to dislike the brand too much. So, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to consider every piece of advice from your public.
2. Monitor Your Website Activity
The best kind of feedback isn’t always supposed to come in the form of words. It can be hidden right under our noses without us noticing. In other words, your own website can gather a lot of precious information from its users.
There are many online software that monitor the activity from your website and create heat maps based on their findings on the spot. What they do is tracking the mouse movements people make with cursors on your website. Then the hot spots are registered in such maps, and you have a clear picture on any page of your site. You will know what are the most popular features of your website, what to change about it, what to replace, and what options you should just simply get rid of. You will then understand what is good and what is wrong on your site.
So, the results of marketing campaigns just got more scalable than ever. You can now read the success of a “call to action” button just by analyzing how many times it has been clicked. If the numbers tell you that the button or ad had fewer clicks than any other feature on your website, it is safe to assume that they are not as effective as you thought they might be.
3. Check Out Behavioral Insight Surveys
This innovative way of getting access to valuable feedback has opened the way to “reader-centricity” to marketers. Now, it is possible to measure the satisfaction of your website at any step of the reader’s experience.
In short, the behavioral insight surveys are short questions that pop up at certain moments of the visit. They ask the users short questions like “What was the purpose of your visit?” or some more specific questions targeting one website element “Do you find the Community column useful?”. The answers can be selected, but they also have a blank spot where users can support their answer with a comment.
The collected insights will go great with the analytics. The numbers from the analytics will tell you which element is the weakest or the most popular on your website, and then you will know at which step and which question to pop up to your users.
Such a software that can make all these is Qualaroo.com that allows you to take informative decisions. Another insightful software is Google Consumer Surveys which kind of gamifies the online surveys by rewarding the users when they answer the questions with access to premium resources, like well-researched articles.
4. Follow Up With Your Readers
Even though these are just questionnaires, this doesn’t save you from sending follow-up emails. The client should know that he is appreciated within the community of your brand and his feedback lies at the foundation of the new improvements you have in store for your website.
However, it is obviously not possible to carry out a 100% follow-up task. If your surveys are constantly sent, which is how things are supposed to be in the first place, the number of participants is too overwhelming for just a team of marketing. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t try your best. The most sensible solution is to organize a certain system that prioritizes the feedback. The answers that were actually useful should be repaid as soon as possible.
The follow-up emails will round up the bond the client created when they participated in the surveys. Seeing that their actions contributed to the greater good, and they got the attention of one of their favorite brands, the clients will become loyal to the brand. Thus, the efforts put in for follow ups will have long term and efficient returns.
All in all, these are the four best ways to get actionable feedback from your readers. Without their feedback, the company will move in complete darkness in its goal to achieve evolution. So, improve all the feeble points of the brand whenever a reader points it out for you.
What ways do you strategize to get feedback from your readers? Comment below with more tips!