is for ...

Dear Alun

Last week in my marketing newsletter, Scribbles, I decided to stick my neck out slightly, about a particular issue. I wrote my opinion and then asked my readers to get in touch and tell me what they thought. Within half an hour of publishing that issue, the replies started coming in! They weren't just short 'I agree/disagree' answers. They were well written, well considered and in some cases, quite long. It was great to receive so many responses to a newsletter and it's allowed me to get into interesting conversations with some readers who I don't know that well - but am now getting to know much better!

So this issue of the A-Z of Newsletters is about how you can generate feedback from your readers and get to know them a little better.

I hope you find it helpful.

Best wishes,


PS If you'd like to read that issue of Scribbles, click here. If you'd like to subscribe and receive it every month, click here.

F is for Feedback

I'm often approached by people who say they find it difficult to get readers to respond to their newsletters. "I always ask them for feedback," they say. Sadly, in todays busy world, just asking for general feedback doesn't inspire many people to take the time to reply.

So how do you generate feedback for your newsletter?

  • The Right Answer. Take control of the conversation and make it clear what the 'right' answer is, so your readers are happy to send a reply. "What's your favourite way of doing X?" will always generate a right answer, because it's personal.

  • The Wrong Answer. Some readers won't reply if they think they'll get the answer wrong, so ask for their experience. "How would you deal with this issue?"

  • The Short Answer. Closed ended questions which can be answered 'yes' or 'no' won't help you get into a conversation. But you can't expect your readers to write an essay for you, so ask a question that only needs a few lines for the answer, such as "How often do you come across this and what do you do about it?"

You'll never get every one of your readers to reply to an issue of your newsletter (unless you want to make history and bombard me with replies to this one!). Keep asking the questions and gradually you'll get to know more and more of your readers. What's your favourite way of speaking to your newsletter readers? Click here to let me know.

F is also for ...

Feedback Forms - ask your readers to take a short survey to tell you what they think about your newsletter. Use an online service such as Survey Monkey and keep to half a dozen questions. Give your readers three or four different answers to choose from.

Free Promotion in return for Feedback - if you receive quotes and comments from happy readers, why not include them in future issues of your newsletter? They will encourage other readers to get in touch and tell you what they think, especially if you offer to publish their company name and/or website address along with their quote, for a bit of free publicity. If you'd like a mention in return for some useful feedback, click here to tell me the one main benefit you get from reading the A-Z of Newsletters.

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