In this month’s email case study, we look at the feedback email from Clearly, an online retailer of contact lenses and other eye-wear. The email prompts the customer for feedback after they have purchased products on the store by directing them to an online survey.

Similar to last month’s email break down of the survey email from The Den, we will look at what works well in this email, things that can be improved, and unique things that got us to click.

Feedback email: What was good about the Clearly email?

There are a number of things that work well in this email.

clearly feedback email

Clearly state that the survey won’t take long

1. Reiteration of shipping and return policy

Since this email goes to customers after they have purchased the products, it is helpful to reiterate your store’s shipping and return policy. This is especially true if your store has free shipping and free returns.

If customers are not happy with their order, they don’t have to dig around anywhere else on your site to find out what the return policy is. In addition, this is a great way to build a brand reputation for providing free shipping and returns.

2. Navigation mimics website

Recreating your website’s navigation in the email helps build a consistent experience for customers browsing your products. Customers are able to browse through a familiar layout directly from the email. You can also highlight pages in the navigation that customers may be interested in.

According to an Experian marketing report, navigation similar to that of a website in follow up emails receive more clicks.

3. Explicit time required to complete survey

One of the best features in this email is the mention of how long it will take to complete the survey. For people who read the email and think about putting off or not completing the survey, knowing that it’ll only take a few seconds can change their mind.

If your surveys are usually pretty short, mentioning the completion time can help get you feedback from more people. Even in case of longer surveys, mentioning how long it’ll take gives people an idea of how long they need to commit. Customers may feel slighted if the survey takes longer than they expected when a time is not given.

Feedback email: What was bad about the Clearly email?

1. No personalized signature

The email is signed by “Clearly”, which is a company name instead of an individual. This makes the email feel mass-produced and impersonal. Even though the email may accomplish its core purpose, which is to get feedback, it is a missed opportunity to form a connection with your customers.

Instead of signing the email with the company name, include a person’s name and title in the email. The higher this person in the organization, the better. But even if the founder or CEO is not comfortable putting their name, include somebody’s name from the customer service team, or something similarly relevant.

2. Uninteresting copy

This might be a bit subjective, but other than asking to fill out the survey, the email doesn’t say anything else. For majority of the content, I can gloss over it and not have lost anything meaningful from the message. Although it is a good thing that the “CLICK HERE” is highlighted, the rest of the email feels more like a filler.

Each email is a very important touchpoint with your customers. Each email is your opportunity to connect with your customers, make your brand more memorable, and potentially increase your sales. Getting somebody to open your emails is half the battle, but if they do, make sure you provide as much appropriate value to customers as possible. In this email, a number of things could have been highlighted – current promotions, any referral programs, link to eye-glass care instructions, etc.

3. Social profiles not explained

Although it is a good thing that the social profiles are included in the footer of the page, there is no context provided for these profiles. This continues from the above point that very little context is provided for anything other than the survey in this email.

For your emails, including even a single line about the types of posts that are shared on your social profiles can help guide what customers can expect to find. This can be user-generated content, educational or instructional posts about your products, posts about special sales and offers, and more.

Feedback email: What gets you to click?

The major thing that gets me to open the email and then open the survey is knowing the time required to complete the survey. This is not only part of the copy in the email, but also the subject line – which gets me to open the email in the first place.

subject line feedback email

Mention in the subject that feedback won’t take long

The email tells customers exactly how long it will take to complete the survey instead of just stating that it’s a “short” survey. This signals that Clearly cares about their customer’s time and doesn’t want to get them started on a survey that takes longer than people might expect. After all, length of a “short” survey is subjective.

Stating the time required to complete a survey or read something is a growing trend that gives people more control over how they spend their time. Many blogs (like ours) now state the time required to read an article at the beginning of each post which tends to increase user engagement.

Feedback email: Takeaways

Between last month’s survey email and the Clearly feedback email, there’s a pattern that emerges for the layout – header/navigation, big image, and content prompting feedback. One way to get higher response on the feedback is to offer rewards. But, people may not even open the email unless you have an attention-grabbing subject line.

In the case of Clearly, they explicitly state how long it will take to fill out the survey. By stating that it will only take less than 20 seconds in the subject line, customers get an idea about the time commitment right away. For too long people have been asked to fill out surveys that take 10 – 15 minutes. Designing a really short survey respects your customers’ time, allows you to get feedback from more people, and forces you to focus on specific things you want to improve on your store.

In next month’s email case study, we will look at some feedback emails with embedded polls, and how you can create such polls for your store.

Was there an email from a retailer that really caught your attention? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Posted by Jai Sangha

Jai is a regular contributor to Sell with WP, and helps merchants improve their WordPress eCommerce businesses with plugin reviews, marketing or customer service tips, and tutorials.