7 Mistakes Creators Make For Getting Feedback On Their Newsletter

I’ve been writing newsletters for some years now, and I made all of the mistakes. And every time I overcame one, I got better results; more readers responding or quality answers.

One thing is for sure. If you don’t know what your readers want, you can only deliver value by luck. But let’s stop the intro-chit-chat and dive in.

1. Not Having Any Feedback System At All

The biggest mistake most creators make is not having a feedback system at all. And with a system, I mean a systematic approach to gathering feedback and not a particular tool.

If you don’t work with a system, you leave it to complete luck if your readers give you insights into their minds or not. And most of the time, you are out of luck.

Sure, you get an occasional random response, and it feels great to get those. But frankly, it does not help you figure out want your readers like, want, or even think about your newsletter.

You need to have a strategy to collect feedback from your readers actively. In. Every. Single. Email.

See No. 7 for the best fix.

2. Relying on Vanity Metrics like Open Rates

Vanity metrics are the usual open rates and your unsubscribes. They look nice, and you can easily track them. That makes them appealing, but their meaning is limited, and some are also technically flawed.

Open rates, for example, have a massive technical limitation. They rely on a tiny invisible image, aka pixel, added to the email. Once the reader opens the email, the tiny image is requested from the server, and the email provider counts that as an “Opened Email”.

But not every email client loads images by defaults, and with the recent rise in privacy awareness, some email clients start to block any tracking pixels actively.

As a result, your reader can have opened your email but will not be included in the fancy open rate stats your newsletter provider shows you.

There’s also a big misinterpretation around open rates. If your reader opened the email does not mean that they read the email.

How often do you open an email by accident or close it because something else requires your attention? Maybe the email was too long to read now, and I’ll read it later and later never came.

I do, my readers do, and I bet you and your readers too.

This brings me to the next vanity metric. Your unsubscribes.

Yes, the first unsubs are the worst. You got a few people on your list, send the first email, and bam, they unsubscribe.

While it’s an important indicator in the early stage of a newsletter to figure out if you attract the right users or have the right content, it stops being useful later.

Readers unsubscribe all the time, and it does not necessarily have to do with the quality of your newsletter. They might have lost interest in the topic, got tired of too many emails, and slim down their inbox.

There are plenty of reasons, and non might have to do with your newsletter at all. So, don’t jump to random conclusions because someone unsubscribed.

If they do it in masses, that’s another thing and a massive indicator that something is off. Nonetheless, nobody will tell you what :-)

3. Reply to My Email

The simplest method to get feedback is by asking open questions and telling readers to reply to the email. It totally makes sense; it’s right in context; email client open, the read the email, and just need to hit that reply button and write. Easy peasy, right?

Big Nope.

After years of writing newsletters and chatting with readers, and now using FeedLetter, I can tell you one thing.

“Reply to My Email” causes a TONS of friction for the readers and is often an insurmountable obstacle.

  • I never replied to a newsletter before
  • Do I send it to all?
  • How do I address him/her
  • Do I need o write formally?
  • How should I write?
  • any many more

For some, it’s like writing a letter to their boss, and hell, they won’t do that at 10 pm on the couch.

Technically, it’s the same amount of work to reply per email as leaving a text comment via FeedLetter, but the mental obstacles are on a whole different level. And email replies causeway more resistance.

4. Using Surveys

Surveys are a good tool, and you can get good responses with them. At least, if you don’t send them too often and don’t make the process too complex.

Most often, they cause too much friction for the reader to respond at all, or they stop shortly after, once they realize it’s too much work. And no incentive for them to do it…

And if you use incentives like winning an ebook or notebook, you might end up with the wrong results as readers just complete it to win the price.

Shortly, the main problem is those survey tools create too much friction again. High friction = low feedback.

5. Not Using the Magic Welcome Email

It’s not the regular welcome email many of us use; it’s a second one you send with a short delay after the user signs up and confirms the subscription.

Regular welcome emails are fine and have their purpose of building trust, but they also are so common now that people expect and ignore them.

So, we are sending them another email, but one that is sweet and short and looks like send by you personally and genuinely wanting to know more about the reader.

You’ll be surprised about the results. I had readers telling me so much about their life, what they are looking for, their problems, and much more.

And yes, it works for your audience too. It’s even working with software developers.

Get my template and instructions and add it now to your newsletter.

6. Not Testing Enough

Whatever feedback system you use, you need to keep testing it. Astonishingly, creators are obsessed with landing page optimization, newsletter design tests, and alike but totally ignore it with their feedback system.

But it is no different. You need to test and not stick to fire and forget.

It’s also a common mistake I see FeedLetter users making. They set up the form once then stick with the same texts for a long time.

But getting feedback is all about trust and feeling safe. If they trust you and feel safe, they’ll tell you what is good or bad.

A newsletter and feedback are primarily written. Your words build or ruin trust. All the way from your landing page to the thank you page after giving feedback.

Those words must match your newsletter style and audience. And the only way to get to a winning combo is by testing. So, test your wordings more.

7. Not Using FeedLetter

Of course, I am biased, but frankly, I build FeedLetter to solve my own feedback problems as I’ve made all those mistakes and the best results I am getting with FeedLetter. The simple 2-step process it uses removes lots of the friction of the other methods, and more readers leave replies.

It’s a no-brainer to get started if you love to get feedback and improve your newsletter.

Get Started Now