We recently asked our ezine subscribers (Savvy eBiz Tips) if they prefer to get it weekly or every two weeks. The results were amazing…and misleading.
At first we got a lot of responses from readers who raved about the ezine, and how valuable the tips were, and how ours was one of the few they read every week. It would have been easy to smile, give ourselves a pat on the back, assume we were doing a good job and continue on our merry way.
After a few days we got other responses, about half of them saying weekly, then half of them voting for bi-weekly. And after about a week, the tally was clearly in favor of bi-weekly.
We realized that even if our voting tally was accurate, our survey would never be an accurate gauge of what all our readers wanted. With email, you have to account for the readers who don’t open your message and don’t answer the survey. Those are people that probably suffer the most from email overload, which was what we wanted to measure.
Maybe that’s why an open survey poll on a blog is better than an
emailed survey. I recently posted a voting box on this blog from Skribit. Please be sure to type in what you want to see in the way of blog topics here.
The fact is, no matter how you ask your readers, or how you deliver
your survey, you’re still only getting responses from those people who
are most vocal or most responsive. Most people "lurk" and don’t
participate. You can’t assume that the responses you get represent the
wishes of the majority.