If the Survey Request Sucks No One Will Participate

After a recent visit with a local ophthalmologist, I received this Voice of the Customer survey request:


I doubt this survey request was successful for a number of reasons. The heading has no personality and it is visually bland. If any patients decided to continue reading, they would have been met with similar copy that provides no incentive for completing the survey. Next time, L.O. Eye Care should try something more like this:


Notice how the doctor’s image is used in the heading. This is an example of the Novelty tactic because the image of someone the reader knows is unexpected and increases the likelihood that they’ll stop to read the email. Another thing that’s great about this heading is that it is personalized for the receiver. Lastly, the email’s body provides an incentive for the reader to complete the survey—complete the survey and L.O. Eye Care will “create better experiences for you in the future.” Overall, this version of the email incorporates the Likability tactic much more than the control, which in combination with the Novelty tactic can contribute to more patients completing the survey.

The lesson? If you want more Voice of the Customer data, show your customers that you care. Don’t make survey requests seem like a chore for you or the customer.

Novelty: Add a Dash of Personality

The brain is a curious device. Who knows why it’s drawn to certain things and freaked out by others (go ahead and Google trypophobia).

Marketers are always concerned with the Visibility of their page. One method that is beginning to be used more and more frequently is Novelty.

But what is Novelty? Novelty is a design trick that is meant to be unusual and attention grabbing.

Take this example of this Amazon Prime up-sell page:

Amazon Upsell

It gets the point across of the benefits of Amazon prime, but it looks like any other generic sign up page that we have seen thousands of times (and 99% of the time, we skip over).

Now take this example from Amazon where we have a man sitting on a rocket while holding a package for delivery:


All that has changed is the addition of the graphic, but why is this a great example of Novelty?

A: The graphic is unexpected and causes the user to slow down.

B: The graphic is visually describing what Amazon is asking (sign up for Amazon Prime).

C: It’s funny, and that makes Amazon seem more Likeable (people buy from people they like).

Reconsidering the Phrase Coupon Code


If you hate watching videos read this:

The Zeitgeist affects the emotions phrases evoke. One such phase is “coupon code”. 10 years ago (to me) it meant “use if you have one”. Today (to me) it means “leave this site and Google site.com + coupon code“.

But it doesn’t have to be. If the phrase coupon code has been highjacked use something else. Just ensure the new phrase makes sense to shoppers that do have a code while not tempting others to hunt for it on Google.

This is what Sears.com does:


They’re begging me to leave the site and hunt down a coupon code (top of the screenshot).

This is what Zingerman’s does. They use the phrase, “Have a secret code?”. It’s great because customers with a coupon code will intuitively know coupon code is a form of secret code. But someone without a coupon code will not instantly know how to search online for a Zigerman’s secret code. It’ll require extra mental effort. And humans are lazy.

Zingermans.com default state:


Zingermans.com activated state (here they make sure to use the phase discount code):



On the top half of snapcorrect.com home there are 2 prominent links:Snapcorrect_HP.png

Clicking either one takes you to the same result page (https://snapcorrect.com/assessment). But isn’t that a bad idea, you ask? Isn’t homepage real estate prime? Why repeat the same message but word it differently?

Actually, what SnapCorrect is doing is clever. The tactic is called redundancy. Having just one link could mean that maybe 15% of homepage visitors would reach https://snapcorrect.com/assessment. But by showing the link twice 35%+ of homepage visitors will reach snapcorrect.com/assessment page.