In order to keep your readers hooked and ensure that you make the right numbers in terms of traffic and conversion, you need to know how well your posts are being received. The data you collect can help you create better posts, target your niche market better, do direct-customer marketing and ensure your blog’s success.
1. Use Surveys And Questionnaires
Design simple surveys and questionnaires based on your diagnostic tests. Focus on the information you want to collect. Make your questions simple to understand and avoid duplicate questions. Set a limit on the number of questions in each survey form – no one likes answering 40 questions at a stretch. Make sure you reward your survey participants with a discount, a coupon, an e-book or similar.
2. Conduct Interviews
You can do this either through video chat, telephone conversation or even face to face. Interviews have one major advantage over surveys – you get your information in real time and can obtain clarifications on the spot. Plus, you can modify your questions based on the interviewee’s attitude and enthusiasm levels. Select a set number of people (top commenters, best customers) to interview after each post.
3. Observe Comments
Watching reader comments is a great way to get to know the pulse of your reader base. Gently manipulate your readers to convey their real thoughts, feelings and expectations of your blog. Throw in your thoughts as well and start a discussion. You can get a great deal of information this way.
4. Use Forms With Database Capability
Use forms in your email newsletters and website to collect data. Be sure to ask qualifying questions such as your customers’ product preference, product requirements and so on. You can also ask if your customers would like to be interviewed, or be contacted directly by you. Create a tab-delimited database and use the data to direct market to best prospects.
5. Create E-Mail Feedback Forms
Create HTML-based email feedback forms to provide immediate responses to visitors. Be sure to ask at least 3 qualifying questions along with your responses. This method will help you sustain a longer term e-mail marketing campaign. Use a form database tool that’ll parse information from e-mail fields to your database, such as FormHandler.cgi by Matt Wright.
6. Conduct A Yes Or No Poll
Sometimes the simplest way to get the exact feedback you’re looking for is through a poll. Polls and voting systems don’t take up user’s time. They get you immediate and actionable answers, which is what you want. For example, you can find out if your readers liked your offerings, if they would like you to contact them personally, and if they will support a particular future endeavor, Yes or No. Be sure to get their email addresses.
7. Create Personalized Google Forms
If you have a database of users with their names, contact information and preferences, use Google Forms to capture specific data while your readers are browsing your site. Set up your database to work with Google Forms so that your user’s name pops up in the form.
8. Make Your Blog Dynamic And Database-Driven
A database driven site dynamically creates a web page or a form when a visitor browses your site. It does this by putting together the pieces of a web page along with information from your database. This makes data collecting targeted, personalized, customized and optimized. Data is stored in a Google Docs Spreadsheet – the spreadsheet is automatically created as your visitors submit the information you want. Be sure to display a thank you page after your visitor fills out your form.
9. Use Twitter
Ask questions of your Twitter followers about your post – find out what they’d like you to write, sell, sponsor and so on. You can also join a Hashtag discussion; focus on the subject that matters to you and collect all the messages in real time. You can learn a lot from this.
10. Create Focus Groups
Explore a topic in-depth via group discussion. Get reactions to your post and your blog’s experience from a set focus group made out of your blog’s best readers. Use this method to evaluate common complaints, common impressions, analyze responses and so on. Be sure to reward your focus group. It might make sense to create a focus group club on your blog and a separate discussion forum for the group members.
11. Use a Clear Call To Action
Perhaps the simplest way to collect data is through a direct call to action. For example, if your post is a review of a top-selling smartphone, ask your readers what smartphones list among their favorites. You can go further and find out what’s the maximum a reader will spend on a smartphone. This way you get to know the mindset of your readers, their wallet reach, and their preferences. You’ll know what kind of smartphones to push their way in the future!
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