3 Quick Tips on Surveying Your Customers

Posted by on December 21st, 2015

NMBlog_121715Imagine seeing a piece of art that is so beautiful it captures your attention, heightens your senses and provokes a feeling. These emotions are not directly connected to survey design, but just like captivating art, if you create a survey that touches a nerve, you’ll find yourself in a position where your customers will want to answer your questions. But where do you begin?

1. Think about the story you want to write. Before you can even begin to put together a survey, research the motive behind the creation of it. Really pin down what it is you are looking to accomplish and create questions your customers can answer that will help you do so. Forget about simple yes and no answers. It’s important for you understand why a customer feels the way they do. Ask them why and don’t only focus on negative scores. Positive feedback is just as beneficial. According to Huffington Post, “If a customer gives you the highest rating, you need to know why, so you can replicate that same experience and outcome with other customers and clients.” (1)

2. Build your survey upon a fundamental aspect of growing your business. One of the most central questions you can ask is, “How likely is it you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague?” Harland Clarke Digital recommends using the “Net Promoter Score” method. Extensive research as shown that, “Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®, acts as a leading indicator of growth. If your organization’s NPS is higher than those of your competitors, you will likely outperform the market.” Not only does this question address the participant’s interest in your company, it also indicates your value and their loyalty. (2)

3. Don’t overcomplicate your questions. Using technical jargon, run-on and complex sentences, only makes the survey participant more agitated and less likely to complete your survey. According to Harvard University, “Words used in surveys should be easily understood by anyone taking the survey. Examples: “Do you support or oppose tort reform?” “Should people held on terror related crimes have the right of habeas corpus?” (3)

Understanding these main principles of survey design is just a stepping stone into the world of knowing and understanding your customers. Forms + Surveys from Harland Clarke Digital makes it easy for you to communicate with your customers and gather valuable insights that can help your organization grow.

To learn more, contact our HCD Support team at 630-303-5000 or simply e-mail your questions to support@hcdigital.com.

1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/customer-surveys-5-things-you-need-to-know_n_1263811.html
2. https://www.netpromoter.com/know/
3. http://www.motocms.com/blog/en/fundamental-principles-beautiful-design/


A Collaborative Environment

Posted by on December 16th, 2015

KJBlog_121615In today’s need-based society, consumer wants are at the forefront of marketing and advertising plans. But ever since the economy crashed in 2008, consumers want to buy a company’s goods or services, but don’t want to pay a lot for them. Enter the Collaborative Economy or Sharing Network, which allows individuals to share goods and services with each other. This new business phenomenon has changed the way consumers use products and services, especially automobiles and hotels, because why buy something, when you can rent it?

The Collaborative Economy, which houses companies, such as Airbnb© and Uber,™ gives individuals the ability to simply tap their phone to request, book and confirm a product or service. This economy has formed seventeen billion-dollar companies and has increased 25 percent in 2015 alone.1 It would be hard to deny the simplicity of booking your vacation with another individual instead of booking your stay online, going through a third-party vendor, or, dare I even say, calling in your reservation. Airbnb is available in over 34,000 cities and 190 countries, scoring a value of $25.5 billion.2

Gone are the days you hail a cab and wait in hopes that a car will drive by without that “occupied” light on. Uber has taken the idea of a personal driving service and the relative lower fare of a cab and combined the concept to create an in-expensive alternative that appears with a click of the “submit” button. Even with competitors edging into the mix, they are staying ahead of the game being “valued at more than $50 billion.”3

These are just a few examples of successful Collaborative Economy companies, and, it is safe to say there are plenty more out there. The landscape of product and service offerings has changed with the continued emergence and use of technology, and the rising trend of peer-to-peer offerings is just another wrench thrown into the competitive environment of organizations.


1. http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2015/10/05/report-the-new-rules-of-the-collaborative-economy-2015-data-on-the-rise-of-sharing/

2. http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/27/technology/airbnb-funding-valuation-update/

3. http://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-valued-at-more-than-50-billion-1438367457


The Art of Push Notifications

Posted by on December 10th, 2015

PrintToday, nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone1, and as of June 2015, 100 billion mobile apps have been downloaded from the Apple® App Store.2 Over time, app publishers discovered ways to communicate with their users through push notifications, or short messages, which are sent to your phone from a mobile app. But, annoying messages is the number one reason people uninstall an app making it extremely important to ensure they are crafted the right way,3 especially because enabled push notifications can engage almost three times as many users than those who choose not to receive them.4

A recent study found that Americans spend almost five hours per day on their smartphones using social media, surfing the internet, logging into apps to consume content, etc.There is a substantial amount of information you can collect about people’s behavior while they are on their phones. All of this data might seem difficult to wade through in order to deliver the perfect customized message, but all you have to do is pay attention to what your users are both saying and doing to make the most of this information.

There is a simple place to start … just ask people what they want to hear about. Sports apps do a great job of asking their users who their favorite teams are, what leagues they care about the most, who their fantasy players are and more. Users are then offered real-time updates about their favorite athletes and teams. Facebook® app users receive notifications when their friends add photos, update their statuses, check-in places, etc. This is the type of information that is relevant and something users want to see, which encourages them to engage with your app.

You can also track how users interact with the content within your app. What types are stories are they interested in? Celebrity gossip? World affairs? Do they click on videos, or do they prefer to read the article? By taking note of these specific trends, you can offer content that appeals to that user’s needs by using a notification that a new article is available to watch/read.

We can’t forget that, while engagement on mobile devices is extremely high, people still use desktops and tablets. It’s important to gather information from all sources to increase your knowledge about your users. House all that data in a business intelligence platform and use marketing automation to send out notifications to drive engagement.

If you use the information and data you are given correctly, the notifications you deliver will not be seen as annoying or as a distraction. Most users want to know what’s going on when it comes to their interests, whether it’s sports or political news. Just remember the number one rule … make it personal.


1. http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/

2. http://www.statista.com/topics/1002/mobile-app-usage/

3. http://marketingland.com/personalization-surefire-strategy-increase-customer-engagement-153641

4. http://marketingland.com/personalization-surefire-strategy-increase-customer-engagement-153641

5. http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/informate-report-social-media-smartphone-use/


Simplify SubscriberMail® Reporting with Link Labels and Link Rollups

Posted by on December 8th, 2015

Millennials ShoppingMany of our SubscriberMail® users rely upon the Message Summary Report within their account to provide them with actionable information about their past campaigns and help them communicate results with others at their company. However, sometimes we find that the complex URL structure used by some clients can lead to a click report that is less than ideal (especially for those that may not have worked on the email project and are simply looking for quick details).

For example, these URLs may make sense to the person that crafted an email campaign:




… but to others on their team, they may not know what products were included on those pages, etc.

With the Link Label feature within SubscriberMail, you can update these types of links so that they are more informative, such as:

MyWebsite – Home Page
MyWebsite – Specials & Promotions
AnotherWebsite – Featured Product #367

Upon creation, Link Label entries will automatically update relevant links within the Message Summary Report area and continue to apply them to all subsequent messages sent from the SubscriberMail account where they were created — there’s no need to recreate existing ones for future messages.

In addition to Link Labels, our Link Rollup feature allows for the grouping of related links that would normally be listed individually in reports. For instance, consider the following unlabeled links:




Although the three raw URLs above all lead to the same product pages, each one would normally be treated as an individual entry in the Click Through Details portion of the SubscriberMail report. However, you can use the Link Rollups feature to combine such similar links to be displayed like this:


…then create a label for the rolled-up link to make it appear like this:

MyWebsite.com – My Page

Grouping related links via a Link Rollup allows for much easier data comprehension. In the example above, we only are dealing with 3 links, but imagine a scenario where you’re dealing with far more URLs. Using these features, you can see how Link Rollups and Link Labels can make for a much cleaner report.

Please contact our support team at support@hcdigital.com and we would love to walk you through the process of creating link labels and rollups within your SubscriberMail account!


Millennials Will Shop This Holiday Season, But From Home

Posted by on December 2nd, 2015

Millennials ShoppingWith the holiday season officially kicking off last week, retail marketers everywhere are looking to engage an important generation of shoppers … Millennials. The 75 million Millennials (age 18-34) currently living in the US are expected to spend $63 billion this holiday season,1 and 77.5 percent will shop online or in retail stores over the Thanksgiving weekend.2 Furthermore, 47 percent plan to spend more this year on the holidays versus last year.3 So, how can you cash in on this potential billion dollar generation? Speak to them digitally.

Below are a few additional shopping trends for this digitally savvy group of shoppers:

They are mobile.

92 percent of Millennials will be using their smartphones to shop during the holiday season and more than half are expected to shop more on their devices than they do in physical retail stores this year.4 Provide customers with a fully-integrated mobile shopping experience; mobile web, branded app and mobile payments.

They expect an exceptional digital shopping experience.

They are heavy users of mobile web and branded mobile apps for shopping, but they demand a flawless shopping experience across channels. 81 percent of Millennial smartphone and/or tablet owners say they will abandon transactions and shop elsewhere if a mobile site or mobile app is buggy, slow or has poor performance. 5

Millennials want to find a good deal online, purchase the product in the store and scan their coupon on their phone at checkout. This integration of online mobile shopping and retail stores has lead to a new generation of shoppers who value a shopping experience that involves a number of different integrated channels.

They rely on social media and online reviews.

In terms of what influences Millennial’s holiday purchases, more than half lists word of mouth (53 percent). However, tech driven influences such as online reviews (72 percent) and social media (58 percent) illustrate this generation’s digital orientation.6

Having a presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is key when looking to engage with Millennials.

They want it now.

34 percent of Millennials plan to take advantage of retailer’s same day delivery options and are willing to pay more for expedited delivery.7

The path to purchase for Millennials crosses digital, mobile, in-store and every touch point matters, Making sure your customers have the best, easier and most convenient shopping experience — no matter how they choose to shop — is the surest route to a successful holiday season.


1. PwC’s. “2015 Holiday Outlook Report.”

2. NRF.  “Preliminary Holiday Thanksgiving Weekend Survey.”

3. NRF.  “Preliminary Holiday Thanksgiving Weekend Survey.”

4. Dynatrace. “Consumer study 2015.”

5. NRF. “Preliminary Holiday Thanksgiving Weekend Survey.”

6. Influenster. ” 2015 Holiday study Influenster.”

7. NRF. “Preliminary Holiday Thanksgiving Weekend Survey.”