Get Customer Feedback, Increase User Registrations, and Lower Cart Abandonment

Online Survey Popups Suck

They smack you in the face as you’re surfing the Internet. Whether it’s a big-name retailer or a news site, everyone wants to know what you think—usually before you’ve even had a chance to look at the site!—and they often do it through those annoying survey popups.

Do you fill them out? I don’t. In fact, I close them with an ire that seems almost demonic—“As if I’d share my thoughts with the likes of you, corporate overlord!”

I don’t know one person who stops to fill out those surveys—or who will respond to any popup on a website nowadays no matter what they’re offering.

Online Survey

And So Do Most Email Surveys

If they don’t use popup surveys, companies distribute surveys to their customers through email and social media, bribing them with gift cards and entering them in sweepstakes just so they can hear your little opinionated voice.

But do you respond? Typically not. You can think of hundreds of other ways to better spend your time than to help some company do market research, right?

I mean, a company isn’t the U.S. Census Bureau. Someone isn’t going to show up at your door repeatedly until you answer the questions (yes, this happens, by the way, and it’s annoying).

And for those of you who are in marketing like we are, I think it’s OK to hate surveys and popups and all the other annoying tactics we’ve developed as professionals to harass people into telling us what they think. But there is a better way…

Pure Genius: The Coupon Offer Survey Bribe

While purchasing an eBook today, I came across an ingenious way to get customers to give feedback, tell you about their shopping experience, even share valuable information about themselves: the Coupon Offer Survey Bribe.

It’s genius, truly. You get all the way to the cart, you’re ready for purchase, and you’re having your one-last-chance conversation with yourself: Do you really need it?

And beside the little, not-at-all-threatening shopping cart is a much bigger message: Tell us a little about yourself and we’ll give you a discount of up to 30% off your purchases.

Again, the message is non-confrontational—with the carefully chosen phrase “a little”—and only slightly teasing—using “up to 30% off”—with a not-so-subtle headline screaming for a discount code at the top. And who doesn’t want a discount?

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Don’t Give Up All the Details At Once

What you don’t know until you submit the survey is that the promo code is good for a month. When you see that, you might think, “Not only do I want this discount right now. I might want to shop more—not just today but for a month! I might as well place my order because I’m feeling so damn happy!”

You’ve been bitten by the Immediacy Discount Coupon Bug, and now the company knows a little bit more about who you are too. It’s a win-win.

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AND It Lowers Shopping Cart Abandonment and Increases Registered Users?

The Coupon Offer Survey Bribe performs a second, perhaps more valuable function that e-commerce website owners constantly struggle with: It lowers shopping cart abandonment rates. The shopper is less likely to abandon his or her cart because they now have even more incentive to just go ahead and purchase.

Before you can even check out, the Peachpit site also requires that you become a registered user (think: future marketing gold), which means that your unique discount code is saved in your account. My goodness—how very helpful and freaking smart.

The Element of Surprise

Many web developers would caution you against such cart-abandonment feeders like the required registration, but Peachpit is going for gold on this one and offering a unique incentive (that they’re not promoting anywhere else on the site that I could see).

You get to the cart and you find the call for the discount code and the survey. Your curiosity is piqued, you click, you get your immediate reward, they get their info, you check out, and you walk around for the rest of the day with a big, dumb smile on your face, thinking you got something for next-to-nothing.

So kudos to the marketing team at Pearson for figuring this out and, if they’re not the first / only ones, for introducing it to me. Finally, a survey technique that works!

22-year veteran of strategy: brand, business, organizational, communications. Certified in project management and regulatory compliance. Fan of dark tea, thick books, peace, and unity.

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