6 ways to get honest user feedback on your product
Building a successful product is all about repeating this cycle as many times as possible :
“Speak with your users” is one of the most common pieces of advice you’ll hear. The problem is that it’s not that easy. You’ll usually hear back from users who had a really good experience with the product, or from those on the other side of the spectrom – users who experienced technical issues. However, the most important segment are the ones in the middle – those who tried out the product but didn’t buy, who thought it was just OK. How do you get these users to tell you what they don’t like about the product?
Over the last year, thanks to the amazing work of Ophir, Chen and Alex, we were able to increase the percentage of users who communicated with us and to get their feedback: we went from around 10% to over 50%. Here are the main changes which led us there:
Getting users to reply your emails
1. Best subject lines :
- Personal subject lines – One of the best performing subject lines we use is “Iris from Takipi reaching out” or just “Iris from Takipi” (or any other name among our teammates, of course). A very common approach is to add the user’s name in the subject line: for example, “Hi David, we have some updates for you.” From our A/B tests these user’s name emails haven’t received a much higher reply rate, likely because everybody is using this method today and people don’t associate it with personal emails any longer. However, using our name in the subject line increased the number of replies.
- Add the company name to the subject line – While adding the user’s name to the subject line didn’t perform well, using the company name led most of the recipients to open and reply to the email. “Takipi @companyname” is one of my favorite subject lines.
- Contextual subject lines – One of the worst performing subject lines was “Welcome to Takipi.” That was a huge surprise. We were sure that users who had just signed up were looking to get more info about the product. We were wrong. From tests on different emails we learned that users are likely to ignore ‘general’ emails, but will open up emails they think they need. We changed the subject line to “Your secret key is ready” and had an increase of 25% in the open rate. Here is a great post by KissFlow: Ditch your Welcome mail. By changing their welcome mail to a more contextual one and changing the subject line to “KissFlow is *not* for everyone” they managed to increase engagement by 10X.
- Interesting subject lines – One email we struggled with a lot with was asking users who stopped using the product what had led to their disinterest. The subject line which worked best was “Did we do something wrong?”. Most users opened this email in order to understand what we we’re asking, or if we had done something specific which was wrong.
- A/B test your subject lines – A/B testing subject lines requires minimal effort and can make a huge difference. For our main emails we run at least five tests on the subject line. We use intercom.io for the test; its metrics are great and it’s super simple to create the tests. The only caveat is you can run only two tests at a time. Here’s an example of an A/B test we’re running this week, and how easy it is to track the different stats (open, click, reply)
Here’s a great video illustrating a part of Daniel Pink’s book To Sell Is Human, which deals with picking the right email subject line. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University found the top two subject lines categories users are more likely to open: