Ilma from MailerLite

Ilma8 min readTips and resourcesOctober 10, 2019

What we learned using email to personalize NPS customer feedback

What we learned using email to personalize NPS customer feedback

“It’s all about the numbers!” I studied auditing and worked in the financial industry for 5 years. If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that numbers and metrics can be subjective.

What really matters is that you are crystal clear on what you want to measure and how you’ll measure it. 

At MailerLite, we know exactly what we need to look at when we want to measure our customer’s satisfaction.

The most important metric for us is Net Promoter Score (NPS) because it correlates strongly with the growth of our business. Loyal and happy customers stay long-term and recommend us to others, and that’s exactly how we’re able to obtain good leads and grow. 

This September we once again sent out our annual NPS survey to active users.

People did not only leave their survey feedback, but some were also curious to learn how to embed an NPS survey themselves. Which is why I wrote this blog!

Read on to learn what NPS is and how you can create an NPS survey feedback email of your own.

What is Net Promoter Score (NPS) and why do we measure it?

At MailerLite, we’re big believers in the power of keeping it simple. The NPS survey suits us perfectly because it’s quick and easy for our customers, yet it yields powerful insights into their overall satisfaction.

We know that our customers are busy juggling work and life. Instead of sending them a 20-minute survey, the NPS survey only takes 20 seconds to complete!

It asks a simple question: ‘How likely are you to recommend our business to a friend or colleague?’ The respondent ranks their likelihood on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being highly unlikely and 10 being extremely likely.

The respondent ranks their likelihood on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being highly unlikely and 10 being extremely likely.

The results for NPS are generally broken down into 3 groups:

  • Promoters: customers that rate your company with 9-10
  • Passives: customers that rate your company with 8-7
  • Detractors: customers that rate your company with a 6 and less

Your NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents that are detractors from the percentage of respondents that are promoters.

Net Promoter Score formula - calculation graph

Fred Reichheld, the person who introduced the NPS, demonstrated a strong relationship between this simple metric and a company’s growth compared to its competitors. 

Bill Macaitis, the CMO of Slack, is seeing the value of measuring a company’s NPS too.

“NPS is a leading indicator of future growth. The larger the number of advocates for the product, the lower the customer acquisition costs for the company, and the more effective your customer success team will be.”

Bill Macaitis, CMO of Slack

How can a 20-second survey predict growth and lower customer acquisition costs? A strong score simply means that you have more people willing to refer others to your company, which is a key catalyst for organic (free) growth.

For us the NPS gives us a good measure for organic growth, but more importantly: it lets us know if our customers are satisfied and we’re doing the right thing. Our goal is to deliver an amazing product experience for every customer.

Want to send an NPS survey to your customers? 

You can get started quickly by using our pre-built survey template. You can find the template like this:

  1. Log in to your MailerLite account
  2. Select Create campaign
  3. Select Regular campaign
  4. Select Template gallery
  5. Pick Survey template

Or add the survey to your own email by implementing the survey block. 

Here’s how to do that:

What result is a good result? 

The NPS range is -100 to +100. If you have a much higher number of detractors than promoters, you can receive a negative score below 0, which is not ideal. While anything above 0 is considered positive, customer-focused companies set their sights on a 50+ score.

According to Zendesk’s data, best-in-class companies achieve a score of 70+, while the typical B2B software company achieves only 29. As for the interpretation of your score, don’t forget that numbers on a scale can mean different things for people. Here’s what one of our customers said:

I rated you an 8, because that is on a scale from 1-10 how I feel about MailerLite's product as a whole. An 8 is really great in my books and in the Northern-European culture I live in.

You also shouldn’t forget to repeat the survey, as the trend over time shows you more than just one plain number.

This year our NPS is 75% (66% in 2018, 69% in 2017, 51% in 2016 and 35% in 2015.) We are very proud of the result. It shows our customers appreciate our attention and therefore rated us better over time.

Though it’s extremely important to know if your customers are happy or not, it doesn’t give any specific insights into their ‘why’.

We wanted to give our customers a chance to elaborate on their scores.

Which is why we asked two more questions:

  • What do you like most about MailerLite? (This question was only asked customers that gave us a 9 or 10)
  • What is the one thing we could do to make you happier? 

These answers will be used to improve our roadmap and content for potential customers. 

Read on to see how we implemented automated emails based on each individual score result.

How to use NPS results?

For starters, it’s a good idea to save your results. While creating a survey in the editor, go to Rules and select Update a custom field. This way you’ll save information about your subscribers and we’ll be able to segment them in the future and see if their results are changing:

How to set up your NPS survey

This same tactic works to gather other information about your subscribers too. For example, if you want to know your subscriber’s industry, ask a multiple choice question and save the answers so you can use them for the future. 

After gathering the NPS results, I created different customer groups according to their scores. I created a new automated workflow to do so. The workflow says when “Updated field is NPS one of 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1”, the subscriber is copied to a selected group “Unhappy customers.”

Updated field workflow

I created in total 3 workflows for each of my groups.

Workflows NPS survey feedback

After that I created a new automation workflow that was triggered when someone joins a new group. This is what the workflow for our happy customers looks like:

Happy customers workflow

Depending on the score, customers were sent targeted emails with content that fitted to them. We also made sure that customers could directly reply from the email to make it more personal and easy for them to get in touch with us.

For promoters that were very likely to recommend MailerLite to others, we seized the opportunity to ask them to write a review while we were top of mind. Positive online reviews have a big impact on your business growth. Customers who clicked a 9 or 10 automatically received an email with a request to write a review about MailerLite on G2Crowd and Shopify.

Happy NPS customers email

Customers that gave us a lower score than a 9 or 10 automatically received an email from our customer support manager Karina. We wanted to hear their explanation as to ‘why’ they were not completely satisfied. This resulted in a lot of important feedback and many insightful conversations with customers.

Not so happy customers email

Main takeaways:

  • If you want to know if people like your product, service or company, you should ask them. People like to know that their opinions matter and genuinely want to help. Make it easy for your customers to give feedback and always respond to them.
  • Happy customers can help you grow your business if you say exactly what you expect them to do. In our case, our happy customers helped increase our rating on G2Crowd from 4.1 to 4.6.
  • It’s important to watch the trend of NPS. Some users rate everything by 10 points, some might have just had a recent bad/good experience with your service or product, but like it overall. Repeat the survey from time to time to see how it changes.
  • Segment your users according to the survey results and give them a chance to say why the gave the rating and what could be improved.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2017. We updated the article with new results, methods and examples.

Ilma Nausedaite

I’m Ilma, COO at MailerLite. I love seeing our customers succeed. When they win, we win (like being named one of the top 5 fastest growing SaaS companies). Email is my passion, although I took a rather unusual path. Before MailerLite, I worked in finance and art, which turned out to be the perfect mix for marketing.