Disney+ now has 28.6 million subscribers – Blog – 10 minute

In a nutshell: Disney+ launched in November and is only available in a handful of countries, yet it managed to attract 26.5 million paying subscribers before 2019 was out. The company also revealed ESPN+ now has 6.6 million subscribers, while Hulu, where it has a controlling stake, has 30.4 million total customers.
The figures are from The Walt Disney Company’s recent earnings report for the last quarter, which ended on December 28, 2019. In a call with inverstors, CEO Bob Iger said Disney+ subscriber numbers now stand at 28.6 million. He added that 50 percent came through direct sign-ups, 20 percent via the Verizon deal, and others from options like Apple or Roku.
The Disney+ figures aren’t too surprising, given that the service attracted 10 million subscribers on its first day alone, and it’s more than the 25 million expected by Wall Street analysts.
Disney+ still has a way to go before catching up to Netflix’s 61 million US subscribers and 167 million worldwide customers, but it’s only been available for less than three months and has yet to launch beyond the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. As for Apple, which debuted its Apple TV+ service just ahead of Disney+, it hasn’t revealed any subscriber numbers.

It’s expected that the arrival of MCU and Lucasfilm shows will boost subscriber numbers, as will the launch of Disney+ in more international markets. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier arrive in August, while WandaVision launches in December. Season two of The Mandalorian, meanwhile, will premier in October, but we could be waiting a while for the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, which is reportedly on hold.
Disney previously said it would have reached profitability by 2024 when it reaches between 60 million and 90 million subscribers, with two-thirds of those customers from outside the US, but it’s likely to hit the numbers much sooner than estimated.

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Metro Exodus and Gylt are February freebies for Stadia Pro subscribers – Blog – 10 minute

Building the brand: After getting a slow start on its Stadia game library, Google is making good on rapidly expanding the list of titles available to subscribers. New games are being added sporadically throughout the month, with some slated as giveaways to Stadia Pro subscribers.
As we have previously reported, Google is ramping up its Stadia platform heading into 2020. In addition to grabbing up studios for work on first-party titles, the game streaming service is regularly adding “new” titles you may have already played.
Google announced the latest batch of games on Tuesday. For Stadia Pro subscribers, a total of five games are currently free, with two more coming this weekend.

Gylt is one of Stadia’s only timed exclusives so far. Developed by Tequila Works, Gylt is a cartoony, yet creepy adventure that has players sneaking around and fleeing from nightmarish creatures.
Metro Exodus is also being added to the library. The third installment of the critically acclaimed series based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novels has protagonist Artyom running around topside trying to find survivors outside of the Metro tunnels.
Both of these titles will be available on February 1. Subscribers can get them gratis for a limited time.

Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration and Samurai Shodown are two freebies added earlier this month. They will remain up for grabs until January 31, after which they revert to regular price.
Destiny 2, Farming Simulator 19: Platinum Edition, and Thumper round out the new selections and are already available for download. Just like the giveaway games on other platforms such as PlayStation Plus, free titles are yours to keep as long as you maintain your subscription.
Many more titles are waiting in the queue, with Google promising to add over 120 games before year’s end, including 10 timed exclusives. Along with partnering with internet providers Verizon and BT Broadband, the tech giant is pushing hard to make Stadia the go-to brand for game streaming.

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Amazon Music surpasses 55 million users, “nearly all” of which are paying subscribers – Blog – 10 minute

The big picture: Apple and Spotify’s stranglehold on the streaming music market isn’t as tight as perceived as a third competitor is right on their heels. Amazon has been able to make meaningful headway in the crowded streaming space thanks in part to its pricing structure.
Steve Boom, head of Amazon Music, told the Financial Times on Wednesday that the e-commerce giant’s music streaming service now has more than 55 million users. The figure encompasses six different price tiers, including an ad-supported free tier, although Amazon insists that “nearly all” of its users are paying subscribers.
For comparison, Apple said last summer that its Apple Music service had 60 million paying subscribers. As of last September, Spotify had 113 million paying subscribers and 248 million total listeners.

For $10 a month, you get access to roughly the same catalog of 50 million tracks that Apple and Spotify offer but if you’re a Prime subscriber, that rate drops to $8 per month. And if you listen exclusively on an Amazon Echo speaker, it goes down to just $4 a month.
Amazon is no stranger to selling music. The company was among the first to do so on the Internet with CDs in the 90s and even offered downloadable MP3s yet was surprisingly late to the streaming game. Amazon Music debuted in the latter half of 2016 whereas Apple Music landed in mid-2015 and Spotify made the jump over the pond in July 2011.
Masthead credit: Amazon Music by Nicole Lienemann. Headphones by welcomia.

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Cell C in talks with Vodacom over post-paid subscribers |Tempemail – Up to date technology news, IT news, Digital news, Telecom news, Mobile news, Gadgets news, Analysis and Reports – Blog – 10 minute

January 14, 2020 • Features, Mobile and Telecoms, Southern Africa, Top Stories
South African network provider, Vodacom is allegedly in talks with Cell C over contract-paying mobile-phone customers, reports Bloomberg. This deal would also allow Vodacom, currently South Africa’s second-largest network provider, to gain just over 1 million high-paying subscribers and surpass MTN’s subscriber base.

Image sourced from My BroadBand

“Vodacom has about 5.8 million post-paid subscribers in South Africa, meaning a successful deal would see it leapfrog MTN Group Ltd. with 5.9 million and increase its overall lead in the market.”
Anonymous insiders say this is part of Cell C’s plan to reduce expenses.
“Cell C and its biggest shareholder, Blue Label Telecoms, are looking at ways to cut costs and strengthen the balance sheet as they battle to service R9-billion of debt. Transferring the customers to Vodacom would attract a fee and free Cell C from the cost of servicing clients, including handset subsidies and credit checks, said the people. The carrier could also cut jobs and close some stores after slimming down operations.”
“Cell C generated about R3.6-billion in revenue from its post-paid customers in the year through May, about 30% of sales from mobile-phone subscribers. The company will be left with those who pay as they go, who don’t spend as much on average as those with contracts.”
In September, ITNA reported that Cell C CEO, Douglas Craigie Stevenson, has been taking steps to right-size the business, focusing on revenue-generating activities and cutting costs where necessary. This comes after earlier in 2019, Cell C fell into some dangerous territory when debt, poor business performance and liquidity problems threatened to cripple the network provider.
Edited by Jenna Delport
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Prospect gambles on £1 trial to turn new readers into lasting subscribers- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

As a model for funding journalism it sounds barmy. Prospect magazine is offering prospective customers their choice of a free top-selling book from authors including David Aaronovitch or Ben Okri, plus three trial copies of its product (normal price £5.95) for £1. If they don’t like the magazine they don’t have to go through with the subscription – and they can keep the book.
The gamble, says editor Tom Clark, is based on the fact that once readers get a taste for Prospect they tend to make it a long-lasting habit. “If you have a large proportion of people cancelling straight away then you are shooting yourself in the foot financially,” he says of the deal. “It won’t pay off probably within the year but on average Prospect subscribers stick around for about four years, quite a long time.” Landing a new £57-a-year subscription therefore promises £228 of revenue. “You can basically take a chunk of people dropping out on the chin, as long as the bulk of them stay – which they are doing.”
The periodical market is growing intensely competitive. Weekly titles The Spectator (founded 1828) and the New Statesman (1913) have much longer traditions than the monthly Prospect, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The Critic, another monthly, launched just before Christmas promising to challenge “dangerous consensus” with “ideas for open-minded readers”.
A significant portion of Prospect’s readership have been with it from the start. They come to the magazine for its deep relationships with the world’s leading economists, philosophers and cultural thinkers, such as Lawrence Summers and Francis Fukuyama.
The political classes also like it. It is based in St James’s, six minutes’ walk from the Houses of Parliament and across the street is the 300-year-old Two Chairmen pub, a notorious meeting place for Westminster conspirators. Prospect’s office, and the adjoining event space it shares with the Resolution Foundation think tank, is becoming a new hotbed of political thought.
Before Christmas, Conservative renegade and London mayoral candidate Rory Stewart sat down with Clark for a Q&A session attended by Prospect subscribers. Labour’s David Lammy is an upcoming guest of the Prospect Book Club. Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan and business minister Nadhim Zahawi were among panellists at Prospect debates held at the recent Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
Such connections are important to Prospect’s advertisers, Clark believes. “MPs are known to read the magazine,” he says. “There’s no doubt that some advertisers like the idea that they have a high chance that MPs are going to see their advert. That has been a big part of getting high yields per page.”
As a monthly, Prospect’s relevance depends on it getting ahead of the competition in identifying emerging national and macro trends. It dubbed Boris Johnson a “British Trump” well before he became prime minister. In May, it published a prescient warning from writer Julia Blunck that Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro had “designs on the rainforest” which would create a global catastrophe.
“Julia’s piece really worked terrifically for us because that has turned out to be more and more the story as (2019) has gone on,” says Clark, praising how the writer went “deeper” and looked beyond an authoritarian leader to “the frontier mentality of Brazilian society” and its ingrained “need to subjugate the forest in order to secure livelihoods”.
When Parliament was prorogued in the summer, Prospect had already been talking for months to historian Richard Evans about the downfall of the Weimar Republic and threats to democratic government. It was quickly able to publish Evans’s essay ‘Britain’s Reichstag Fire moment’, which attracted great interest.
The recent UK election result looked like a clear rejection of the ideas of liberal politics. Clark sees the average Prospect reader as “quite liberal” but says the magazine’s editorial stance is “pluralist” and customers shouldn’t “expect that they are going to agree with every article”.
So an essay by Lionel Shriver taking on the negative impact on literature of the “#MeToo and ‘cultural appropriation’ mob” was put on the cover, even though Clark says the author’s argument was “not one I agreed with particularly”. In July, he commissioned journalist Tim Montgomerie (who was subsequently made a Downing Street adviser) to write a piece titled “The Future of Conservatism”, which identified the party’s new opportunity with poorer voters. The current edition, which includes essays from Margaret Atwood, economist Adam Tooze and historian David Olusoga, makes room for a long and fascinating article on the business practice of Wetherspoon boss and arch Brexiteer Tim Martin.
As a monthly title, Prospect is a good example of how lean-back and periodically-produced serious print media has avoided the calamitous decline seen in physical sales of newspapers. “There’s no assumption that you are managing decline which I think there is for the print circulation of a newspaper,” says Clark.
Prospect’s reach has been growing slowly for several years and its ABC stands at 44,871, including 27,879 paid subscriptions. Some 12,523 print/digital bundle sales are included twice. The headline ABC includes 12,052 bulk copies distributed to airports.
It might be stable but this is a niche audience of intellectuals. If Prospect is to continue to thrive it will need to raise its profile online, where Clark says it is finding a younger following, with more female readers. Its website has grown by 45% in unique viewers, year-on-year. He has added resources to the digital team with a view to “more proactive curation” of content so that the title can more quickly react to the news agenda by deploying the network of specialist writers that it has developed relationships with.
The big opportunity Clark sees now is in making Prospect the go-to publication for essays on the impact of politics on the law, an area he believes is largely untouched by UK magazines. He commissioned articles from former lord chief justice Lord (Igor) Judge and the former president of the Supreme Court, Lord (David) Neuberger, whose successor Lady (Brenda) Hale, famous for declaring the Prime Minister’s prorogation of parliament illegal in September, answered a Prospect Q&A. It has also taken work from Jolyon Maugham, the silk who has worked on high-profile legal challenges to Brexit but achieved notoriety after killing a fox outside his home on Boxing Day.
“We have been talking to those lawyers at the interface of law and politics. That’s always been a thing in the US but here it struck me as a garden that wasn’t much tended,” says Clark. “There are a lot of lawyers in the country and if we can build on this hopefully developing reputation as the magazine that gives them space to thrash out the issues and connect with a wider audience then we will in the end get more lawyers as subscribers.”
When it was founded by the author and former Financial Times correspondent David Goodhart in October 1995, Prospect’s offering of long-form general interest essays was ground-breaking in the British market (though familiar to American readers of titles such as The Atlantic and The New Republic). To mark its 25th anniversary, it will publish an anthology of its best work. At a series of events, the authors of some of its most successful essays will also be asked to discuss their work and how well it has stood the test of changing times.
“You have got to keep asking yourself why are you here and why are you different,” says Clark, who formerly worked at The Guardian and has been editing Prospect for three and a half years. “As good a slogan as any for us is ‘We want to take you behind the headlines and get you to the heart of the matter.’”
Ian Burrell’s column, The News Business, is published on Tempemail each Thursday. Follow Ian on Twitter @iburrell

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Netflix aims to retain subscribers with launch of a feature to track new releases – gpgmail


Hoping to keep viewers engaged with its content, Netflix today announced the launch of a new section called “Latest” in its TV app, designed to highlight the streaming service’s recent and upcoming releases. The addition isn’t just another row or two within the main Netflix homepage. Instead, the “Latest” section gets its own dedicated area in the Netflix TV app, which is accessible from the left-hand sidebar navigation.

Here, it’s found beneath the “Home” button and above the links to the dedicated “Movies” and “TV Shows” pages.

The section will be personalized to the end user, based on their viewing history, the company says.

At the top of “Latest” is a row that showcases new content that arrived this week, which is then followed by two rows showing content that’s due to arrive this week and the next.

Users can also click on these future releases and set alerts to remind them when the TV show or movie they’re interested in watching has arrived.

Netflix says the feature is now globally available on its TV app, which means you’ll only find it on streaming devices like the Fire TV, Apple TV or Roku, for instance, or on other smart TV or game console platforms. However, the company tells gpgmail it already has a similar feature for Android users and is currently testing the “Latest” section on iOS.

The company first spoke to Variety about the addition, adding that the personalized suggestions update several times per day.

Netflix director of product innovation Cameron Johnson told the outlet the experience was similar, in a way, to movie trailers, as it’s also designed to get people interested in upcoming releases.

However, the launch comes at a time when people will soon be considering the value they receive from their Netflix subscription. The company recently posted a disappointing quarter where it announced it lost U.S. subscribers for the first time since 2011 and broadly missed estimates of 5 million subscriber additions, by adding just 2.7 million new subscribers globally.

The streamer blamed its light content slate for the declines. While it did claim a couple of bright spots in Q2, like the dark comedy Dead to Me and the limited series When They See Us, a good bit of Netflix’s original content is becoming formulaic and copycat-ish.

It’s now doing its own version of Project Runway, and has a slate of shows that are obviously inspired by (if not precisely copied from) popular reality TV hits like Million Dollar Listing, Say Yes to the Dress, Cupcake Wars, Top Chef, The Bachelor, Real Housewives, and others. It manages to snag beloved stars, but then puts them into mediocre fare. It underwhelms with its by-the-numbers original films.

That said, Netflix deserves credit for how far it has come since its early days as a mail-order movie service. Today, its multi-billion dollar investments in original content has led to the streamer being best known for its own breakout hits, like Orange is the New Black or House of Cards, for example.

But as its sheds its catalog content in favor of shifting its audience to in-house productions, its image has changed as well. It’s no longer thought of a one-stop-shop for anything you want to watch combined with a rich slate of quality originals. And now it’s poised to lose some of its most popular licensed content — Friends and The Office — as the traditional media license holders move into the streaming market.

Variety had reported in July that content from NBCU, Disney/Fox and Warner Bros. accounts for 60%-65% of Netflix’s viewing hours.

Now Netflix is facing competition from Disney+, which will undercut Netflix’s pricing at $6.99 per month and be offered in a $12.99 per month bundle that also includes Hulu and ESPN+. That’s the same price as Netflix’s standard U.S. plan.

More than ever, Netflix needs to keep its viewers locked in, and one of the best ways to do this is to remind them there are new movies and shows they will want to watch.

Image credit: Netflix


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4 ways to segment subscribers and send better emails


A regular email blast every week won’t get you 40x better results than social media. Let’s look at 4 different ways to segment subscribers so you can send better high-converting emails.

Email marketing is constantly lauded as one of the highest ROI marketing channels.

It’s better than Facebook.

The returns are higher than Twitter Ads.

In fact, it returns more than 40x what the two platforms generate combined. Even direct mail doesn’t beat it.

There’s one thing those quoted statistics forget to mention. The organizations and individuals that get results understand the nuances of email marketing.

A regular email blast every week won’t get you 40x better results than social media. Before that’ll happen, it’s necessary to segment your email subscribers and send them content that’s relevant to them.

It’s easier said than done. In this post, I’ll look at 4 different ways to segment subscribers so you can send better high-converting emails.

Why segmentation matters

The best way to illustrate the importance of segmentation is with an example.

Bob is a young professional who’s been
working in the same company for three years and just got promoted to a
managerial position. He wants to use his increased salary to buy a few suits to
look the part.

He goes into two different stores.

In the first store, a sales rep meets him at the door and tells him about the history of the company and their commitment to quality. When Bob tries to get in a word, the salesman listens, waits for him to finish, then continues his spiel.

Bob doesn’t have a chance to look around on
his own because the salesman keeps presenting different suits. Nothing the
salesman does is rude but he also doesn’t take the time to understand what Bob
wants and why. Eventually, Bob leaves the store and tries his luck somewhere
else.

In the second store, Bob walks in and is greeted by a sales rep but isn’t approached. He wanders around the store and sees a few items he likes. The sales rep eventually approaches him and asks a few questions to understand why Bob is looking for a suit.

Bob explains the situation and the rep
listens attentively. When Bob is done, the rep combines what he was told with
observations he made while Bob was browsing the store. He presents a few suits
and frames their qualities as the answer to Bob’s problem.

Bob is happy buying and the sales rep gets
a nice commission. Everyone wins.

It may not be obvious but the sales rep used behavioral and psychographic segmentation to sell suits to Bob.

In order to be successful with email marketing,
you should also be segmenting your subscribers. Here are a few ways to do that.

Segment subscribers based what they opted in for

Most websites cover multiple topics or audiences. For example, the Email blog has multiple topics which include Email marketing, SMS marketing, Digital strategy, and more.

The people drawn to the blog have different wants and needs. When they subscribe to the blog or download a resource, they’re clearly interested in that specific topic. For example, if they were to download Your Guide to Email Design Email would know they’re interested in direct marketing.

With that information, it can segment them so the subscriber receives information related to direct marketing and mobile marketing. When Email pitches its solution, it can frame it as the ideal solution for direct mobile marketing.

How is your website categorized?

Do you cater to people with different needs or cover multiple topics?

Does your product have multiple use cases?

Is your customer base made up of many personas?

If so, you can create multiple lead magnets for your customer personas or for different use cases of your product.

MindSumo does this well by creating multiple resources that target different customer personas. When a prospect downloads the lead magnet that’s relevant to them, they’re segmented into the proper email nurturing sequence.

Eventually, they’re pitched a demo of the
product.

When you’re creating lead magnets, be sure
to consider who you’re making it for and how you can use it to segment your
subscribers.

Survey lead magnets

Segmenting based on how a subscriber joins
your email list can be an effective method but isn’t perfect. What do you do if
someone gets multiple resources or is only slightly curious about the lead
magnet’s topic?

Your segmentation may not be as effective.

What should you do to prevent this from
happening?

You can simply ask your subscribers what they want within the context of your solution. This simple tactic can produce a goldmine of information and while segmenting them into the perfect group at the same time.

Melyssa Griffin is a blogger and entrepreneur that became popular through Pinterest. On her homepage she offers a lead magnet but requires people to answer a simple question, “What’s your biggest business or blogging challenge right now?”

There are three options and the one they
choose determines the messages she sends and the offers she presents.

Your survey doesn’t have to be long and involved. It simply needs to get enough information to make your segmenting effective.

It’s knowing what to ask that can be
tricky. How did Melyssa Griffin know those are the biggest challenges her customers
experience?

The answer is a customer discovery survey.

The nuances of that process is beyond the scope of this post (If you’re interested, you can find out more here). Ask as many questions as you want in your customer discovery survey but be sure to include the following one:

What’s your biggest challenge related to x?

X is your niche or focus. For example, what’s your biggest challenge related to email marketing or what’s your biggest challenge related to relationships?

The question is open ended which allows people to pour their hearts out in a good way. The most common answers you get are the major segments in your audience. They’ll also be the answer you’ll present in your survey lead magnet.

The team at Wild Audience does something similar to Melyssa Griffin but they ask five questions instead of one.

Notice that the first question is almost
the same. That’s because this information is important for successful segmenting.

If you’re unable to ask your prospects at the point of lead capture, you can also ask after they’ve joined your mailing list. Make each option a link that can be clicked and add a tag or add them to a specific list based on the link they click.

The end result is a better open rate, increased click through, and more revenue in your business.

Behavioral segmentation

It’s said that actions speak louder than
words and in many cases that statement is true. Survey lead magnets let you ask
your prospects about their preferences.

At times, they may not give the best answer
because they’re not 100% sure what they want as relates to your solution or they
want multiple things.

Behavioral segmentation helps you unlock even deeper insights. After someone has joined your mailing list, they’ll open specific emails and click on certain links. You may notice that they ignore emails about weight training but love emails about running.

In addition to how they interact with emails, they may visit specific pages on your website multiple times. Together, these make up their behaviors and will allow you to build out a profile of the subscriber.

For example, let’s say you have a website
that’s focused on software development. You cover a lot of topics such
JavaScript, .Net, MySQL databases, and more. A new subscriber joins your
mailing list by downloading a resource about java script so you segment them
accordingly.

After the initial welcome series, you also
send them emails for new blog posts. Over time, you realize they’re also
interested in CSS and MySQL. You can add them to nurturing sequences that cover
those topics and pitch relevant products.  

Purchase history

With behavioral segmentation, you’re making
inferences based on a few actions they’ve taken. You may be correct or it may
be a coincidence.

Purchase history gives you concrete evidence that they’re interested in that topic or product category.

There are multiple ways to go about
segmenting based on purchase history:

  • Total lifetime spend
    People who’ve spent more money with you may get a different messages such as an offer to join your loyalty program or a discount. Those who just became customers may get messages encouraging them to come back and buy something else.
  • Most recent purchase
    If you choose to segment like this, you may send messages that promote other products that are closely tied to the one they just bought. Conversely, you may send informational content that keeps them engaged and using your product. This is also a good opportunity to send review or feedback requests to improve your product or show the world how awesome you are.
  • Product category of the purchase
    If someone buys a shirt then they’re likely to by another one down the line – right? When you segment based on product category, it means you send messages relevant to the kind of product your customer has shown interest in.

ASOS is a great example of this. I tend to buy shoes and accessories from the online store and it has taken note. Every few days, ASOS will send me a message about one deal or other that highlights the shoes in their inventory.

Because it’s relevant to what I’ve purchased in the past, I tend to buy something at least once a month.

Conclusion

Email marketing segmentation is the difference between campaigns that move the needle in your business and those that fall flat.

When you segment subscribers, you unlock
the true potential of your email marketing strategy. In this post, I’ve
outlined a handful of strategies you can use but it’s by no means all of them.

Use one or two as a starting point and
tweak the strategies until you find a combination that works best for you.

Let me know how you segment subscribers in
the comments and don’t forget to share.


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AT&T is offering free Spotify to select Unlimited subscribers – gpgmail


AT&T is sweetening the deal on its Unlimited & More Premium plan this week, with the addition of free Spotify Premium. That amounts to a $10 a month savings for those paying the $80 a month for the wireless service. The plan offers one of seven free partner services, including HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, VRV, Pandora and now Spotify .

There’s fine print, because of course there is. The deal applies specifically to the Unlimited & More Premium plan, while other AT&T subscribers can get a six month trial of Premium for free. After that time, things revert to the regular price.

Existing Spotify Premium subscribers, meanwhile, can keep their account but get the service for free by signing up on all of the proper places on AT&T’s site.

The deal mirrors a similar partnership between Verizon and Apple Music, the services’ largest competitors, respectively. AT&T is currently the U.S.’s largest carrier by a slight edge. Spotify, meanwhile, continues to have a sizable advantage in paid subscriber numbers at more than 100 million, to Apple’s 60 million.


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How To Ask For Feedback From Your Subscribers Through Email


Have you ever thought about how to ask for feedback from your subscribers?

Even though statistics can give you good insight into your audience’s wishes and needs, they can rarely provide a full understanding of what is going on in their minds.

Therefore, in this article we will explore the best ways to ask your customers for feedback, and how you can use the goldmine of information you get in return.

Why you should ask for feedback

Talking to your customers and having them share their thoughts offers many benefits for your business.

Take a look at the following points and you will quickly realise why this process is very important for any business that wants to serve its customers better.

1. Understand what your customer needs

Feedback is essential when it comes to understanding your audience’s needs and expectations

Quality feedback will provide detailed information about what your readers think when reading your content, and also help you understand where their interests lie. 

Your audience’s needs are ever-changing and what works one day may not work the next. 

Therefore, based on the feedback, you will know which parts of your campaign are still relevant and which need to change.

Simply put, if you fail to remain relevant – or slip away from the topics you usually cover – a bunch of unsubscribes will come rolling in.

2. Improve your emails

In our continuous efforts to become better digital marketers, some of us will ask their readers for feedback on the quality of their content.

But, have you ever thought why that is important?

You’d be surprised at the amount of insight you can get simply by implementing a quick (but well-planned) feedback round.

Once you collect enough feedback, you will get a clear indication of what works and what doesn’t. Use this insight to improve your emails, but also to see an increase in open and click-through rates.

3. Turn readers into customers

Asking for feedback makes for a more personalized communication approach, compared to other channels.

As such, your one-on-one engagement with subscribers is also increased, which in turn leads to a more satisfying experience.

And, speaking of a good experience…

Studies by Oracle showed that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for overall better customer experience.

The data speaks for itself. Happier customers form an emotional bond with your (personal) brand and are more willing to support it financially. Therefore, next time you wonder how to ask for feedback and if it’s even worth it, remember Oracle’s study.

4. Make data-driven decisions

An additional benefit that comes when asking for feedback is the large amount of data you receive.

This information is going to be related to the questions you ask for, so it’s important to set clear goals about the objectives you want to achieve.

When data starts coming in, you will slowly start to get a clear picture of your email marketing performance. In more detail, you will get information to help you solve existing bottlenecks or problems.

For this to happen, however, a goal oriented approach will be necessary. Too often, email marketers tend to ask generalised questions that lead to further confusion down the road.

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To summarize, feedback will help you through:

  • Understanding what your customer needs;
  • Improving your emails;
  • Turning readers into customers;
  • Making data-driven decisions.

Now that you have a better idea of the benefits, let’s take a look at the best ways to collect all that information.

How to ask for feedback

The method you use to ask for feedback is directly related to the amount (and quality) of replies you receive.

So, what are the best ways to have more people open up and share their opinion? 

As mentioned above, it is crucial to understand why you collect feedback. 

So, consider the following before creating an outline for a successful feedback campaign:

  • What is the best way to ask for feedback, when looking at the formulated questions?
  • How will you use the information you collect from your subscribers? 
  • How do you intend to adjust your strategy based on the feedback you receive?

The second and third question can be answered by yourself. The third one will be answered in further detail down below.

Best ways to ask your subscribers for feedback

When it comes to email marketing, there are two main ways to ask your subscribers for feedback:

1. Ask questions in your emails

Not many marketers are aware that email can act as a great channel for a two way communication. There is no limit when it comes to the word count, it’s private and, most importantly, it is a great way to increase your engagement rates.

Therefore, if your creativity is running low, or you are trying to improve your engagement rates, you could try to ask your subscribers questions as if you would ask them in a one-on-one conversation:

  • What encouraged you to sign up to this newsletter? 
  • What are some points you think we should work on? 
  • Do you like the new structure of our newsletter? If not, why?

Not only will readers feel like you value their opinion, but they will likely loosen up and share more personal experiences with you.

Side note: Through my personal experience, I can tell you that when asked directly, people tend to share personal stories that relate to some sort of struggle. You will uncover problems you didn’t even know exist. And then, you will start thinking of new ways to solve these problems.

The key to getting quality answers, as you have probably guessed from the examples above, is to ask short and insightful questions that get to the point quickly.

Try to get a good understanding of your list segments before reaching out with your feedback questions. 

The best way to do this is to think about their customer journey, and how they ended up on your list.

To increase your chances for honest answers, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Use simple email design;
  • Ask both specific (closed) and open-ended questions;
  • Have a defined purpose behind each question you ask;
  • Tell your customers why their input is important.
  • Explain to them how you intend to make use of their answers.

2. Send a survey

Remember that undergrad student struggling to get her surveys filled in? She would approach you on the street, send you messages on Social Media and even call you, hoping to win those precious 5 minutes of your time.

With email, however, all this is different – and easier. In fact, creating an email survey is the most convenient way to collect feedback. If done correctly, you will:

  • Gather lots of quantitative data in a short period of time. 
  • Save time as you will only have to create one template for a segment.
  • Analyse the collected information a lot easier than the previous method.

So, what kind of wizardry does one need to create awesome looking surveys?

In 2019, thankfully, none!

Building and sending surveys doesn’t require any special skills since there are many tools that help you out with the process. The more effort you put into learning the functionalities of these tools, the easier it will be.

One of the most popular tools for creating surveys is Google Surveys. This tool is great for businesses of all sizes who look to gain valuable feedback for their services. 

And while Google surveys are beautiful and easy to use, if you own a business and need to create high quality surveys, they might be somewhat limiting. 

As a result, business owners often choose to use software that creates more professional looking surveys.

If you happen to be among the few that want to create world-class surveys for their mailing list, you might want to consider using Mailigen

How to create a survey with Mailigen (step by step)

So, let’s dig in and create a survey with Mailigen:

STEP 1: Navigate to the Surveys Menu and click on My Surveys to open the  Survey Wizard.

how to ask for feedback

STEP 2: Click on Create New Survey to open a drop-down list with two options; Start a New Survey and Use a Template

how to ask for feedback 2

STEP 3: Decide if you want to start a new survey or use a template

By starting a new survey you will have a variety of customization options. Otherwise, you can also use a pre-existing template by clicking on Use a Template. 

If you decide to go for the latter, you will see surveys that you previously created and saved for future use.

STEP 4: Select your preferred type of survey from pre-defined templates, saved templates, or a blank survey. 

Blank surveys and saved templates are pretty obvious and don’t need any further explanation. However, if you choose from Predefined Templates, you will see six different survey types to choose from:

choosing templates

Now, let’s assume that your goal is to obtain feedback through a 2 Week Testimonial. 

STEP 5: Click 2 Week Testimonial and you will be prompted to create a new survey. The following window will be opened:

2 week testimonial

Each type of survey has the same layout in the Create Survey Window. The layout has five main areas:

how to ask for feedback 5 questions
  1. Logo;
  2. Welcome Message;
  3. Survey Questions;
  4. Thank You Page;
  5. Survey Options.

In the next step we will explore each one of these:

STEP 6: Adjust each of these five areas according to your needs. 

1. Logo

In the Logo area, you can change the logo at the top of your survey. Just click on Add your logo here to open Image Manager

Once there, you can select and upload your logo. Resize your image prior to uploading for better quality results.

2. Welcome message

You can change the Welcome Message that will appear below your logo. It might be a good idea to give a short description of your survey and explain its objectives.

Click on the Edit button to change the text, make your adjustments and click Save when you are finished. 

If you use a predefined template, there will be an option to add premade Survey Questions. You can use and edit them easily:

  • Move it – use the drag and drop option to move questions around;
  • Copy it – click on Copy to make a copy of a question below;
  • Edit it – click on Edit to open Question Editor window for any question;
  • Delete it – click the X button to delete a question;
  • Remove a Page Break or a Question Block by clicking on the X button.

3. Survey questions

Creating new questions is also easy. Just click on the Questions main area to open nine question formats (see picture below). 

questions

To add a new question click and drag the question block into the builder. Once you do that, you will see a window like in the picture below:

question blocks

Here, you can write your question, add a logo and, depending on the format, add possible answers as well. If you wish, you can also add pictures.

Here are some additional options for the format of your survey’s questions:

  • Question required. This field specifies whether answering is mandatory. 
  • Add answer to contact info in database. If you wish to see the answer in your database next to the contact, check this box. If you do this, you have to add a corresponding list and the field where you want to see the answer. 
  • ‘Other’ option. Check this box if you want your respondents to add their own answers to the existing ones. 
  • Comment field. This allows your respondent to leave a comment or a larger answer. 

4. Thank You page

Under the survey you will see a Thank You Page. 

  • Click on the Edit button to open the editor window (see picture below). 
  • Change and/or add style to your text
  • To confirm your edit, click on Save Question button. 
thank you message

5. Survey Options

Once that is done, let’s explore Survey Options:

how to ask for feedback - survey options

In this tab you can:

  • Add a Title to your survey;
  • Organize your surveys by adding them to a group;
  • Disable or enable the Welcome message;
  • Disable or enable Question numbering;
  • Add a redirect link;
  • Choose the survey’s Language;
  • Choose which part of your mailing list has access to your survey. 

After you complete all the necessary edits, you can save your survey by clicking on the Next Step button, or save it as a draft. 

You can also save your survey as a template by clicking on Save as New Survey Template

When your survey’s contents are finished, you will be able to create a design to accompany it.

And that is how you make a survey with Mailigen. As easy as it gets!

Now, let’s take step up our game and look at the best ways you can use to reach out to your audience.

Email survey examples – and how to get people to answer the surveys you create

In order to have people take the time to fill in your surveys, you need to be creative. And this is where email invitations come in.

Appealing survey invitations help you get more people to complete your survey. Get some ideas on how to ask for feedback by going through the five examples below.

Be a good listener. An example by Artifact Uprising.

People like to be heard. 

Knowing this, you can strategize on ways that lead to better engagement. Make your readers feel like they are being heard instead of being interviewed. 

The example below demonstrates how to use this tactic to good effect.

feedback invitation template

As you can see, not only does Artifact Uprising reach out with text that is friendly and customer oriented, they also reward the ones that actually take the time to fill in the form by offering store credit.

Exclusiveness. An example by Piperlime.

You can create a sense of exclusivity in your survey invitation email. One of the ways of doing this is by creating an opening line that states exclusivity.

In other words, make you readers feel important.

One example of doing this is by placing a line like “You are amongst a selected group of customers” into the first lines of the invitation. 

Additionally, you can add “Thank you in advance” to encourage your customer to take action. 

feedback invitation template 2

Be polite. And example by Artifact Uprising.

One of the best ways to approach your customers is to be polite and respectful. You can use this method to show your customers that you respect them and their time. 

Once again, you can offer some form of reward to your readers who take the time to fill in your questionnaire.

feedback invitation template 3

And since we are talking about rewards:

Offer an irresistible gift. An example by Frye.

This method often gets the best results since your customers don’t want to give away their time for free.

Frankly, I think everyone should offer at least some sort of reward to their readers. Not only does it show that you respect your readers’ time, but it also create an emotional bond with those who you reply to.

You can offer a prize to a few lucky readers or offer a discount to everyone who fills in the survey. 

Use your creativity and you will be one step closer to getting into your reader’s mind. 

feedback invitation template 4

Use a punchline or a quote. An example by City Farmers.

Another way to get attention to your survey is by using a punchline or quote.. “Don’t be a Chicken” might be risky or even slightly offensive to a few, but it does challenge your customers to take action. 

And, while stepping out of your comfort zone for these ones is a good tip, don’t do so if you don’t have a really good understanding of your audience. Using the wrong punchline here can easily get you in trouble.

feedback invitation template 5

Here are some things to remember before moving on to more particular examples of email surveys:

  • Craft your email survey invitation to be unique so that it grabs the reader’s attention;
  • Be direct and explain why are you interested in this feedback;
  • Focus on giving your customers value to increase your chances of having them fill out the survey. 

Email survey templates

The key to getting valuable feedback is to ask the right questions. Create thought-provoking questions to bring results. 

To help you with this task, we have created a few examples. Each of these 3 examples corresponds to a different type of survey:

  • Customer satisfaction survey
  • Customer profiling survey
  • Brand awareness survey

These are some of the most popular survey types out there. 

Template #1: Customer satisfaction survey about your product

One of the most popular survey types is a customer satisfaction survey. This survey can help when it comes to understanding your customers’ opinion regarding your products and services. 

Here are a few questions you could ask in this type of survey:

Question 1: Rate answer

How likely is it that you would recommend our product to a friend? 

Answer: Rate from 1 to 10.

Question 2: Single answer

How well does our product meet your needs? 

Answer: Include 4 options – (e.g. badly, fine, well, very well) 

Question 3: Multiple answers

Which three features of our product you value the most? 

Answer: Create a list of your product’s existing features (e.g. Design, Easy navigation, Custom responses, etc.).

Question 4: Multiple answers

What are the three features you would like us to improve? 

Answer: Here you can include the same features as before or add some more features in addition to the ones already listed.

Question 5: Open-ended question

Please share with us one thing that you would like to change about our product?

Question 6: Rate answer

How would you rate the pricing of our product compared to the value it offers? 

Answer: Rate from 1 to 5.

Template #2: Market research survey on customer profiling 

This survey template will provide valuable insights into your readers’ demographics. The knowledge you receive will give you the power to shape your products and services according to customer needs. 

Question 1:  Single answer

Which of the categories below includes your age group? 

Answer: Provide age categories (For example: 17 or younger, 18-20, 21-29, 20-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 or older, etc – as most appropriate).

Question 2: Single answer

What gender do you identify with? 

Answer: male, female, prefer not to say, etc (make sure this is appropriate to your audience!).

Question 3: Single answer

What is your household size? 

Answer: Provide ranges ( <3; 3-4; 5-8; 8<).

Question 4: Free response

Which city do you live in? 

Question 5: Free response

What are the three topics that interest you the most?

Question 6: Multiple answers

Which three types of media do you use the most?

Answer: Social media, messaging, television, print media, radio broadcast, video games, other.

Question 7: Free response

What is your typical budget for [insert something related to your business]?

Question 8: Free response

What specific benefits are you looking when you purchase [your type of product or service]? 

Template #3: Brand awareness survey

This type of survey will let you know how subscribers perceive your brand’s image. Remember – Brand awareness can be measured by the level of familiarity.

Question 1:  Single answer

When did you last use this product category? 

Answer: Provide ranges (In the last week, in the last month, in the last 3 months, in the last 6 months, more than 12 months ago).

Question 2: Free response

Which brand comes to your mind first when thinking about this product type? 

Question 3: Single answer

When was the first time you heard about our brand?

Answer: Provide ranges (In the last week, in the last month, in the last 3 months, in the last 6 months, more than 12 months ago).

Question 4: Free response

Where have you seen or heard about our brand in the past 3 months? 

Question 5: Single answer

How well do you know our brand? 

Answer: Extremely well; very good; good; not so good; not at all.

Question 6: Single answer

What is your overall opinion about our brand? 

Answer: Extremely favorable, very favorable, somewhat favorable, not so favorable, not at all favorable, I haven’t heard about your brand.

Question 7: Rate answer

How likely is that you would recommend our brand to others?

Answer: Rate from 1 to 5. 

Question 8: Free response

What are the first 5 words that come to your mind when thinking about this brand? 

There are many different types of questions you can ask your customers, depending on your niche. Adjust the questions above in order to get the most value from the responses. 

Wrapping up: Feedback does matter

Let me stress this again – asking for feedback might be the best way to improve your campaigns. 

Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a better idea of the importance of asking the right questions and building surveys. So how to ask for feedback? Let’s go through the main points:

  • Feedback surveys with a well-thought purpose will bring you the best results;
  • You can use surveys as a tool for understanding your weaknesses and strengths;
  • Use proven tricks to increase engagement with feedback surveys;
  • Adopt these techniques according to your specific needs. 

Now that you know how to ask for feedback, all you need to do is reach out to your list!

If you have any questions feel free to post them below. We may be writing about feedback, but we are also really interested in getting yours!