The Internal Survey Method is an easy way of segmenting your email list so as to deliver specific, targeted content to your subscribers.

This method works by sending your subscribers an email asking them to click on a link that best identifies themselves:

When a subscriber clicks on a survey link, they will then be added to a tag that identifies their choice.

This way, you can set up subsequent emails to be sent to only subscribers who have (or don’t have) a certain tag.

And in this guide, we’ll show you how to set this up, step by step. Let’s dive in!

1. Decide how to segment your subscribers

For example, if you write about paddle boarding, then you could segment your subscribers according to their levels of paddle boarding experience:

  1. No experience

  2. Beginner

  3. Intermediate

  4. Expert

Alternatively, you can also segment your subscribers based on their interests.

For example, if you write about paddle boarding and kayaking, you could then let subscribers decide whether they’re interested in receiving emails on paddle boarding, kayaking, both or something else.

2. Craft your survey question and response options

If you are surveying your subscribers on their paddle boarding experience, for example, your survey question could be: “How experienced are you in paddle boarding?

You could then map your subscriber segments to the following survey response options:

  1. No experience → “I've never paddle boarded before, but I want to learn!”

  2. Beginner → “I've gone paddle boarding a few times.”

  3. Intermediate → “I've been paddle boarding for awhile, I'm pretty good.”

  4. Expert → “I'm a total paddle boarding expert!”

3. Create tags for each subscriber segment

Next, click on Subscribers in the Grow tab in the navigation to create new tags for each of your subscriber segments.

(Learn how to create tags in ConvertKit here.)

You don’t have to give your tags the exact same name as your survey response options, but pick a name that succinctly describes each segment.

Following from our paddle boarding example, we could name our tags like this:

  1. No experience → “Paddle Boarding: No Experience”

  2. Beginner → “Paddle Boarding: Beginner”

  3. Intermediate → “Paddle Boarding: Intermediate”

  4. Expert → “Paddle Boarding: Expert”

4. Set up a link trigger for each survey response option

A link trigger is a special link that automatically carries out certain actions when clicked.

In this case, we want subscribers who click on your survey response options to be added to the appropriate subscriber segment tag—and a link trigger will do the job perfectly.

(You can learn more about setting up link triggers here.)

When creating your link triggers, be sure to use “Clicks a link” as the Trigger and “Add tag” as the Action.

If you have a dedicated landing page for sending your subscribers to after they’ve clicked on your link, (such as a custom thank you page), use that as the Destination URL.

Otherwise, feel free to use our default “Preferences Confirmed” page: https://app.convertkit.com/preferences-confirmed

When you’re done, you should have one link trigger set up for each of your survey response options. (In other words, if your survey has four possible response options, you should then set up four link triggers.)

And don’t forget to enable your link triggers if they haven’t already been enabled!

5. Add the link triggers to your survey email

Now the final step—putting your survey together in an email!

Your survey email can be a sequence email if you want to prompt new subscribers as they opt in. Alternatively, if you’re doing a one-off survey of your existing subscribers, then set up your survey email as a broadcast.

So go ahead and write your survey email, including your survey question and survey responses. Then, highlight each of your survey responses and add their corresponding link trigger.

NOTE: Don’t add your links by adding a Link Block (i.e. by clicking the + button in the email editor and selecting “Links.”) The Link Block doesn’t currently support the adding of link triggers.

Testing your survey email’s link triggers

To test your link triggers, add your email address to your ConvertKit account. Then, create a broadcast with your survey and link triggers set up, and send that broadcast to yourself.

NOTE: You can also test your survey email as a sequence email. However, the email will have to be sent “live” rather than through sending a preview version of it to your inbox. This is because link triggers don’t work in preview emails.

Sending yourself a “live” sequence email can be a more troublesome process, so we recommend testing your survey email as a broadcast instead of as a sequence email.

When you’ve received the survey email in your inbox, click on one of the survey options. You should be sent to the destination URL stated in your link trigger.

Then, check that your email address has been added to the correct subscriber tag in ConvertKit!

Key takeaways

  • Decide how you want to survey and segment your subscribers.

  • Set up tags and link triggers for each subscriber segment.

  • Add the link triggers to your survey email.

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