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How to survey subscribers using custom fields in ConvertKit
How to survey subscribers using custom fields in ConvertKit

Learn how to survey your subscribers and save their interests using custom fields.

Updated over a week ago

While we usually recommend that creators tag subscribers based on their interests, this method has its limitations.

Here’s what we mean:

Let’s say you’re a travel filmmaker who writes about travel videos and film-making, but you know that not everyone might be interested in both topics.

As a result, you want to survey your subscribers to segment them according to:

  1. People interested in travel videos

  2. People interested in film-making

  3. People interested in both

Then, to segment your subscribers, you send a survey email containing link triggers that tag subscribers based on the survey response they’ve clicked.

However, a problem can arise if subscribers click on more than one survey response in your survey email (whether by accident or otherwise).

For example, a subscriber may be interested in only emails about travel videos, but click on both the “Travel videos” and “Film-making” survey response options.

As a result, they end up being tagged as being interested in both travel videos and film-making, even though they may have been interested in only one of them.

To avoid such tag-related issues, a more advanced—but robust—method of saving your subscribers’ interests is to use custom fields. Read on to learn how in this guide.

NOTE: Hat tip to Brennan Dunn of RightMessage for sharing this as his preferred method for surveying subscribers. 🙌

1. Create a custom field for your subscribers

First, craft your survey question and responses. (See steps 1 and 2 of this guide for more details on this.)

Then, head over to the Subscribers page under the Grow tab in the ConvertKit navigation. Click on any subscriber’s profile page and create a new custom field, which you’ll use to save your subscribers’ survey responses.

You can name your custom field however you like, but make its name relevant to your survey. Using the same travel filmmaker example from above, we’re going to name our custom field “Interests.”

Also, leave the custom field value blank—your subscribers will help fill that out for you!

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

Next, go to Rules under the Automate tab in the navigation. Then click the + New rule button to create a new link trigger.

Use “Clicks a link” as the Trigger, and “Set custom field” as the Action, so that the subscriber will have their survey response saved in a custom field when they click on the link.

You can set the link trigger’s destination URL as the link to a dedicated landing page, such as a custom thank you page.

Alternatively, you can use our default “Preferences Confirmed” page:

As for setting the custom field, select the custom field that you created in the previous step from the dropdown menu.

After that, fill out what the custom field value should be when a subscriber clicks on a certain survey response option. Following from our travel film-making example, our custom field values could be:

  1. Travel Videos

  2. Film-Making

  3. Travel Videos and Film-Making

Go ahead and create separate link triggers for each of your survey response options.

3. Add the link triggers to your survey email

Finally, add your survey question and link triggers into 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 create a new sequence or broadcast email, and type in 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 currently doesn’t 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. Whether you choose to use a broadcast or sequence, 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 you set in your link trigger.

Then, check that your email address has the custom field set correctly in ConvertKit!

Key takeaways

  • Set up custom fields and link triggers for each subscriber segment.

  • Add the link triggers to your survey email.

  • Saving your subscribers’ interests in custom fields in this way, instead of using tags, helps ensure that your subscribers are categorized in only a single segment at any one point in time.

☝️ One last thing:

Once you’ve started getting responses to your survey, you can create a segment to group all subscribers with the same custom field value together.

More info on how to do so below 👇

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