I asked members of my monthly newsletter subscription list what they thought of the newsletter with a quick 10-question survey via Survey Monkey. The information was always going to be skewed of course – I have hundreds of subscribers but received nowhere near that number of replies. People that are most likely to reply, I would imagine, are those who love it and want to let me know, or those who hate it (but then, in that case, why not just press “unsubscribe”?)
Evaluating the data produced was quite interesting. My newsletter is in general mostly focused on the science behind healthy living and how raw food can relate to that. I was therefore surprised to note that there were people who want to see more raw food recipes in the newsletter. This is really not my area of expertise – I don’t spend hours in the kitchen making up recipes, because, I confess, I am too busy. My daily food is very simple and I’m not one for producing an elaborate menu apart from for my somewhat infrequent dinner parties, and Christmas. Even then, I generally use other people’s recipes rather than creating new ones. Perhaps it might have been better not to include a “recipe of the month” section, since I was called to task for this by one respondent, who disliked the inconsistency of the newsletter – some months a recipe, others not. Lesson learned – either include a recipe every month, or drop that section. Or ignore the comment since it was the only one of its type? Evaluating data is difficult, since only those with a strong feeling one way or another are likely to respond. Another option – recommend to my readers other newsletters/e-zines that are more biased towards recipes, and keep mine more scientific.
I was flattered to hear one respondent’s comments that she would like to see a list of my speaking engagements in the USA. I am based in the UK, and have never been invited to give presentations in the States, but if someone wants to organise that for me I would be happy to oblige…
For the most part, I was delighted with the response from people. Most of them love the newsletter (the indifferent ones of course probably didn’t respond to the survey), and I received some lovely comments from readers. But this just goes to show, unless you ask people, you’ll never know what they think of what you’re doing.