What happens when you mix a passion for great design with a love of good data? You end up building a unique business with a devoted customer base and loyal, global community of talented designers. We sat down with Melissa Kim, Vice President of Marketing at Minted.com, to better understand how the Minted team has used SurveyMonkey not only to gather insights, but to converse with customers and designers alike.
Melissa Kim; holiday cards; new calendars; all at the Minted offices
SM: Tell us a bit about Minted.com.
Melissa: We’re an online paper goods store with a global community of amazing graphic designers. We’re a small, passionate team, based in San Francisco. We’ve been in business for over two years and are at our busiest right now fulfilling custom card and calendar orders for the holiday season!
SM: How have you used SurveyMonkey?
Melissa: Since we are a lean team, we don’t have a lot of resources. SurveyMonkey allows us to do quite a bit to better understand our customers—who they are, what they want, what they like or don’t like about our products and service.
Specifically, we’ve used SurveyMonkey to measure customer satisfaction, to gather feedback after a purchase, to understand why a customer abandoned a shopping cart, to evaluate a potential partner program and to gain insights from our design community.
We see SurveyMonkey as an important way to reach out and talk to our customers and designers.
SM: When you say you use SurveyMonkey to talk to your customers, what do you mean?
Melissa: Well, we’ve used SurveyMonkey to ask our customers how they heard about us, to get their feedback on our site merchandising, to evaluate potential causes of any changes we saw in our business, and to ask what they’d like to see from us in the future. We see our surveys as a conversation with our customers on how we can improve.
With our designers, we use SurveyMonkey to check the pulse of our community: to see how they are doing, to learn more about who they are, what inspires them, what they like about participating in Minted, as well as about site features we can add.
SM: Tell us some more about your design community.
Melissa: We learned early on that crowd-sourcing—reaching out to a talented design community through design contests—was an integral part of who we are. Over the last two years, we’ve developed an amazing community of designers from around the world who create fresh, original designs, unique to Minted. You can meet some of them here.
SM: What decisions have you made based on the information you’ve gathered from your surveys?
Melissa: We’ve made a lot of decisions! One of the biggest on-going decisions we make using our survey results is what category (or categories) to expand into next. We ask our customers, “What product categories were you shopping for today?” and include an “Other” response. The “Other” option is gold as far as we’re concerned! We saw a high number of customers filling in that they were looking for baby shower invitations, so we ran a design contest for baby shower card designs as a result and launched that category on our site. We’re happy to report it’s doing very well!
We also have an on-going exit survey from our site that receives thousands of responses a month (we have passionate customers!). It has helped us improve our site functionality, evaluate the effectiveness of marketing initiatives, and learn more about our customers’ decision making processes. For example, we learned how far in advance our wedding customers start their shopping process for invitations, so it has helped us better tailor our site and email messages to meet their needs.
SM: Do you ever use incentives, like a coupon or discount, for your surveys?
Melissa: We have occasionally used incentives for our surveys, such as offering 10% off a customer’s next purchase for completing our exit survey. We also have sent “thank you’s” with a coupon for $20 off a future purchase as a follow-up after a survey. We find that customers enjoy both of those offers, but they are also equally appreciative that we are seeking their feedback, so happy to give input even without incentives.
Here’s an example of a Minted survey with a nice incentive called out:
SM: Who is responsible for setting up surveys at Minted?
Melissa: Almost everyone on the team has set one up from our CEO, through all team members, to marketing research consultants. We love that it’s accessible for everyone to set up surveys and also to see the data we get back.
SM: What is your favorite feature or features?
Melissa: We love that SurveyMonkey is so easy to use. We can set a survey up in 5 to 10 minutes, and start generating responses immediately. In fact, we launched our first survey before our website was even up! Even now, with more resources on our team, there is no reason to change how we gather insights.
As far as features, we use cross tab a lot! It’s so easy to drill down to analyze results by different factors, without having to export anything.
SM: Thanks, Melissa. We really appreciate all the insights you’ve shared, especially during a busy holiday season. Keep spreading beautiful design to the world!
(By the way, how can we not love a customer who loves to cross tab?!)