This page deals with the results of a survey I conducted in late 1998.
The purpose of the survey was to evaluate the effectiveness of Inter<>Dependence newsletters as an advertising vehicle for therapists.
At the time of this study I had been sending two Inter<>Dependence topics on an every-other-month basis for 2 years and 8 months.
My mailing list, then and now, consists of almost everyone I know – current and past clients, professional colleagues, teachers, students, friends and relatives.
I mailed a ten-question questionnaire to everyone on my mailing list (225 people at the time).
The questions I asked were:
1) Is the address label correct? – If “No,” how should it read?
2) Does the person listed on the mailing label actually receive the topics? – If “No,” please ask them if I can have their new address.
3) Does the person listed on the label actually read the topics? – If “No,” does anyone read the topics eventually? – If “Yes,” who does red them?
4) Does anyone save the topics for future reference?
5) Does anyone share the topics with other people? – If “Yes,” with whom are they shared? – Would these people like to receive the mailings themselves? – If “Yes,” please give me their mailing address.
6) What do you dislike about these mailings?
7) What do you like about these mailings?
8) Which topics would you like to see more about…?
9) Which topics would you like to see less about…?
10) Do you have any questions about me, about these mailings, or about anything at all?
The following information is based on the first 50 responses I received. They are representative of all responses received. (The overall response rate was about 49%… which I’m told is about 7 times higher than would normally be expected.)
Here is a summary of the results:
98% (49 of 50) Of The Recipients Actually Read The Mailings.
Each mailing is at least five pages long (two double-sided topics plus a cover letter).
84% (42 of 50) Save The Topics For Future Reference.
Topics are saved for later use – for themselves and for their friends.
72% (36 of 50) Share The Topics With At Least One Other Person.
Each topic is read by 4.9 people, on average. These fifty people share the topics with at least 195 others for a total of 245 readers. Since I didn’t specifically ask for the number of people they shared with, I had to estimate. This is a very conservative estimate based on the number of names mentioned, the minimum size of the groups mentioned, etc.
56% (28 of 50) Had Ideas for New Topics.
Twenty-eight readers suggested thirty-eight different new topic ideas. Only two topics were mentioned twice: “Relationships” and “Self-esteem.”
Only 6% (3 of 50) Said Some Topics Were Covered Too Often.
Topics mentioned were: “Relationships,” “Children,” and “Sexual Topics Unless Presented in a Spiritual Context.”
56 % (28 of 50) Responded When Invited To Make General Comments.
Most people wrote a personal note of kind regard. All other statements are given here, in the order in which they were received. [Explanatory comments in brackets are from me.]
– I appreciate your expense in sending your newsletter!
– We will talk again in the future about work issues.
· I believe one can have an interdependent relationship and still bicker about whom has to take care of whom. It gives the relationship a little zest, and adds vim & vigor to the partnership. [This comment was on the specific topics in the mailing that included the questionnaire.]
· [… Questions about therapy fees, etc…]
· Do you ever have social gatherings for your newsletter subscribers? How do I meet others interested in this kind of stuff?
· Your view of Multiple Personality Disorder.
· I like being able to refer people to you.
· You have a refreshing way of looking at the “old” & “basic” issues.
· I think your newsletters keep getting better and better. I would be happy to make a contribution to continue receiving them.
Only 14% (7 of 50) Mentioned Something They Dislike About The Mailings. This is What They Said:
· Not knowing where to categorize them. I have them in dark blue folders and I just put them in the back.
· Not long enough; not often enough.
· Nothing except the “almost never any… etc.” statements.
· I find them all interesting although I may not always totally agree. I look at things more from a spiritual dimension, but that’s OK.
· No money enclosed!
· Too infrequent. Perhaps give references of books to read or other info on the topic.
94% (47 of 50) Volunteered Statements When Asked What They LIKE About The Mailings. This Is What They Said:
– They are concise, direct and to the point with no “frills.” Good information!
– Valuable ideas.
– Concise, pertinent, objective, important matters in everyday life.
– Topics to “kick” around. Causes me to stop and reflect on the time spent with you at your place. (all happy times).
– Short, sweet, to the point, clear, simple.
– Enjoy them all.
– Brief, well-written, always relevant, educational, and useful.
– Focused / Short. Interesting topics.
– Interesting, useful, practical, can use them in private life as well as professional. – It doesn’t take hours to sort thru the material – & they fit in a 3-ring binder!
– The way it is now.
– [Two page letter…. Summary: “No complaints. I don’t read them all but I like what I see.”]
– Informative – upbeat.
– Topics – updates on you [… in cover letter…].
– Good information. Succinct.
– All of it – the topics.
– They are short, logical & coherent & I like the idea of feedback (at long last) 1995 to be exact.
– Some of the subject matter is very helpful to me. I look forward to receiving your letter very much.
– Ideas I hadn’t thought of or a reconfirming in more specific way of something I’m concerned about. Especially relating to marriage & children.
– The wide range of topics.
– Variety of ideas.
– They are informational and supporting.
– Informal & informative, and interesting!
– Helpful – in that they reinforce what I learned through therapy.
– It shows how smart you are!
– Short but helpful. Feels like we’ve been visiting.
– Writing style – easy to read & digest. Great tools, easy to immediately apply to my daily life. Concrete suggestions with no “fluff”! Wonderful!
– I find the topics you pick for your mailings are of interest to me. They are written so I am able to understand them.
– Some good information.
– At this point in my life I’m hungry for any kind of self-help knowledge (as you know).
– Good information, challenges beliefs, educational, interesting to read.
– Good – Great Info – Tony – I like the direct & indirect reference to T.A., Gestalt.
– Your thoroughness, and creativity!
– Gaining new knowledge and insight on relationships. Very friendly and “layman” in presentation style.
– They are informative and packed full of helpful ideas.
– Variety of topics – Good suggestions not too “clinical.”
– Most are right on target!
– Can relate to topics. Short & appropriate.
– Easy fast read.
– It gives me honest and real answers to challenges I face in the real world – The topics are another source of rethinking.
– A moment of thoughtful inspiration.
– Keep up the good work!
– The newsletters have been interesting.
– That you spend time creatively developing the topics & giving practical tips on handling them.
– Topics presented are varied. Issues addressed are varied. Encourages me to be more introspective. Encourages discussion.
Your friends and colleagues could be saying these things about you!
Just write to me.
We can work on your unique needs together.