The Times survey their subscribers. Digital only subscribers need not apply.
The Times is surveying subscribers in order to “improve the products and services we offer to our customers”. They’ve designed the survey in a way that excludes digital customers.
“As a valued subscriber, your opinions are very important to us.”
So said the marketing survey email I got at the weekend from the Times and the Sunday Times. I’ve been a digital subscriber since the website went behind the paywall.
The first question in the survey?
“Firstly before you subscribed; on average, which days of the week would you buy The Times and The Sunday Times newspapers from your local retailer? (Please take into account going on holiday)”
There are seven options: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
It is a compulsory question, with no “none” answer.
I never used to buy the paper in print, I’ve only ever subscribed digitally. I can’t answer the question. I can’t reach the rest of the survey.
That doesn’t make me feel like their marketing department value their digital only subscribers. It makes me feel that they can’t believe their digital product range would ever attract people who hadn’t previously purchased the paper.
UPDATED 23/1/2013: A spokesperson for the Times contacted me about this post, and said:
“The first question should have ‘never’ as an option but didn’t. Fortunately the majority of subscribers who completed the survey did buy a paper at some stage and we have had over 29k responses, of which about 39% were digital subscribers. We will discount the question in case it is skewed. Despite that, the survey has yielded us useful feedback from our users”