How to create a great survey?
How to motivate respondents? How to distribute a survey?
- Define your target audience. How would you know that you have reached the right target audience?
- The number of questions. The longer your survey is, the more people would drop it.
- Crystal clear questions. Make sure you don’t have ambiguous questions.
- Motivation. Why people should invest their time? Make sure that you explain why in a passionate way. Create an emotional connection with your audience.
Should I pay survey respondents?
There are no right and wrong answers. This is what I learned so far. If a survey is pretty simple and short, it can be free. If you need time and dedication from your audience, then I would recommend using additional motivation. It could be money or any other benefits. How to pay for a survey completion?
- Amazon Gift card – the most popular in my list.
- Money – but you need to think about the payment process or find the platform that supports it.
- Product Discount – if we are talking about a survey for your clients, it might work. But from my experience, it is not as good as Amazon Gift Cards.
- Powerbank, USB flash drive. Works better than nothing, but the value is low. You need to think about whether it is worth the respondent’s efforts.
In general, there are three stages for each survey lifetime:
- Survey creation
- Survey distribution
Imagine what do you need on each stage and then select the right tool. And of course, we cannot remove the price from our review.
The most popular tools:
- Survey Monkey. Probably the most famous tool.
- Google Forms. Great for starters. Easy to use. At the same time, they have limited templates functionality.
- Qualtrics. Lot’s of features, ability to customize your template. Survey distribution. Reports.
- TypeForm. Affordable pricing. User experience focus, which makes your life easier.
Let talk about a survey distribution. What are the options and when use which?
- Built-in distribution mechanism Almost every survey tool provides the ability to distribute the survey. You just need to import the contacts. If a survey is the only target, then it is the easiest way to distribute a survey.
- Web site (for example pop-up with survey prompt)It is great when you want to reach not only your existing clients but the prospective clients as well.
- Social media People are more relaxed while scrolling social media, so it could be a great way to distribute your survey. At the same time, you need to remember that if something goes wrong, the respondent will share it in social media immediately without any delay.
- Link in an email. (for example in your monthly/weekly marketing email)If you have a great email marketing, then it is a great way to distribute your survey. If the opening rate of your marketing emails is pretty low, it means that you don’t have a successful start at the beginning and it is hard to get even the average response rate.
- SMS. Frankly, I never use this distribution channel. But it is worth to think about SMS sending costs and about the way for users to unsubscribe from any future survey SMSs.
There a lot of things that could go wrong with a survey. This is what I can say from my experience. You either get an outcome from a survey or … a valuable experience. Let’s take a look at the valuable experience part. To fix what was wrong, first of all, you need to identify what was wrong.
- You hit the wrong target audience. A lot of “Other”, “I don’t use it”, “Not applicable” responses may be a red flag.
- The high rate of dropped surveys. Take a little bit closer which question is an issue. It could be an ambiguous or vague question. OR it could be a complicated question to ask. Once I was so eager to know everything from one survey that I had a question with 10 options. Each option could be rated from 1 to 10. It gave me almost 50% of dropped surveys on that question. Now I know that this is the thing I shouldn’t do again 🙂OR A question containing “negative” wording, which can easily confuse respondents. What you should answer Yes or No?
- Low response rate. The root cause can be a lengthy survey. Imagine, that you open a survey which says page 1 of 15. You thirst thought would be “I’m not ready for that” and then you close the survey page. Free text responseVery hard for a quantify analysis, especially if you expect thousands of responses. Make sure that your respondent will use free text response as an exception, not as a regular answer.
- Wrong distribution channel. Nobody even clicked your survey link? Check your distribution channel. It might happen if you placed your survey link at the bottom of the marketing email and nobody noticed that it is there. Or you have sent an email to B2B account owners asking to evaluate your product from an end-user perspective.