Tips for your online survey

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Tips for your online survey

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Making your online surveys even more effective.

I have taken lots of surveys; some were great but many were horrid. So I thought it was time to round-up a few tips to help make your Online Surveys great as opposed to horrid.

Thoughts for an effective survey

1. Set out clear objectives

Why are you doing a Survey and what key information do you want to learn? How does the Survey integrate with your overall marketing plan? Also formulate the post-Survey action strategy.

2. Keep the survey short

50 complete responses to a 5-questions survey will tell you more that 5 incomplete responses to a 50-question survey. Keep it short and switch on a progress indicator.

3. Carefully word the questions

Questions must be carefully worded to avoid any doubt as to their meaning. Think “brevity and precision”.

4. Don’t ask leading questions

You want honest answers, so “Please rate your satisfaction” is better than “Tell us how totally delighted you are”.

5. Ask important questions early

Ask the most important questions first so if respondents don’t complete the survey, at least you have the most important answers.

6. Ask one question at a time

Multiple questions on a page can add to confusion, incorrect interpretation of the questions, and early drop-out. It’s often better to ask one question on each page.

7. Do not combine questions

How does a respondent answer the question “Was the training course useful and enjoyable” if it was useful but not enjoyable?

8. Use rules-based routing

Rules-based routing presents questions based on previous answers. e.g. don’t ask what dog food the respondent buys if they have already said they don’t have a dog. This is easier if you ask one question at a time.

9. Thoroughly test your Survey

Test your survey, and then test again. Then test again. Use colleagues and friends to independently assess how your survey works.

10. Follow-up properly

Respondents have given their valuable time to help you. Show that you value their input by following-up, even as a summary. You may have some uncomfortable findings to deal with, but nonetheless you should act, and be seen to act, on those findings.