The Internet has revolutionised the way that surveys are used for research. In the past, creating a survey usually required a significant investment in both time and money. However with the introduction of free online research survey providers these barriers no longer exist. Creating a free online survey allows you to quickly collect timely research data from respondents across the globe. These popular free survey tools are now being used by academic researchers, marketers, businesses and non profit organisations.
While there is a wide range of free online survey tools, most follow a similar format for creating a basic free survey. Read on and find the six basic steps to creating a free survey for your research.
Step One: Create an Account
The first step is to register at one of the free online survey sites. Once you have registered you will be provided with a user name and password which will allow you to create free surveys in the future. One of the more popular free survey sites is SmartSurvey.
Step Two: Choose a Title and Category
Next you will need to choose a title for your free survey. This should be descriptive enough that you are able to tell what the survey is about at a glance. Some survey services will also require that you create a category for your survey.
Step Three: Select a Template
Most of the free online survey sites provide you with the option of selecting a template. Examples of common templates include software evaluation templates, customer satisfaction surveys and website feedback forms. The type of template you choose will dictate the format of the questions that are provided.
Step Four: Edit Your Survey
Once you have selected your template, you need to edit the questions to meet your purposes. This step may also involve editing the answers which your respondents can choose from.
Step Five: Choose Your Distribution Method
Now that you have completed the creation of your survey you need to choose the method by which it will be distributed. You have a few different options including sending an embedded survey in an email, creating a URL which you can place on your website or in an email, placing the survey on your website or sharing the survey via a social networking site such as Facebook.
Step Six: Analyse the Results
As people complete your survey you will start to receive results instantaneously. You can use the analyse results function through your free online survey provider to evaluate the feedback.
Free online tools have made the process of creating surveys and collecting data much simpler. While templates do make it much easier to design an effective survey, thinking about how it is structured is still important. Some mistakes to avoid are asking too many questions, creating questions which lead the respondent to a particular answer and making the questions too general. While technology has vastly improved the ability to quickly gain research data, there is still an art to creating an effective survey.