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5 Tips for Conducting Successful Online Surveys

In order to make a successful online survey, there are a few tips that will help ensure your efforts are fruitful. Many large corporations and even small organisations consistently use online surveys to gain business insight. Read on for tips on how to create successful surveys that will help you meet your objectives…

Tip #1 – Survey Software

The first of our five tips for creating successful online surveys start at the source! Spend a little time researching what would be the best online survey software that meets your needs. Features offered should include such things as design, branding, distribution, collection, reporting, analysis and support. You should choose advanced software that will provide you with such things as multi-language support, ready-made survey templates and a specific or unlimited amount of responses, surveys, pages, and questions. In addition, it’s worth checking out other features that will help you meet your objectives, such as; the ability to insert photos, customised thank you pages, password protection, and even pre-set survey themes that allow you to add your own branding. Finally, remember not to overlook the distribution features available; in today’s digital world, the ability to send survey invitations via SMS could help improve your response rate! For information on the range of features available read our blog on Advanced Survey Features.

Tip #2 - Anonymity

In some cases, a successful online survey should allow participants to answer all your questions and remain anonymous at the same time. Most people will be honest if they do not have to attach their name to the information. This allows them to talk freely without giving out any personal details. All too often, surveys ask for a participant’s personal information which many individuals are reluctant to provide. Anonymity can be especially useful for employee satisfaction surveys, allowing for honest, impartial feedback and for medical research where the need for privacy is the number one priority.

Tip #3 - Relevancy

Nothing irritates respondents more than having to answer questions that are not relevant, by including such questions, you will more than likely reduce your response rate. Setting objectives will help you identify what you need to find out and in turn, make your survey more successful;

Successful Online Surveys Successful Online Surveys

  • Do you want to learn if customers are satisfied with your services?
  • Would you like to know which products your customers like the most?
  • Do you want to know what attendees thought of an event?

Remember, ask questions that will help you evaluate the responses and provide you with actionable results. Skip logic is a feature that is invaluable to make sure that respondents only see questions that are relevant to them. You can tailor your surveys to be quick and easy to answer by sending people down a custom made path dependent on how they answer certain questions. Read our blog on The Benefits of Using Skip Logic for more information.

Tip #4 - Engagement

When considering what type of questions to include in your online surveys, keep in mind that people do not like answering long, time-consuming questionnaires, instead they are more responsive to ones that are easy to answer and give them the opportunity to expand on their responses. If you use all multiple choice questions, you will not be allowing your participants to explain their choices or to add more information to their answers. Where appropriate, it is useful to offer a larger text box that can be written in if the participant feels it is necessary. A successful online survey will have the ability to select from a library of question types and customisation tools.

Tip #5 - Reporting

The last, and one of the most important tips for creating successful online surveys is that you receive real-time results in order to create valuable reports. For useful analysis, you may wish to report on such things as geographic location, the gender of the participants, or which of your products they have purchased. Be sure that you generate quality reports so your success can be measured quickly and properly.

Benefits of Successful Online Surveys

Successful online surveys have lots of benefits, here are just a few that will help you meet your needs when conducting research;

  • Low Cost
  • Convenience
  • Flexibility
  • Ease of Use
  • Accuracy

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2012 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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