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    How to get Answers to Your Online Surveys

    Online surveys are highly advantageous. They allow the respondent to complete when is convenient, along with boasting a higher response rate than mailing lists and having the added advantage of multimedia.

    In order to achieve success and gain the answers needed for your online surveys, you must have been successful during your campaign. To gain credible answers on your online surveys, your target audience must be aware of your online survey. In addition to email mailing lists you could consider posting a feature article or a smaller survey to web communities and newsgroups.

    All email invitations regarding your online surveys must be personal. It has been proven that with a personal salutation, response rates will increase by five per cent and occasionally more.

    The email invite must be short and to the point else it will not be read. The email must explain who you are and what the purpose of your survey is. In order to persuade online survey completion, you have to state how it will benefit the individual. There must be one link that will go direct to your survey, it must be clear and concise and if it does not take the potential respondent there in one simple click you will lose their answers. It is vitally important to stress how long or short the survey is! As most people don’t read extensive instructions, it will not be patronising to make the email and survey idiot proof; it will only boost your responses.

    Once you have driven people to your online surveys, it is important to let people know how you will use their responses. You must make it clear whether their responses will be anonymous, confidential or shared with others, as this can be a major factor on whether a person will take an online survey.

    Persistency is essential, and this is where email reminders come into play. It is very unlikely you will achieve maximum online survey completion by everybody you have emailed, however for those that were thinking about it initially, will more than likely complete if asked the second time. However in order to avoid annoyance it is important to remove those who do not wish to be contacted again from your filter out email addresses.

    Everybody loves an incentive of money, prizes and gifts. Studies have shown that these incentives don’t have to be large to increase the response rates. Just a small token or a gift certificate can be of a considerable advantage to the amount of answers completed on your online surveys. If you are lucky enough to reach a person who does not require an incentive and simply wants to share an opinion, then you are at a complete advantage.

    Your survey design generally doesn’t need any fancy graphics, as these can distract from the content and influence the answers given. If you are to use any graphics, you must use them in a way to improve online survey responses such as displaying images of a prize or a link to an incentive. Those that complete the online survey will want to see results, this will give them reason to complete any future online surveys.

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    About Author

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    Phil Cleave

    Phil is part of the Content team at SmartSurvey and has over 20 years experience in the PR and Comms sector writing for Tech Companies.

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