Free online surveys are a common tool used to find out customers’ opinions. Thanks to the Internet and to email services, free surveys can be sent or offered online to vast numbers of people, to obtain a wealth of data on products or services. The convenience of free online surveys has made them a preferred method, of a higher incidence rate compared to other methods of surveying people. The advantage offered to respondents who can fill surveys in their own time, and send them back in an instant, is a powerful factor for the popularity of free surveys offered online. Yet another advantage for companies that choose free online surveys as marketing tools is the fact they can use their own websites in order to generate contacts. A number of companies offer customers the option of signing ip for email newsletters as well as other electronic information. Thus companies can use the email contact lists created to conduct free online surveys.
There is one more advantage of free online surveys to be conducted online: they can be created quickly, with the aid of software programs, suing ready survey templates and tips on writing such surveys.
However, there is a disadvantage of free online surveys, namely fraud opportunities. Companies can take measures to decrease the likelihood of cheaters, by requiring the mailing addresses of respondents; another popular measure is to offer limited timeframes to fill in online surveys. Furthermore, asking for demographic details which verify the sex, age, the level of income of each respondent can help to find out cheaters: when such answers are not consistent with the other answers, that is a signal the specific respondent is a cheater and should be blocked. Another definitely non favourite area for cheaters are open ended questions; cheaters tend to skip them without providing their replies.