All Things Digital

7 Tricks of Online Surveys You Should Know

An online survey is an excellent tool for sourcing vital information directly from a wide audience, with ease and convenience. Yet, despite how easy surveys appear, there is always room for improvement! The idea is to create and implement a well-rounded survey that is simple, easy to understand and yet, packs the punch for your business needs. Here are some important tips and tools that help you get the best out of your online surveys.

#1 Avoid long surveys
One of the benefits of online surveys is that the response is nearly instant, thereby reducing the time taken to collect responses. Businesses tend to exploit this advantage and stretch the length of their online survey with the assumption that respondents do not mind spending time on their surveys. However, just as you hate waiting in a long queue, a long survey tends to bore your online respondents. They may simply drop out or quit responding half-way, stop responding with interest, or worse, get disgruntled and never take up another survey from your brand. Designing a survey and finding the right respondents is resource-crunching; keep your online surveys crisp and to the point to avoid high respondent drop-out rates. A respondent should take no longer than ten minutes to complete your online survey.

#2 Ensure consistency in coded values
Each survey response or option is assigned a numeric code or value that is useful in computing mean, median, range, variance and other analytical calculation on the data that is collected. To ensure accurate computation, values must be coded following a consistent methodology. Typically, the highest value is assigned to the best or most positive outcome and so on. It is a best practice to keep the direction of the scale and the scale points consistent throughout the survey. Ensure that the coding is done accurately, as online responses get recorded automatically into the survey repository of database.

#3 Irrelevant questions are a survey faux-pas!
Irrelevant questions can frustrate your respondents. Employ question routing and survey logic features available on online survey portals or survey creation websites to redirect respondents to questions that are relevant to them or the responses that they had previously provided.

#4 Be flexible with your designs
Online surveys enable creativity to be incorporated into your questionnaires, as compared to traditional print surveys. You can create complex surveys with ease and conduct them through the internet. Mix various types of response formats – close-ended, open-ended, rating scales and so on – to keep your questionnaire interesting to your respondents and to evoke different types of responses from them.

#5 Explore free online survey tools
There is no dearth of free online survey tools! Explore various options and figure out what works best for you in terms of features, flexibility, number of questions and so on. Some of the popular free online survey tools include Survey Monkey, Qualtrics, Google Forms, Typeform and Survey Planet.

#6 Test your survey
There are chances that your survey has not been formatted right, or your question routing and survey logic is not on point. Always do test runs on a small sample of people who are willing to help you out; this way you can identify any areas for improvement and polish your survey so that when your respondents receive it, you are sure that they will provide answers in the right format and to the right questions.

#7 Place surveys strategically
Online is probably the only place where surveys can be placed strategically to target a specific audience. For example, you can serve a survey on all people who exit your website after a download, or after buying a certain category of products or after consuming a particular type of content. This feature can help you keep your survey questions specific to derive a specific buying behaviour.

Online surveys work great if you seek to reach a large respondent base. Remember to keep your survey short, simple and to the point, so that you reduce your drop-out rates and get the most out of your investment in designing and implementing the survey.