Online surveys are essential if you seek to collect reliable information regarding your audience. Without them, you may not collect the right information and even highly get influenced in bad decision-making. 

According to research, most businesses fail with the top reason being a lack of knowledge. Lack of knowledge comes from failing to obtain the right information from your audience which directly affects how your business operates. 

Most business owners fail because they always think using online surveys is too expensive or difficult to do. This is just another false assumption, especially with modern technology coming so far. 

In this article, we’ll show you the top tips you can use for fulfilling your business needs with online surveys. 

Top tips for creating an excellent online survey 

1. Define your purpose 

If you don’t have an idea what to include in a survey, you will most likely stagger with your results and end up making bad decisions. The best surveys out there are the ones that have a goal behind them and are simple to understand. 

Try to spend some time answering the following questions before you create your survey: 

  • What is the reason behind creating this survey? 
  • What is the goal of this survey? 
  • What do you want to accomplish after your audience completes your survey? 
  • How will you use the data you have collected from your survey? 

It may look easy, but it isn’t as easy as it looks. There are plenty of surveys out there that fail only because they don’t define their purpose before creating the survey. 

Let’s say you are a marketing agency and you are trying to find out what your users think about your product or service. In this case, you should consider spending a vast amount of time researching through your purpose, and try determining:

  • Are we understanding how our customers perceive our product or service so that we identify what needs to be improved? 
  • How would our customers rate our product or service? In this case, you can try adding a scale of 1-5. 

This is an example of defining a purpose, so before you set up your survey, you know which are the right questions to ask and which ones meet your objectives based on the data you are gathering from it. 

2. Use survey templates 

Maybe it is your first time creating a survey, and you are thinking of where to start and how to start. There are many survey template ideas out there and all of them are useful to use. The most common survey templates are: 

  • Back to school 
  • Animal testing 
  • Travel 
  • Product or service satisfaction
  • Homebuyer
  • Training needs, and more 

Along with the many survey templates out there, you have many different types of surveys that a company will send out. Some surveys may focus more on multiple choices, while others may only be open-end questions, or there may even be a mixture of all in one. Here are the most common types of surveys: 

  • Scaling: come along with ratings from ‘very good’ to ‘very poor’, or maybe even in number ratings such as 1-5. Usually used to describe how your experience has been with a product or service. 
  • Fill in information: this asks you to fill in necessary information such as your name, surname, address, country, and more. 
  • Open-end questions: questions that will require you to give a longer response and go into in-depth explanations. 
  • Short answers: short answer surveys will usually require you to give one to two-word answers without any explanations. 
  • Multiple-choice: answers that will only require you to fill-in one option from three to four that are given. 
  • yes/no: a question is given, and you either choose yes or no, or even in some cases you will have an option that says ‘neither’. 

3. Keep it short 

Nobody likes long surveys, because everyone’s time is limited. If you create surveys with long open-end questions or even many questions to a point where they feel like it will take forever to complete the survey, most people won’t take it at all. 

According to research, shorter surveys have higher response rates and get abandoned less often than a longer survey would. Long surveys are usually those that are considered to be longer than 12 minutes. It’s in our nature to want everything to be simple and easy, so consider this for your surveys as well.

Additionally, keep in mind that even though your questions are short, orientate those questions around your objectives. Don’t ask questions that have nothing to do with your audience and won’t give you valuable data. 

Undergo a trial with your surveys and see how much time it takes to complete it. Whatever is under 12 minutes means that you hit the bingo. 

4. Use rating scales 

Rating scales are not only effective to use, but they can be fun to complete as well. Rating scales will usually ask questions that use scales from 1 to 5. Whenever you use a rating scale, use the same rating method options throughout the survey. For example, if you start out with ‘very bad’ to ‘very good’ then continue with these rating options. 

Changing the rating scale will only confuse participants, make the survey look complicated, and even take more time to analyze. This needs to be avoided at all costs. 

5. Find the best time 

Don’t send out surveys when your audience is least active. Your click rates will only stay lower and your emails will not be getting as much attention. Although, the time you choose to send out surveys will all depend on who your target audience is. 

For example, if you are targeting employees, then avoid sending out surveys from 8 to 17. These are the most common working hours, so either send it after these hours or even on weekends. If you are targeting school students, then send out surveys post-school hours. 

Many studies will show you different times and days of the week when you should send out a survey. However, they can’t be accurate for every case. Different audiences are free during different time periods. The best thing you can do is even try setting up a survey asking your audience when is their ideal time for answering a survey. 

6. Keep it simple 

Simple questions are good questions. Avoid asking questions that will make your participants think for too long; the only thing that might happen here will be them abandoning the survey. Ask more general questions that are related to your topic and not questions that get too in-depth, requiring lots of thinking.  

Open-end questions in most cases can easily get complicated since they require long explanations. Try to ask direct questions that don’t require much thinking in them. 

In short, you have to respect the fact that participants are voluntarily taking your survey and giving you their opinion, so it isn’t a good idea to make your survey seem like an exam with complicated questions. 

7. Inform your respondents that their data is secure 

Participants are worried about their data, especially with the many cyber attacks that are out there. Inform them how you keep their data secure and how you won’t share it with other parties. You can include this statement anywhere in the survey or in the email you are sending out in order to increase trust and response rates. 

8. Run a trial 

Before making your survey public, don’t forget to run a trial. Have customers that are loyal to your company undergo the trial test, or even try it out with your colleagues. Their reactions can help you a lot once they complete the survey. 

Wrapping it up 

Well, that’s about it for this article. These were our top tips you can use for creating the ideal survey that will fulfill your business needs in 2022. Pay attention only to your audience and don’t use survey templates that are targeting a different audience; this won’t help you. 

Remember that a survey is in other words feedback from your audience. This feedback is important data you need to use in order to know what your audience thinks about your product or service. We recommend you read through each section carefully and consider applying each tip to the surveys you will be creating. 

Use all the resources you have to make the best survey you can. Don’t forget to make it short, simple, and send it out when your audience is the most active. After all, a good survey can’t be good when it is delivered at the wrong time. 

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