Build a Better Survey – Part IV: Check yourself!

Believe it or check it? Better check it!Isn’t it crazy how some people just believe things will work out without them lifting a finger?

But not you, right? You know better. Belief is a powerful thing, sure, but sometimes a little extra work helps to improve your luck.

Before you launch your survey, run through a few double-checks to make sure it’s ready. Your survey’s about to be your ambassador out in the world and you need to be sure it minds its manners.


  • Have you introduced yourself and your purpose? Imagine that you just show up and start asking questions of a group of strangers. Awkward at best. Who are you? Why are you doing this? Be sure your survey introduces itself politely.


  • Are you getting too personal too fast? Especially when your participants don’t know you well, it’s super uncomfortable for them to get lots of personal questions. Age, income, and education are tricky items to start off with. You don’t walk up to people on the street asking how much they weigh – you know how rude that is. Give your survey participants the same respect, and move your demographic questions to the end, once you’ve gotten better acquainted.


  • Are you acting bossy? Nobody likes being ordered around. If your survey has lots of mandatory questions, there’s a good chance your participants will drop out, throw a tantrum, or both.


  • Are you standing up straight? From clothes to posture, you create a quick impression before you know it. Participants size up your survey the same way. If you’ve got typos, inconsistencies, or any other blemishes, why should they take you seriously?


  • Why should anyone believe you? Talk is cheap, but nobody’s got time to waste. If you’re telling participants their feedback matters, show it. Include your follow-up plans right in your invitation, your survey, and your Instant Thanks emails. When people see they can trust you, they’re more likely to want to get involved again in the future.


Got it? Good. Because there’s a test. Lots of tests. Make sure the first tests are internal, with critical friends and select participants. Once you launch, every single participant will test you and your survey, too. Make sure you measure up.

Harder work means better luck. Get your act together before you launch and your survey will do you proud.


Want more? Read the full article on LinkedIn. Plus, circle back to the first three parts on getting started, asking questions, and boosting engagement.