How to Improve Your Survey in 3 Foolproof Steps

Last week I broke down how to write some really awesome questions for your survey (check out the five steps here). Hopefully those tips got you excited and thinking about some creative ways to engage with your customers and collect useful feedback. But building a survey is only the first part and before your responses start to roll in, you’ve got to launch your survey!

Before you “go live” follow these three foolproof steps for improving your survey:

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1.Timing & Frequency

Getting to know your audience is important because sending your survey at the right time and frequency can improve response rates and enhance the accuracy of responses. Consider sending a follow-up survey to customers within 24 hours of a purchase or interaction. The exchange will still be fresh in their minds, making it easier for them to give accurate feedback. For other types of surveys, like Employee Engagement, avoid sending during your busy periods and capitalize on downtimes to drive participation from internal staff.

Developing a survey calendar will condition your audience to expect surveys from you. It will also help you avoid over-surveying participants. To make it even easier, SoGoSurvey gives you Touch Rules which prevents email invitations from being sent to individuals who received a given number (x) or more invitations on or after a particular date or participated in a given number (y) or more surveys on or after a particular date.  

Lastly, consider the timing of your email invitations. Studies show that the best time to send e-mail invitations is midweek in the early afternoon, but once you’ve sent a few surveys of your own, you’ll know when your audience is most likely to respond. The best email invitations are short, state the purpose of the survey, and provide a reason to participate.

2. Custom Experience

If you’re able to segment your audience based on demographics or any other grouping, you can create a survey experience that is more meaningful. When a survey is relevant, your target audience is more likely to respond. The best way to make surveys relevant is to use branching, which allows participants to skip sections that don’t apply to them. For example, if you’re the owner of health club and you send a survey to your members asking about their favorite type of workout, you can set branching to allow for follow-up questions that match their answers. If someone selects “Group Classes” as their favorite, they would be shown a series of questions specific to classes. If someone does not select “Group Classes” the branching feature would skip them to the next set of relevant questions. It would be silly to ask someone a series of questions that don’t apply and could possibly lead to them abandon the survey all together.

3. Total Package

To further prevent your participants from abandoning your survey, stay focused. Don’t try to collect “nice-to-know” data that might come in handy sometime in the future. Keep your survey short and to the point. If you need to ask for more details, you can always send a follow-up survey. Set the expectation for participants from the beginning – let them know the approximate length of the survey in both number of questions and time to complete. Lastly, make sure your questions are in logical order because one question may influence how the participant answers the next one. Thinking about your survey as a “total package” will ensure the best experience for your audience.

Looking for more tips? Check out Part II or sign up for one of our custom webinars.