12 Best Practices for Creating Effective Surveys

By Kristen Dunleavy

Surveys can provide email marketers with invaluable customer insights. But there’s a science to developing surveys that actually get you the info you need. To help you make your next survey as effective as possible, we’ve put together an even-dozen list of best practices from survey experts.

1. Pay attention to your sender address

“Sending a survey from ‘customerservice,’ ‘helpdesk’ or ‘info’ is not likely to get you a solid batch of survey responses,” warns mTab. “The email introducing your survey should instead come from a trusted individual within your company, preferably one with whom the customer has already communicated. Also, make sure the introduction has a personal touch, appealing directly to the individual to take a moment to complete your survey.”

2. Focus your survey on a single objective

“Narrow down what you want to know to the key questions that get to the root of the issue,” advises Constant Contact. “For instance, when conducting a post-transaction satisfaction survey, stick to questions surrounding the sale process and nothing more. This will keep your survey focused and help avoid the ‘just one more question’ syndrome when building your survey.”

3. Keep your questions clear and simple

“Avoid technical words, jargon, lingo, or any industry-specific language that might confuse or frustrate your survey respondents,” suggests SurveyMonkey. “You’ll also want to be specific and concrete. Better to poll survey takers on ‘cell phone’ usage instead of ‘handheld device’ usage.”

4. Ask only questions that will help you meet your goal

“You need to be ruthless when it comes to cutting unnecessary questions from your surveys,” advises HelpScout. “Every question you include should have a well-defined purpose and a strong reason for being there.”

5. Avoid yes/no questions, if possible

“Many yes/no questions can be reworked by including phrases such as ‘how much,’ ‘how often,’ or ‘how likely,’ says the Qualtrics blog. “Make this change whenever possible and include a response scale for richer data.”

6. Keep your survey short

“Every extra question reduces your response rate, decreases validity, and makes all your results suspect,” suggests the Nielsen Norman Group. “Better to administer two short surveys to two different subsamples of your audience than to lump everything you want to know into a long survey that won’t be completed by the average customer. Twenty questions are too many unless you have a highly motivated set of participants. People are much more likely to participate in one-question surveys.”

7. Avoid biasing responses

“Ask questions in a manner that doesn’t trend answers in a particular way,” suggests Constant Contact. “For instance, when gauging a customer’s likelihood of referring your business to friends, use a scale that ranges from “not very” to “extremely” with a few options in between. Avoid using ‘always’ or ‘never’ extremes as they can bias responses in the opposite direction.”

8. Allow ‘N/A,’ ‘neutral’ or ‘not sure’ answers

“If a question doesn’t apply to a respondent, it is better to understand that than it is to get false data,” says My Market Go to the full article.

Source:: Business2Community

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