When it comes to running a successful business, online or offline, one of the most important factors is having a great deal of knowledge about your customer base. You don’t want to have to guess at what your prospects really want, you should find ways to actually learn this from them directly. If you’re looking for an easy way to accomplish this, you should use web survey software. By conducting a survey and asking the right questions, you tend to eliminate the guesswork; it’s a way to get into the minds of your target audience and serving them in the best possible way.
While surveys are extremely useful tools that can make it easier to understand your prospects/customers, you shouldn’t base all of your business decisions on them. Like any type of information, what you learn from surveys can be incomplete or inaccurate for one reason or another. So depending completely on the survey results is not the way to go; instead you should see the data that you get as a starting point so that you know you’re moving in the right direction.
Obviously, your goal in creating a survey is to get a high response rate, and it may take using some innovative tactics to motivate people to respond in large numbers. If you can, think about offering an incentive to people who respond back to your survey, as this might motivate them enough to take part in it.
You might give them a gift that’s directly related to your niche, as this is something that they’ll be able to really use.
One reason that surveys can be so effective is that they appeal to those people who love telling you their point of view every chance they get. Surveys appeal to such people because they give them a platform to voice their thoughts or opinions, and they don’t need any incentive beyond this.
For this group, an incentive or reward is unnecessary, so you may want to set it up so that you only give people a gift if they actually request it. In order to be successful with your products and services, it’s essential to stay in close contact with your customers and prospects so you know what they really need. By conducting an effective survey, you are in essence proving to your target audience that you actually care, and that their opinion does matter. Your surveys can be a valuable tool for your online business as long as you ask the right questions and make them as easy and enjoyable for people to complete as possible.
What is the Typical Response Rate for a Survey?
Online survey response rates vary widely and are affected by a number of factors. For a survey in which there is no prior relationship with recipients (the blind date of online surveys), response rates can be as high as 20% to 30%.
Factors that can affect the response rate include:
The target population — Are you are trying to obtain responses from a hard-to-reach population (e.g., males age 18 to 24 who play video games)?
Your relationship with survey respondents — Are the potential respondents customers or employees?
The survey invitation — Can you personalize the email invitation to include the potential respondents’ names? How much can you share with respondents about the nature of the research?
The survey length — Will your survey take 5 minutes of respondents’ time or 15 minutes?
The complexity of the survey questions — Will you be asking respondents to simply answer straight-forward questions or will you ask them to undergo multiple tasks, like visiting a web site and then provide their impressions?
The survey topic — Will your potential respondents have a vested interest in the topic (e.g., improving employee benefits)?
Incentives — Will you be able to sweeten the pot for potential respondents to take your survey with some form of financial compensation, material goods, or information?
Reminder emails — Will you be able to send a reminder to respondents who haven’t completed the survey?