Mistakes to Avoid When Crafting Surveys

From client-satisfaction to customer-perceived effectiveness, most B2B and B2C marketers understand the profound insight surveys can provide into various aspects of their marketing efforts. However, in order to ensure you’re getting quality responses, make sure you steer clear of these easily avoided pitfalls that can compromise your survey results.

Leading questions

Don’t phrase survey questions in a way that presupposes or suggests an answer to the question. For example: “Direct mail campaigns always positively influence numbers of website visitors. How impactful was the direct mail campaign on your website visits?” Questions like this automatically assume something that may or may not be true, influencing the respondent to answer in a way that they normally wouldn’t.

Poorly-worded questions

Nothing will frustrate a survey participant more than confusing them with a poorly-worded question. If a respondent can’t tell what they are being asked, the response given won’t be of much use, and they might just skip the question (or the entire survey) altogether.

Lengthy surveys

Keep in mind that the majority of your survey participants are likely busy professionals, with plenty on their plate during an average work week. For this reason, most surveys shouldn’t last more than 5-10 minutes. Keep the survey approachable, and respondents will be more likely to take their time, answering fully and truthfully.

Distributing on the wrong days

As a general rule of thumb, it’s not a good idea to distribute emails (including surveys) on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Whether it’s the end of the week, beginning of the week, or the actual weekend itself, potential respondents are more likely to either ignore or delete e-blasts and surveys received during these times. Send your survey out Tuesday – Thursday, and see how much your response rate can improve.

As you can see, these aren’t ground-breaking tips, sure to impact every aspect of your surveying strategy. In fact, you’ve likely heard these same sentiments echoed in your market research class back in college. But fail to keep these no-brainer points in mind when crafting and distributing surveys, and you’ll jeopardize your survey’s validity.

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