How to Conduct a Survey with Results

Any campaign usually has a call to action, whether it is to get a customer to purchase a product, to generate a lead or to engage your followers with social media. The toughest part of these campaigns is their purpose and that it to generate results.

Surely, if you spend even the smallest amount of time on the Internet, you are getting bombarded left and right being asked to “fill out a survey.” Businesses use these to gauge their performance and measure their progress as well as individual components of their products and services.

If there is information that you are interested in obtaining, you need to incentivize your participants. Hokey things like a free desktop background or a ring tone may have sounded good 7 years ago, but they are unlikely to drive results.

Keeping your survey on topic and making it easy to complete are among the things you need to think about when you are on a research mission. What is it that you are trying to learn? How much do you really need to find out? Can you get the same information from 10 questions that you could get from 100? Does each question need to be a paragraph long, or can you make them shorter?

Once you figure out what it is that you really need to know, you can start working on your survey. I always try to use the KISS (Keep it Simple and Stupid) theory when I create things like surveys. I try to make the questions as easy to read, direct and easy to answer as possible.

If you have too many questions that will take the user too long to contemplate, they might get frustrated and abandon the survey, leaving you with only partial results, or worse, nothing at all!

People love data. They love seeing how their preferences stack up against other peoples’. What I love to do when I set out to learn about a particular thing is incentivize users by promising to share the data with them.

This can work two-fold when you have a desired quota. Let’s say you want to get 500 respondents on a certain survey. In the description of the survey, list your intent. Tell people how many respondents you are looking for and why it is you are seeking the data. If you offer to share after a certain threshold is met, who knows, they might even help spread the word for you! If the survey is interesting enough, you might be overwhelmed with the response you get just through social marketing.

Once you do get the data though, be prompt! If you promise to share the results after the quota is met and wait two weeks to post the information, people will be less likely to interact with your surveys in the future.

The bottom line is if you are trying to figure something out, map out what exactly it is you want to know, how quickly and efficiently you can seek the information, and then politely ask people to help you with your research. You will be amazed at how enthusiastic the response can be for an interesting project.

Whatever it is you’re researching and whoever it is you’re reaching out to, make sure that you are engaging them and always thank them for their time. After all, time is the most important commodity.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and figure something out!

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