How To Create Surveys That People Will Actually Respond To?

create awesome surveysDo you send out marketing polls and surveys that never seem to get answered? Here are a few tips to make those valuable data-gathering tools more effective:

Grab them immediately. You only have a few seconds to rivet your reader’s attention before that mouse hand gets twitchy and clicks on to something more interesting. Put serious thought into the title of your message. “Please Fill Out This Survey” won’t attract attention, but a targeted header such as “Are you enjoying your new lawn mower?” should cause the reader to sit up and take notice.

Make them see the value. People care about filling out polls and surveys when they can clearly see how the data collection might ultimately benefit them; as in all forms of marketing, you still have to answer the magic question, “What’s in it for me?” Your opening statement should make it clear that the results you get from this poll will go directly toward improving the customer experience and/or enabling you to get a better picture of what matters to your constituents or clients.

Do not confuse the respondentTell them what to expect. No one wants to embark on a poll or survey without a clear idea of what it’ll involve. When a telemarketer calls you for your opinion, you probably ask, “How long is this going take?” Tackle this question right away in your opening statement, and explain what types of questions the reader will encounter.

Tickle the eye (and the brain). Images always attract the eye more aggressively than text, so the occasional compelling picture will help you keep your reader on track. So will interesting factoids sprinkled throughout the questionnaire: “Cool roofing materials can remain up to 60 degrees cooler than traditional materials. Have you ever had a cool roof installed on your commercial property?”

Get specific. The more tightly you can focus your individual questions, citing specific products, services or situations, the more likely you are to trigger a recent memory or experience in the reader’s mind. You might introduce a broad category such as “home improvement,” for instance, and then drill down into specific questions about roof replacement, bathroom renovations, rooms additions, kitchen upgrades and so forth. Even if your reader hasn’t dealt with most of these issues first hand, any one of them might inspire that “Ah-ha” moment that elicits a useful answer and then encourages the respondent to keep responding.

Follow a logical flow. Questions that seem disconnected can confuse or even annoy readers until they bail out of your poll or survey prematurely. Order your questions so that one flows logically to the next. This will keep participants engaged in the subject at hand and encourage them to keep filling in answers all the way to the end.

Oh, one more thing: Don’t forget to say “please” when asking your reader to participate and “thank you” at the end of the poll or survey. Let them know that you value their as much as you do their data!

William Reynolds has worked as a freelance marketing copywriter since 1997. William specializes in website content, ghost-blogging, email marketing campaigns and audio/video scripts.

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