How to Create Online Surveys — and Get People to Take Them

by | Mar 13, 2017 | JFG News

Online surveys are great ways to collect actionable data from your target audience. Nowadays, it seems like everyone offers them, creating a flood of them and leading to a decrease in participation rates.

But the decrease in participation can’t be blamed solely on the flood. In an era of time-strapped consumers with ever-shrinking attention spans, the only thing that drives engagement is quality, authentic content.

Here are 4 ingredients you can use to create successful online surveys:

Incentives. When an online survey offers an incentive, there’s a 10-15 percent bump in participation rates. Incentives don’t have to include cash — effective incentives can also include access to additional content. But remember that promised incentives aren’t as effective as those enclosed with the survey or immediately accessible afterward.

Mobile-Friendly. There’s no question that mobile is king. In 2015, more than half of online surveys were taken on mobile devices, and that number is sure to grow. Be sure your survey is optimized for the mobile audience by designing it on a responsive platform — and don’t forget to test the design on different phones. Keep it short and avoid using videos and heavy graphics. Finally, remove complicated question tools like drop-down menus — they’re hard to use on small screens.

Encourage Participation. Start with the most essential question and use short, concise questions that are easy to understand. Avoid using double negatives or questions that are biased. Include open-ended questions, but keep the list to no more than 20.

Encourage Engagement. One of the simplest ways to encourage people to complete a survey is by clearly explaining the purpose and how the data will be used. But keep it short and simple! In addition, people are more apt to complete a survey if they have access to simple tools. For example, provide a progress bar to show people how much farther they have to go. Include an option so people can save their progress and return later if they like.

With these four ingredients, you’ll be well on your way to creating online surveys people will want to take — and complete. When you’re ready to get started, contact the team at JFG. We’ll be happy to help you gather the data you’ll need to be successful.