Need to know how your latest marketing campaign was received? Interested in finding out what your leads think about your sales approach? Feedback from clients and leads can be an invaluable source of information for your growing business and the best way to collect that data is surveying.

Far too often, marketers and sales leaders send out long, complicated surveys that fail to gather actionable or helpful data. Creating short, efficient, and simple surveys that people want to complete can be a tricky endeavor.

To make sure you get the most out of your survey, I have put together some guidelines that will help you attract more respondents and ask the right questions in the right way.

5 Guidelines for Creating a Successful Survey

  1. Explain why individuals should take your survey
  2. You must be willing to convince your respondents that taking this survey is worth their time and energy. We all have a million things on our to-do lists, and rarely have time for surveys that fail to include information about the importance of the information that will be collected. Explain to your audience why you want to solicit their feedback and how you plan to use the resulting data.Take time to create a thoughtful, honest introduction to your survey that conveys your specific objectives. You will find that people are much more willing to help when they understand how important this data will be for your future marketing and sales endeavors.
  1. Keep it short
  2. I bet there are a thousand things you want to ask your clients about their experience with your business, your marketing efforts or even your competitors. Yet, you must keep it simple and short. Think about how much time you would be willing to give to a survey that was not for your benefit. Typically, people are willing to spend 10-15 minutes taking a survey if you have outlined why the information you collect is incredibly valuable to you. Always show an appropriate amount of respect for your clients time.
  1. Include at least one open answer
  2. Keeping a survey short, accurate, and effective usually requires using a likert scale for most of your questions. However, it is important to allow people the opportunity to add their own thoughts, and concerns to their survey response. Consider ending with a sincere thank you and the option for respondents to add any additional comments. Also consider adding an open answer option on specific questions where respondents can expound upon their answer.
  1. Take your own survey
  2. After you have put the finishing touches on your survey, sit down and take your own survey. Ask yourself these questions:
    • Have I built a compelling case for why someone should take this survey?
    • Is this the kind of survey my respondents will realistically start and finish?
    • Are all of the questions I’m asking critical to my objectives?
    • Does the language in this survey take into consideration the language that my respondents use and understand?
  1. Close the feedback loop
  2. It would be a horrible business practice to ignore a customer after they had converted from a lead, just as it would be a horrible survey practice to fail to tell your respondents more about the information you collected. The more your share with your respondents about how they responded and what you plan to do with the data, the more likely they are to participate in your next survey. Respondents love to know that you are actively using the feedback they provided. This timely and honest sharing of information creates a strong foundation for future feedback loops.

These tips should give you a solid foundation for soliciting feedback through a survey. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me directly. Happy surveying!