I’m not talking about living on a grand estate with lots of staff here… or even spending your working days clambering around properties wielding a clipboard (I’m no expert in either!)

But, I’m referring to the wonderful resource of online surveys that enable you to ask questions of your clients and prospects… and be granted access to their innermost thoughts and feelings on any number of topics.

Are you using surveys in your business?

Before we get into how you can easily create your own surveys… let’s take a quick look at what types of information you could glean from using surveys…

Why use surveys?

Reason #1: Research: Planning to launch new products or services? Ask your target audience directly what they’d want from you

Reason #2: Feedback: Surveying attendees at your event or current/past clients will give you an opportunity to discover what you can improve on in the future… and receive confirmation of where you excelled

Reason #3: Testimonials: At the same time as requesting feedback in a survey, you could ask for a few lines to use in your marketing. Ideally you’d need their details too but we’ll come to that in a minute.

How to create your survey?
We use SurveyMonkey which is a free web based option but also offers 3 paid plans.

The free version allows you to create a survey with up to 10 questions and collect 100 responses per survey.

You are best off keeping your survey as short as possible anyway to encourage a greater number of responses… so in most cases, the free version will suffice.

How should you distribute your survey?
Well, this is entirely up to you but will obviously depend on who you want to participate in your survey. Remember, if you’ve used a web based provider like SurveyMonkey, your participants will need to complete your survey online.

You will be given a direct link to your survey so you could distribute it by

  • Email
  • Social media
  • Or, you could even embed it on your website by copying and pasting the embed HTML code

Named or anonymous responses?
If you’re hoping for completely honest responses (good and bad) you are most likely to receive their total honesty if you allow responses to be submitted anonymously.

None of us feel comfortable providing criticism directly to anyone… even when they’ve asked for it.

So, by reassuring participants that you cannot trace their responses back to them, you will receive constructive feedback that will help you to see where you can improve.

Just prepare yourself… you might not like what you read…!

On the other hand, if you are seeking testimonials or want to be able to track responses specifically, you will want your participants to identify themselves and provide their details in their response.

However, there will likely be some reluctance on their part to provide details… to encourage more people to give you the info you need, I recommend you consider offering some kind of enticement in return.

Consider offering;

  • A free gift such as your book or CD/DVD of your content
  • Entry into a free prize draw giving them a chance to win a high value prize
  • Discount vouchers to use against your products or services
  • An extended free trial to your paid membership program
  • Promotion on your website with a link back to their own site (Google juice!)

But whatever enticement you decide to offer, make sure it is unique to survey participants, and something that they will perceive as high value so to encourage them to take action.

What surveys have you created in your business? Did the responses you received meet your expectations? Do you have any tips to share with our community… in particular of good email subject lines that encouraged a high open rate of your surveys?

Have you tested different survey lengths and discovered which get the best participant rates?

Please share your findings in the comment area below?

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