Creating the perfect survey can be a challenging task. Quite often a lot of survey admins are bogged down due to low response rates. Creating a survey that gets good responses is no rocket science. Few basic etiquettes before you launch your survey and you are in good shape. So what do you do once you create your survey? Do you just send it to your participants without any checks? Or do you have a checklist that the survey goes through before it is sent out for participation? I have been sending out surveys for the past few years and have developed a checklist that I usually run through before the survey is rolled out to the targeted audience.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before rolling out your survey:
I ensure that I have given the participants an introduction to the survey they are about to participate in. This ensures the audience has a fair idea of what kind of questions they would expect in the survey and the objective of conducting this as well. This can also be used to thank your participants in advance for their valuable time. If you cannot figure out what to write in this section, just derive something from your end goal.
Previewing your survey gives an idea of how the respondents would see your survey. This gives a fair understanding in terms of design and ease of responding. While previewing your survey, make sure you test how it appears on multiple devices. Check for desktop, mobile, and iPads.
3) Logic Testing
If my survey has logic questions, then I participate in the survey myself to make sure logic is working as planned and everything is in order. This I consider being very important because if the logic is not applied correctly, then the data received will be skewed and my inferences will not yield the desired results from my survey. In surveys where I have not applied logic questions, I ask myself if it is justified for all respondents to answer all questions.
4) Gather sample responses for reporting
Another important aspect I check for before making my survey live. Once I have received a few sample responses, I check the reports in terms of the usability of data. What’s the point of getting data when it’s not usable? This gives a fair understanding of the survey questions that need to be edited or new questions that need to be added.
5) Browser Testing
This is a tricky one. You are playing a guessing game in terms of the browsers that your respondents would be using. Some of the commonly used browsers I have come across are Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, and even Safari. These steps help me ensure that the survey loads seamlessly on all browsers. A lot of respondents now take surveys on mobile devices, hence it is imperative to ensure that the survey is responsive and easy to participate in, on handheld devices.
Are your surveys lengthy and consequently boring? Do you have an idea of what’s the time taken for a respondent to fill out the questionnaire? This is to ensure that your survey is not too time-consuming and that you mention the approximate time it will take for respondents to complete their participation. If the survey is too lengthy, you might want to edit to ensure it doesn’t exceed beyond a certain time limit that you think would keep your participants interested.
We’re humans! We’re bound to have a few typos here and there. This is a basic step I take before any piece of content is rolled out.
8) Customized E-mail
Have you tested the e-mail your participants are likely to receive? Is it customized? This is your first point of contact with the respondents. You don’t want to send a generic e-mail to all users. Make sure you personalize the e-mail using a piping option where you can address the respondent by his/her name if you have the details. Also, ensure the subject line is short and compelling for the respondent to firstly open your email. When your email is ready to go, make sure to send out a test email before making it live.
So you have finally made it! Now your survey is ready to go live! This is quite a simple way to make sure you have created the most effective survey. These steps ensure that you’re doing a complete evaluation of the survey from all aspects before making it live. So before your next survey goes out to your potential audience, you can use this checklist to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.
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