How To Conduct An Online Survey?

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In a competitive market, companies that listen to customer opinions are far more successful and profitable than those that don’t. Customer feedback is the building block of improving & growing an organization. 

How could you gather customer feedback in this post-pandemic world, where social distance has become routine? Answer: Online Survey

But What Is an Online Survey?

An online survey is a structured questionnaire created using online survey tool. It is a hassle-free way to gather meaningful feedback from users worldwide. 

Researchers create a list of questions to ask their target audience and distribute them online using emails, website pop-ups, or social media. The respondents can provide their answers following the secured link or on the content. The response is automatically transmitted to the online survey software used for data collection & the data is analyzed. 

The beauty of an online survey is its anonymity, an ideal environment for people to reveal their accurate opinions about your business, products, or services. 

An adequately built online survey delivers reliable, accurate, and actionable insights to help you make data-driven decisions. 

In this blog, we’ll delve into the different types of online survey, the benefits of using online surveys, and learn the steps to conduct online surveys using an online survey software. Let’s get started with the types!

What Are the Different Types of Online Surveys?

An excellent online survey can collect the information you need to improve your marketing strategy and product development, along with CX and EX. However, it is better to remember there is no one-size-fits-all survey template you can use for every purpose. Different types of online surveys provide you with other data. 

Here are some of the most common types of online surveys:

Market or Product Surveys 

Market surveys give you insight into the needs and wants of your audience. It helps you understand them and learn how to reach and engage them to do business with you. The data from market research online surveys guide your market efforts and improve your products to fit the customers’ needs. 

Customer Research Surveys 

Customer research allows you to listen to what your customers say about your business, products, or services and their experience. You can use CX, CSAT, or NPS surveys to understand how to maintain customer loyalty and improve retention. 

Employee Surveys 

Employee surveys help you gauge how satisfied and engaged your employees are. It enables you to learn about their belief, opinions, concerns, and many more that can be useful to improve the organization’s work culture and environment. 

The next section highlights the effectiveness of online surveys.

How Effective Are Online Surveys?

We can’t discuss the basics of online surveys without discussing why you should conduct online surveys. So here are three reasons why online surveys are the most effective method to collect data. 

1. Data Accuracy 

The data gathered using online surveys are reliable and accurate. The margin of error in online surveys is small because respondents submit their answers to the online database. 

2. Broader Reach

The benefit of conducting online surveys is its reach. You can gather responses from a thousand people at any point in time. You can reach people on the opposite side of your country or the world in their native language to gather data for your research. 

3. Anonymity

Respondents can participate in the online survey without revealing their identity. The benefit of confidentiality boosts participants’ confidence to take the survey and provide honest feedback. This improves the response rates and offers you valuable insights. 

Now that we have covered the basics of online surveys, let’s see how to conduct online surveys and the best practices to follow.

Steps to Conduct Online Surveys

Follow these steps to conduct online surveys using online survey software:

Step-1. Decide “Why” you want to conduct online surveys

Creating a survey without any objective is like flying a plane without a compass. The goal of your survey gives structure to your survey. The insights you are looking for will help you decide which questions to ask and who you should ask these questions. 

Let’s say you want to gather people’s opinions about vegan food. You have to establish your objective at the end of the survey.

  • Do you want to start a new diet? That’s why you want to know about people’s experience with vegan food. 
  • Do you want to open a food truck so you can to the demand for vegan food? 
  • Do you want to market your vegan food, so you are scouting for the target audience?

You can’t ask the same questions for all three purposes. Different survey objectives require additional questions to get the most accurate data. 

Step-2. Find your target market

To ensure your insights are accurate and reliable, you should decide whom to share the survey with. In some cases, you have more than one target audience. In such cases, you need one survey for each demographic. 

For instance, a cosmetic company can break down its target market into males and females or concerns such as makeup, skincare, or hair care. You can send complete sets of online surveys to each demographic or apply skip logic to route the respondent to relevant questions. 

If it’s trouble pointing out your target market, you can build a panel using Voxco Audience. With 90+ profiling points, you can create a panel audience resembling your target market. 

Step-3. Determine the sample size

The next step to conducting online surveys is ensuring you have many respondents. The number of respondents for your online surveys will ensure that the analyzed data represents your target market. 

It is often not possible to survey the entire target demographic. In those cases, you need to create a sample size that is big enough to make a solid and accurate estimate of your target audience. If you are surveying the demand for vegan food in your city, enough people should respond so that the survey result represents every person’s opinion in the city. 

[Related: How to Create a Survey The Right Way]

Step-4. The right time to conduct online surveys

Timing has a significant impact on the survey response rate. If you send an online survey at the wrong time, it can decrease the responses you receive and lead to wasted effort and resources. Moreover, the time you choose to send the survey can also affect the validity of the answers. 

For example, customer satisfaction surveys should be sent after delivering a product or service. Customers can provide honest and accurate feedback if you follow up immediately while the experience is fresh. 

Or, if you are looking to send an employee satisfaction email to new recruits, the best time to conduct online surveys is a couple of months after they have joined. This allows them to analyze their experience in the past couple of months, and they can offer some valuable feedback. 

Step-5. Write survey questions

There are many types of questions you can use to make your surveys interactive and engaging. When writing questions, it is essential to keep them relevant, ask one thing at a time, keep the language simple, & give respondents the option to skip. 

The benefit of online surveys is adding skip logic to your surveys. This allows respondents to answer questions based on their previous answers. 

For example, a pet food company is surveying its target audience for its new product. If a respondent selects that they don’t have a dog at home, the respondent will be routed out of the survey. 

[Related read: How to Write Survey Question?]

Step-6. Share the online survey

Design your survey with the brand logo, color, font, and theme to keep brand consistency. Select the best way to distribute your online survey and launch it. 

There end our steps to conduct online surveys. Following, we will discuss the essential things you should track to conduct online surveys and how you can gather data. 

4 Best Practices for Conducting Online Surveys

Follow these best practices to make your online surveys efficient and accurate results. 

1. Use the right survey software

Using the best survey software can ease the challenge of designing a beautiful survey. Survey software can help you personalize the survey per your brand, add advanced logic to a progress bar, and create secure links to send surveys. 

2. Ensure a logical pattern of the survey

Make sure your online survey follows a proper order. Start with an introduction that informs respondents of the subject of your research. Follow it up with some basic demographic questions and then narrow it down to explore the research topic further. 

3. Send reminders

Not spam, but remind the non-responders of your surveys. Sending them a personalized reminder can help boost response rates. Often, your respondents may miss the chance to take the survey due to their busy schedules. Send them a simple reminder a few days after the launch of surveys and a few days before it ends to give them a chance to respond. 

4. Offer incentives

Respondents are taking their time to respond to your surveys; consider offering them rewards for completing them.

What Are the Benefits of Using Online Surveys?

Conducting online surveys can help you gather insights on issues that may hamper the business. Online surveys are easy to administer and can help you reach a wide range of audiences in seconds. 

Here are some of the most popular benefits of conducting surveys online:

1. It’s cost-efficient 

Online surveys reduce the cost of administering the research, unlike interviews, focus groups, or pen-paper surveys. There is no extra expense spent accommodating the participants or printing questionnaires. 

Moreover, you don’t need to hire professional designers to create surveys or analysts to uncover insights. Survey software guides you in designing beautiful surveys and automates data analysis. You don’t have to allocate company resources to online surveys. 

2. Its time-efficient 

The time it takes to set up and conduct online surveys is shorter than traditional research methods. The survey software performs automatically. You can quickly create and deploy surveys over the internet. The software then automatically transmits the responses and analyzes them in real time. 

3. It’s easier to analyze 

The primary benefit of conducting online surveys is that data analysis is a real-time event. The responses are saved and analyzed as soon as respondents have submitted their answers. You can create reports in any form and export data with others for further analysis.

4. It’s convenient for participants

In online surveys, participants can respond to it at their convenience. Participants can respond anytime they want in a comfortable environment. This gives the control to the participant to start and stop the survey whenever they want.

Also, online surveys can be designed with a skip logic so that questions that aren’t relevant to participants are automatically skipped. 

5. It’s accessible on any device 

Online surveys can be sent as a link via email or uploaded on social media. Respondents can access the survey on mobile phones, laptops, computers, tablets, etc. 

6. It can screen participants 

You can add a screening question at the beginning of an online survey to gather valid responses from the target audience. Or you can also use a screen question asking the respondent’s preferred language to enable participants to view and respond in their select language.

Wrapping up

This concludes how you can conduct online surveys. An online survey is the most convenient and popular data collection method. Survey creation is quick; results come in immediately and are analyzed faster. 

However, it doesn’t stop there. With results in hand, you should start creating an action plan to use the data to grow the company. Go through each step in conducting online surveys because each plays a vital role in influencing the responses you receive and the decisions you make with the data. If you are curious about what else you can do with online surveys, you can talk to our experts and contact us here.

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