Using Surveys to Define Audience

Using Surveys to Define Audience

Using Surveys to Define Audience

Your startup or company is still forming, and although you have a great product, you’re not sure who is using your product. If you haven’t read the high-level document about defining your audience, you might want to take a look. A survey is a perfect way to help figure out who your users are before you go chasing the wrong demographic. Here are a few tips.

Keep it Short

If you’ve ever answered a survey yourself, you probably appreciate the ones that are simple and to the point. Don’t make people answer 20 frillion questions! Ten questions would be about the max most people would answer before they bail on you. And keep each question as short as possible, too.

Avoid Yes or No Questions

Like a conversation around a dinner table, a yes or no question doesn’t encourage talking. So keep most of the questions open and you could get some surprising answers! Some suggest opening with a yes or no question and then following with a more open-ended one.

Eliminate Unnecessary Questions

For instance, you probably don’t need to know a person’s reading habits, where they went to school, or the kind of car they drive. So cut back on those questions so you’ll get more people to finish the survey.

Have Someone Else Rate the Survey

Have a friend take the survey and give their two cents on how successful it is or isn’t before you release it to the general public. Then go back and edit the questions. Better still, have two or three people give their opinion. If you absolutely have to edit your own work, print it and then be ruthless, as Caroline McMillan explains in her Lifehacker article, “How to Edit Your Own Writing.”

Be Willing to Hear the Truth

Be Willing to Hear the Truth

Be Willing to Hear the Truth

You may not hear things you want to hear, so be open-minded when creating your survey. If you only want to hear positive, glowing reviews of your product, don’t create a survey! So for instance, if you ask, “We’ve created the best product on the market, don’t you agree?” you’re probably not going to get feedback that will help you improve. Like Twitter and other social media platforms, a survey is a listening tool.

Give a Small Incentive to Finish

Sometimes incentives are given during a survey to encourage people to finish. If your survey is longer than average, you might consider giving a discount or a free trial of your software as an incentive. Some companies even give cash incentives (just make sure the amount is affordable!).

Do a Phone Survey

Some people respond better to hearing someone ask questions, so you might consider this option. Studies suggest that phone surveys get a higher response rate.

How Do You Like My Awesome Blog Post?

Just kidding! But is there anything you’ve found in a survey that got you riled up or that you really liked? Please leave a comment! Thank you!

Comments

  1. Surveys can really go either way. I agree with the “yes or no question” advice, but at the same time, I don’t think I’d be willing to participate in a survey that had 10 open ended questions. You probably have it right with a “yes or no” question first followed by an open-ended one. There’s so much that can fall short with a survey, it’s scary!

    Getting people to actually focus on the survey and provide REAL answers instead of just hurrying through is I think the biggest issue. Maybe adding a touch of humor to the survey can help?

    • Hi Eric,
      10 completely open-ended questions might be a bit much. I’ve seen some surveys with so many more questions than that! Seems like they would be an immediate fail.

      For a longer survey, having someone read the questions could be better. Either that, or have a focus group with a captive audience. And maybe bribe them with food, too!

      Thanks for the comments. I do appreciate it.
      Carol

Trackbacks

  1. […] language and these are just a few hints. If you still don’t know who your audience is, a survey is one way to get to know them. On social media, each platform has a different language as […]

  2. Audience: Use Their Language | Women of Technology says:

    […] language and these are just a few hints. If you still don’t know who your audience is, a survey is one way to get to know them. On social media, each platform has a different language as […]

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