How to Get Prospects & Customers to Take Your Survey

So you’ve decided to use a survey to get a pulse on your target audience. Excellent. To make sure that your survey doesn’t get lost in the online clutter or get ignored by busy prospects and clients, try one or more of these tricks to maximize the chances that your questions will be answered.

  • Keep it quick (and let them know). A request to take a survey is vague. A request to take a three-minute survey is much better. No matter where you present your survey to clients, be clear about what you want from them—and let them know that you won’t waste their valuable time. (Hint: don’t just guess at how long your survey takes. Ask a couple friends to fill it out and time them!)
  • Keep it simple. As with any kind of copywriting, easy-to-complete surveys may be hard to develop. But asking the right questions is worth the effort: your audience won’t feel confused or frustrated, and you’ll get valuable information about your current and potential clients. Put effort into making sure your questions are clear, to the point, and easy to process. Friends, colleagues, or professional editors can help you streamline your language.
  • Keep it neat. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors slash your credibility. Read, reread, and have fresh eyes review your copy before you send it out.
  • Offer an incentive or reward. Make your clients an offer they can’t refuse—or that they can’t refuse as easily as no offer at all. Consider rewarding survey takers with a discount on your services, a freebie, or a chance to win a prize. Be sure you have a system in place to follow through on this offer, or else you risk alienating a lot of potential customers.
  • Include a survey in your sales process. Online purchases are often accompanied by (short) surveys given directly before a purchase is completed. Keep in mind the rule of brevity here: the last thing you want to do is bog down a potential buyer with lengthy questions.
  • Tell them why they matter. Explain (as briefly as possible) why you’re conducting a survey in the first place. If you’re trying to improve the customer experience or looking to broaden your offerings to meet client needs, it’s important to communicate that so your audience knows that participating in the survey will ultimately benefit them.
  • Show them why they matter. Once you’ve completed the survey, follow up with a thank you and an explanation or demonstration of how you’ll be applying the results.

Do you have any pet peeves when taking surveys online? Blow off some steam in the comments section!

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