Friday, July 27, 2007

Surveys, Pity Parties and Links.

Over on Search Engine Land this week I had a post about customer surveys and how I use them to build links. I wasn't too happy with the way the piece turned out, it lacked "flow" and was a little choppy in some places. On top of that, I managed to leave out a couple of points I wanted to make and didn't elaborate on the survey tools I use. Doh!

In fairness, I was in bed with a fever of 102 when I wrote it but still - no excuses as I know well in advance when it's due yet always wait until the 11th hour to write it. Thankfully Chris is a great editor!

Anyway, here's the couple of things I forgot to mention:

1. Survey's with the greatest return are those that offer an incentive. When we tell people up front they'll get a special offer at the end for taking it, the completion percentage grows substantially.

You can expand on this idea and ask the respondents to opt into a list of continuing survey takers. You'll have a ready made list of people to take additional surveys, focus groups and opinion polls.

2. Keep the survey short, then shorten some more. Five questions is about right, over 10 is too many. Always include a spot for people to write comments.

3. I've been more successful in getting surveys filled and returned when they are included at the end of the confirmation email or anytime up to 3o days after the product has been shipped. This gives people time to use it and if satisfied, praise it.

Or not. Even negative comments have value.

4. Keep a list of the customers that have taken the survey and re-reward them during the holidays with a special note and discounts on your merchandise. Always suggest they link to your website in addition to using the discounts/treats you've sent their way.

5. Send the survey results to your list of survey takers. People like to see outcomes.

Which survey tools do I use? There are a couple I like for various reasons but I tend to go with SurveyMonkey because it's easy to set up and monitor.

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