Creating Online Surveys That Work

Creating Online Surveys That Work

Online surveys are everywhere. From restaurant receipts that encourage us to provide feedback on a company’s website to the online survey opportunities that pop up when you are using an app, you are pretty much guaranteed to see—and probably overlook—a large number of surveys every day.

The next time you are getting some shopping done, eating out, or browsing the internet, pay attention because you will likely be surprised how many times you are asked to take surveys or give feedback on a given topic. Most people never take the vast majority of these online surveys, meaning they are quite useless to the companies who put them out. After all, how can they learn much of anything from a survey with nearly no responses?

Many businesses try enticing customers to take online surveys by offering rewards for doing so. Many restaurants offer free food, while some stores offer entries into giveaways. Meanwhile, some websites attempt to force feedback out of people with such methods as “required” survey pop-ups that a person must take before reading an article.

Although these methods work to an extent, they are not always as effective as they could be. The forced surveys in particular likely drive away website traffic, something no website owner wants to see.

Another clever way companies go about getting customers to share their opinions and experiences is by signing up to have their online surveys featured on websites and apps such as SurveyMini, Swagbucks, and All of these programs offer rewards to users for taking online surveys. They get paid for getting people to take surveys, and companies receive the feedback they need.

While this is an almost perfect setup, there is one fault in the system: demographics. Because so many of the people who tend to use these types of services come from similar backgrounds, there is a chance the results of these online surveys are slightly skewed.

So, how then is a company to go about getting the feedback they need to thrive in today’s competitive market? One way to go about it may seem a bit silly and even unprofessional, but when the goal is to get responses, it certainly gets the job done.

The method? Make online surveys fun to take! Once a person sees that your surveys are actually fun and engaging, they will be more likely to come back and provide their opinions in the future, and if you make your surveys fun enough, they may even tell their friends.

So, how do you make your online surveys fun and make sure people see and complete them? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Keep Your Online Surveys Short and Sweet

Nobody likes sitting in front of a computer for 10 or 15 minutes answering a long list of boring questions. Most people who are willing to do this are either in it for a reward, or to complain. This can mess with your results, which defeats the purpose of putting the survey out there in the first place.

Instead of torturing your audience with a never-ending stream of long, difficult questions, try focusing on just one aspect of their experience and keeping the questionnaire to a maximum of 15 questions. Keep your questions concise and offer multiple-choice answers as opposed to free-form. The star rating system is perfect for this.

Take Advantage of Social Media

Today, it is easier than ever to share something with a friend. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms out there are the perfect places to circulate online surveys. Start by putting the survey out yourself and making sure your customers see it.

If it is engaging enough—and especially if you offer some sort of incentive for completing or sharing your online surveys—it will likely be shared with the friends and family of your customers, who will in turn share it with their friends and family. This starts a stream of feedback you likely never expected to receive, and doubles as free advertising to those who may not already know about your services.

Make it a Game (Literally)

This is the key to making your surveys fun. Many people attempt to make surveys more engaging by including pictures, a horoscope, or GIFs. However, the number-one way to engage your audience and make sure they have a fun time taking your survey is through gamification, i.e. the making of seemingly mundane tasks into a fun, interactive game.

Gamification is everywhere in our modern world. You see it in schools, workplaces, and the personal lives of nearly everyone you know. Perhaps you never realized it, but it is there. Every time your child plays a game to learn math facts, or your husband reaches a new level on his weight-loss app, or your coworker earns a new badge in their favorite productivity app, you are witnessing gamification.

Like nearly everything else in this world, surveys can be made into games as well. From word searches to computer-based card games that use choice modeling (such as our MaxDiff Rankifier and Prefer games), gathering information from customers has never been more painless for everyone involved. After all, who doesn’t love a good game? If they’re providing valuable information to a company they want to see succeed while playing the game, that’s even better!

If you are interested in seeing your online surveys work for you and providing an engaging and exciting experience to your customers, we encourage you to contact us today at Datagame. We offer you the tools to build your very own data-collecting game in minutes, so you can start seeing results in no time at all.