Whether you are performing market research, doing a survey, or just trying to engage your customers, an online questionnaire is a great way to connect with your audience. Here are five tips and tricks on how to make an awesome questionnaire.
Define your goals:
What do you want to learn from the questionnaire? Figuring this out is the most important step, so don’t rush through it—take the time to define your goals as clearly as possible. To accomplish this, ask yourself the following three questions:
- What information are you seeking?
- Who is your target audience (i.e., who do you want to fill out your questionnaire)?
- What will you do with the data? (Examples: Is this market research? Will you create an infographic? Will the data be used internally or externally to your organization?)
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Your answers to these three questions will help you with the items below.
Write questions that will help you reach those goals: The best questions are carefully targeted to both your audience and your goals. Targeting your questions toward your audience involves making the questionnaire relevant to and accessible for the respondents. You wouldn’t ask a bunch of dog owners to identify their preferred brand of cat litter—that isn’t relevant. Similarly, you probably don’t want to ask a general audience with highly technical questions—they might not be able to answer and will likely give up.
Targeting your questions toward your goals means asking questions in a way that the answers will give you the information you want. For example, if you want to know how your audience perceives your brand relative to your competitors’ brands, you will get better information by asking them to rank a list of brands from 1 to 7 than you will by asking them whether they like particular brands in a yes-or-no format.
Keep the questionnaire short, informal, and interesting: Unless you are offering a very good incentive, probably no one is going to spend 20 minutes on your questionnaire. Ask as few questions as necessary to get the information you want. Also, when you are writing the questions, don’t be overly formal or try to be tricky: ask your questions as clearly as possible using plain, simple language.
Use an online questionnaire creator: Once you have your questions ready, the easiest way to present and distribute them to your audience is by using an online questionnaire creator. These web-based tools allow you to easily put your questionnaire online so you can distribute it via your website, over email, or through other online channels. They also collect the data automatically and allow you to generate reports with just a few clicks.
Test your questionnaire: Before you send your questionnaire to your entire mailing list or publish it publicly on your website, test it out with a small audience. Ideally, your test audience should be as similar to your real audience as possible. Ask your testers how they feel about the questionnaire, if there are any questions that are difficult to understand, and if there is anything that would make them more likely to complete it. Depending on the feedback you get, you may want to revise and re-test your questionnaire before presenting it to a general audience.
Creating excellent questionnaires is a skill, but it is one that can be easily mastered. Following these five steps will start you on the road to success.
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