Can I ask you a question?

I’ve put together a few online surveys. We used an online tool called Zoomerang. Turns out Zoomerang is now Survey Monkey, so I have a little bit of past experience using this tool.

Survey Monkey’s website is pretty easy to use, even for those who haven’t created an online survey before. The feature I like the most is the reuse an existing survey option. Each year on, we survey our fans. The main point of the survey is to collect demographic information. Our second objective is to learn about features of the site they like or find out what we could add to make the site better. Since we do the survey once a year, it’s easy to go in and replicate the previous year’s survey and make any changes we’d like to make for the current year.  Have you ever taken a survey on a website you frequent?

While looking through other Survey Monkey options I found that you can use an expert survey template. This would come in really handy for someone who is new at making surveys. While someone might not be able to use it word for word, it certainly would be a great starting point.

In watching the Survey Monkey how to video, I learned they have a question database with more than 2000 popular questions you could ask. I think the hardest part about making a survey is phrasing the questions. That database makes for a great reference against what you’ve written out as your questions.

We have plenty of fans on take our survey. The last one we conducted had 923 respondents. For a company that might not be able to gather the amount of responses they need, Survey Monkey lets you purchase target audiences. As long as you have the money to spend, you can seek out who you want to take your survey and Survey Monkey will assist the collection.

Survey Monkey has found a unique way to get people to take surveys. If you sign up on their website to take surveys, they will donate $0.50 to a charity of your choice and enter you into a $100 sweepstakes.  I really liked this idea and am tempted to sign up to take some surveys so charities can benefit from my participation.

One gray area I’d like to uncover this week while we talk about surveys is survey length. Is there an industry standard? Has research been done on what length is most successful? At the LPGA, we stick to 20 questions or less. I’d like to know your opinion. What is an ideal survey length is to you?


10 thoughts on “Can I ask you a question?

  1. Stacy –

    The gray area of survey length is indeed gray. In fact, I couldn’t find anything definitive on the subject.

    I’m a believer in if things are easy – and quick – then people will be more inclined to participate. So I think the the shorter the survey the better. Now, I’m not saying the questions have to be short but keeping the number low helps the mental perception … “Oh, this survey has five questions. I’ll knock this out now” versus “Oh, this survey has 50 questions. I’ll pretend I didn’t see it.”

    The number of questions is the sweet spot to find. Once you get that, then the questions can be really tweaked to get the most out of each response.

    I recently attended a three-day conference held on Walt Disney World Resort property. About a week or so after my stay, Disney followed up with a survey. It was very detailed. Questions ranged from if I used a smartphone (which one and operating system) while on property to could I find the ice machine. I was all for completing the survey but somewhere amongst the minutia, I lost steam. I really wanted to just quit. I didn’t. So maybe Disney knows that sweet spot …

    I think I would have been happier completing two surveys: One about the conference and one about my accommodations, but that’s just me. I’m sure others would have only wanted one survey. It just seemed like it would never end. Thankfully it did. More importantly I hope Disney takes into consideration my thoughts because I committed a good amount of time to their survey.

    1. I hate it when surveys feel like they are never going to end. I agree that I would rather take two surveys than one really long one. While I usually won’t quit a survey once I’ve started, there are times when I start to feel how long and drawn out they are. You probably wouldn’t have better things to say at the end if you weren’t so frustrated with the length.

      I guess there is no magic number with surveys. It really depends on the subject and questions being asked. One tactic might be to ask more questions when your survey is composed of fast, easy to answer questions. When you have more in depth questions that might take a while to answer, the survey length might be better with fewer questions.

  2. You are so right when you talk about the language/wording that surveys use; I think this is often the most difficult part of putting the survey together that people do not consider. Survey Monkey having that feature for a question base is a great idea– I wonder if that’s an option in the free version, or something you’re able to see/utilize because you create surveys for your site. I have taken surveys on websites, but they’re usually ones that ask for feedback and pop-up at the end of my visit– for some reason, the surveys that ask for me to respond before I’ve actually gone into the site bother me. I’m not sure what the psychology behind that is, but I click out of those almost immediately and never look back. The ones that ask for my feedback at the end and tell me that it’s only 4 questions have a much better chance of getting my responses.

    That’s a really good response rate for a survey! It’s not easy to get that many individuals to give you their time. One flaw I’ve found in Survey Monkey is that if you’re unwilling to pay for the full version, you’re limited in the data you export. But, if you don’t need a ton of data, you should be good to go.

    1. We have very passionate fans at the LPGA who love to provide their negative feedback. There also find it to be an easy way to tell us their opinion and don’t know any other way to communicate with us.

      I will have to start preparing now for our end of the year survey. I’m already nervous about coming up with the questions, now that I know how thorough we need to be.

      1. I feel like negative feedback is almost always easier for people to provide than positive feedback, especially in an online forum. I think that statistic is that for every positive experience someone has they tell 1 person. For every negative experience someone has, they tell 3 people. Seems as if you have things stacked against prior to the survey/social media even beginning.

        Go luck with that survey, but you have the right outlook, so I’m sure you’ll be great! You’ve got great followers and great numbers!

  3. Stacy,

    SurveyMonkey is neat and easy to use! I love it! In fact I am going to create a survey tonight. That is neat that you guys at LPGA can use an existing template. How convenient is that? Saves you guys time and all you have to do is tweak the questions a little if you want to add or change anything. I think that is an excellent feature.

    I do take the surveys on the sites that I frequent the most–if they are not too long. I’m glad you brought that up because I believe companies make online surveys longer as opposed to telephone, mail and in-person surveys. That is why I am usually so hesitant to taking them. I think 20 is a sufficient maximum number of questions for a survey. I think it depends on the company and type of service/product they are offering. There is no reason Chick-fil-a should have a 35 question survey….I can’t even think of what all they would ask honestly.

    Im interested in knowing how you feel about companies purchasing survey takers? Do you think this skews the results? What if the audience you buy doesnt use your products or services? I dont think I would be a supporter of buying target audiences. However, I think it is wonderful that they are encouraging people to sign up and helping out charities. At least they are good corporate citizens, right?

    1. I might have to try out Suvery Monkey’s survey taking area to see what types of survey they get people to take. I think it depends on the company and idea behind the survey, to see if buying your target audience would skew results. It wouldn’t work for the LPGA, as we probably wouldn’t find many of our fans. If it was something general about social media use or food, I can see buying an audience being ok and not skewing the results.

  4. Stacy, Great feedback on using Survey Monkey. I had no idea they give some money back to charity and offer sweepstakes. That seems like it would be a big pull for certain organizations (i.e. small businesses or non-profits). I have taken surveys on websites I visit a lot. This goes back to our discussions about being “loyal” customers. If I like a website or business and they want my feedback, I’m happy to take some time to provide it. When it comes to survey questions, I agree with you 20 questions or less is probably a good goal to set. Whenever I see longer surveys I tend to become disengaged or just drop out all together.

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