A survey is not just an online tool that helps you jot down a list of questions. It’s a great way to gain insights into what your audience thinks, feels, and most importantly—what it wants. Below we’ll go through some tips for creating a free survey and using our software. Suffering from writer’s block? Take a look at our survey questions examples and tips, or if you want to get stuck in with our survey maker straight away, get started. Not sure whether you should be making a survey or a questionnaire? Check out our guide on survey vs questionnaire.
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Taking a survey is probably not the highlight of someone’s day. Respect people’s time and attention. How? Try to consider your target audience as well as what you want from them.
→ How much time and attention is reasonable to ask of my audience for the survey?
→ How motivated are they?
→ Which questions get me the most nuanced and honest answers for the least effort?
→ Will my questions give me information I need to know, or information I just want to hear?
The point of every survey is truth, not approval or validation.
If you want people to engage with your content, treat those who take your survey like a friend—even if you don’t know them. To personalize your survey, use Typeform’s Piping feature to address people by name throughout it. Make sure they feel welcome and they’ll return the favor with honest answers.
Surveys can include a number of different question types. A lot of them are “closed”, such as ratings, multiple choice or yes/no questions. People’s attention spans are short, so stick to these for the most part.
The open-ended question (How do you feel about …) is a CEO’s favorite because it invites people to share and go deeper than yes or no. Create a survey with open-ended questions for spontaneous, organic responses. Just be aware that answers might snowball off topic.
Some surveys (hopefully not yours) don’t give enough options, and sometimes the options given aren’t appropriate. It leaves people feeling like they have to either lie or just drop out of the survey. To prevent this, include an option for Other or None of the above where appropriate.
Survey makers often ask for pointless information, too. Empathize with your audience and cut questions that don’t add value.
Always use simple, direct language and avoid jargon whenever possible. Using fancy words like tech specs, acronyms or inside jokes makes people yawn. Be clear, casual, and transparent. That way your survey will get more, better quality answers.
Ambiguity is the enemy—no exceptions. All questions and answer options should be crystal clear.
Avoid leading, evocative, and biased language. It ruins people’s trust and compromises the data.
Stay consistent with rating points. Measuring the answer in question A from 1-5 but in question B from 1-25 makes life harder for everyone.
It’s okay to ask a sensitive question, but don’t expect everyone to answer. Give people an out—make sure to add a Prefer not to answer option.
Here’s a few handy tips on how to use design and style to help people along.
Integrations help you do even more with the data you collect. Here’s a few ideas you could do once people have completed your survey.