Want more accurate results? We tell you how to do an online survey questionnaire! – WAU
If you work in the marketing area of a company, it is likely that you have already experienced the need to develop marketing research. Whether to learn about market trends or to discover new opportunities for expansion, they are essential for decision making. One of the most efficient ways to conduct a search for […]
If you work in the marketing area of a company, it is likely that you have already experienced the need to develop marketing research.
Whether to learn about market trends or to discover new opportunities for expansion, they are essential for decision making.
One of the most efficient ways of conducting marketing research today is through online questionnaires, and their construction is an essential step in the process. Knowing what to ask, how to ask and which tool to use can make all the difference in collecting good data.
Knowing the importance of this instrument and its benefits, we have separated some tips to help you create the ideal form for your company.
Why create an online survey questionnaire?
The use of online survey questionnaires to collect data has several advantages, especially when compared to other formats. Some of its main benefits are:
Makes it easier to reach a larger number of people
Unlike field surveys and face-to-face interviews, the online survey questionnaire can be sent to a large number of people in less time.
In addition, it also has no geographical limitations. Regardless of the city, state or country the person is in, it will be possible to collect your answers.
To disseminate it, you can, for example, use your contact base to send the questionnaire via email, post it on social networks and on your company’s blog.
Generates lower costs
Another advantage of online forms is the reduction in costs, especially when compared to face-to-face interviews.
In this collection format, there is no need to travel to interview participants, which reduces expenses with transportation and time for your team, for example.
Easier to analyze
This is one of the great differentials of online survey questionnaires: the ease of computing and compiling data, especially if it is quantitative.
In other collection instruments, it would be necessary to individually record the responses of each of the participants, which is not at all efficient.
When using online forms, however, this process starts to be done automatically, and many tools even provide a report with the analysis of the data in real time, even if simplified.
Provides greater convenience for participants
Imagine that you have just received an invitation to participate in a survey in your email, but you are unable to answer it now because you have a meeting scheduled to start in 5 minutes.
If this survey was conducted over the phone or in person, you may not be able to participate at another time. However, because it is an online questionnaire, you will be able to access it again on another day or time.
Thus, this survey format offers greater convenience and convenience for respondents, who can perform it in their own time.
It’s a more impersonal method
The respondent may feel more comfortable providing more information because he does not need to pass it on directly to an interviewer.
This can influence even a more accurate collection of responses, which may not have been obtained in person due to the participants’ fear or shame.
In addition, in some face-to-face interviews, the interviewer himself may skew some answers, even if unintentionally.
This is also avoided with the use of online forms and, therefore, the data obtained by this instrument can be more accurate and honest.
How to create online surveys?
To develop a good online questionnaire, you need to follow some essential steps:
1. Definition of research objective and theme
Before starting to create the questionnaire, the first step is to determine what the purpose of your survey is. After all, it will delimit the entire definition of questions.
If that definition is already clear, you can move on to the next step. Otherwise, to help you out, some examples of research objectives would be:
- Know trends in a sector, in terms of growth, investments, adoption of strategies and tools;
- Identify opportunities or threats in a market;
- Understand how a particular product, service or campaign would be received by the public;
- Know market benchmarks;
- Identify the profile of consumers;
- Assess customer or employee satisfaction
- Discover and disseminate relevant results to partners, clients, potential clients
From the choice of the objective, the next step is to define a theme for your research. To better illustrate, let’s use one of our sample surveys, MarTech.
Our purpose in carrying it out was to understand how Digital Marketing strategies are used in technology companies, in addition to disseminating relevant data for this market.
Thus, the theme defined was “Digital Marketing trends in technology companies in London”.
2. Choice of target audience
Once you’ve defined your topic, you’ll probably already have in mind who your search audience will be. This choice can be made based on criteria such as:
- Market or sector in which respondents operate
- Respondent’s age range
- Company size
- Be a customer of your company
- Being a potential customer of your company
Defining who your respondents will be is essential for you to use the most appropriate language in each case, and for you to be able to segment the questionnaire alongside
3. Determination of hypotheses
With the chosen theme and objective, it is necessary to define which hypotheses your company wants to prove with the research.
From them, you will be able to understand more clearly exactly what you would like to discover, which is essential to build your online survey questions.
To define the hypotheses, it is necessary to take into consideration the theme, the target audience and the information that your research will gather.
To explain it better, let’s go back to the example given in step 1, about the MarTech survey. One of the main points we wanted to find out was whether there is a direct relationship between the adoption of Content Marketing and the achievement of results (in terms of visits to the website and generation of contacts).
Then, we made predictions about these possible relationships and arrived at some of the hypotheses below:
- Technology companies that adopt Content Marketing have a monthly average of visits higher than those that do not
- Technology companies that adopt Content Marketing generate more leads compared to those that do not
- Technology companies that have blogs generate more visits
From the hypotheses formulated above, for example, we already know that we will need at least four questions to confirm or refute them. Are they:
- Does your company adopt Content Marketing?
- Does your company have a blog?
- How many visits does your company’s website receive, on average, monthly?
- How many leads does your company generate, on average, monthly?
4. Formulation of questions
After so many definitions, it was time to start creating the questions. Perhaps you are wondering why we have only reached this stage now, if the focus of our post is this. The explanation for this is the fact that, in order to build the questionnaire, you must always keep in mind:
- The theme and objectives, to delimit the research and keep the focus on obtaining information that your company really needs;
- The target audience, since it is he who will dictate the language and terms used in the research, in addition to the subjects covered in the questions. After all, you need to ensure that your participants know how to answer them;
- The hypotheses, for demonstrating exactly what will be necessary to ask to confirm or refute the predictions made.
This is because, after going through the first three steps, the guidelines for creating and demanding certain issues are already very clear, as we saw in the previous example about MarTech.
However, it is also important to pay attention to other points. Let’s go to them:
1. Sketch the structure
In this step, a tip that we use here at Websites Are Us is: first draft your online questionnaire, then move on to the chosen tool for data collection.
This is important to optimize your time. During the process of creating the questions, it is common to delete some, add others and reverse the order frequently, until we reach the final version.
As moving the questions to the tool can be a bit of a hassle, finalizing the structure of the online questionnaire beforehand can avoid reworking your team.
In addition, many of our surveys involve the participation and approval of different people. For this reason, registering the draft in Google Drive is a great option to create the survey in a collaborative way.
2. Be clear and objective in your questions
A very common mistake that can affect your entire data collection is the lack of objectivity and clarity in a survey.
To avoid this problem, when formulating your questionnaire, be very careful with:
- Creation of questions or alternatives that are ambiguous;
- Spelling, punctuation and writing: they must be impeccable for the reader to understand easily;
- Questions that do not offer all possible answer alternatives: if the respondent cannot find the best option, there is a chance that they will select any one or even abandon the questionnaire. This type of error can skew the data obtained;
- Use of words that influence the opinion of the reader
3. Choose the right models for each question
After creating a document in Drive, you need to define which template will be used in each of the questions.
For this, it is important that you know well what they are:
- Disqualifying question
If you have chosen a specific market niche, or just respondents of a particular gender, for example, you will need to use this question.
It works as a filter to prevent people who are not part of your target audience from responding to the survey.
Let’s follow the example of the MarTech survey. As we saw, the theme was “digital marketing trends in technology companies”. Therefore, we could not collect responses from any company that was not in the technology segment, right?
For this, we defined that the first question in our online questionnaire would be “Does your company operate in the technology sector?”, As in the image below:
In this way, we built the structure in such a way that those who answered “yes” continued in the questionnaire, while those who selected “no” could not continue in the research.
It is important to note that the function above, which allows you to build different paths according to the participants’ responses, is not present in all collection tools. At the end of the post, we’ll see which ones have this option.
- Single answer question
This question model is one of the most common. In it, the respondent can only select an alternative among the options offered.
- Multiple selection question
In this model, the respondent can select all the options they want among the alternatives offered.
In this question format, the respondent chooses on a point scale predetermined by you. It can vary from 0 to 5, 0 to 10, 1 to 5, among others. In general, this type of question is used to judge affirmatives, and a well-known example is that of “strongly agree / strongly disagree”.
In this type of question, the participant can write his answer freely, without pre-determined options.
- Dropdown or dropdown list
The drop-down list format is one in which the alternatives are available in a scroll bar. It is widely used for questions where there are many options and these are short, as in a question about the respondent’s year of birth, for example.
4. Review and build the questionnaire in the tool
After asking the questions, do a complete review of the questionnaire. Mainly take into account:
- If the questions are following a logical sequence and, if necessary, make changes in the order
- If there are repetition of questions
- If all the questions are really necessary and, if not, discard the excess. The more objective and short, the less likely the respondents are to abandon the survey before the end
- Possible misspellings and ambiguity
After reviewing everything, move all questions to questionnaire building software. Don’t worry, in the next section we will show you a few so that you can choose the one that best suits your company’s needs.
Remember to add a welcome page to the online questionnaire, as well as a thank you page.
Then, with the form ready in the tool, be sure to ask other people to respond as well and point out possible problems. And if everything is right, just start disclosure!
Bonus: What are the best tools for online surveys?
Google Drive offers a free online survey building tool.
This tool allows you to choose from 9 question templates, and its main advantage is the integration with other Drive apps, especially with Google Sheets.
However, when compared to other software, it is not considered as complete. If the use of disqualifying questions is absolutely necessary, construction on this tool will not be possible, since it is necessary to use branching logic (or logic jump).
On the other hand, if your survey questionnaire is simpler, Google Forms is a great option!
To start building, just have a Google account and access Drive. In the left menu, click “New”, then “More”. Then click on “Google Forms”.
SurveyMonkey is more complete software than Google Forms. It presents 15 options of question models, in addition to offering the possibility to perform A / B tests.
It also features a free version, which has the disadvantage of limiting the number of questions (10) and answers (100) and does not have advanced features – such as branching logic.
In the Plus plan, from 84 reais per month, the response limit becomes 1000 reais and, only in the PRO plan, from 79 reais per user, this limitation no longer exists and other more advanced features are available.
Another software option for creating your forms is Typeform.
It has a free option, which offers 17 question templates and does not limit the number of questions or answers collected. Compared to SurveyMonkey, this is a great advantage.
It is also more complete than Google Forms, in addition to being more visually beautiful and customizable.
Despite not having direct integration with Google Sheets, it presents a real-time dashboard on your form, in addition to providing a report, also in real time. All collected responses can be downloaded in .xlsx or .csv format.
However, to use some more advanced features (branching logic), you need to subscribe to the PRO plan, for $ 35 a month, or PRO +, for $ 70 a month.
The time has come to put all the tips into practice and create an online questionnaire for your marketing research!
If you want to better understand how to plan and execute your search strategy within the marketing strategy, be sure to read the Marketing Research ebook.