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Six Tips for Creating an Effective Online Customer Survey

by Sameer Bhatia  |  
January 23, 2014

Because of the wide availability of opportunities to create surveys using free online survey software, you can quickly and easily gauge customer satisfaction or interest in new product offerings via customer surveys.

When using a free or subscription-based online tool to create a survey, however, you must be certain that the survey is carefully designed to yield the most valuable data.

1. Preliminary Research

Online survey software makes it easy to create multiple surveys, which means you don't need to create one survey to address all of your market research needs.

So know what it is you want to know:

  • What information do you need from your survey?
  • What do you plan or hope to do with that information?

Different goals require different types of data from customers or potential customers. For example, the information you gather prior to launching a new website will be different from the information you'll solicit before adding a feature to an existing website.

2. Determine the Target for your Survey

Almost all survey software enables you to enter an email list. How do you determine which people to include on that list?

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Sameer Bhatia is founder and CEO of a provider of online learning tools for building, testing, and applying knowledge, including its Online Survey Maker.

Twitter: @sameer_bhatia

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  • by Kimmy Burgess Thu Jan 30, 2014 via web

    Above tips shared is truly exceptional to know the mindset of the customers through online survey. But i feel that it should kept on pretty simple manner, so that everyone can participate & show their liking & dislikings by answering simple questions.

  • by Sameer Bhatia Thu Feb 6, 2014 via web

    Kimmy: Agree 100% with you. Another thing that helps with simplicity is keeping surveys short. 4-8 question is what we see having highest completion rates. The longer the survey, the more complex it tends to be and completion rates start to drop off. Another trick here is to make the first question a really simple one so users can get started easily.

  • by Sue Duris Mon Feb 17, 2014 via web

    All good points. While you alluded to it, you didn't state it and that is survey completion time. Time is very key for surveys. Companies should only ask the pertinent questions from the pertinent people they need answers from. The more to the point surveys can become, the better response rate surveys will provide.

  • by Michelle Carter Wed Jul 16, 2014 via web

    The tips are great, Sameer. These, combined with a good survey tool (read SoGoSurvey ) would be gold. Thanks a ton.

  • by Ben Dover Wed Jan 14, 2015 via web

    The tips listed have helped me greatly and should be used by all that are making surveys.

  • by Mike Hunt Wed Jan 14, 2015 via web

    If I had one dollar for every kid that has fallen asleep in this class, I would be worth more than Bill Gates

  • by Dan Adams Wed Nov 18, 2015 via web

    Good points in this article. A key factor in today's Smartphone and Smart Device era such as the tablet is the definite one question per page request, otherwise it gets too cumbersome. We have been following this trend with Supercandidate since 2007.

    The number of questions ultimately is relevant to the end user. If you are talking to an engaged audience such as those looking for a specific job role and the survey is all about that job role, then longer surveys are fine. I agree that if the end user is unknown or you are fighting others to get their response, keep it short and sweet.

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