In the web business world your company is pretty much nothing if you do not measure and survey at every opportunity.
Business surveys and polls are great ways of learning about your existing customers but more importantly they can help you to reach into new markets. By surveying for what makes people tick you can know what they need and how to sell it to them.
Conducting surveys is not easy and it’s especially not easy on a large scale. Gathering the information is tiresome and time consuming; collating, processing and analyzing is equaling time consuming.
This kind of work is often out sourced to expensive research companies but nowadays it is possible to use online companies at a fraction of the cost. If you type ‘survey’ into Google.com the first result is for surveymonkey.com (what a fantastic piece of SEO work that is). Survey Monkey is obviously doing something right as it has an alexa ranking of 532.
Survey Monkey is a Portland-born company created by Ryan and Chris Finley in 1999 and went relatively unnoticed until 2008. Finley and his brother had grown the company to an estimated $30 million by 2008; it was at this time when the big investors started to make their moves. Spectrum Equity Investors and Bain Capital Venture Survey Monkey now own the company with Dave Goldberg as the CEO. Survey Monkey has continued to ‘grow like a weed’, now employing 32 people and gaining 20 million monthly unique visitors.
How functional is Survey Monkey?
Survey Monkey claims that anybody can create an online survey quickly and easily. Webandrank had a go and found that it was indeed very easy to do even the most non-techies should be able to use it.
It’s possible to create a whole range of questions from multiple choices, rating scale, a form, txt boxes and comment boxes. It is an intuitive way do patch together different questions to get specific information.
After you have created your questions Survey Monkey has a great tool to change the design of the survey. With this tool you can change the colour, size, style, add your company logo/graphics.
For those of you out there who really cannot create your own survey then you can use one of 50 templates. Survey Monkey does offer a free service and for this you get 100 responses for a survey with 10 questions – not exactly worth your time. The pricing plans work like this, for $19.95 a month you can get 1000 responses on unlimited questions and a bunch of bonus add-ons. The other option is to pay $200 for a whole year and get unlimited responses plus all the extra bonuses, these include custom thank you page and filter options for analyzing data.
Here are some reasons why so many people are choosing Survey Monkey
It has a handy little device to skip over questions if the respondent doesn’t fit a certain criteria (for example skipping a question about loans for a person with bad credit).
Filtering options to find common results.
Email importing tool to cross reference with Survey Monkey to see who has completed your survey.
Survey Monkey is a great program but this wouldn’t be a fair review if Webandrank didn’t mention the negative things.
On occasion the popups can be annoying, popups are great for confirmations but they can be cumbersome for full pages just like the one for the question editor. The responses collection is powerful but quite complex. Webandrank suggests that most users require a simple URL to put on a web site. The free service only offers 10 questions for 100 responses this is not enough to collect any meaningful data but this is only a free service. The website homepage is ugly as has been the main criticism for some time.
Useful tips for first time survey creators.
Are you aware of closed and open questions for quantitative or qualitative research? If not give these terms a search
Make sure you have really thought about what it is you want to ask people, and that no questions go wasted.
Don’t miss out on key data such as age, location, sex etc.
Do not make the questions too complicated as this will put people off from answering.
Do not make the survey too long as this again will put people off.
Surveys are without doubt a necessary part of modern business, they teach you so much about existing customers and about possible new markets. Surveys are useful but they can also be fun, it interesting learning about new trends often the results can be surprising.