Surveys · Market research

What's the best way to distribute a survey about my venture (to maximize responses)?

Jared Lerner Creative Engineer looking to change the world

August 13th, 2015

I recently sent out a survey re:my venture to my social networks but my response rate is super low (only 23 responses after 3 days). And it's a short survey too. Are there any good platforms out there for distributing something like this?

Looking for a few hundred responses at the very least.

Laura Fredericks

August 13th, 2015

We sent out our survey via survey monkey to our email list, and offered laptop stickers to anyone who participated. We also shared the survey on Facebook and Twitter. Even sharing it to a few different places, we needed to remind people 3-4 times before they participated. Keep sending it via email, and make sure you have a small incentive to encourage participation. Good luck!

Brian Truong Co-Founder and CEO at HelloToken

December 7th, 2015

Though many of today's platforms, such as SurveyMonkey and AYTM, have good demographic targeting, you can end up getting biased data because it's a specific set of people who opt into answering surveys for tiny bits of money or charity. For example, what subset of people will answer a 40 question survey for 50 cents to charity (SurveyMonkey)? 

Shameless plug, but I'd take a look at HelloToken -- we're able to distribute survey questions to people in the right context (e.g. a reader of a technology article) by getting users to answer a question for access to an article. In this fashion, we can get people who don't normally answer surveys to answer your questions as well as contextually target your surveys to people who are interested in the space in which you work (optional). We have millions of respondents and can get thousands of responses within hours. 

Michael Markarian Founder at Mount Dream

August 13th, 2015

Mount Dream.

Jessica Alter Entrepreneur & Advisor

August 13th, 2015

Mechanical Turk Sent from my iPhone

Jared Lerner Creative Engineer looking to change the world

August 14th, 2015

All good suggestions!

Glenn - you make a lot of valid points. A lot of my social network does fit the target demographic that I'm trying to reach and the survey is more fact-based than opinionated, but I should reach out to other outlets as well for more data integrity.

I used Qualtrics to create the 20-question survey and I know that they do panels (all too familiar with those,...worked at Confirmit for 7 years) but I'm trying not to break the bank here. I guess the challenge is to find meaningful feedback while not having to spend a ton of money to do it, though I know I can't underestimate how important this step really is.

Evelyn Chen

August 13th, 2015

SurveyMonkey

Michael Asimor CEO at Dynamic International

August 13th, 2015

What is the value you offering people for their opinion?  People are willing to share if they feel it is a win / win.

Jared Lerner Creative Engineer looking to change the world

August 13th, 2015

Thanks guys! Appreciate it

ritee rouf

August 13th, 2015

Relevant groups on Linkedin can also be useful

Glenn Donovan Vice President of Sales (fractional)

August 14th, 2015

Jared - There is so much more one would need to know to figure this out. What is the purpose of the survey? How long is it? What did the invite look like?

A bigger issue is how one uses survey research to generate "valid and reliable" insights. Fyi, this isa specific term of art in the business which means that if you ran the survey 10 times over different samples you'd get similar results given the confidence interval. The respondents have to be a representative sample of the population you are seeking to understand. I can just about guarantee that the population in your own social network will not be representative of a larger population segment you are trying to understand, and there will also be way too much bias since they know you and likely favor you.

What does that mean? Even if you got 10 times the responses, you can't make the assumption that their views mirror your target market's views. I'm surprised by how many entrepreneurs jump into this without educating themselves a bit about survey research first.

If you are going to base important company decisions on this - and fyi, I recommend you and more founders do real survey research to base product and sales-marketing decisions upon - then you should retain a real market research firm to run this for you so you get valid and reliable insights. They can recruit a panel of respondents that is a representative sample, optimize the invite, create a well designed questionnaire (crucial and something amateurs almost always get wrong). Evelyn Chen mentioned Survey Monkey above, and I think they offer a service to do this at a good price.

If you don't do any of the above, keep in mind the feedback is pretty close to useless. Also, while I used to be in the survey research biz (with Satmetrix and I am a certified Net Promoter consultant) I'm not in that business any more and have no commercial interest here. Just wanted to share a technical POV for your benefit. Hope it helps.