Here at SurveyMonkey, we just love surveys. We love creating them, sending them, and getting all those responses back. We also love it when our customers have as much fun as we do with their own surveys. We’re always working to make the survey creation experience even easier and of course, even more fun, so we’re pretty excited to share with you our quick and easy Getting Started Guide. With this handy how-to, you’ll be well on your way at becoming the survey writing expert you’ve always wanted to be!
While this resource is aimed at survey creators looking for a specific target audience to complete their survey with SurveyMonkey Audience– a great feature that gives you access to millions of respondents who are ready to share their feedback and help you gain the insights you need– the Guide includes plenty of useful information for those of you who are just starting out with SurveyMonkey. We’ve included some general best practice tips such as setting no more than three goals for your survey, avoiding open-ended questions and how to do a test-run of your survey before sending it out.
Without further ado, here all top ten tips for you:
1. Establish no more than 3 clear goals for your survey: Decide exactly what you want to know about your topic, and focus your objectives. Doing so will ensure that you get accurate answers and have an easy time analyzing and making use of your data.
2. Choose a targeted audience who will be familiar with the survey topic and questions, or include qualifying questions (using skip logic) to better refine your audience: Carefully pick your audience by choosing from over 500+ demographic and behavioral traits, and use qualifying questions to make sure to route respondents only to relevant parts of the survey. If you need help deciding who you need to target, we’re here to help.
3. Make sure qualifying or screener questions (with skip logic) are at the beginning of the survey: If you use qualifying or screener questions to exit respondents from the survey, always use the “Disqualification Page” option instead of the “End of Survey” option when setting up the skip logic. If you are using demographic questions as screener questions, those should be at the beginning of the survey.
4. Always check skip logic paths: Be sure to review any question logic or page logic for accuracy. Make sure that any question using skip logic is on its own page, or is the last question on a survey page.
5. Avoid matrix, rating scale, ranking, and open-ended questions: If you must use these question types, aim to keep each question under five lines total. Instead of matrix & rating scale questions, use individual questions wherever possible. Use open-ended questions sparingly, as these can tire respondents and make data analysis more difficult.
6. With multiple-choice questions, include “Other” as an answer option and provide answering directions for respondents: Ensure that all possible answer options are included, such as “Other,” “Not Applicable” or “Prefer Not to Answer.” If you use an “Other” option and provide a text box for written answers, make sure you specifically select to provide this option as an “answer choice”. Always add direction at the end of Multiple Choice questions based on the type of answer, e.g “(Select all that apply.)” or “(Select one answer.)”
7. Require questions you want all respondents to answer: Surveys often have a mix of required and optional questions. Require questions you want to make mandatory for respondents, and consider making open-ended questions optional wherever possible.
8. Improve the aesthetic look of your survey: Making a few easy changes can improve the look of your survey, which in turn helps respondents make their way through your survey.
- Hide asterisks (from “Required” questions), hide the survey title, and hide page titles
- Do not include progress bars.
- Avoid having more than 5 questions per survey page, as more complex pages take longer to load and longer to save.
- When using similarly worded questions, use HTML to highlight specific/different words with bold, underlined, or italicized formatting to help respondents note key differences.
9. Don’t ask for any contact or personal information: Survey questions that request any contact or personal information (name, email, phone number, fax number, etc.) is against the SurveyMonkey Audience Content Policy.
10. Use the “Preview Survey” function: Located in the top right of the “Design Survey” page, this allows you to test your survey and see it as respondents will see it. Take multiple spins through your survey to make sure it’s ready for prime time. We ask that you do not edit the survey once your project has been launched.
We hope you enjoy getting started and happy surveying! Questions, comments? Don’t forget to let us know what you think in the Comments section below.