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March 9, 2022


Survey setup best practices

Caroline Kim Avatar

Written by

Caroline Kim

With a few small tweaks, you can improve the survey taking experience for your respondents, and increase their likelihood of completing your survey. Here are some best practices:


The shorter, the better!

It makes sense that the number of questions asked correlates with the amount of information you get. If you ask respondents 2x the questions, you should get 2x the insights, right? Not exactly. By keeping your survey short and succinct, you are able to keep your audience active and engaged for the whole duration of the survey, which results in higher quality responses. Pro Tip: The sweet spot falls within the 5-15 minutes range.


Craft questions to deliver clear insights

Different types of survey questions can unintentionally influence one’s responses which is why you must ensure your questions are unbiased and avoid asking leading questions. Remember - an answer is only as good as the question. Think about what types of questions will help you achieve the goals of your survey. Generally speaking, there are some question types you should stay away from:

  • Instead of yes/no questions that can lead to inaccurately extreme responses, try using scale questions instead to properly gauge opinions and feelings.

  • Grid (or matrix) questions are dense in nature, and could result in low quality responses from respondents who feel it is confusing and/or difficult, especially on mobile devices.

  • Replace multi-punch questions with single-punch ones to make it easier to answer, as well as remove any ambiguity in the responses.

  • Use open-ended questions sparingly to minimize the effort required to complete the survey.


Optimize for the smallest screen

These days, more respondents are choosing to complete surveys on their mobile devices so it is important to ensure your survey is optimized for mobile. The survey taking experience is much different on mobile and you must take into account the smaller screen. For example, open end questions are easy to answer on a desktop or laptop using a keyboard. However, it’s much harder to type out a paragraph response on your mobile phone. This could make the difference between high quality and low quality responses.


Take advantage of pre-qualified audiences with mapping

By mapping your desired audience to questions asked during our member onboarding, you empower us to find the best respondents for your survey, resulting in higher conversion rates. The more mapping you do (to our 100+ different qualifications), the more accurate audience we are able to find for you that best suits the targets you are looking to reach. For example, if you know you want to reach folks in a very specific geographic region, listing the specific counties and/or zip codes is crucial in nailing down the right audience. Help us help you!


Bring in the experts early and simplify quotas

Quotas can quickly become a nightmare to fulfill as even simple age / gender / region nesting can produce 40+ buckets to fill. If possible, remove nesting or allow for some oversampling to ensure timely delivery. In addition, targeting complex groups is harder to field but by bringing us into your study early, you are more likely to meet your quotas. Demand for consumers’ opinions is at an all time high and you can’t afford to jeopardize your study with inefficient surveys. With optimally-setup surveys and consistent access to quality audience (ie. through the DISQO Research API), you’re able to capture 100% of the responses you need.