Polls and surveys have been around almost as long as things have been sold between a buyer and a seller. As technology has advanced across society, it has changed drastically the way things are bought and sold.
Due to the nature of sales, in that the process evolves as technology does, this holds true more today than ever…
With more people shopping online, and more shopping using their mobile phones, and with less ‘bricks and mortar’ footfall (traffic) in traditional stores as time goes on, as online marketing business owners we have to pay attention.
This tutorial will explain the history behind polls and surveys, as in where it was and where it is today. This last portion of the post will be of the most interest to you because it will lead you to the tools and methods that you need to consider using right now.
I have researched and am highlighting 15 uses of polls and surveys, and then provided some brief examples of each. This is valuable because you actually see what is working and why it works.
Lastly, you will see some of the latest tools available that will help you leverage your time to automate and provide a system for the poll and survey process, as well as better segment the results.
This means that you will be able to get more accurate information in a timely manner that can help fine tune your marketing campaigns and achieve your goals, whether that goal is more subscribers, sales, and of course profits.
Let’s get started…
WHY USE POLL & SURVEYS
There are so many reasons to use surveys and polls. Likely many you have heard before, but I wouls say that today it more important than ever to use some form of information gathering to see what it is that your audience wants.
With the growth of online shopping, the opportunities are bigger than ever. With that growth has come more competition. There are more businesses and people than ever selling things online. It is getting harder to get people to your site or service to sell to them.
One way to help is to know what it is the customers are looking for when they shop online. Keywords from search engines can certainly help, but misses out on a crucial aspect of this – what feedback from real buyers might be…
This is where surveys and polls or questionnaires comes in. Using them you can give these people a means to provide such feedback to you, and then you can react to their wants and needs by adjusting your sales programs, what it is that you are selling, and how you present the sales pitch…
There are other benefits as well. You can build trust, your brand, your lead list, and conversions directly through the use of surveys or polls, depending on the type you choose to use.
So let; drill down a bit to see just what businesses and other entities are doing, why they are doing what they do, and the implications this may have for our own survey and poll efforts…
WHAT ARE MARKET LEADERS DOING TODAY
Here are 15 and more examples of market leaders use of polls or surveys, and the results they are achieving. It is useful to look at such case studies to see what we can use for our own marketing campaigns and with our online businesses.
We will drill down on the first few, then provide a site where you can look at a number of other real-life case studies, with the lessons to be learned from each annotated for your reading pleasure…
Poll and Survey Case Studies
(1) Text messaging for Healthcare surveys.
Text messaging has proven to be more effective than more traditional means such as phone calls according to one source. For online marketers using text messages may or may not be a viable option. There are some distinct advantages that resulted that are worth paying attention to:
There are some distinct advantages that resulted that are worth paying attention to:
First, participants in the survey can answer the questions while they go about their daily routines. This method gives the participants much more freedom to answer your questions thoughtfully and on their own schedule.
Second, the nature of the survey method lends itself to getting better results in regards to data collected. Because it allows more anonymity than phone calls do, people are more honest in their answers.
Third the data collected in text message surveys can be set up to be organized easily into a database for analysis. There is no need to spend time transcribing survey results from voice recordings or from a hard copy survey.
There are some lessons for the online marketer which we will talk about in the next section, but just be aware that this survey method works and is still in use today…
Check out the article here…
===> TEXT MESSAGING SURVEYS <===
(2) Political Campaigns
Political and issue campaigns are using online email surveys and polling more and more today. They are proving to be extremely useful in measuring the court of public opinion. Add to this the fact that online email surveys and polls are affordable, fast, easy and effective.
I have seen these also used on social platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. In both these cases, the costs are minimal for campaigns that are spending millions and millions of dollars on other means of getting their candidates or issues out to the general public.
Using surveys or opinion polls helps them use their dollars to reach the targeted audiences in a more efficient manner.
In short, surveys are an immediate way to take the pulse of the public and gather intelligence that can be used to develop a winning campaign strategy.
A short article on this subject can be found here:
===> SURVEYS IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS <===
(3) A Case Study Highlighting Sample Bias
This was an interesting article where the author actually conducted a poll on Twitter and analyzed the results and feedback from participants.
The total potential audience was over 640,000 followers, and the poll asked a simple question that the author thought would easily be answered by participants.
The question was posed as follows via a tweet to their followers:
“Let’s Take A Sample right now! How many of you can curl your tongue?”
Seems simple enough and surely they would get a good response to this simple one item poll?
Well, they actually only received responses via tweets from a little over 1,600 of their followers, remember out of an audience of over 640,000! This is an abysmal response rate.
The results pointed to most of the respondants being able to curl their tongue, over 80 %. But were the results accurate and did they reflect what the total audience really could do when it comes to curling of the tongue?
When they had some experts look at what happened, here were some of the findings:
(a) Poll question was formulated in an ambiguous manner.
People did not know exactly what they were asking. Curl your tongue how? Side-to-side, front-to-back, or maybe up and down?
Because the question was not explicit in what was being asked, there was confusion with the readers. Some responded incorrectly because they did not understand what was being asked.
(b) The question was not worth answering for some reason.
Some may not have responded because they just did not care about the issue or were embarrassed about the topic. Curling of the tongue? Of what value is this?
Some of the audience may not have responded because they did not feel comfortable if they COULDN’T curl their tongue for whatever reason. Others may not respond because they do not care, it is not important to them.
Either of the aforementioned situations would skew results considerably towards the pro-curler result.
(c) People chose to answer in a way that put them in a good light in their mind (of COURSE I can curl my tongue!).
(d) People clicked haphazardly on their answer, either due to no time or no interest. A nonsensical answer to a nonsensical question mentality?
(e) People who answered may have been in a public place where they could not check if they could or not so answered from memory, which of course may or may not be accurate.
(f) The way the question was asked affected the answers received.
This is not considered a must-have skill for most people, but by asking the question it may have inspired some to try to learn to, ones who normally could not curl their tongue.
This kind of bias happens in other niche polls such as political polling. where a position or proposed law description provided as part of the question actually educates the participants and influences their reply, It could be that they had no opinion at all prior to this education.
There are a number of other areas that one simple question had bias built in. When preparing polls and surveys, it is important to pose the question properly to give a clear picture of what people think or are doing…
To read more on this case study, click on the link below…
===> TONGUE TWITTER POLL <===
(4) What Is a Day in the Life of a Marketer Like
MarketingProfs is an online resource site for providing and sharing a variety of marketing articles, training solutions, strategies, and case studies. The site owners created an interactive survey asking users what a day in the life of a marketer is like.
The purpose was to collect data on their audience, get new leads to add to their database, and to get better results they also promoted the survey through their social sites that included Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Read more about their outcome here:
===> MARKETPROF SURVEY <===
To read more real life case studies go to the link below. There you will see a number of available posts from different niches and survey methodologies that were used.
In total, you will have at least 15 to review, each unique using the below link and the Google Search terms I add for you…
===> Snap App Case Studies <===
===> Google Search Terms for Case Studies <===
Your results will offer you a rich and engaging set of studies that will provide lots of lessons for you…
Notes On These Case Studies
Lots of information to pore through, but well worth the effort. In my own research to find out about these instances, I can say that the time was well spent.
Now it is time to consider how you may be able to incorporate some of the tricks, tools and tips from these examples in your own programs!
Go through them allowing yourself enough time to see for yourself using the provided links how these companies are having success. The above only provides synapses, not in depth information.
My recommendation is to pick two or three that most interest you, and start with these to do some drill down research for yourself. I am quite sure that you will get different points than what I did, and it would help you ingrain the lessons into your head and thereafter your marketing campaigns and program.
15 WAYS THESE STUDIES CAN IMPROVE YOUR MARKETING CAMPAIGNS
There are some general indications and some more detailed ways of using the above studies. Let’s lay them out here, and note that these are just a few, I am sure that you may be able to come up with more!
Poll and Survey Tips
(1) Use a poll to help segment your list
Having a list is not everything, but it is a start. Knowing what that list wants can help you sell more, get the right information to those that either need or are looking for it, and save you time.
(2) Use your polls or surveys to capture subscribers, sales leads, or contacts
As you get the polls out using social media and your websites, or through another channel, consider adding an opt-in step, and perhaps some kind of reward for the poll taker’s action.
(3) Make sure you keep it light and maybe even fun
Of course, there are some serious subjects where this will not be likely, but in most cases it is possible to create the poll or survey in a manner that will not bore people to death. It will also help in the participation rate, and even the answers may be more honest.
(4) Create and add polls, surveys, questionnaires, or even contests to your social media platforms as content
I like these as fillers that can save you time planning for and posting fresh content. You can prepare a series of polls or the other items and have them ready to plug in as needed. You are adding a fresh post and gathering information that can help your marketing program…
(5) Use surveys to ask for about customer satisfaction
This can help your efforts in any or all areas of your online marketing areas and niches. Having them provide you their honest opinions will save you wasted time and also the customers will appreciate that you are asking for their input.
(6) Run a contest using a poll or survey
This is a great way to generate interest and buzz about something you want to promote. If you have some well planned out rewards and use them for those who participate, those who share, and a winner, you have a chance for it to go viral.
(7) Scoop up ideas for a blog post or series of posts
You can easily put together a poll in which to query the targeted audience what blog topic or topics they are most interested in. Get the poll out using your normal communication channels, as in email, social platforms you may focus on, etc. This can help you publish content that they will look forward to and want to read about.
(8) Ask for feedback on your websites, your offers, your social platform sites, etc.
Getting your audience’s feedback will help you make changes to your website and social sites that will make their experience more rewarding, and likely will grow your traffic over time as your reputation and authority increases.
(9) Use surveys to find out what kinds of events your audience may be looking for
Sponsoring an event can be expensive. Depending on the scale it can also be a major bit of work to plan and have it go well. Conducting a survey or poll ahead of this major undertaking will help you make sure that you are providing something that your audience wants, ones they would participate in, and also you can give them a chance to add in their own preferences.
(10) Make A Quick Check Using A Poll
Perhaps you need to get an answer quickly for a certain question you may have from your customer base or audience. If you have the time a quick poll nay be just the trick. Get it up and out, and it is that fast, you are getting input quickly.
Specific tips to increase the effectiveness of your polls and surveys…
(11) Short and Simple
Keep it short and simple. Use a multiple choice format, with a maximum of one to five questions for quick polling
(12) Focus on Participants
Focus on poll participants and build your poll around them. Design the polls so your audience is enticed to engage. Be sure to ask them for their input. What are their thoughts and what are their preferences?
(13) Keep Scaling Consistent
If you are going to use a scale for rating questions, keep it consistent throughout the poll. For instance, if you will use a Likert scale, keep the point system the same for all the questions.
(14) Plan Your Giveaways and Prizes
Consider the giveaways, prizes and coupons you add to entice participation (if needed). Make sure they are consistent with the subject of the poll or survey.
(15) Get Someone To Review Your Polls
Have a few people look over your poll or survey to get some feedback. Make any changes based on their feedback. This can definitely save you time from having to redo polls to get the actual information you are looking for…
Now let’s look at just a few software or other tools that you can use to get a system in place where most of the process runs automatically for you.
This is important to free you up for the many other tasks that you must do on a regular basis to have a successful online marketing business…
INNOVATIVE TOOLS FOR IMPLEMENTING A SYSTEM
There are many options out there you can consider, but for the purpose of this tutorial, I wanted to keep the ones I highlight to options I consider some of the best for your program, especially if you’re just starting out with your online marketing program…
Paid Tools – No Cost, Low Cost, and More Cost
(1) Poll Daddy
The Poll Daddy WordPress plugin allows you to easily create a variety of surveys, polls, and quizzes. Using it you can set it to allow your site visitors rate your articles and comments, which is a nice feature.
(a) Using it you can set it to allow your site visitors rate your articles and comments, which is a nice feature.
(b) It has a ‘drag and drop’ interface that allows for changing the order of your questions easily as you prepare your polls. There are nineteen different types of questions and with this WP
(c) There are nineteen different types of questions and with this WordPress polling tool, you can add images, video, and audio into your questions and answers.
(d) The plugin comes complete with twenty different styles of polls and you can also brand the surveys using your logo.
(e) Poll results that you accumulate can be displayed inside your articles or also in a widget area of your website.
(f) You can create an unlimited number of surveys and polls with this plugin but there is a restriction if you use the free version. You are allowed email invites of 1,000 per month. If you need more, you can pay $200 USD for a year of 10,000 invites per month.
I am not an affiliate of this plugin, but I will say this is a good option for many online marketers, especially when starting out. Saving money is usually important for people getting into the field..
OK, let’s look at the next one…
(2) The ENGAGEFORM Survey Tool
This is a platform where you can prepare and conduct a number of types of online surveys. It will track your results and collect leads and present the data for your use. You can further refine your online marketing campaigns with the information.
There are various packages available for use, starting with a free option. Here is a screenshot of the payment plans:
OK moving on to the next option, a somewhat cheaper solution that will work for your needs…
(3) YOP Poll Plugin
The templating system with this plugin works well. You have fifteen different templates and color schemes that are modifiable. This means your poll can be completely unique.
Also, here are some more features…
(4) Kickstart Survey
This is the tool that I use along with the plugin tool above. This one allows me to manage surveys from a central point rather than from each individual website.
The use of the tool is easy and there is a good set of tutorials available for getting started and working through any issues you may have…
Using this I can quickly get started with a number of surveys, track the status of each, and collect the data needed to analyze and make changes in my marketing approach.
Effective, fast, easy, and also a service that I can offer you. I have the ability to add in clients and set up and collect data for them. If this is something you are interested in, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org…
OK now you can take EVERYTHING I have provided here and strike out on your own, OR you can check out the tools I suggest, along with the tips, etc.
The important thing is to get started…Remember you can significantly increase the effectiveness of all the hard work you do because you are targeting what the clients need, That is what it all comes down to…
Bottom Line: Work smarter, not harder!
Today we covered briefly the history of polls and survey use in marketing, how it is used with online marketing, and covered 15 of the success stories leaders in online sales have had using polls and surveys.
Lastly, we covered some of the latest tools and software that is in use today, discussed the positives and negatives of them, and how they may fit into your online marketing campaigns. I also provide a free eBook in exchange for a subscription to provide you additional information you can use.
It is now up to you to think through how polls and surveys can help your sales, and further target the people that are interested in your various offers. I can attest to the fact that incorporating such a tactic or tactics will boost potential reader interest, subscriber interest, and conversions and income.
Polls and surveys are just too effective as tools to increase your overall success to completely disregard. Now you are better armed to decide what action to take now to get surveys and polls added to your arsenal of tools!
Please consider taking a few minutes of your valuable time to drop a comment in the comment section below. When we share our experiences, our knowledge, and feedback, the ensuing discussion can help all. It is in this light that I thank you in advance for your contribution!