Your customers are demanding. They’re extremely media aware and increasingly cynical – it’s a clever marketeer who can get through to them. Online surveys breath new life into the traditional survey format and offer a unique way of interaction – providing you with all the benefits of the Internet without the programming. Here are ten reasons why they may be the silver bullet marketeers’ need, complete with examples supplied by Martin Day, managing director of Survey Galaxy – one of a new breed of websites making online surveys quicker and cheaper

1. It’s cheap as chips
Select the right survey website and creating surveys can be free of any charge and the cost to publish excellent value for money.
Useful information harvested from surveys can be reused and repackaged in other marketing and PR for use in press outlets making it a very efficient form of information gathering.

2. It’s extremely easy
Anyone can develop an online survey. Survey sites allow people who have basic browser skills to create surveys quickly and easily – surveys that when published are even easier to complete than they are to make make.

3. Canvas the world
Promoting an online survey can be via email (with a link enclosed), through a link from a website or as a referenced by other forms of advertising. Anyone who has the link can be connected instantly to the survey, at a time that’s convenient to them, 24×7.

4. We have all got an opinion – and we like to give it
Customers do not associate surveys as spam and most welcome the opportunity to make their voice heard and a chance to have an impact on a brand. They can be particularly good for change management projects; a survey asking a workforce on their opinion of change allows the key issues to be raised in a positive manner and encourages employee participation. Online surveys ensures that the message reaches each individual and the feedback is compiled in a manageable form.

5. Get inside their heads
You can lead a customer to an advertisement but you can’t make them think. Surveys have the advantage of engaging each respondent, who thinks about the question before giving their response.

6. Build a relationship
It needn’t all end at the end of the survey – while you have the respondent’s attention and they are in the mood you can ask if they want to sign up for more information or a regular newsletter – making the most of the window of opportunity where you have their interest.

7. Have you also seen….
One of the most important benefits of a survey is the ability to make inspired or useful connections instantly to other areas. By including links within the survey you are able to reinforce the marketing message.

8. The soft sell
Surveys can help associate, in the mind of the respondents, a product with a number of positive attributes. By listing the features of a product and asking the respondent to say how important they are to them, regardless of their response, the respondent will associate the product with the features.

9. It’s not just about selling
A survey is an effective, quick and easy method to promote and gain acceptance for a difficult proposal; maybe a public body trying to gain acceptance and support for a particular scheme.
For example take a city trying to gain support from the general public for their bid to host a future Olympic Games. With a survey you have the opportunity to explain each benefit putting the respondent in a much better frame of mind to appreciate an argument and be more positive in their response. Your primary goal may be to promote a cause but you will automatically receive useful feedback that can then be used to fine tune the overall marketing strategy.

10. Fresh topics engage interest
Think laterally and a lively and imaginative approach to surveys can provide a ‘hook’ to engage respondents. The survey subject can be aimed at a particular group on a subject close to theirs hearts. A survey’s marketing message can take the form of a simple brand awareness message by stating that the survey is being sponsored by brand name, or by finding a link from the subject matter to the product – something that is surprisingly easy and highly effective.

Discover the benefits of including in your website a Public Survey section as many people who enjoy completing crosswords and doing word puzzles enjoy completing surveys. A public survey notice board is a low cost and automated method that will help increase traffic and establish a loyal and returning following. Unlike forums there is no opportunity for people to disrupt the site by inappropriate remarks as survey results can be displayed in summary form enabling them to dispense with moderators and maintenance.

Customers do not often view surveys as spam and the majority welcome the opportunity to make their voice heard and a chance to have an impact on a brand.

Many of the techniques and a few more are contained in the following Sample Marketing Survey.

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