There are many advantages of using online surveys compared to traditional mail or face to face methods. Nowadays, most people who are able to use computers have stopped using paper surveys altogether.
Here are the top 5 benefits of using online surveys over paper surveys:
1. Customized Appearance
The beauty of online surveys is that they are very clear to read. With computers you are able to zoom into surveys if the font is too small for you to read and surveys can be spaced out over a number of pages without overwhelming the respondent.
Unlike online surveys, there are space limitations on paper. With online surveys, your questions can be split into pages that are easy to work through without trawling through a pile of paper pages. You can quite acceptably have one question per page for online surveys, whereas doing this with a paper survey would have direct effect on the respondent’s likelihood of filling it in. If you see lots of pages to go through, you are less likely to take the time to go through it all.
Incorporate your logo and branding into your survey which will immediately resonate with customers and help to make your survey look legitimate, official and familiar. Utilize colors, images, and hyperlinks within your survey to personalize and make your survey attractive for the respondent.
2. High Response Rates
Did you ever have to spend hours on your local high street with a clipboard for a school project? Do you remember how much effort you had to put in for each and every survey you carried out. People rushed by and were too busy with their daily tasks to stop to answer your questions. With online surveys, this is all taken care of.
Online surveys not only allow you to leave the high street, but also allows respondents to take their own time to complete the survey. You send them your survey link, and they can answer your questions any time of the day or night. Whenever they are ready and willing to do so.
This also ensures that when your respondents have time to answer your survey, they are much more likely to put more thought into their answers and answer truthfully.
Not only this, but online surveys are super easy to respond to. Not only are you increasing your response rate due to the ease of filling in your survey, you are also increasing it further due to the ease of submitting responses. Once the survey is completed, your respondent is done and their answers are immediately recorded for you. If you need your respondent to mail their survey back to you, regardless of if you include the postage with your survey, you will experience a dip in response rate.
You are also able track your respondents if you have sent your survey to a set group of people and, in turn, you can send reminders to them which will help to increase your response rate even.
3. Lower Cost
Aside from the environmental saving when using online surveys over paper surveys, you will also save money.
Conducting surveys online is far cheaper in terms of stationary costs, delivery cost if sending my mail, wages if conducting face to face and phone costs if conducting over the phone. And you save on time as well and we all know that time is money!
Sending surveys via email is far, far less expensive and it brings an end to the slower mailing process so it is much quicker to both send your survey and receive the responses.
4. Tailored Structure
One of the great things about online surveys is that you can customize them easily to co-inside with your individual respondent’s answers. You can set a path through your survey by using branching questions within your online survey. Branching your survey questions ensures that only the relevant questions are displayed based on how a participant answers a given question.
Furthermore, you can also make questions compulsory if there are vital questions that you need answers to.
5. Simple Distribution
Because there is no need for mailing your survey, no standing on the high street, no need to gather together a focus group and no need to call countless phone numbers over and over again, the distribution of online surveys is super simple.
You can distribute to a wide, almost limitless, number of people via the internet. using your custom URL link you can share your survey by email or via social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked in and many more.
You can also embed your surveys directly onto your website or blog so people can fill in your survey from your site. No need to send your link out. This allows for a more generic audience response, but will also get responses from people who are already on your site and therefore implies an existing interest in your company, institution or service.
By adding social sharing links at the end of your online survey, respondents can also help to distribute your survey for you to their own contacts and online communities.
Aside from all 5 top benefits outlined above, you also get automatic reports created based on the answers submitted. It is all done for you so you don’t need to gather responses, enter the results into a spreadsheet and the analyze them.
Online surveys do more to help you get the answers you need cheaper, quicker, fuller and more efficiently that paper surveys.
By Claire A Morgan
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