What to Look for in Online Survey Tools

What to Look for in Online Survey Tools

Online survey tools are invaluable for market research. In today’s digital world, these are the chief drivers of primary market research, as they allow you to obtain your own results.

Many brands don’t have market researchers on board; thus they don’t have the means to perform self-conducting research. As such, surveys are a vehicle of ease into primary research.

By their very nature, online surveys allow brands to explore the minds of their consumers and prospects.

But choosing the correct online survey tool can be a feat, as there is a slew of survey software available. Navigating the muddy waters of the internet, in which you’ll be constantly inundated with ads, social mentions and other promotional content, can make it difficult to steer you in the right direction.

That’s because all survey platforms will claim to provide the best experience and results for your business. But is any of it true? Don’t learn the hard way; instead, read this article on what to specifically look for in online survey tools for all of your needs.

Macro Applications for Online Survey Tools

Understanding the utility of survey software involves understanding all of the disciplines and campaigns it can be applied to.

Hence, before we delve into the individual capabilities you should seek in a survey platform, you should consider some of their more high-level applications.

Not every survey platform you come across will be able to provide the same value across these areas, so you ought to consider the functionalities of the survey platform you choose. But before that, let’s examine the macro applications your survey tool should aid you in.

  • Branding: Branding involves developing a reputation and an image, along with increasing the recognition of your company. A survey should help you in the following for branding:
    • Seeing the reception of content, whether it’s visuals or messaging
    • Finding the images to use for a campaign (including placement of logos)
    • Testing your unique value proposition
    • Testing a slogan
    • Identifying brand awareness levels
  • Marketing: Marketing is an umbrella term that involves all the processes of raising interest in your brand and promoting it, including advertising, distribution methods and sales. A survey should help you in the following for marketing:
    • Determining the state of your industry and niche
    • Identifying your target market
    • Applying market segmentation to your target market
    • Seeing if there is a demand for your product or service
    • Doing an analysis of your competitors
    • Unearthing the attitudes around issues you can later use in your messaging
    • Finding the shopping habits of your consumers
  • Advertising: Advertising is a form of communication that uses overtly sponsored messages to promote or sell a product or service and is one of the main disciplines within marketing. A survey should help you in the following for advertising:
    • Forming the bedrock of an ad campaign based on consumers’ opinions
    • Figuring out which topical subjects are too touchy to include in the ads
    • Finding ideas for individual ads
    • Narrowing the most consumed advertising mediums from your target market
    • Testing the efficiency of ads
  • Site Traffic/Visitation: Gaining site traffic is a critical campaign in itself. So how would completing a survey — which can be seen as a chore — help on this front?
    • When surveys are tailored correctly towards your target market, site visitors will enjoy taking them
    • Surveys with images and interactive elements will create engaging experiences
    • Users may feel appreciated for taking your survey if you offer thank you emails, incentives, etc.
    • Surveys that deal with topical issues may reel in user interest when visiting your site

Features that Make Market Research Easy

A survey tool needs to be useful for market research. A key part of marketing, this kind of software should have the following:

  1. Multiple categories for demographics: this will help you reach your target market more precisely and accurately.
  2. Adding quotas to any of the demographics to reach your desired amount.
  3. Multiple sub-categories of demographics to reach your segmented personas.
  4. Various language options to apply to different countries and speakers.
  5. The addition of at least 3 screening questions.

What to Look for in the Survey’s Environment

The environment of the survey has to be vast and easily made visible to any demographic of respondents. In addition, it should be able to be widely distributed automatically. Here are the features to look for, for the most fitting survey environment.

  1. Software with a vast network of publishers: preferably popular websites and mobile apps.
  2. A wide pool of users associated with the publisher channels.
  3. An easy to detect element (button) to reach the survey.
  4. The capability of being supported by over a hundred countries for global reach.
  5. An easy to integrate API or coding.

Individual Survey Capabilities

These specific features are the micro aspects of the applications to look for in your survey platform. They are immensely important, as they largely involve unique capabilities that distinguish one platform from another. Additionally, these capabilities can be put in use for the aforementioned macro applications (advertising, etc). The following lists individual features you should seek out in your survey provider:

  1. Configuring question types in a number of ways (multiple-selection, single selection, open-ended, ratings, stars, etc.)
  2. Adding media to your questions (images, GIFs, videos)
  3. Adding predefined answers to save you time.
  4. Utilizing advanced skip logic so that participants are only moved to questions that pertain to their previous answer, i.e., are relevant to them.
  5. An estimated completion time for all quotas to be met/ for the survey to conclude.
  6. Handling a large pool of survey participants (reaching into the thousands).

Simplifying the Process & What Else to Look For

It is understandable that the above lists seem rather intimidating in terms of finding in an online survey tool. Moreover, you may find a survey software that you feel comfortable using due to the ease of the interface, one that does that necessarily tick off all the capabilities in this article.

This is okay, as the needs of your business will differ from that of others. However, if you want to amass as many as these features and utilities as possible, here’s a few tricks to simplify the process:

  • Look for the specific features (not the macro applications) in a survey platform by checking its website and social channels.
  • Watch demos if need be.
  • If you don’t get all the specifications you’re looking for, contact the survey provider
  • Or.... just use Pollfish!

Luckily, the Pollfish online survey tool allows for all the macro applications so that your surveys can help your market research, marketing, branding and all other campaigns as needed.

The platform provides all the features and capabilities listed in this article. But there’s more!

We also offer 24/7 customer support from a dedicated team of product experts, so you never feel like you’re going at it alone.