How to Make Your Own Survey in 3 Easy Steps

How to Make Your Own Survey in 3 Easy Steps

As a business, you’ve probably mulled over how to make your own survey for market research purposes. The power of survey research is that it allows you to extract data for a wide array of campaigns, such as marketing, advertising, branding et al., on virtually any focal subject of interest.

Surveys are unique in that they collect data from a pre-defined group of people. Online surveys take this method to the next level, as they only permit qualified respondents to enter the questionnaire portion of a survey. 

As such, online survey tools allow you to define the participants allowed to take part in your survey; you can do so by selecting your desired demographics and by screening questions. 

There’s more to making your own survey — but not much, that is, depending on the online survey tool you use. 

This article will teach you how to build a survey in just 3 steps, a process that correlates with the Pollfish survey platform.

The Benefits of Using Survey Software

Aside from the above, there is an abundance of benefits to using survey software, which is why it is encouraged to make your own survey

If you are skeptical about employing a survey software that allows you to build and launch your own survey in just three steps, consider the following. It enumerates the various benefits of using a survey platform; the fact that you can make your own survey in just 3 steps is an added benefit. 

  1. Cost-Effective: Although the total cost depends on a number of factors, such as deployment methods, survey types and the stipulations of your online survey platform provider, online surveys are generally cheap. At Pollfish, they start at only $0.95 per complete.
  2. Versatile: Software survey often offers versatility in functionality, interface, visuals and more. As such, they allow you to create multiple types of surveys such as multiple-choice, ratings surveys and surveys that focus on different disciplines like customer satisfaction or community feedback. They also allow you to add unique features such as skip logic.
  3. Respondent Control: A potent survey software grants surveys with the ability to identify each respondent by their IP address, so that no person can take part in the same survey twice to skew results. Therefore, if for example, you set your sampling pool to include 1,000 respondents, you can rest assured that there will be 1,000 unique individuals taking the survey, as no responder will take the survey more than once.
  4. Quick and Accurate: Online survey tools collect data quickly and accurately. They can gather thousands of survey submissions in a short span of time, one that is often no longer than a few days long. The entire sampling is accurate to the study you conduct, as screening questions and demographic quotas ensure only the targeted respondents participate in the survey.
  5. Ease of Analysis: Survey software facilitates the process of analyzing, by allowing you to observe the data in various formats. For example, a strong tool gives you the option of viewing your responses in spreadsheets, graphs, charts and cross-tabulation. This allows you to examine your survey results in a way that suits your preferences best, as some campaigns require specific data formats.
  6. Easily administered and completed: Online survey tools offer the convenience of administration ease and completion. That is because these tools deploy the surveys for you, meaning that you don’t have to worry about reaching your intended target audience and amount of respondents. The Pollfish platform distributes your survey to a sweeping network of over 140,000 of the most popular websites and apps. It doesn’t finish the process until all respondent quotas are filled.
  7. Flexible and amendable: Online survey platforms ought to make it easy to control all survey content; that involves adding different media files to questions, skipping questions (skip logic), using a blend of open and close-ended questions and much more. In short, survey software makes survey building easy to tailor and change. 

Make Your Own Survey With a 3 Step Process

Now that we’ve covered the bases of online survey advantages, it’s time to put survey building into action. The following elucidates the three steps, or stages, to make your own survey using an online survey platform.

These steps parallel the steps required to take on the Pollfish platform dashboard; they make it easy to jumpstart your survey research campaigns. 

Step 1: Enter all your audience qualifications

The specifics of the audience enables you to dictate the kind of respondents to take your survey. These specifications certify that the respondents that answer the survey qualify to take it. 

The audience section is twofold: it features the demographics section and the screener. The demographics section features various demographic categories. You should tick off all the boxes of categories and subcategories that you would like to study in the survey. 

These categories include everything from geolocation — from country to postal code — to employment type, marital status and many other demographic categories. You can assign quotas to each category and subcategory. Or you can set each subcategory to receive an equivalent number of responses.

If this wasn’t granular enough, the screener portion allows you to ratchet up your audience requirements even further. For example, you can ask behavioral questions, such as: how many times a year do you go shopping on [vertical] sites? 

Or you can ask more hyper-targeted demographics questions, such as: how many children do you have? This allows you to choose the answer(s) that allow the respondents to take the survey. 

You can also place preset quotas on the screening questions. After you’ve applied all of your audience qualifications in the demographics section and the screener, it’s time to move to Step 2.

Step 2: Establish all the questionnaire content

The questionnaire stage is the heart of the survey. This stage allows you to add all the questions that you would like qualified participants to answer. It is the content of this step that will grant you market research data. 

The survey platform you choose should allow you to choose from a variety of question types to add into your questionnaire. These are important as they control the type of survey you can create. 

For example, in some surveys, such as Net Promoter Score surveys, you’ll need to include a numeric scale, as it is the basis for NPS surveys. In Visual Ratings surveys, emojis are required as part of the answer options.

The following lists some of the question types crucial to have in your online survey tool:

  1. Single selection 
  2. Multiple-selection
  3. Open-ended
  4. Numeric open-ended
  5. Rating stars

The question types should allow for multiple functionalities, such as:

  1. Adding media files to questions (images, GIFs, videos, etc.)
  2. Shuffling answers
  3. Using batch or predefined answers
  4. Adding “none of the above”
  5. Applying logic so users can go on custom question paths depending on their answers

You should be able to regroup questions and answers at the click of a button or two for a flexible survey research experience. This section should also allow you to add in the exact size of your sampling pool, i.e., the total number of respondents. 

Additionally, this stage of the survey-making process should provide you with an estimated survey completion time, so that you will have a sense of how long it will take you to yield the number of responses that you preset.

Review all of your questions, answers, question paths and any other elements you have applied to your questionnaire. Make sure you’re not missing any questions you feel would be pertinent for your survey study.

Also, keep an eye out on spelling and grammar — these are going to go live as they appear on your dashboard If you’re satisfied with it, then

Step 3: Set off the Survey Launch at the Check Out

The final step of the survey-making process is essentially the simplest one, as it doesn’t require ideating or tweaking any in-survey content. Instead, all it requires is to fill in 3 quick requirements and your survey is almost as good as live.

Here are the requirements ins 3 small sections making up this final step:

  1. Enter your billing information, such as your address and credit or debit card number.
  2. Choose from 2 options on survey scheduling: either to launch your survey then and there or to schedule it.
  3. Review your payment information in the Cost Analysis; here you can add a discount code if you have one. 
  4. After you’ve reviewed the survey cost, hit the big button that reads “Submit for approval” and your survey is about to go live into the vast ecosystem of partner websites and apps that will deploy it. 

Some online survey platforms (like the Pollfish one) will include a review stage from experts before your survey officially launches. This will ensure all your content is set up to run smoothly, with no glitches, eros or logical issues. 

There you have it; that’s all you need to do to make your own survey and have it distributed to the masses. 

Please note that this process is not universal to online survey tools; rather it is used in the Pollfish platform and meant to illustrate how convenient survey software programs can be when it comes to helping you make your own survey. 

Reaping the Most out of Your Online Survey Tool

Online survey tools are exceedingly important for market research, however, there’s more to it than just survey campaigns. 

Your business ought to use secondary sources and perhaps other primary sources to bolster your survey research. This will ensure you are conducting a holistic market research campaign. 

Keep in mind that while the survey-building process delineated in this article may seem simple, all survey tools are not the same. Some will demand a much more intricate process to create your survey. Others may not even contain the function of distributing your survey.

As such, you should invest in an online survey platform that provides the most gainful survey research experience. You should opt for survey software that offers a wide range of capabilities and functions (such as the ones mentioned in this article), along with the kind that makes it easy to configure your survey and launch it.


How to Use the New Carry Forward Feature for an Enhanced Survey Experience

How to Use the New Carry Forward Feature for an Enhanced Survey Experience

As the heart of any survey, the questionnaire must be contrived carefully so that you receive the responses most necessary for your survey research. Creating the questions themselves can be difficult, especially if you choose to create question paths. 

Pollfish is thus thrilled to present a new feature to make building the questions a much easier task: Carry Forward. This new attribute provides advanced piping capabilities to optimize your questionnaire experience. 

The Purpose of the Carry Forward Feature

As a refresher, piping is a functionality that allows users to place, aka, “pipe,” a part of a question or answer into a subsequent question or answer. 

In the Pollfish platform, piping works by taking the answer(s) from the sender question and inserting them to the receiver question. 

In the first piping iteration, researchers were able to funnel answer choices from one question to another based on respondents’ selections. The following question would carry forward answers from previously piped answers. 

The new Carry Forward feature carries (no pun intended) the function of enriching the question-building experience, as it allows you to pipe questions on more question and answer types, along with other capabilities.

This new feature helps researchers design specific questions that are more relevant to the respondent’s behavior, and more useful to their research

It functions on both selected and unselected answers. It also can be used with:

  • Matrix questions
  • Ranking questions
  • Single selection questions
  • Multiple selection questions

Laying Out the Carry Forward Capabilities

Multiple Selection Questions

Along with carrying forward selected answers, this feature allows researchers to carry forward all the answers that the respondent did not select. 

In the case of a multiple selection question, for example, the feature can carry forward the unselected answers into the receiver question. 

Due to this, when a responder selects all the answers and proceeds, there will be no answer to carry forward, as there are no remaining unselected answers. For this precise reason, the Pollfish platform has developed a validation which exists as a dialogue box. 

This pop-up allows the researcher to know that the Carry Forward feature cannot support this case, as it only works if at least one answer is unselected. This is due to the condition that unselected answers cannot be carried forward if all the answers have been selected.

Advanced Logic

This can be used in tandem with advanced logic, allowing you to augment your survey with multiple layers. 

Enabling advanced logic (ADL) can trigger questions without forwarded answers. For example, when Carry Forward is enabled but a respondent skipped the sender question, the respondent will then be routed to a question without Carry Forward answers

Pollfish has also added front end validation that disables the researchers from proceeding with the previous structure. 

Sender questions with either the “None of the above” or “Other” option must be structured correctly, that is, with multiple selection questions. If these aren’t added to the proper question, there will be pop-up error messages.

Carry Forward Answers that Contain Media

If the Carry Forward answer type is the same or similar to the source (question) type, such as: 

  • single to single, 
  • multiple to multiple, 
  • single to multiple, etc.,

then the platform will carry forward the media files together with the answers.

In other cases, such as different types between sender & receiver questions, there are certain conditions and rules that dictate how Carry Forward will work.

How to maneuver Carry Forward answers which contain media:

  • If the Carry Forward answer type is the same or similar (single, multiple) to the source type ? the media will be carried forward.
  • If the Carry Forward answer type doesn’t support media then:
    • The text will be carried forward if the source answer contains both text and media. 
    • Carry Forward will not be supported if the source answer contains only media. 

How to Add Carry Forward to Your Questionnaire

In order to add the Carry Forward feature, you’ll need to enter the questionnaire portion of the survey first (after completing the audience section). You’ll also need to have your questions and answers in mind. 

You can add Carry Forward when you begin the questionnaire, as you’ll need at least two questions to use this feature, the sender and receiver question. You can also implement it to an existing questionnaire. 

  1. Find the Carry Forward option at the left panel of the questionnaire.
  2. Find a sender and a receiver question you wish to apply the CF feature to. This can be in any order. For example, you can use Question 1 as the sender question and Question 2 as the receiver question. 
  3. Enable this via the receiver question and select “Carry Forward” and then the selected or unselected answers from a previous question (the sender question). 

What Carry Forward Supports Vs. What It Does Not Support

There are certain conditions that need to be met in order to apply the Carry Forward function. There are certain circumstances in which your questions will not be able to implement Carry Forward. 

What it supports:

  1. Carry Forward can be used with single/ multiple/ ranking/ matrix questions when they are designed as receiver questions.
    1. When you carry forward a matrix question, there’s an additional option to narrow the choices based on selected columns, unselected columns, rows for selected columns, rows for unselected columns, and columns for specific rows.
  2. It is supported by single, multiple, open-ended, numeric, ranking, matrix, slider and OE when they are set up as sender questions.
  3. The researcher can carry forward all the questions that the respondent didn’t select. 
  4. There is simultaneous support of advanced logic and Carry Forward.
  5. It supports Order/ Shuffle answers for funneling questions. 

What it doesn’t support:

  1. Carry Forward cannot be used with description questions, Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys and visual ratings surveys.
  2. It does not support screening questions and therefore cannot be used in them.
  3. It does not support the option of “Group and Randomize.”

Note: Closing off, you should know that responses that are carried forward will be treated the same as other answer choices on the results page.

We suggest you preview your survey design before submitting the survey itself. Try it out!