When running a sweepstakes with PromoSimple you have the option to include an unlimited number of survey and poll questions for entrants. While this can be a simple way to gather feedback, evaluations and suggestions for product enhancements, the answers provided by your users are only as useful as the questions that you’ve asked. Follow these tips to write effective and comprehensive questions.
Cover all the possibilities
When you ask entrants to use a drop-down menu or radio buttons to provide answers for a question be sure that every possible scenario is covered. If the answer that suits their opinion is not available the results that analyze at the conclusion of the promotion are not going to accurately represent the users’ thoughts.
The poor question only provides limited answers. Perhaps the user’s favorite website is Instagram, in which case they may choose an option from the list but you’re not really getting an accurate insight into their opinions. The fair question does give the user the option to let you know that their choice is not on your list. The good question is comprehensive because it covers all possibilities, including that the user simply hates all social media.
Include ‘other’ options
When applicable, as in the case above, be sure to include an ‘other’ option. In many cases there are just too many possibilities to list all of them. Also, despite your level of knowledge about the topic that you are asking about you may need to concede that there are options that you may be unaware of. In this example, there are new social platforms being released constantly and you may not be aware of the newest and ‘coolest’ one just yet.
Being mutually exclusive
When you are asking a question keep in mind that all answers are not mutually exclusive; for questions of this type you may want to use checkboxes where the entrant can select multiple answers. This means that for many questions there are multiple correct answers. In the example below the answers are not mutually exclusive.
If the question were ‘For what purpose do you use social media most?’ then using radio buttons would be fine because there can only be one correct answer. With the phrasing shown below, the first three answers may be selected by the same person.
Clear and concise phrasing
The phrasing of a question can have a significant impact on the options that users select. Avoid ambiguity whenever possible to alleviate confusion and ensure that the user doesn’t abandon the poll because they are unsure of how to answer. Personally, I would answer every one of the questions below differently. Be absolutely sure you are asking the question as clearly as possible so that the user can’t confuse what you are trying to ascertain.
Beware of context that influences answers
After you write a question read it and answer it. Then do it again. And again. While many questions may seem obvious to interpret they could have a variety of answers based on the context that you present. For instance, ‘What is your favorite mode of transportation?’ I could answer this question countless ways depending on the context. How far am I traveling? What city (or neighborhood or country) am I in? Is is rush hour? Is it snowing?
Use clear ranking terminology
When you are asking a question that contains phrases like ‘how often’ or ‘how likely’ be sure that the answers provided are clear and distinct. While ‘never’ has a definite meaning, terms like ‘sometimes’ or ‘often’ could be interpreted and used very differently by different respondents. Instead of these terms, if possible, use terms with absolute definitions such as ‘daily’ or ‘more than five times per day’. The more clear you are with the options that are presented the more accurate your responses will be.