We talk about surveys all the time in Internet businesses. What purpose do they really serve? It took me a long time and a lot of mistakes to realize just how valuable they can prove in your Web and info- publishing business. How could we best describe a survey? I like to think of them as scouts bringing back information to you on what your customer base really wants. In short, surveys tell you exactly what hundreds, even thousands, of people in your market want to buy from you.
In a former life I believed in doing things the hard way and learning (or maybe not learning) from mistakes. Not anymore though, now I believe in doing things the smart and fast way. Instead of trying to figure out what people want on my own (and losing time and money in the process), now I take advantage of something most people in marketing still don't understand. If you ask people questions the right way, most of them will happily answer and give you the data you need for your marketing. What can the right kind of survey do for your business? It can tell you the moods, wants, and needs of your customers.
They won't buy what *you* think they need, they will buy what *they* think they need! When I finally realized that, my business took off and never slowed down since then! At a minimum, every website owner should focus on adding 4 types of surveys to their arsenal: 1) Website "Exit" surveys ("Why are you leaving without buying?") 2) Current customer surveys 3) Leaving customers surveys 4) "Most Burning Question" surveys Don't make conducting your surveys complicated or difficult. You can conduct physical surveys with your own email program, use a script / software installed on your site, or use a 3rd party service provider. If you go this last route, make sure they provide fast "real time" results with easy visual reporting. There are four types of questions you can use in a survey: 1) Multiple choice with only one selected answer 2) Multiple choice with pick all answers that apply; 3) Put things in order of their preference; 4) Fill in the blank. All of these types of questions can help you find out what they need to know in the way of offering the right products or services to your audience. Regardless of *what* you sell, when first starting out, you want to design your surveys so that you can find out the following types of information: 1) What will they buy next? 2) What do they already own? 3) What do they like / love? 4) What do they dislike / hate? 5) What they need now? 6) What is their current skill level? You do this by designing your survey with the following rules in mind: - Keep it short and sweet, just a few questions.
Make it easy for them to respond with that knee jerk gut reaction, no thinking, just reactions from their true feelings. 3. Tell them up front that you are deliberately bribing them with something worth more than the trouble they take doing the survey. Finally, as a last check on your survey ask yourself: - How would you feel if you got an email asking you to take this survey? - Would you feel comfortable answering the questions? If you can say yes, then go ahead and survey your audience. Now, how do you find people to take your survey? I use the following rule of thumb for places to take a survey and ask people what they think about a particular subject or product.
Go any place where they won't accuse you of spamming or some other suspicious or inappropriate behavior. Your own common sense and prior experience on the Internet should let you find those places. They will include: - Your own opt-in list - Other people's lists - Newsgroups - Ezines - Exit popups on your web site - Your auto responder - Discussion groups - Forums and more! I can tell you from personal experience that if you want to take your business to the next level, conducting surveys is the way to do it! Surveys help you line up a whole bunch of ready, willing and eager customers for your product and avoid days, weeks, months - even years - of frustrating effort *guessing* what people want to buy! Copyright (c) 2007 Jim Edwards.
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the creator of http://www.TheNetReporter.com - a hard-hitting, no-holds-barred website that will teach you step-by-step and click-by-click how to really cash-in online...Discover what really works RIGHT NOW... plus the new twists on tried and true Internet Marketing techniques that create a profitable "real" business you can be proud of... => http://www.TheNetReporter.com