A Survey As A Marketing Tactic
There are things that you can learn from a survey that just aren't available as quickly or cheaply. Things that are valuable. Here are some things that you can accomplish with a survey.
- Asking for help is a well-recognized way of building rapport.
- Learning what is important to your prospects so that you can promote or develop expertise in that area.
- Finding out how your clients perceive your service.
- Learning what is important to your prospects so that you can focus on helping them in those areas.
There are only three rules that you need to keep in mind:
- Don't be a pest. Limit requests for participation in a survey to once or twice a year per person.
- Keep it brief. 2-4 minutes to complete is all the longer a survey should be.
- Keep it focused. One or two topics maximum.
I recommend that you use a web-based survey tool. This makes everything as easy as possible. This article compares several options, most have free plans.
My choice is Survey Monkey only because I am familiar with it. I have considered going with the paid version for a month or so at a time in order to export the data, which is the only limitation I see with their free account.
Below is a survey that illustrates what you might do. I used Survey Monkey to put this together. Feel free to customize this to get a quick survey in the 'DONE' column. The purpose of the survey in this example is to find out what your prospects find important. This is a big help in focusing your other marketing on the issues that will get their attention.
Another example that is used for gathering client feedback can be seen here.
Here's The Process
- Plan your survey: Determine what you want to accomplish. Brainstorm the kind of questions that you want to ask. Describe who will receive the survey. Think about the best way to distribute the survey.
- Decide on a tool and get your free account set up.
- Build the survey in your new account. This goes faster if you did a good job in the first step above.
- Test/Preview your survey. Time how long it takes to complete it. How often have you given up on long, complicated surveys? Here's your chance to get a better response than the professionals.
- Send out the survey. (More about this next.)
- Review the results.
Your selected survey tool will have several options to help you send out your survey.
- Social Media - If your target audience has a connection with you on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, just embed or link your survey there.
- Website - If your target audience visits your website or blog, you could embed your survey there or link to it.
- Email - Build a group from your contacts list and send them an email with your request for help and a link to the survey. A personal email will probably get the best response and it will go to just your targeted audience. The responses will generally be anonymous, although you could ask for their name (optionally?).
- Send via Survey - This is very similar to email. There is a limit to what you can customize, but it will be recognizable at once as a survey request from you. You will need to upload your contact list to the survey tool. The chief advantage is that you will know who submitted each response. This could be powerful feedback in helping you devise a plan for further relationship-building.
So What Have You Accomplished?
- You have attracted some minor attention. You have reminded them that you exist.
- Your survey participants feel they have helped you. So you have gained a bit of a connection with them.
- You have learned something about your audience (or had it confirmed).
- You may have learned some specifics about prospects that should help in future contacts with them. Knowing their key issues means you can find ways build a relationship centered on what is important to them.
What Is The Time Commitment?
- Planning: 1-2 hours
- Getting an Account: 1 hour, including research.
- Building the Survey: 2 hours max. if you did your Planning.
- Test/Preview: 1 hour with edits.
- Sending: 1-2 hours, depending on your method.
- Review Results: up to you.
- TOTAL = 1 day, perhaps spread out over a week or two. What else can you do that gets this much valuable feedback in 8 hours of effort?
Whether you are trying to 'profile' your prospects or get feedback on how your clients perceive you, this is the most cost-effective way to get really great data.
Try it. You'll like it.
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