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How To Create An Effective Market Survey

An effective survey is how you make the most out of your market research. One of the most effective ways to launch a product that people need is by setting up a market survey. However, when you are just dipping your feet into the business world, there certainly will be some confusion as to making the most of your market survey. Difficulties might be from how to get responses, the various platforms you can use to set up an effective market survey, and how to get people to see your survey. If any of the above fits your situation, this article is designed to guide you.

What makes up an effective survey

When setting up an effective survey, it is not only about creating questions that you feel will harvest the information you need. It is about creating an excellent experience for everyone who fills it through. Some common mistakes that plague many survey questions today are poor word choices, and length. Mistakes like this will not only reduce the effectiveness of your survey; it will also turn off many applicants. This will make them dump your survey halfway.

When creating a survey, you want to make sure you follow these rules;

Choose the right platform.

There are several platforms out there that you can utilize when creating a survey form. Your needs and mode of distribution should always determine which survey creation platform will be more fitting.

Make your survey as short as possible.

No one loves a lengthy questionnaire. You always want to keep your survey short, simple, and straight to the point. Focus only on what is important. Solely focus on the data you need to make your product, launch your campaign, or improve your existing product. Note that filling a survey is never really an exciting thing to do, so you want to be done as fast as possible. If the length of your survey cannot be helped, to avoid having people dumping your survey halfway through, it is paramount you put up cues, and if possible, display a progress bar. Do not forget to thank them at the end of the survey.

Do not ask “Yes” or “No” Questions.

Except you are asking if someone has committed a crime, the likely answer you will get from a ‘Yes or No’ question is a ‘Yes’. It’s a psychological bias. So, instead of asking ‘Yes or No’ questions, take a different route. For example, if the question is “do you love jelly beans”, instead of just setting up a Yes or No option, give a list which includes jelly beans. For instance, “Which of these beans do you love?”

Randomize your answer options

Just like people tend to click yes in a ‘Yes or No’ question, there is also a psychological tendency that makes people tend to click the first answer listed. It is more prevalent in “select all that applies” question type. Randomizing your options helps to combat a survey taker’s tendency to check the first option they’re given.

Adding anchor options such as “Don’t know” or “None of the above” at the bottom of a list will help you exclude them from randomization.

Keep your questions neutral.

You could influence your respondents with leading questions. However, this isn’t the best option if you wish your survey to be effective. You want to come out as neutral as possible, and not influence the quality of your survey.

Here’s an extreme example to show you what I mean: “Don’t you think product A is amazing in the following ways? Yes, it is amazing because of x and z factors. It’s amazing because of y. It’s amazing because of z.”

Instead, ask: “How would you rate product X on a scale of 1 to 5?” And if you want to know what specifically they like, you can follow up with people who answer 4 or 5 on why they love it. You can do that with the people who answer the lower ratings, too. This gives you way more actionable data on what people love about your product and what you need improvement.

Ensure your question text and answer option allows for every type of respondent.

Never assume your respondent will always know what you are talking about. You obviously live and breathe your product, but that doesn’t apply for the average Jo. It never hurts to give examples and explain concepts or jargon to educate respondents who are less knowledgeable about your product or industry. Likewise, make sure you provide answer options that give your respondent an out if they don’t know an answer.

Use complex metrics judiciously.

The ideal number of a metric in a survey is 5 in a row. Anymore will most likely make your respondent virtually overwhelmed, and they should be used for complicated questions only. Also, a survey should not have more than a few metrics.

Include a “red herring” question to weed out inattentive or fake respondents

A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or essential question. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or audiences toward a false conclusion. Including “red herrings” into your survey will help you weed out fraudulent respondents.

Three platforms for effective market survey

While there is quite the number of platforms that lets you create and share your survey to a large number of users, these are my favorites and the most effective (from my experience). These platforms offer the best customization privileges for your survey.


The biggest search engine provider offers one of the most advanced, and yet free and easy to navigate survey form. Google survey platform allows you to create an unlimited number of surveys, receive an infinite response, questions, allow export options, and provide customizable templates and designs –  all for free.

How to create a survey with Google

In other to create an effective survey form with Google, you must have a Gmail account. Once you have that, simply log in on a desktop, select menu, and navigate to forms.

  • In the next screen, you will be met with a number of survey template you can choose from. You can also select a blank template should you want to build your form from scratch.
  • Create a survey title and description which will be seen by respondents.
  • Start creating your form questions by selecting the type of question you’re asking.
  • Add multimedia elements, different sections, or different formatting options to your form using the sidebar menu.
  • Adjust settings in the “Settings” gear.
  • Send the survey to the email addresses of your choice or get a sharable link.


With Facebook’s 2.6 billion monthly active users worldwide, there’s no better platform for short survey pools on a broad market. Facebook offers two options for survey creators. You can choose to create a simple survey poll, or use their survey app. The poll allows you to create one question, whereas the app gives you the opportunity to customize and expand your survey to different questions type.

How to make a poll on Facebook

Creating a poll on Facebook is simply like creating a Facebook post. Navigate to your profile or a page you have posting access.

  • Select make a post, navigate downwards, and select poll.
  • There you will find where to input your question for users to vote. It could be a simple poll as “Orange or Apple” or any two options that fulfill your need.
  • Once done, you can simply share it like a post to your friends, and followers, and also have your friends share.

How to create a survey on Facebook with app

  • Enter “Survey” on the Facebook search bar, and filter your result by clicking “App”, which you can find on the top right corner.
  • The result should appear like a game. Select it, fill in a name for your survey, and grant Survey access to use your profile information.
  • Customize your questions and answer options.
  • Preview your survey, and publish it on your profile feed or business page.

Related: Using Social Media To Grow Your Startup Business


First, you have to create an account with SurveyMonkey. There you will find their membership plan “free” and “paid”. Choose your preference, and proceed to create an account. After filling the necessary information required by the platform, you can then work through the platform’s survey creation guidelines.

How to create a survey on Surveymonkey

  • The first step in creating a survey on survey monkey is selecting the purpose of your survey from their provided options. You can always change this later.
  • Give your survey a title, and choose its category.
  • You can then select from recommended questions based on your selected survey type, or create your own.
  • Publish and decide how to share it with respondents. SurveyMonkey offers various distribution methods such as using their responders, send to your audience via email, get survey link, share on social media, embed on app or website, and so many more.

How to effectively distribute your survey

Now that you have created your survey, its time to distribute it to a broad or target audience without breaking the bank. Over the years, there have been various methods of survey distribution—some of which are Google search Ads, Panel Sampling, and others. However, the majority of these methods have had a decline in effectiveness in recent times. If you are looking to make the most of your survey, here are the methods that work today. Before that, it is important that you understand that you are asking a total stranger to give you the information you want for no reward.

Share your survey on your website/blog

Without stating the obvious, this method is for those with an existing client base. These are people who are already familiar with your product. To spice up this method and increase your chances of getting responses, offer incentives. It doesn’t have to be monetary. It could be an ebook, chance for coupon code, and any other incentive you believe your audience is likely to accept.

Send your survey via email.

Again, this is for people/businesses with an email list. Affiliate marketers use this method in selling products every day. Again, offering incentives will increase your chances of getting responses.

Random device engagement

By far, this is the best way to distribute surveys. This method allows you to deliver surveys inside mobile apps, where consumers are engaged and can be easily incentivized with non-monetarily values. This eliminates the issues of professional panelists. However, this method cannot be used to target a group with a particular habit.

Social media

While not the most effective, social media offers a large number of users all in one place. Offering an incentive can also help increase responses. You can also use social media Ads alongside the incentive to get a particular demographic to fill your survey. Alternatively, hiring the service of a social media influencer can decrease your Ad expenses.

Hire a market research agency

Market research agencies with a background in statistical analysis have committed to randomly selecting people from a carefully crafted population that fits their client’s needs and reaching out to them. This ensures that the panel selected for the survey is truly representative.

Agencies will use a variety of methods to collect survey responses at scale, but will carefully manage the selection process and eliminate bogus responses once the survey has concluded. While the fees of big agencies might be relatively high, it is important you have a budget and look for an agency willing to accept your budget. Alternatively, you can also hire an individual market researcher. Freelancers from any of the most popular freelance platforms such as Fiverr, and Upwork can fill this role.

Use SurveyMonkey’s audience

This goes without saying. Though not free, when creating your survey on SurveyMonkey, you can choose to have them distribute your survey to their internal audience. Like SurveyMonkey, almost every other professional survey platform offers this feature.