7 tips for a successful questionnaire


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Do you want to create questionnaires that captivate your respondents from the start and encourage active participation until the end? Do you want to collect authentic responses for your marketing research? The key to a good questionnaire is two words: conversational and engaging.

Conversational, because there is nothing better to make your respondents forget that they are participating in a marketing survey than to make them feel like they are talking to someone! The conversational tone guarantees their engagement and ensures the authenticity of their answers.

Making your questionnaires lively and adapted to the methodology of social network studies is part of our expertise: discover our 7 best practices to engage respondents and collect their authentic answers.


1) Clear objectives, precise targets: the secret of an effective questionnaire

The success of a survey depends first and foremost on a good definition of your final objectives and your target. Clear objectives and an appropriate target group are essential for effective marketing, especially when it comes to consumer research.

Clearly defining your target (gender, age, geographical area, interests, etc.) ensures that the data collected is relevant, but also allows you to create a questionnaire with an appropriate tone. For example, if the respondents are under 30 years old, it is preferable to address them in a polite manner.

🎯 To define your target well is to already have the keys to question it well.


2) Reinforce the impression of a conversation with a natural tone, varied questions and emojis

The best way to construct the questionnaire is, first and foremost, to imagine it as a fluid conversation on an instant messageπŸ“±.

As for the natural tone and in this conversational perspective, in addition to being on first-name terms for people under 30, the first person singular should be used when writing answer choices.

Another way to give rhythm to your questionnaire is to ask a variety of questions:

  • Matrix questions are a great way to provide a fun way to answer (and to get structured, quantitative data on complex topics).
  • Closed-ended questions are ideal for obtaining specific responses and percentages,
  • while open-ended questions allow respondents to express themselves freely and give more nuanced answers.

By varying the types of questions, we ensure a smoother and more engaging questionnaire experience for respondents.

Finally, there's nothing like emojis πŸ˜‰ to make the questionnaire as visual and playful as possible - and similar to an instant message chat. They are now an integral part of the digital language and are an ideal way to bring questions to life and illustrate the different answer suggestions.


3) Clear questions and careful transitions or how to best guide the respondent

Attention to the engaging conversational tone of the questionnaire should not detract from the importance of a clear and consistent structure. To do this, each specific topic should have clear questions and a separate section introduced by a transition.

A questionnaire must contain clear questions that can be understood by everyone. You should therefore avoid jargon that is too specific, complex turns of phrase, anglicisms, etc. Each specific term introduced in the questionnaire can also be the subject of a short definition: you will thus add an educational dimension to your respondents' experience!

In between each part, transitions like "Thank you for your answers, let's now move on to the part about topic X" will let respondents know where they stand in your questionnaire πŸ“. Β 


4) Encouraging respondents to express themselves: the importance of open-ended questions

Even the best constructed questionnaire will not anticipate all possible responses from respondents. Include open-ended questions to learn from your respondents and give them the opportunity to express themselves freely πŸ•ŠοΈ.

A well-structured quantitative research questionnaire can include a few open-ended questions. The comments and reflections may surprise you and these collected verbatims will be more than welcome to illustrate the data!

However, be careful not to abuse it, you could lose your respondents and guarantee a tedious analysis phase... πŸ₯΅


5) No room for boredom thanks to multimedia elements

More than effective remedies against monotony, multimedia elements (images πŸ–ΌοΈ , videos 🎞️ and audios 🎡 ) reinforce even more the impression of talking with someone. A good way to make the experience pleasant and fun and to engage the respondent to the maximum!

Multimedia elements are also essential for advertising post-tests. Showing the different posters or the TV spot of an advertising campaign to your respondents will allow you to know the respondents' favorite visual or their feeling on a specific element of the creative.


6) Nuanced and comprehensive responses: how do you formulate the response choices?

The binarity of yes/no answers should be avoided whenever possible, as respondents' opinions are rarely all black or all white.

The emphasis is on nuance with response scales of this type, for example:

  • yes, absolutely πŸ‘πŸ‘
  • yes rather πŸ‘
  • no rather not πŸ‘Ž
  • no not at all πŸ‘ŽπŸ‘Ž

The quantitative studies that best reflect respondents' opinions are those that allow them to express nuanced responses.

It is important to include "don't know" πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ and "other" in the possible answers. In addition to the commitment, clarity and user-friendliness of your questionnaire, its completeness is crucial. It allows you to avoid at all costs the frustration of respondents who would not find themselves in the proposed answers. Beware: not finding an answer that corresponds to their situation can be a reason for abandoning the questionnaire.


7) Don't lose your respondents with a long questionnaire

Be careful with the length of the questionnaire, which is a key element of its success. If the questionnaire is too long, some respondents may get discouraged and give up before finishing, which may increase the collection time ⏳ and the cost of your study πŸ’Έ .

So take the time to set realistic goals for the length of the questionnaire. This way, you will ensure a satisfactory experience for respondents while obtaining valuable feedback! Keep in mind that respondents are often not paid.

⌚ What is the ideal length of a questionnaire? It is best to favor questionnaires that are no longer than 15 minutes (which is about 40-50 questions).


Things to remember

In summary, what are the key elements to remember?

  • Clearly specify the objectives and target of the questionnaire
  • Use a natural tone and clear questions
  • Vary the types of questions
  • Add emojis
  • Imagine transitions between the different themes for a smooth rendering
  • Provide comprehensive and nuanced response options
  • Don't shy away from integrating multimedia content
  • Keep the questionnaire to a reasonable length (40-50 questions max)

Whatever the initial form of your questionnaire (from embryonic to highly developed), our Customer Success Managers will be there to accompany you from its adaptation to conversational technology to its programming!

As you can see, the key to success is a conversational tone. This is a unique feature of Episto questionnaires that engages respondents and collects ultra-authentic responses from your targets.


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