Survey 101: How to Hook Your Customers

Survey 101: How to Hook Your Customers

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Seriously, there's nothing worse than creating a smashing customer survey – send it out, post it, or whatever you do – and have absolutely no one respond. Not only are you missing out on extremely valuable data but also on gathering customer feedback that is crucial for company-wide improvement.

Traditionally, customer surveys were something that were tucked into a restaurant ticket, presented at the end of a meal, asking the "punters" to rate the food, service, and atmosphere. That practice was considered a nicety, where scarcely a handful of patrons filled them out.


Filling out surveys, and putting in the time and effort, is cumbersome. Customers won't waste their time unless they get something out of it.

You have to remember that by this point, these people have already purchased from you, handed over their hard-earned cash and now you're asking more from them? Please!

So, how do you get your customers to fill out your online surveys?


One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is that they assume that in order to lure their customers in to take their survey they need to offer some outlandish deal. Truly, that isn't the case.

But, offering something reasonable, desirable and ultimately useful is a surefire way to hook them.

Say you're sending out a product satisfaction survey after a customer made a purchase online, and then include a promotional code for 25% off shipping on their next order.

They've already bought from you, and shipping costs are always a pain, then offering a discount on their next purchase is a no-brainer.

But, offering some trinket or other useless objects in exchange for their time wasted on your online survey is degrading. These trinkets are cheaply made and often thrown out or donated.

Offer something worthwhile: a discount goes farther than you'll ever know.

(Oh, and "incentivize" isn't really a word, but you gather what we mean, right?)


This little tidbit is for those intrepid marketers who absolutely adore pushing the boundaries. Tease, play and intrigue your potential survey-takers with off-the-beaten track questions.

The problem with many online surveys is that after a while, the questions become repetitive, boring and completely unimaginative.

"Please rate the level of service you've received."

"How do you think we can improve?" Blah, blah, blah.

Sure, these questions are incredibly important, but, really, they get tedious. With these types of questions repeatedly, you run the risk of having your customers give up in the middle of filling out your online survey.

Throw in an oddball question every now and then. Not only will you intrigue your customers, you'll gain valuable insight into their personalities (always key data for any marketer).

To jumpstart your creativity, ponder these off-the-wall questions:

1. If you were a superhero, which one would you be?

a. Superman

b. Wonder woman

c. Batman

d. Green Lantern

e. Robin

f. Other

2. What do you think is the most pressing issue facing the world today?

a. Poverty

b. Disease

c. Wars

d. Commerce

e. Too many teeny, incessantly yappy dogs

You get the idea. Make your online surveys stand out from the crowd and you will be surprised at the increased engagement.

Add Marketing Automation

Online surveys can be a great way to nurture contacts regardless of your audience. When using SimplyCast's 360 customer flow communication platform, you can easily add a survey to the flow. This would be perfect for any event you host or product you offer.

Once a person attends an event or uses a product, you can add in a quick online survey to get real feedback. The best part is, the survey is triggered automatically when the person is most likely to want to answer it.

Want to learn more about using marketing automation? Watch this video and then sign up for your free 14-day trial.

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