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Survey 101: Why Testing Your Online Survey Before Sending is Critical

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Time and time again, marketing leaders stress the importance and value of testing strategies before launch. With testing, you'll quickly learn what needs to be tweaked and what is absolutely perfect as is.

First, however, we need to address who you're going to test on. Some companies use a small sample of existing, loyal customers; others send the draft survey internally. Whatever your testing plan is (and your guinea pigs!), remember how critical it is to do so.

Find Mistakes

As many times as you filter your online survey through various spelling and grammar checks, a pair (or several) of fresh eyes does wonders. Studies have shown that the more you're involved in a project, the higher rate your brain works. In a sense, your brain skips over any mistakes, often filling them in without you even realizing it.

Commonly, if you're neck-deep in a project, your brain fills in the odd missing words or auto-corrects grammatical mistakes because you already know what you meant to write.

Testing your online survey before saves you from headaches and embarrassment.

Check Relevance

Essentially, by testing your survey before you send it out to the masses, you'll learn whether your survey is pertinent and logical. Those wonderful people that you're testing on will immediately spot any discrepancies in your questions and answers.

Relevancy is whether your questions are in not only a logical sequence but also whether the questions are worth the time of filling out.

Indulging your company's ego is never a way to gain important data. If you're asking questions that are designed to fluff your own feathers, you're going to lose.

Customers love to give their two cents (regardless if it's good or bad).

Write your questions not only in a proper order but also in a manner that reflects your true desire to learn from your customers.

Reinforce Goals

This little tip really applies to an internal preview of your survey. First, you don't want to let loose your endgame for producing the survey and the best audience to test on are your peers.

One of the best testing strategies is to pose your goal for the survey before you send it. By laying out your intentions for producing your survey, you'll help your peers to look at it with a critical eye.

Are the questions directed to answer your goal? Are the survey questions scattered?

By asking your colleagues, their feedback on whether your online survey is meeting your internal goals will be, possibly, the best reason for testing.

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