Publications and white papers on online surveys

Benefits of an online survey

Online surveys (internet surveys or web surveys) are effective tools to obtain information that may be crucial to your organisation’s success. In this era of national do not call lists and the mounting intolerance for unsolicited phone calls, online surveys represent an efficient and cost effective alternative to obtain information from a targeted audience.

Online surveys can be used to improve your products and services, or to determine any shortcomings in the services or products you offer. Online surveys are also a useful tool to obtain feedback from your employees, for example after a conference they attended or after a training session. Finally, web surveys can be used to ask prospective clients a series of questions before you provide them with services. For example, a graphic designer will normally require a client to provide some information to guide the creation of a new corporate identity or brand.

Online surveys offer many advantages. First, the cost to carry out such a survey is far less than the cost billed by firms who carry out surveys through phone calls or on paper questionnaires. The cost can be as low as $0.30 per participant for an online survey, whereas the cost can be as much as $20.00 over the phone and $40.00 on paper (you need to pay individuals to print, distribute, collect, and enter the responses in a software application for analysis).

Furthermore, an online survey can be put in place very rapidly. Once the questions are ready, an email invitation can be sent to participants in a few minutes. Completing a phone-based survey takes a lot of time, since many phone calls must be made. Paper-based surveys are even longer, since you must take into account the time to distribute the questionnaires, the time participants will take to respond, and the time taken by the participant to return the questionnaire. Even worse, some participants might complete the survey, but never return it.

Another important advantage of a web survey is due to the fact that participants do not give their answers to a person. When participants must provide their answers, they may be timid and not give their real impressions, especially when they are negative. People do not want to be judged as negative and will tend to more optimistic when giving answers to a person. This bias makes it hard to collect accurate information that is susceptible to help you improve your products or services.

Internet surveys are also very useful to obtain additional information from certain participants based on the answers they provide to certain questions. When a survey is conducted on paper, it is difficult to create complex questionnaires that change depending on the answers provided to previous answers. For example, if your organisation offers two services and you have a series of questions for each service, in an online survey it is possible to first ask what services the participant used. Depending on the response provided on that question, the internet questionnaire will automatically adjust to include only the relevant questions that pertain to the services actually used by the participant. You do not need to provide complex instructions that indicate which questions the participants should answer based on their previous answers. With an online survey, it occurs automatically, thus it reduces confusion and increases the participant rate.

A type of survey known as an intercept survey is more and more prevalent. An intercept is a mechanism by which certain web site visitors are invited to participate in an online survey. By combining an online survey with an intercept, it is easy to find a target audience that should be invited to participate in the online survey. The interception of web site visitors can occur only on certain specified pages of the web site, so that only visitors who have viewed particular pages are invited to participate. Furthermore, other parameters, such as, the amount of time spent on the web site and the number of pages viewed on the web site can be used to invite only the participants that are more likely to participate in the web survey.

With Interceptum it is very easy to create an online survey and to invite participants to complete it. Interceptum also offers advanced web site visitor interception features. As indicated above, intercepting visitors is an effective way of conducting an online survey that targets a certain target market. The Interceptum platform provides the ability to create a single survey in many different languages. It makes it easy to create a single survey that can target participants from many different geographic regions.

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