5 Reasons Online Surveys Can Boost SME’s Marketing Efforts

online survey software“Knowledge is Power,” Sir Francis Bacon once said and knowing what your customers need and want is a powerful tool in designing your marketing efforts and improving your products. Getting that knowledge used to be time-consuming and expensive. Questionnaires by snail mail, telephone calls, or focus groups – they all work to varying degrees, but the cost and energy involved is often prohibitive for the small business owner.

Enter online surveys.  Numerous companies offer free online survey software solutions, so there’s no need for your business to lose out in the knowledge-is-power arena. Let’s take a look at why free online surveys should be a part of your business marketing program.

1.    It’s Free!

Okay, that’s stating the obvious, but if your small business is on a tight budget, it’s important. Postage is expensive, as is dedicating employee time to stuffing envelopes, collating responses, and entering information into databases. Create an online survey and responses are processed automatically and data can be available to you anytime, anywhere.

Start with a free online software package and upgrade to premium packages as your company’s comfort level and requirements increase.

2.    Faster

Marketing analysts say that the response time of using online survey software is on average a full two-thirds shorter than that of the traditional paper survey. The information is gathered automatically, often in real-time, so there’s no need to wait weeks for answers to come back.

Online marketing experts have noted that more than half of the responses to online surveys are returned within the first three days. That means you get the information faster and can act on it sooner.

3.    More Convenient for Customers

No one likes being disturbed during dinner by a company intent on discovering why you do or do not like their product. Many people consider surveys received in the postbox to be junk mail. Why not give your customers a way to quickly and easily answer questions that can help your business?

Ninety percent of people with access to the Internet prefer to answer surveys online rather than by telephone or mail. With online survey software, your business allows participants to respond at their convenience. The time required to fill out an online survey is typically less than the paper version, meaning customers are more receptive to completing it, in addition to the ability to skip questions that have no relevance for them.

4.    Easy To Analyze Responses

When the responses from customers start flowing in, it’s important that there is a method to analyze the information. Online survey software will allow the business to quickly and easily collate and analyze data. The benefit to your business is to be able to respond in a timely manner with an improved product or a change of marketing emphasis.

A well-designed online survey can reveal gaps in your marketing efforts or highlight the strengths of your product. It can give the business insights into pricing strategy and competitors’ products. Above all, survey software can analyze data to provide knowledge on trends and opinions.

Online survey software can present information in the form of graphs, tables, or just raw data that you can examine and process yourself.

5.    More Flexible

Gone are the days when a business spent weeks designing a questionnaire to be mailed to customers, only to realize that the wrong question was being asked, or a different emphasis was needed. Creating a free online survey provides flexibility to easily and quickly change individual questions or the entire focus.

In addition, you can usually quickly customize the online survey software to include branding information such as your logo or banner. Reaching out to your customers with a request for feedback combined with enforcing your brand is a powerful combination.

About Sameer Bhatia

Sameer Bhatia is founder & CEO of ProProfs.com, a leading provider of online learning tools for building, testing, and applying knowledge. Sameer has a background is in technology and holds a Masters in Computer Science from USC and is an ed-tech industry veteran. You can find Sameer on Google+ and Twitter.