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Smart Survey Design

help ease those concerns. You may also want to provide an estimate of how long the survey might take or whether you are offering any kind of incentive or prize for taking the survey. Remember to deliver on your promised gift! If you provide this information up front it usually leads to honest responses and more completed surveys.

Providing general instructions on how to progress through the survey in the introduction or within each new section is important in letting your audience know how the survey works. From here respondents will not have to look back and forth in the survey to see what they are supposed to do (Warwick and Lininger 1975). You can include something like the following in the Introduction section or the first part of your survey:

“Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey by ‘My Company.’ Your feedback is important to us in how we can better improve our site. This survey should only take about 5 minutes of your time. Your answers will be completely anonymous and by filling out our survey you will be entered into a drawing for a $10 gift card.

In order to progress through this survey, please use the following navigation links:

  • -

    Click the Next >> button to continue to the next page.

  • -

    Click the Previous >> button to return to the previous page.

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    Click the Exit the Survey Early >> button if you need to exit the survey.

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    Click the Submit >> button to submit your survey.

If you have any questions, please contact us at support@mycompany.com or call 800.555.1234”

This sample introduction might help you get started in how you can create a simple and straightforward beginning to a survey.

Please note: If you are a UK client, you will need to be aware of the Data Protection Act 1998. To be in accordance with this act, the following items must be addressed in the survey’s introduction: the name of the organization conducting the survey and how the data will be handled (i.e. confidential, personally identifiable for database building or direct marketing, etc.) (Brace 2004, 174).

For further information regarding the Data Protection Act 1998 for UK clients please visit the following site: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1998/19980029.htm (Crown Copyright 1998).

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