Four Tips on Creating Surveys for Millennials by a Millennial

Surveys today are completed by a large number of women over the age of 40. Millennials, a target demographic that many consumer brands care very much about, have the lowest engagement on current surveys. That’s definitely a consequence of growing up in a tech revolution — -attention spans are shorter these days and people expect everything to be, well, smarter. Long, boring, cumbersome surveys are no longer acceptable. Here are some tips to create better surveys for millennials:

  1. Limit each survey question to less than 90 characters. Yes, it’s less characters than a tweet on Twitter. This not only helps your respondents read the question faster, but it forces you as the survey designer to be much more concise with your wording.
  2. Remove the option for neutrality. Neutrality doesn’t help anyone. And, honestly, when has a human being ever really been completely neutral on a topic? The core of what you want to know here is “Are you Satisfied?” That’s a YES or NO question. The satisfaction, or dissatisfaction, levels may vary but the customer is either one or the other.
  3. Limit the total number of survey questions to no more than 21 questions at MOST, but try to cut down to just 15. A senior market researcher once told me that if it takes more than 8 seconds for a respondent to answer a survey question, the likelihood of dishonesty goes up. Additionally, most research on surveys report that consumers don’t want to spend more than 3 minutes on a survey. Therefore, at 8 seconds per question, you should be able to get 7 questions per minute for a total of 21 questions before you annoy your respondents.
  4. Use multiple-choice as much as possible. Some data is better than no data, and multiple choice questions are much easier to answer than free form open-ended text questions. If you must ask open-ended questions, put it at the end of the survey. In analyzing our own data at Wyzerr, I see higher completion rates on open text questions that are at the end of a survey than the surveys that have the questions in the beginning. My assessment of this trend is based on both psychology studies and my own experience with taking hundreds of surveys. People don’t like having to think very hard about their answers. Putting open-ended questions at the beginning of a survey almost feels like a test. You’re being forced to think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. However, if you put them after a series of multiple-choice questions, you put the respondent in the state of mind already to answer these open-ended questions. They have a point of reference and it becomes less difficult to process.

By: Natasia Malaihollo, Founder and CEO of Wyzerr

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