You’ve probably heard the expression “There’s no such thing as bad press.” Although this may be true, it doesn’t mean that bad publicity isn’t damaging to your business. In fact, surveys have shown that 76% of respondents don’t appreciate being the subject of a marketing survey, and almost half (47%) would rather have their brand ignored than risk hurting their feelings by participating in an unsolicited survey.

So, if you’re considering a survey marketing campaign to assess your brand’s perception among your customers, you may be asking yourself, “Why do survey marketing campaigns usually fail?” Let’s take a closer look.

Unsolicited Supportive Respondents Damage Your Reputation

If you’re launching a survey marketing campaign with the intention of gaining valuable consumer insights, you’ll obviously want to include only those who want to contribute to your study. One of the best ways of ensuring your target audience is receptive to participating in your survey is by ensuring that they’ve heard of your brand prior to the campaign. To achieve this, you should include a small piece of branded content in your survey invitation – such as a link to your website or social media accounts – to bolster your reputation among respondents.

Including a brand-associated call-to-action (CTA) in your invitation message is also a great way of encouraging respondents to engage with your brand. For example, if you’re conducting a healthcare awareness study, you might want to include a link in your survey invitation to a relevant website for more information. The call-to-action should be relevant to the type of respondent you’re trying to reach and should encourage the desired action – in this case, taking the survey – to fulfill the desired behavior – in this case, contributing to your study.

Lack Of Targeted Audience Damages Your Reputation

Even if you do want to participate in a survey to gain useful insights, you may not want to include every single person. After all, if your survey is focused on healthcare, you might not want to include restaurant patrons or people who aren’t even thinking about healthcare. To ensure that your message reaches the right audience, you can segment your survey participants based on a range of criteria, such as demographics, psychographics, or digital behavior.

For example, if you’re conducting a healthcare survey and want to reach people most likely to be interested in your study, you can target your survey invitations to people who fit in one of the following categories:

  • Gen Z users
  • Millennials
  • Users of Instagram
  • People who searched for healthcare-related terms on Google
  • People with a household income between $50,000 and $75,000

Segmenting your respondents can help you identify traits, habits, wants, and needs that you can explore in your study. If you want to gain a better understanding of your target audience, you can always ask them questions about themselves in your survey. This will help you identify commonalities, as well as areas for growth or development. It’s always beneficial to learn more about your customers.

Respondents Lack Necessary Interest Or Understanding Of The Study

Lack of interest or understanding among respondents is always a cause for concern, and it especially so when it comes to a scientific survey. To ensure that your consumers understand what you’re asking of them and their participation is voluntary, you should always explain the purpose of the study and how their input will benefit others. Even when people are not particularly interested in your area of study, they may be more receptive to the notion of participating in a social experiment (66% more likely to agree compared to 19% of “slightly interested” respondents).

Sometimes respondents may not understand what you’re asking of them, and even when they do, they may not feel comfortable sharing their opinion or feelings. In these situations, you may want to reword the survey question or provide additional examples of the type of feedback you’re looking for.

Lack Of Variation Damages Your Reputation

While the previous points may seem like common sense, it’s worth repeating: you’ll never know if your survey campaign is effective until you measure its impact. One way of measuring the success of a survey is by analyzing its variation. If all of your respondents are wildly different, then you may have a problem. This could be because your sample is too small, and/or you’re dealing with random sampling error. In either case, you’ll want to try and find a different approach to getting your desired audience. One option would be to survey multiple times over several weeks or months. Another option would be to conduct a follow-up survey with those who didn’t participate in the first place.

If you want to launch a successful survey marketing campaign, it’s important to keep in mind the five questions discussed above. By taking the time to think through these issues beforehand, you’ll be able to avoid potential pitfalls and reach your target audience in the most effective and ethical way possible.