Should You Use One-Click Surveys or Long Form Traditional Surveys?

One of the things that I learned from working on my own startup as well as being employed at a few venture-backed startups is that most of the companies struggle to figure out what to build next. The same questions appear at every single company that I’ve been involved with. These questions include:

The list goes on and on. Prior to being a co-founder to YesInsights, I ran a lead generation and outbound sales company. During that time I had the chance to work with a lot of companies ranging from startups to enterprise companies. A lot of the companies that I worked with had no idea who their ideal customers are. Most of them didn’t even know their ideal target market.

What I learned was that most companies are lacking user research. They aren’t talking to their customer or going out of their way to get an answer to the questions that I listed above.

So what’s the best way to get answers to all those questions that you have in mind? Surveys. Sending a simple survey to your customers goes a long way. It allows you to gain actionable customer feedback that will help you make better business decisions, build a better product roadmap, and increase user retention. It also contributes directly to building the ultimate product that your users love and achieving product market fit.

When it comes to surveying your customers, there are two main options that you can go for. Traditional long form surveys and one-click surveys. In this post, I’ll go over both of them and briefly include some questions that you can be asking your customers to help you clear your brain and solve problems.

Pre-survey

Before you conduct a survey, it’s important to figure out your goals and end results for the survey. Here are some questions that you should be discussing in your team meetings prior to conducting a survey.

What are you hoping to learn from the survey results?

Ideally, your survey should be built around accomplishing a single goal. What’s the main thing that your company is trying to figure out now? A laser-focused set of questions will produce higher quality results that are easier to analyze and put into action. Think of the survey questions as an unsolved puzzle set. You want to be able to fill in and complete the puzzle by asking customers the correct questions that will help you plug in the holes.

Do we need to segment our list to survey?

You might have a large customer database or a large email list. It is vital at this point that you and your team figure out whether or not you need to narrow down the list by segmenting them. For example, if you are sending an NPS survey, you might only want to target the users who have been using your product for at least 3 months.

image of YesInsights one click survey compared to a traditional survey

Asking the right questions

Before you launch a survey, you and your team should brainstorm a series of laser focused questions, but you actually do not need to overthink this process.

If you’re aiming to take a general pulse of how your customers feel about your business, it can be as easy as asking these following questions:

  • What could we be doing better?
  • How likely are you going to recommend {Product} to your friends? (traditional NPS question)
  • What’s your most favorite product feature?

Want to get more ideas? Check out our post on “How You Can Get Consistently More Customer Feedback”

With just the answers to these questions, you can gather a wealth of data to help you improve your business. You’ll be able to discover your customer’s pain points and favorite features as well as get ideas for future products and services.

Even though those questions seem rather simple and straightforward, they are the type of questions that actually get responses. From a UX perspective, the user doesn’t really need to think too hard to come up with an answer. The ones that require a paragraph length worth of response usually won’t receive an answer.

Closed-ended questions with yes/no, multiple choice and scaled answers can be great for collecting demographic data. However, your most fascinating insights will probably come from asking open-ended questions. Think about it this way: Use closed-ended questions when you’re looking for a specific response. And open-ended questions when you want general feedback or suggestions.

Pro Tip: Think about the main challenge that you’re trying to overcome with your survey and brainstorm questions that can help you get the data you need to overcome those problems.

Traditional Long Form Surveys

Long form surveys are the type of surveys that you receive in your email from companies that require you to go to an external link to answer a series of long questions. See the picture below from an example of a long form survey sent by American Express:

example of american express's long form traditional survey

We see these in our inboxes every single day. Companies of all sizes use them to conduct user research.

These type of surveys tend to work best when there is some sort of incentive involved. For example, a lot of companies like WeWork will ask you to complete a long survey in exchange for a free $100 Amazon gift card.

Neil Patel does the same with his HelloBar. When you log into HelloBar’s dashboard, you will see a modal pop up that ask you to go through a 60-minute survey interview in exchange for an Amazon gift card.

The good thing about traditional long form surveys is that you can get a lot of valuable information out of one individual. Instead of just asking a few questions, you can go in depth and the user will most likely answer all the questions because there is a reward involved.

It’s a great way of conducting a long form of research for you to gain the most insights for solving the problem. Another advantage of long form surveys is that you can obtain a broad range of data (e.g., attitudes, opinions, beliefs, values, behavior, factual). With long form surveys, you can drill down the main piece of the puzzle you are trying to solve.

Now, there’s also a lot of downside of long traditional surveys. Most of these surveys receive a very low response rate. When Kapost sent a survey to 23,310 marketers, only 1.1% of people completed it. That’s a horribly low response rate, but it’s actually very common. Most surveys are blasted to everyone on a huge list with little context. Customers don’t care enough to respond.

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Another research conducted by Relevant Insights showed that the number of respondents who started and completed the survey declined as the survey length increased. Respondents, who are willing to endure a long survey, are at high risk of experiencing high burden and becoming “satisficers.” Satisfacing occurs when the respondents select the answer options without giving them too much thought. They just want the goodies you’ve promised them!

Here’s the chart created by Relevant Insights in their research article:

image of a graph showing how responders become less engaged in the survey the more time the survey requires

SurveyMonkey also created a report where they took a random sample of roughly 100,000 surveys that were 1-30 questions in length and analyzed the median amount of time that respondents took to complete the surveys. The results? The more questions you ask, the less time your respondents spend, on average, answering each question.

As you can tell, long surveys have their advantages. But they also come with a low response rate and low-quality results.

One-click Surveys

So what’s the best way to ask customers for feedback? How do you send surveys people actually want to respond to? The alternative to long traditional surveys are short one-click surveys. One-click surveys also known as inline surveys receive a 4-6x higher response rate compared to traditional surveys.

Here’s how a one-click survey looks like

image of yesinsights old welcome email using their one-click surveys

This is the actual welcome email that we send to everyone that signs up for YesInsights. We get 50% responses for everyone that opened this email.

There are 3 big advantages of using inline email surveys:

  1. It feels like a natural part of your email content
  2. Customers can respond painlessly with one click
  3. You don’t have to send extra emails asking leads to take a survey

And when you ask the right questions, you can actually get people to recommend your product even if they never convert to a paid customer. It’s very powerful.

Another trick that you can use is embedding this survey within your drip email or onboarding email campaigns to nurture the customer throughout their lifetime.

Another strong use case for one-click surveys is using it in your post transaction emails. You can use this to figure out what other products that your customers might want to purchase next. A good question would be, “Which of the following products might you be interested in purchasing next?” Once the customer selects a product, you can trigger an email with a discount code for those specific type of products. This will help you increase sales and revenue.

Another extremely popular option for one-click surveys are NPS surveys. Here’s what an NPS survey sent with YesInsights looks like:

image of YesInsights NPS survey - one of the fundamental one-click survey options

The NPS system seeks to measure your customer satisfaction and gauges whether customers like your company so much that they’d tell their friends about it. It’s been a popular method of measuring customer happiness. NPS surveys usually also receive a high response rate due to the fact that it’s simple and gets to the point.

The trick here is to get creative with the questions. “How likely is it that you would recommend [Company X] to a friend or colleague?” is the standard question most people use when sending an NPS survey. But feel free to adjust it based on your needs. For example, our parent company, Design Pickle, a subscription-based graphic design company frequently ask their clients, “How likely are you to recommend this designer to your friends?”

There’s an excellent discussion about NPS and its use cases on Inbound.org here.

Want to start creating surveys for customer feedback? Grab your Free Trial to YesInsights while it’s hot here! 🙂

So, instead of providing a biased opinion, I decided to email a friend and ask her for her thoughts on what she thinks about one-click surveys versus traditional long form surveys. I told her about YesInsights and asked for her thoughts. This is what she said,

image of a testimonial of a reader proving one-click surveys are superior

So what do you guys think? Which is best for customer feedback? One-click surveys or long form traditional surveys? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Regardless on which one you choose, just ensure that you take your customers’ experience into consideration. Listening to your customers is super important. It’s a must for every type of business regardless of your company size. Once the responses have poured in from your survey, you’ll be able to put that raw data to good use. You will be able to build a product/service that all your customers will love.

Still Unsure About Which Type Of Survey Is Superior? Try Out YesInsights’ One-Click Surveys For Free

There’s no dispute that a simple A/B test couldn’t solve. Run a couple A/B tests when you sign up below and see for yourself!

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John is the Marketing Lead at YesInsights. John is motivated by a desire to make other's lives easier, particularly through digital means. He is fascinated by seeing other businesses grow, and that's how John landed at YesInsights.

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