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CRO Guide  >  Chapter 4

How to Find the Best Online Survey Software

Understanding your customers is a huge step towards business growth. Use online survey software to gain the best insights and work on your business health.

How to find the best online survey software

Table of Contents

Why should you use online survey software?

Regardless of the type of your business, knowing how your customers feel about your website, your products, and services, figuring out what they need, what their most pressing issues, fears and desires are, is key to your long term success. Without this know-how, your marketing efforts would be similar to shooting arrows towards a target after you spun around a few times while being blindfolded. You have no idea where your target is, and if you just keep shooting you might hit it, but the chances are very, very low. It’s time to stop guessing, take off your blindfold and go at it strategically. Choose a good online survey software and start using it.

Where should you start?

Because there are so many options available, you might feel overwhelmed. So in this article, you’ll learn how to choose the best online survey software for your needs. This process comes down to asking yourself the right questions and knowing what features to look for in your next surveying tool.

Ask yourself the right questions

Before even thinking about specific features, start by answering a few questions that will help you figure out where to start your search. So you might want to take some time and answer questions such as:

What type of surveys are you going to use? 

You can build a survey with basic questions using almost any tool on the market, as they all cover the basics. But if you want to create an exceptional experience for your visitors you ought to look for a survey that allows you to customize the design and that renders a good experience on any type of device. Some of the most common surveys used in e-commerce, for example, our customer satisfaction surveysNPS surveys, and cart abandonment surveys.

How do you want to implement the survey?

Do you want to send them an email with a link to a static page survey? Promote it on social media? Or use on-site surveys in the form of pop-ups or widgets that get triggered according to the user’s behavior?

How often you want to run them?

How many surveys does your company run in a year? If we’re talking about on-site surveys, how often are they going to be used? You need to know if the tool you’ll be choosing can handle the volume of work you need.

How many users?

How many people in your team will need access to the survey tool on a constant basis? How many will need just to see the reports? How in-depth and easy to understand is the reporting feature?

How much are you willing to invest?

How much is your company willing to invest in high-quality online survey software? According to your budget, you’ll know what price range to look for from the beginning. As with any other tools on the market, be ready to pay more for higher quality, advanced features, and excellent customer service.

What to look for in an online survey tool

Triggering options

This feature doesn’t apply if you’re using a static page survey where you invite your respondents to participate via email for example. 
But, when you’re running an onsite survey, you need to look for the best moment to trigger it, so you’ve got a higher chance to increase the response rate. 
Here are the main types of triggers to look for when choosing your survey software:

  • On-click: The on-click feedback surveys get triggered when the user clicks on a designated HTML element of the web page such as a button, image or text.
  • On-load: This option allows you to trigger surveys as soon as the page loads. It can be a good solution for maximum visibility, but you have to be careful to not overdo it, and annoy your visitors.
  • On-scroll: Triggered when the user scrolls a certain percentage of the page, this is suitably used to address visitors according to their engagement.
  • On-exit: Triggered when a visitor shows an exit behavior, this is a great way to interact with and re-engage your visitors. This gives you a second chance to recover an almost lost visitor and nudge them to continue their visit on your website. It’s a proven technique to increase conversions.

Branching logic surveys

These are intelligent surveys that place relevant questions in front of your users. Why are they important and why your survey software should have this feature?
Because they allow you to do awesome things like:

  • shape the journey for each person according to their answers, just like you would do in a face-to-face conversation
  • figure out what’s stopping people from buying from your site and address each objection with a specific solution, on the spot. 

How Do They Work?

Based on these questions, not only are the users able to see a page they are interested in, but the survey also takes into account the answers and constructs the next question accordingly.
Each of the questions takes respondents to a destination question from where they are further taken to their page of liking. If the next question in line does not align with the user’s current answer, that question is skipped and the user is taken to a more relevant question. A branching logic survey allows the users to branch out to a certain flow based on their answers.
In short, the path of the user constructs with every answer. The path can keep branching out until the user reaches the final destination they want to be at. This also means that the destination for each user or respondent is likely to be different from the others.
And this is something you want to be able to offer to your visitors because each person is unique and you should do your best to make her feel that way. That is if you want them to buy your stuff, come back for more and recommend you to their friends. 

Types of questions & answers

This is a basic feature and the more advanced surveying you want to do the more options you should look for here. Your online survey tool should make it easy for you to construct different types of questions and answers, from the most simple types to more complex ones such as:

  • Small or large answer text
  • Multiple choices, checkbox type
  • Unique choice
  • Dropdown answer
  • Scale type 
  • NPS (Net Promoter Score)

The vast majority of online survey software solutions offer these and even more options for the types of questions and answers. Depending on the answers you gave to the questions in the intro of this post, you should already know how basic or advanced this feature should be for you.

Segmentation

Each one of your visitors is unique. They live in a particular context and have different needs.  
Segmentation allows you to tailor and personalize your content, so your visitors feel like you speak their language, like you get them. And in the case of online surveys, segmentation allows you to ask the most relevant question at the right time to the right person. 
Depending on your surveying needs, you’ll want to look for a basic or a more advanced feature when choosing your tool. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the number of parameters available the more complex the segmentation function is. 
Here are a few of the most popular and useful parameters for segmentation you might want to look for:

  • Geolocation: Tailor your surveys to address visitors from a certain city, region or country with custom messages. Likewise, you can make use of the weather conditions and temperature at the visitor location.
  • Conversions: Segment users according to whether they have previously made a conversion on your website or not. 
  • Behavior: Behavioral targeting allows you to segment visitors according to their actions on your websites: first time or returning visitor, number of pages visited, number of days since their last/first visit, the landing page in the current session, etc.
  • Traffic source: Some of the most popular segmentation, in this case, are social media traffic (including Facebook and Twitter), organic traffic (Google) and custom traffic referral sources.
  • Technology: Technology segmentation allows you to create specific segments according to things such as the visitor’s browser, operating system, IP address, screen resolution, etc. You might want to communicate differently with users that are on Mac and have Chrome installed, then with those that run Linux on their machine and use Firefox for browsing.

Multiple placement options

You should have the possibility to choose the best positioning of your surveys within the browser window, such as a pop-up or widget style. Depending on your goal you can decide which one is better suited.
Pop-up surveys are always displayed in the center of the screen. Being very visible, they usually have a very high response rate.

Widget surveys are displayed at the bottom right or left of the page, thus they are less intrusive. However, due to their reduced visibility, they also tend to have a lower response rate.

Fully editable design

Usually, online survey tools come with ready-made templates and design elements you can choose from. But, you should look for integrating the survey with your website’s look and feel. So check if you have the options to fully edit your surveys, from colors to customizing the header or any other elements.

HTML & CSS editor

Following the same line of making your surveys look in line with your website, check out if you get the option of adjusting the HTML & CSS code in key parts of the survey, such as intro message, header, and thank you message.

Languages availability

If your business has an international audience and you have large segments of people speaking certain languages it would be best to run your surveys in those languages.  So you should check out if they offer you the option of translating the survey’s functional texts in other languages. 

Scheduling options

You know your audience best, and you know when they are more likely to engage with your surveys or not. So you should look for the option of scheduling your surveys, as well as the possibility of excluding or including specific days or hours. 

Frequency Capping

You want to get as many answers from your visitors as possible, but you also want to make sure you’re not annoying them with too many displays. You need to find the sweet spot and be able to experiment with how often your visitors see the survey invitation: one time per day/week/lifetime, at every page load or anywhere in between. So look for this feature when choosing your online survey tool.

Running on multiple pages 

After you create your survey, you need to decide where to display it. You’re the one who knows best where the survey should run on your website so you should have the possibility to easily choose if it will run on a single page or multiple ones.

Advanced reporting

After you’ve set everything up and successfully run the surveys you want to be able to see the breakdown of each survey so you can extract precious data easily. Reporting should help you see things such as how many people answered, who answered what, pie charts, progress bars, word clouds, etc. Don’t settle for a weak reporting feature as this one has an essential role in helping you understand the data you gathered through the surveys for the growth of your business.

Support

Almost every tool on the market is aiming at creating easy to use software so you won’t need any training or support while working with it. Even so, it’s good to know if the tool comes with a reliable customer support team, just in case you get stuck or can’t figure something on your own. 

Explore helps you make the most out of your CRO efforts through advanced A/B testing, surveys, advanced segmentation and optimised customer journeys.

Test your insights. Run experiments. Win.
Or learn. And then win.

Wrapping-up

So now you know how to start your search and how to choose the best online survey software for your company. The list above is not exhaustive, and of course, depending on your needs, you might be well off even with a tool that doesn’t have all these features. It’s important to choose the best solution taking into account the main factors that are important to you. And if you want an online survey tool that ticks all the boxes above try Omniconvert’s survey solution.

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Valentin Radu

Valentin Radu

Valentin Radu is an entrepreneur, data-driven marketer, CRO expert, CVO evangelist, international speaker, father, husband, and pet guardian. He is the founder & CEO of Omniconvert, a SAAS company that provides growth solutions to mid-size eCommerce websites looking to become customer-centric. REVEAL, Omniconvert's newest product, helps eCommerce companies find the hidden gems in their data and improve Customer Lifetime Value and Customer Retention & deliver personalized customer experiences across all channels. Valentin is also an Instructor at the Customer Value Optimization (CVO) Academy, an educational project that aims to help companies understand and improve Customer Lifetime Value.
Valentin Radu

Valentin Radu

Valentin Radu is an entrepreneur, data-driven marketer, CRO expert, CVO evangelist, international speaker, father, husband, and pet guardian. He is the founder & CEO of Omniconvert, a SAAS company that provides growth solutions to mid-size eCommerce websites looking to become customer-centric. REVEAL, Omniconvert's newest product, helps eCommerce companies find the hidden gems in their data and improve Customer Lifetime Value and Customer Retention & deliver personalized customer experiences across all channels. Valentin is also an Instructor at the Customer Value Optimization (CVO) Academy, an educational project that aims to help companies understand and improve Customer Lifetime Value.

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