7 tips for DIY surveys

Smartphones are radically shaping almost every industry today since there are an increasing number of people who are accessing the internet through their smartphones and tablets. As a result, market research, product testing and all kinds of consumer surveys are shifting from online to mobile.

On the one hand, new opportunities are being introduced daily with every user having a smartphone: Quicker results, geo-fencing, and wider audience reach are now possible. However, on the other hand, new challenges occur: poll survey aspects like its length, the structure of surveys, questionnaires and respondent experience (RX) are extremely important on mobile.

A variety of tools supporting mobile market research are being presented these days ,and the most important for small businesses, DIY mobile market research which will help them to make better business decisions. What follows are some guidelines you should keep in mind when conducting mobile market research.

Respondent Experience (RX)

In the smartphone and tablet world great experiences are mandatory. User experience (UX) is a key factor for the usage of every mobile app and when it comes to surveys, respondent experience can either get you quick results or you can watch drop-off rates up to 95 percent. Choose carefully your survey provider or develop internal tools with a mobile first strategy and you will keep all your respondents happy.

Keep It Short

Users are really engaged with their smartphones and tablets but their time is valuable since they might be sharing their opinions either during a walk or while watching TV. Dropout rates significantly increase if survey takes more than a couple of minutes to complete. Research shows that people tend to drop out if a survey contains more than 15 questions. So try to conduct your mobile market research through short surveys with less than 15 questions and “tweet-sized” question texts.

Avoid Too Much Branding

Mobiles screen size are limited by nature and this must be taken into account when designing a mobile survey. Unlike computer-based surveys, you have limited options when it comes to branding. Researchers need to take this into account and use available screen space intelligently. So, try to utilize as much space as possible for main survey fields and remove branding elements other than the logo.

Check Your Survey Structure

In many cases a question might have many answers, like brand names, product names etc. Since the user cannot perform easily a quick search, just keep in mind to help them by sorting the answers alphabetically or by providing easy navigation mechanisms.


Timing is extremely important for conducting mobile market researches. If your campaign is going to run in various time zones then take into account time zone differences and the habits of your target audience. In US, UK and Continental Europe 6-8 p.m. is considered the best time, as people are commuting from work to home and most of these commuters are browsing internet through their smartphones. In Asia and Africa there can be a difference due to differences in culture and habits.

Use A/B Tests – Confused Minds Don’t Provide Quality Responses

Mobile respondents just don’t have time, so they need to understand the questions within a few seconds. Confused minds don’t provide quality responses and this is much more important in mobile. Design multiple versions of a questionnaire and send it to your target audience to check drop-off rates and cross-check quality of data. In this way you can conduct mobile market research in a more effective way and get insights from your target audience. Two versions of a questionnaire are more than enough. Just change a couple of questions and you have a brand new version.

Avoid Videos

One of the most serious limitations at least these days is video in mobile. Unfortunately many market researches or business owners wrongly assume that every mobile device is similar and video based surveys are going to work on every device. This can lead to various issues with many users not watching the full video or with bad streaming and rendering, as a result providing an outcome of much less quality.

In conclusion, one of the most important aspects of every survey is the quality of the responses, so you have to be really careful providing the best mobile respondent experience to make sure you will not affect the responses. Keep in mind the above guidelines and this will ensure success for your mobile market research. Market research is a process which can be improved by trial and error and mobile market research is providing you with real power and access to every person out there. You just need to keep your eyes open and improve your techniques by taking into account past mistakes.

Bonus tip: avoid open-ended question, since studies show that open-ended responses on mobile are 70% smaller than on computers. As a result, you will be thanking yourself that you don’t have to analyse the open-ended data.

Learn how to create a survey and get started today!