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For those of you familiar with Constant Contact, one of the many on-line email services, you know they’ve created a service for surveys.  At the time I saw their first ads for the survey service, I thought hmmm that’s interesting.  I didn’t think surveys were popular enough to warrant a company such as Constant Contact to go to the expense of adding that service.  Obviously it is though.

Surveys have a long history in Marketing Research.  Much information, as well as college degrees, are available in this field.   We all know the large companies spend thousands and thousands for market research, whether it’s internal or external.  Internal Research is finding out about how your own business is doing.  External Research is where you find out about your target market, among other things.

Surveys can be tricky though.  Search the internet for ‘how to write a survey’ and you’ll find thousands, actually like 4 million, hits in google on the subject.  You see, the way the question is written, as well as the order of questions, and the method of delivery can skew the results.  Make no mistake, there is a skill and talent in writing and then analyzing a survey.

But before you become discouraged…take a lesson from shoebuy.com (my fav online shoe store) I recently received an email survey from.  It was two questions, 1. Would you recommend us to another – choose from a scale of 1 to 10.   and 2. what one thing could we do to make that number higher?  With open space to write an answer.

Hmmmm.. two questions, two minutes of their time, a statistical bench mark, and your target market tells you what they want.  All that for 2 minutes worth of work to send out the email.

Who says marketing research must cost thousands?