Sometimes writing a poll question is as simple as asking your respondents if they prefer option A over option B. The problem is, it’s not always this easy. Many poll creators struggle with writing poll questions. Whether they’re not sure what to ask or how to ask it, there are a number of challenges they can come up against when they’re creating polls.
Why You Need to Write Great Poll Questions
Unless you’re creating a poll purely for entertainment purposes, you rely on the data you’ll collect from the responses. But if you don’t write your poll questions strategically, you aren’t optimizing your polls to begin with. This means not only could you be collecting inaccurate data you have no use for, but it can also mean your response rates are low. And one thing virtually every poll maker wants is high response rates! After all, the more data (particularly accurate data) you collect, the better you’re able to make decisions for the course of your business.
When your questions are confusing, too long, or altogether uninteresting to respondents, you’ll notice response rates drop right before your eyes. But all of this is about to change! Today we’ll share our top tips for writing great poll questions that get you the data you rely on.
Tips for Writing Poll Questions
So, before you create your next online survey with Swift Polling, make sure you give these tips a try and your questions will be strategically written with respondents in mind.
Keep it simple
A poll isn’t the time or place to show off your expansive vocabulary—as impressive as it might be! You risk confusing your respondents if your language isn’t clear, direct, and easy to read. As a general rule, try to write your poll questions so a fifth grader could read and understand them. This will help ensure your respondents don’t misunderstand your questions, but it also means they can make their way through the poll more quickly! This means the entire polling experience is less frustrating or inconvenient for them, and it also means you can collect your data that much sooner.
Be careful with how you phrase your questions
As important as it is to write clear, direct questions with simple language, it’s also important to pay particular attention to how you phrase your questions. In many cases, poll makers (intentionally or not) include their own bias into survey questions. Alternatively, they may also try to sway the respondents with the language they use.
Here’s an example: instead of asking “How great was our customer service today?”, you would ask “How was our customer service today?” if you want to get the most honest, accurate results.
One idea at a time
A surefire way to confuse your respondents is polling them about multiple ideas in a single question.
For example, if you ask, “What do you think of our customer service and our product?” you’re not likely to get a straight answer. Their opinion on your customer service could vastly differ from how they feel about the product you offer. If they only have one question to share their thoughts, this can ultimately skew the results dramatically.
Keep your respondents up to date
If your respondents know there are only five more poll questions to go until they’re done, they’re a lot more likely to stick around and finish the poll. Otherwise, they might fear the poll will go on for ages so they’ll choose to opt out before they make it past the first page.
Clarify your objective
Right from the get-go, make sure your respondents know what your intentions are with your poll questions. For example, at the beginning of your survey, you could let them know you’re hoping to find out how you can improve customer experience. That way, they’re more likely to answer with that goal in mind so you can be sure the data you collect is more reliable and relevant.
Let’s say you’re polling respondents about their alcohol consumption. They might not be prepared to share this information with you if they think their identity won’t be protected. Even if the poll isn’t relating to a sensitive subject, letting your respondents know their responses are anonymous is a great idea.
When they know their identity is protected, they’ll feel empowered to answer more honestly. In the end, this means you’re able to collect more reliable data because respondents aren’t filtering their honest opinions.
Start Writing Poll Questions with Swift Polling
With these tips on your side for writing poll questions, you’re ready to start creating polls with Swift Polling! Whether it’s an anonymous mobile survey or a web poll, we have all of the features you hope for in an online poll maker. Click here to get started today for free.