Web survey software tools for enterprise online data collection and reporting, used by major corporations, governments, and NGOs throughout the world.

Successful Surveys

If you are new to the survey field, you may find it valuable to review the typical survey process as a whole. For an overview of information, see below.

  1. View the Raosoft, Inc. Survey Process Flow Chart for a list of the tasks involved in the survey process.
  2. Rea, Louis, Designing and Conducting Survey Research, Jossey-Bass; 2nd edition (June 20, 1997), 272 pages:
    cover Includes statistical techniques and broader array of exercises, this second edition of Rea and Parker's foundational tool is a complete, practical guide to conducting sample survey research. In a comprehensive manner, it explains all major components of survey research including construction of the instrument, administration of the process, and analysis and reporting of results.
  3. Getting Responses
  4. Email
  5. Pop-up surveys
  6. Suggested Reading Material

Getting responses

When you design your survey, decide how you can boost your response rate. For a long form, a multi-page, attractive web survey may be best. For a form included in your web page, the visual design may be important. For a few questions put to your employees, a short email form is a good idea.

If your survey is as much about politics as it is about getting an answer to a question, then you have to balance making the respondents feel that their opinions will be heard and putting a good face on the survey for your employer.

Naturally, the response rate depends most on whether the population you're sampling feels that they will gain by answering your questions. Keep in mind that you only need about 250 responses to get a valid sample.


Email is becoming a perfect replacement for postal mail. Just as we automatically disregard junk mail, people have become trained to ignore junk email. So how do you differentiate your email survey?

Direct mail surveys typically have response rates of 4%. In a recent plain-text email survey, we had a response rate of 20%. What did we do? We asked 14 questions, gave people plenty of opportunity to write in their comments, and used a text-only email with simple formatting. We find that computer-savvy people are likely to reply to short, plain-text email surveys than they are to longer or HTML-based surveys.

Why is this? The next time you find yourself reading a solicitation for a magazine subscription, look carefully at it. Chances are, the letter is written in a plain, black, typewriter font. The direct mail industry has learned that people are more likely to respond to a simple mailing than a fancy, graphics-intensive mailing.

Pop-up surveys

In 2000, popup web surveys were a popular tool for professional market researchers. They allowed you to force someone to see your survey, without changing the layout of your main website. This aspect of forced behavior is always appealing to web designers, but there is now a backlash against it. Many people even use software to block pop-ups , and Google will not link ads to pages with popup windows. The moral here is that you cannot compel a particular action from the web-surfing public.

Suggested Reading Material

  • How to Plan and Implement a Successful Survey: Techniques for getting the right information from the right people - quickly, correctly and affordably.
    by The Raosoft Institute, 173pp.
    This publication will walk you through the entire process of planning and implementing a successful survey and will provide checklists and forms to use later in your own applications. $99 each
  • A Practical Guide to Survey Development
    by The Raosoft Institute, 24pp.
    A monograph that concisely covers survey design, question formulation and the concepts behind surveys. $20 each
  • The Survey Research Handbook
    by Pamela L. Alreck, Robert B. Settle (Contributor)
  • Employee Surveys That Make a Difference: Using Customized Feedback Tools to Transform Your Organization
    by Joe Folkman, Jack Zenger
  • AMA Handbook for Customer Satisfaction: A Complete Guide to Research, Planning, & Implementations
    by Alan Dutka
  • The Handbook of Online Marketing Research: Knowing Your Customer Using the Net
    by Joshua Grossnickle, Oliver Raskin
  • The Question Book
    by Robert and Sandra Bauer of Bauer & Associates
  • Air University Sampling and Surveying Handbook
    If you are a member of the U.S. military you may find the U.S. Air Force guidance manual on surveys useful.
    Click here to view
  • Basic Statistics A Modern Approach
    by Morris Hamburg
    See the Sampling Distributions chapter for information on calculating sample size.
  • A Beginning Approach to Analysis
    by Raosoft, Inc.
    This outline for analysis of survey-type data will help get you started with reporting.
    Click here to view

Raosoft, Inc.
Raosoft: 206-525-4025 (US) Email: raosoft@raosoft.com
Raosoft EZReport, EZSurvey, InterForm, RapidReport, Raosoft, and SurveyWin are registered trademarks of Raosoft, Inc.

http://www.raosoft.com/ © 1996-2011 by Raosoft, Inc.