I was just on the website of a national publication which asked me to take a survey. I tend to take all online surveys that I come across. I do so for ideas on my own online research efforts and to see which companies "get it right" and ask meaningful, actionable questions. I'm amazed at how many worthless questions get asked.
However, this magazine got it right. Their first question? They showed me two magazine covers and asked me which one I preferred. I had a strong preference for one cover. They then asked me "why" I liked the cover and I wrote in my reasons. The next few questions were demographic questions and if I accessed their content only online or also in print and how often (if ever) I purchased their magazine.
The survey will give the magazine meaningful, actionable, intelligence that can substantially impact their bottom line. Knowing which cover is the most preferred and impactfull should increase newstand sales. Wouldn't you like to know what cover for your book, magazine or product will be most preferred by your company?
And the demographic and "use" questions will allow them to segment and fine-tune their efforts. Perhaps, online users prefer one cover, while those who buy the magazine prefer another? Best of all, the survey was conducted via a low-cost, easy-to-implement service: SurveyMonkey.
What questions are you asking your customers and web visitors? Are they questions that will allow you get into their mind and increase a targeted-behavior such as buying your product? Did you used to think you had to hire a programmer to create a survey?