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How to get survey takers?

tankeytankey subscriber Posts: 11
edited August 2008 in Marketing

I have made several attempts to start a small business.
I`ve been trying to get people to take surveys,for marketing purposes, and have not had great success.
always offered an reward/incentive for doing it, and invited people to
take in on Craig`s list and with the use of fliers I distributed around
my neighborhood.
I offered $15 Visa Check Cards to people for taking
it in person, at the local library, and was going to enter 50
respondents into a drawing for a $100 Visa Check Card. I had deli
sandwiches and refreshments, which were advertised too. Turn out was
very very low (like four people) and was not a very good representation
of the population (three of the people were all acquaintances that
worked together...same race, around the same age, economic status, etc)
One person took the survey online, as a special case, just to test
out if the survey worked properly (Survey Monkey.com). These people all
got their Visa Check Cards upon completing the survey. I emailed them
to say there would be no drawing for the $100, at this time, due to
extremely low turnout, but when I got more people to take the survey, I
would do the drying.
I later tried to 50 respondents, and a better
representation of the population, to take it on line. This time, I
offered that there would be a drawing of 10 winners of a $15 Visa Check
Card and one grand prize winner of $100 Visa Check Card. When I tried
to post this on Craig`s List, it never posted and I learned it was
marked it as SPAM. Actually, my company name was "blacklisted" somehow
as SPAM, so I can`t post anything, which includes that name,on Criag`s
List. I tried to contact Craig`s List administrators and the like, to
find out more, but did not get any response. I learned that it is quite
common for people to maliciously mark/flag things as SPAM on Craig`s
List, and unfortunately, the posters message will not show.
advice how I might have success getting people to take yet another
marketing survey I am doing for another small business venture? I don`t
trust survey company`s who "guarantee" respondents. Plus, I want the
experience of doing it myself. Do you think people are too skeptical
about offerings of gifts cards and drawings? Is there a better way to
get people to take a survey? Do you think it was unethical to not do
the $100 drawing with the five people who took my first survey, even
though they got the $15 for taking the survey?



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    tankeytankey subscriber Posts: 11
    Hi Craig,
    Thanks for replying. 
    Professional survey companies....I know they are an option, but I don`t want to go that route because, 1) I need to keep my costs down, and 2) I would like the experience of conducting the surveys myself, before I have someone else to do it (for the experience, if anything).  I did make an attempt, by dressing up, having a clip board, and I was going to approach people in a grocery store.  I had Visa Check cards to give out. The first person I approached was nice enough, but very skeptical and declined.  He appeared to be retired and he even mentioned how when he is normally asked for surveys, he is not offered money for it.  It seems like the incentive is what made him especially suspicious.  I can`t say I blame him.  You hear about all sorts of deceptive scams.  My husband suggested I go to the mall and ask people questions, and I told him about the experience I mentioned above.  I supposed I could try again, perhaps with a laminated name tag or something.
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    YourSecretSenderYourSecretSender subscriber Posts: 2
    I know that there have been a lot of spam on Craigslist regarding taking surveys, I see them all over. When you post on Craigslist, do you put in your ad that your not charging anything for taking the survey? Because I`ve seen a lot of survey taking on Craigslist but they require you to pay like $30 dollars or something like that. So maybe if you posted in your ad that your not charging anything and they could get $15 dollars for taking the survey you would have better success. Also, I think going to the mall and asking people questions is a great idea! I`d also be willing to take a survey for you if you still need someone!
    Hope this helps
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    tankeytankey subscriber Posts: 11
    Let me just start out by saying I visited your site and think that is a wonderful business, SecretSender.  I am curious as to when you will have a terms of service.  
    I have managed to get one person to take this new survey I`ve done (for another business idea), after it was posted on Craig`s list for not even 24 hours....that is a better result I have gotten in the past when I offered the $15 gift cards for taking it online.  It is my guess that if you offer some sort of incentive, people know that they are going to have to give you some personal info in order to receive it (name and address) so they would rather not bother, in case it is a trick to get personal info.  Wow, there are actually ads that will offer an incentive to take a survey, but will charge $30 to take it?  You are right, that does have SCAM written all over it.  I will see how the next week or so goes with this current ad.  If I don`t get enough responses, I will consider running an ad offering drawings for the $15 check card and mention taking the survey is free just to see who that may change things.  If you are still interested in taking my short survey, here is the info:
    For some reason, I can`t copy and paste the survey link here, so I had to type in the link from the Craig`s List ad.
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    YourSecretSenderYourSecretSender subscriber Posts: 2
    Thank you! We are currently working on the terms and conditions as well as the logo and re-doing the website. I took the survey and it was fun! It def was not hard or spam looking to me at all!
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    tankeytankey subscriber Posts: 11
    Thank you so much for taking the survey!  You are the second person to take it, so there is some progress.
    I can`t wait until you finish up with your site!  The only thing that kept me from registering right away was no SSL (I guess that is what it is, the little pad lock so I know my name, address, etc. is secure), and of course, the terms of service. 
    I am always forgetting people`s birthdays, so your business is a great idea!  I can just register, order cards and input info, and I am set!
    I am curious in regards to how you did your market research.  Did you do surveys?  Gather statistics from the Internet and other sources?  Also, did you meet with anyone like a Small Business Administration Counselor or someone from SCORE?
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    YourSecretSenderYourSecretSender subscriber Posts: 2
    Your welcome! Yes, the SSL is something that we don`t have yet but we are working on it. I can promise you though that all of your information is safe and we don`t see your credit card information. We came up with the idea of making the lives of people easier and that is how we created Your Secret Sender. The way we market is we hand out fliers, business cards, blog, and post on forums to get our name out there and just to get some people going to our website. Once we start genterating some more income, were going to put more into marketing to get us more well known.
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    tankeytankey subscriber Posts: 11
    Hi Secret Sender.
    I just sent you a note to your email account.
    Yea, creating a flier and business card, to make copies of, and handout, is my next step.  I have not made my website yet, but just plan to direct people to a very simple web page, to take the survey.  I just want some basic info, from interested people, so I know how to create an "official" website, so it appeals the right audiences.  It will be interesting to see which method generates the most people to take the survey...the Craig`s List ad, the fliers, the business cards, or approaching people in the mall.
    You mentioned earlier that you were still working on the logo.  That bunny is not your log?  Or you want to work further on it?  I think it is quite cute. 
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    YourSecretSenderYourSecretSender subscriber Posts: 2
    The bunny is my logo but I personally think my whole website including my logo need to be more professional. Therefore, I am working on my logo and website to create a more..professional look! We also just added our Privacy Policy to the site!
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    tankeytankey subscriber Posts: 11
    Thanks Tyra,
    Yea, you are right.  I have seen how not doing the drawing,  even with just five people, may have hurt me and labeled me a "spammer". I sort of feel bad, and at the same time, I think, "I have given away $175 with only 5 surveys to show for it".  And out of the surveys given, two seemed extremely invalid...you could tell that the people just put down anything to collect their gift card.  Also I did mention in my ad that the offer was good for the first 50 respondents.  I guess next time I should make it more clear that I need at least a certain amount of respondents in order to do the survey.
    I am checking into the Chamber of Commerce Memberships now.  I don`t know how costly it will be.  They don`t have the fees posted. 
    So, what kind of strategy did you use when getting people to participate in focus groups?  Did you place an ad in the paper, Craig`s List, hand out fliers?  Or did you ask small businesses if you could leave literature with them?  Was it a combination of things? 
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    tankeytankey subscriber Posts: 11
    Hi Secret Sender,
    I loved your site, Bunny and all.  Of course I could tell it was not complete, but I liked what you had.  I personally, am more drawn to sites that have a cute, and friendly look to them...as long as they are organized and easy to navigate.  I don`t care so much for serious business looking sites, but that is just me.  I know that there is a science to attracting people to one`s site, and I am probably out of touch about such things. 
    When you say the bunny is your logo, do you mean you drew it up? 
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    YourSecretSenderYourSecretSender subscriber Posts: 2
    It was a mix between pre-made images and we added the font to it..but we are re-designing it to look more..3D, new age and graphic! We also added the Privacy Policy to the site if you`d like to check it out!
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    tankeytankey subscriber Posts: 11
    Hi There. I did check out your privacy policy.  Very thorough and easy to comprehend!
    Please let me know when you have the SSL too!  I am excited about your service.
    Did you and/or your partner design the site yourself?  Or did you have professionals do it?  That is something else I am trying to decide on.  I have gotten a FrontPage book, but I also am considering a local website designing company....which can get costly for what I want.
    Right now, I just want a very simple site that people can go to to take the survey and get basic information about my company, which is still in the infancy stages.  I believe I will post on the website forum about this too.tankey8/21/2008 4:01 PM
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    YourSecretSenderYourSecretSender subscriber Posts: 2
    Thank you. I will let you know when we get the SSL. I designed the website my self in DreamWeaver. My fiance has a web hosting company and one of his servies is custom web design. I would definitely reccomend him, you can send me a private message if you`d like..or you can check out his website www.hostquack.com. He`s helping me right now on my website  to redesign it but he has a few designers that he works with. Just a thought!
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    tankeytankey subscriber Posts: 11
    Hi Secrete Sender.
     I just sent a little note to your email. You did a good job with your site.  What I like about it is it`s simplicity.  So your fiance is helping you to re-design; you did the original by yourself?  I am impressed.  I dabbled a bit with creating a web site and it looked pretty bad.  How familiar were you with DreamWeaver when you started to design your site?  About how long did it take you?tankey8/22/2008 5:46 PM
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    YourSecretSenderYourSecretSender subscriber Posts: 2
    Yes i did the original by my self. I wasn`t that familiar with DreamWeaver when i first started. I played around with it for a few until i got the hang of it. It took me a few weeks to do the site. He will give you a quote if you want.
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