Success online follows a simple formula…
“Ask and you shall _______.”
Most people fill in the blank with “receive”. Not only is it a well-known phrase from the Bible, but it’s also a very powerful online marketing principle.
If you operate a business and want to sell massively more products and services quickly, the fastest way to do it is by simply asking your customers and prospects what they want… and then give it to them.
In the past, gathering critical research information through customer surveys represented a very time-consuming, expensive and labor-intensive process available only to large organizations.
However, with inexpensive online tools, even a one-person business can now quickly and easily conduct powerful surveys to discover exactly what customers want – and then give it to them.
Virtually any business can benefit from conducting a survey because the information you get is priceless for your planning purposes.
Do you know what your customers plan to purchase next? (If you did, you could be the one to sell it to them!)
Do you know why they’ve purchased from you in the past? (If they’ve bought once, they’ll buy again for the same reason!)
Do you know what other products and services they have purchased from your competitors and why? (So you can be the one they buy from next…)
Knowing the answers to those three questions could literally transform your whole business plan (and wallet) overnight!
The sad fact is most business owners just *guess* what their customers want. Sure, they might make an educated guess based on past experience, but it’s still just that — a guess.
By conducting a survey you don’t guess what people want – you *know* what people want!
When conducting a survey (online or offline) it’s critical to remember these three points:
1. Keep your survey short and sweet.
People don’t want to spend more than a couple of minutes answering your questions.
I personally try never to ask more than 6 questions and they are always “yes/no”, multiple-choice questions that don’t take much time.
Short questions also allow you to get instant “gut-level” reactions from people, which is helpful in figuring out what people will buy. People purchase on emotion, so a fast response will show you their true feelings on a subject since they don’t have time to think about it.
2. Give people a “bribe” for taking the survey.
You will increase response rates by 1,500% (15 times) or more by offering people a reward in exchange for 2 minutes of their time to take your survey. With so many time constraints, giving people a “perk” for giving you some of their valuable time will make the difference between getting a dozen responses and getting several hundred.
3. Use simple, easy-to-understand questions.
When first surveying any group, you simply want to know what they like/dislike, will/won’t buy in the future, have/haven’t bought in the past.
As you get to know a group better, you can ask more detailed questions, but also make sure you offer better bribes if you expect people to take even more time answering your questions.
When choosing an online survey tool to help you administer your survey, make sure it meets the following criteria:
* It should require no programming on your part. You want to just plug in your questions and have it generate all the code, etc. so you can copy and paste it into a web page and send it out.
* It should automatically calculate all survey results for you in ‘real-time’ so you don’t have to manually calculate responses. Do not get stuck doing “number crunching” because your survey tool doesn’t automatically calculate results.
* It should send a “thank you” letter to people taking your survey so you can send them a “gift” for participating.
Thanking people for participating goes a long way toward leaving them with a favorable impression of you, as well as setting the stage for both your next survey and your next sale.
For a free report on how to quickly and easily conduct your own simple surveys to increase business profits, go to http://www.ebookfire.com/survey.html. Though the report is aimed at a specific online audience (ebook publishers), the principles will help any business succeed using surveys.
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how to use free articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted visitors to your website or affiliate links… Turn Words Into Traffic