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I often feel the need to perform very simple surveys that would help me understand more about people in order to better orient my product towards their needs.

Setting up the survey is not a very cumbersome task in and of itself, but I always struggle when it comes to submitting the survey to enough people to be able to analyze results in a meaningful way.

What I usually do is try to post a link on forums, news boards or IRC channels, but it often feels like spamming rather than actually reaching out to people in a constructive way.

What are the best channels to distribute a survey that give a proper amount of results and don't cause the recipients to feel spammed?

  • I have used services like OptimalWorkshop and Verifyapp in the past. There are plenty of services but you just need to be aware of the features and demographics provided by each of the different companies. – Michael Lai Jul 23 '14 at 23:03
  • I think the question here is whether its 'pushed at people' (such as by email or text) or is an optional 'pull' thing which they can choose to go to via a link. – PhillipW Jun 2 '15 at 9:02
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I'm not sure what the benefit would be of going to a 3rd party environment to get generalized feedback from an unspecified population. If you product is already live, solicit user feedback and run a/b tests to learn about user preferences from those who are coming to the site. If the product is not live, get something live as quickly as possible (can be very simple) so you can gather feedback, run tests and measure results.

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Spam them this time. As the final question ask them if it's okay to contact them for involvement in future studies. Compile a pool of folks who are keen to participate.

Or...spam them and give them a) a reason why you are doing the study without giving too loch away (they will be more likely to help if it's a good cause) and/or b) give them something in return (everyone likes the chance for a freebie)

  • I suppose I have a different definition of spam than you. If a business sends a post out of the blue to a forum or news board its not necessarily spam - especially if they are upfront about it. – Mayo Apr 3 '15 at 1:35
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You can initiate it by posting on social media -- linked-in, Facebook etc and ask your friends to forward it their network. That been said you need to follow research protocols like : Have a screener that excludes demos you don't need. Give the research objective without divulging too much information Ensure confidentiality of responses. Give a small incentive that can boast response rate. Above all, provide a gist of how their insights made an impact (after the data is analyses).

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