How to Survey Your Audience

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You’ve been offering a new course or product for a little while now, but it doesn’t seem to be taking off like you had hoped. We’ll talk about the ways you can use a survey to help you determine what your customers are looking for and why they are or aren’t using the products you are offering.

  • Use surveys to help you find out what your customers need and what is working about your systems.
  • Find the right data collection tools and what to do with your data.
  • Feel confident that you are getting the information needed to make sure you are offering what your customers expect and want.

Asking your customers or members questions about their experience shows that you care. Learning what content your customers are most interested in can best be found out through a survey. You can start by checking stats and analytics but asking them directly is the best way to find out what you really want to know. 

Creating a Survey

  • When you create a survey it’s important to make sure you know how you are going to use the answers so you can create questions that will give you what you want to know. Be specific with your questions so the answers are concise.
  • Think about the different types of surveys you can use there are three main types: exploratory, descriptive and casual. Choosing the right one can lead to great insight and good information to help you make good plans and decisions.

Three types of surveys


An exploratory survey mostly uses open ended questions that allow you to get a better understanding of your audience. By asking what, why and how questions you can learn more about your users and the answers can help you develop new initiatives or learn about issues that may need to be addressed. 

This method can be time consuming but will give you plenty of information to help discover what is needed. 

You should be willing to change direction when using this method. You may send out the survey with one issue or idea in mind and then find from the results you need to head in another direction. 


Descriptive surveys help you to understand what your audience likes, not why it likes it. You can draw conclusions about your audience based on specific demographics like an age range or maybe a location. This method can be used to look at patterns, traits and behaviors and make comparisons. 


Creating a casual survey can be very complex. You are using this type of survey to try to determine the variable that is causing a specific behavior or outcome. You may want to use this research type if you’re thinking about rebranding a product or changing up a course you’re offering. 

The casual survey can be tricky to use and analyze results, because you need to recognize that there may be other factors affecting why your audience is or is not responding as you’d hoped. 

Putting your survey out there

  • Find the right tool – use Survey Monkey, JotForm, Google Forms or AskNicely. There are many to choose from. 
  • Maximum exposure. Post during peak activity times for your group. Email it at a time you might normally send out a newsletter.
  • Be considerate of your users’ time and don’t ask them to fill out very long surveys or frequent surveys. 
  • Offer an incentive: a discount, giveaway or a freebie.

Non-Tech Moment

Go outside and take a 10 minute walk. Fresh air, sunshine and nature helps to reduce stress, wakes you up and can boost your creativity.

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