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The only survey checklist you will need in 2024

Kate Williams

Last Updated:  

2 January 2024

7 min read

The other day, I went to the grocery store to buy some milk and eggs. At the store, I found so much more that was interesting. They had a new cereal brand and even a chocolate spread that looked tempting. I decided to spend a while there, and when I came back, guess what? I had forgotten all about buying the milk. Let’s just say that checklists are crucial, folks.

Conducting a survey, from defining your sample to presenting your results, involves a lot of steps. Some of them are necessary, and others just helpful. But all of them can very easily be forgotten. To keep track of your survey progress, it is absolutely important to maintain a survey checklist. You can tick things off one by one and conduct a successful survey with no missteps.

What does a survey checklist include, you ask? Well, it’s everything you need to do, like defining a mission statement or preparing logic routes on Surveysparrow. There’s a certain order in which these steps to be carried out, and a good survey checklist organizes the process before you begin. That’s why we’ve brought you the only survey checklist you need to use to conduct a successful online survey.

The Definitive Survey Checklist From Experts

A good survey design checklist is a carefully thought out list of steps you need to undertake in your survey exercise. What we have below is a few crucial steps involved in a good survey. You can, of course, change it up based on your own needs. This survey checklist will just help you think through each step and put them in order.

1. A Mission Statement

You might be surprised that this is the first step in our survey checklist, but we still can’t believe people conduct surveys without first laying out their mission statement. Before you do anything else, you need to decide why you’re conducting this survey. That’ll impact everything, from deciding on a sample to designing an e-mail campaign.

What does a mission statement look like? It is just a one-line explainer on the need for this survey. For example, to conduct an internal communications survey, your mission statement would look something like this: find out employees’ internal communication habits at XYZ’s workplace. That’s a good, precise mission statement that can direct your

‘To Find Out…’

A good mission statement for a survey almost always begins with these words. No matter what survey you are conducting, you’re doing it to find something out. Early on in the process, then, you should know exactly what you want to find. If you’re vague on what you’re looking for, each and every step that follows in this survey checklist will be ineffective.

If you don’t know what you want to find out from your customers, what kinds of questions will you include? Open-ended or close-ended? How long will the survey be? What will be the subject line of your survey email campaign? Going out there and hoping to hit gold is a bad survey strategy. You need to know what you’re looking for before you even start.

2. A Well-Defined Sample Size

After you have your mission statement in place, defining your sample size will become much easier. The sample size will tell you who your survey respondents are going to be, so it’s important to get this part right. How do you go about defining your sample size?

Your Target Audience

Going back to your mission statement, let’s say for example that you are trying to find out the percentage of women who regularly wear perfume in Nevada. In that case, your survey has no business showing up on a man’s social media or email. Your target audience is very strictly defined.

For marketing your survey, you need to decide who you’re trying to find things out about. That’ll give you a fair idea of who should form part of your sample. You can then target those people in your survey marketing campaign.

Sample Size Calculator

If the total population of women in Nevada is 100,000, then how do you know how many women should be part of your survey? For such problems, we use a sample size calculator. This calculator will help you get the most accurate results from your survey.

Once you have a fair idea of your target audience and your sample size, you have a well-defined set of survey respondents. We can move ahead.

A Survey Questionnaire

In the next step of the survey checklist, we come to the heart of your survey: preparing a questionnaire. The quality of results you get from your survey exercise depends heavily on the quality of questions you ask. For guidance in this area, you can use Surveysparrow’s free templates for all kinds of surveys, from employee engagement to customer experience.

Question Types

There are, when it comes down to it, two types of questions you can ask in your survey: Open-ended and close-ended. While preparing your questionnaire, it is important to categorize questions accordingly and space them out.

1. Open-Ended Questions

These are questions with a blank text box, and allow the survey respondents to answer them freely, without any options to select from or restrictions on text input. While these questions are more time taking to answer, they’re not as daunting as you might imagine. Paired with the right kind of question, they allow respondents to tell you how they feel.

2. Close-Ended Questions

As you might have guessed, close-ended questions have only a set number of responses from which survey respondents can choose. The benefit of having close-ended questions is that they’re very easy to analyze with charts and graphs. They also usually take respondents less time to answer.

When preparing your survey questionnaire, make sure to include only the most relevant questions in the right formats. That’ll help you keep your survey short while also helping you find out the responses to your most pertinent questions.

Online Survey Software

Next on our survey checklist is picking your online survey software. There are plenty of options on the market, each with its own set of features. These days, it’s not enough to offer a form-filling feature. Online survey tools now have survey questionnaires, email marketing templates, logic routes and a lot more.

Why Surveysparrow?

When it comes to online survey software, we believe that Surveysparrow has the edge, all things considered. The online survey tool helps you design beautiful surveys that your respondents will want to fill, getting you up to 40% more responses. Surveysparrow’s dashboard also helps you break down your results and analyze them. If you’re stuck on this step in your survey checklist, we can confidently recommend Surveysparrow.

Heading, Description and Featured Image

How often do you read the survey description before filling it? We’re guessing ‘almost always’. Survey descriptions are not like terms and conditions, in that people actually do read them. The main reason is that they’re about to reveal information, and at that moment they want to know why and how it will be used.

For the next step in the survey checklist, outline the aims of your survey in the description, and mention any clarifications that might put the survey respondents’ fears to rest. The headline should ideally be fun and inviting, and a featured image should inspire trust. Having these elements will make it way easier for you to market your survey on social media.

If you use Surveysparrow as your online survey tool, you’ll be able to customize your surveys to share them on social media. The software lets you edit your meta tags and make the survey presentable for social media sites. When you’re picking an online survey tool, make sure to check the social media features as well.

Finalize Survey Design

Some methodical surveyors even have a survey design checklist, because this does really impact the number of responses you get. In 2021, your survey needs to have a great design. Nobody is excited about a plain and simple Google form anymore. If your design is innovative and well-crafted, respondents will love filling in your survey.

Survey design doesn’t just include aesthetics, though that is part of it. It includes things like logic routes that ask specific questions based on your previous responses. Good survey design leads to a better experience for your survey respondents. It’s really as simple as that.

Logic Routes

In this step of the survey design process, it’s good to map out your logic routes. Otherwise, things can get all muddled up. Mostly, that means mapping out the different set of responses and the questions you want them to lead to. This will take some thinking, and it will also define the order of questions in your survey questionnaire. That’s why it’s important to get this off your survey design checklist first.

Email Campaign

No matter how much time your audience spends on social media, nothing really beats the quality of attention you get with email campaigns. For sending out your surveys, email remains the most effective tool to get survey respondents.

Email campaigns need to have intriguing subject lines and need to look visually appealing. Surveysparrow can help you design beautiful email campaigns for your surveys. With tools like Surveysparrow on the market, you don’t need to very far away from your online survey software for the email campaign.

This is one of the last steps in the survey checklist, of course, since your survey needs to be ready to be sent out. But that doesn’t mean it’s not as important. The quality of data you collect will depend heavily on your marketing efforts, so a lot counts on your email marketing strategy. If you get it right, you’ll have just the right number of responses from your target population.

Survey Report

When you’re all wrapped up with designing and marketing your survey, the last step in your survey checklist will be analyzing and presenting. A survey report is basically the last step of a survey, in which you gather your results and analysis into a document. Ideally, you will have found something and can recommend actions based on your survey exercise.

A survey report is usually prepared for your supervisors so that they can get a quick glance at the results of your survey and act accordingly. That is why they need to communicate information effectively and without demanding too much effort. A helpful way of going about survey reports is to include data visualization tools like pie charts and bar graphs.

Once you’re done with the survey report, you’ve completed everything on your survey checklist. Hopefully, you have a bunch of quality data that can give you helpful insights. Make yourself a survey checklist using this template and cover all the important steps involved in a survey.

Wrapping Up

In this article, we’ve covered all the crucial steps you need to undertake to complete a rigorous survey exercise. From defining a mission statement to mapping out logic routes, all these steps are necessary for having a hassle-free survey experience.

At Surveysparrow, we strive to give you only the best surveying experience with readymade templates and design suggestions. Our innovations have led to our users getting 40% more responses than other online survey tools. We care about the interface and design of your survey, and so our respondents care about giving us honest, helpful responses.

If you’re looking to undertake a surveying exercise, it’s a great idea to make yourself a survey checklist. You can add or remove steps from this template based on your convenience. Take your time to address each challenge properly, and you’ll have a smooth surveying experience with no hassles and great results.

Kate Williams

Product Marketing Manager at SurveySparrow

Excels in empowering visionary companies through storytelling and strategic go-to-market planning. With extensive experience in product marketing and customer experience management, she is an accomplished author, podcast host, and mentor, sharing her expertise across diverse platforms and audiences.

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