If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I just recently ran a reader survey.

I loved hearing your responses, so if you took the survey, a big great thank you to you for completing it.

While I did recently run a time-bound survey, I actually also have had one running in the background for months.

In this post I’m going to tell you all about the good and the bad of both, as well as which I’d suggest.

Here goes!

Quick intro to the 2 types of surveys I’ve ran.

Time-bound survey:

I set up a survey on my Squarespace site with the form block, connected to a Google doc. If you’re not on Squarespace – which I learned from the survey a good deal of you aren’t but are considering it, you could also be easily done through Google Forms.

I sent out a blast of content to followers, subscribers and blog readers letting them know the survey was live. I ran the survey for 2 weeks, so I’m calling this a time-bound survey.

The Good: 

  • The obvious, you get a lot of feedback, all at once, just when you need it!

  • You’ll be promoting it to people who are already quite familiar with your business because they already follow you on social media, are on your email list, read your blog, etc. If you want responses from people who know you and your business well, this is a good option. Also, if you want feedback on what you could do better, what they dislike about your site/blog, what they’d like to see more of, etc., they’ll be able to tell you.

The Bad:

  • You have to promote these types of surveys a lot, which equals lots of time spent creating content. Social media posts, emails, website announcement bar, blog posts, etc. It’s a lot of work to hype your survey and create the content that lets your people know it’s there. While on the inside from our business, of course we know the survey is happening, and our mind is on it a lot, but to readers your email/blog/social media post letting them knowing the survey is there is just one small bit of content they’ll read in the day. It takes reminder and follow ups to really get the responses you want.

I definitely could have done a better job with this. I sent 1 email to my list, then got lazy/forgot to mention it in future emails, I also wrote a blog post, and mentioned it once or twice on Instagram. Overall though, I didn’t do much. Silly me didn’t even think to change my site announcement bar to notify site visitors of it. Ooops!

Write out a promotion plan including dates of each promo bit you’ll do. Then, transfer those to do’s into your calendar/planner/GCal/whatever you use. Then, follow through!

Set-it-and-forget-it survey:

I set this up after taking a course a few months ago. My original intention was to try to collect more info on how my audience described their website issues, specifically the copy and words/expressions they use.

Here’s how I set it up:

After someone opts-in to a free gift on my site, they’re brought to my thank you page. Previously my thank you page included links to popular posts, in an effort to keep visitors on my site, and enjoying more of my best content.

I decided I could put that page to better use by collecting info from new subscribers, getting them to tell me in their own words what their biggest frustrations and hangups website-wise were.

I changed the thank you page content to be a quick 5 question survey form, connected to a Google Doc. Every day new subscribers opt-in to my free gifts, and stop by the ‘thank you survey’ page.

The Good:

  • 0 promotion necessary! (YASSSS !) I don’t have to create any content to promote it, so it’s a heck of a lot less work for me to get responses.

  • While feedback comes in slower, I’ve ended up with more responses with this survey over the time-bound one, just because it collects responses slowly and consistently over time.

  • When you have a new question pop into your mind, you can just change a survey question. With time-bound surveys you don’t want to be promoting a new survey every month when you have a new question, your audience will get annoyed of answering your constant surveys. With this option, you can change a question whenever you feel like it, and just wait for the responses to come in.

The Bad:

  • These gals are newer to my business and site, so they don’t have in-depth insights on what they’d like to see from me or feedback on my business. They’re too new to be able to answer a question like that. They can tell me their site problems, but aren’t able to answer questions specific to my business.

  • Feedback comes in slower than with a time-bound survey.

  • You can’t ask a huge number of questions in this type. Visitors are new to you, and so they don’t have a whole lot of drive to help you out by answering 20 questions. Granted, though I can’t ask 20 questions all at once, I can change the question as much as I want, so I can eventually I can get the answers I want.

So, after running both, I’m loving the set-it-and-forget-it option!

Two things made me crown this one the winner.

  1. I don’t have to put any effort or time into creating content to promote it. As a solo business owner, time is absolutely money, and I create a boatload of content as it is. If there’s way to save time in my business, I’ll absolutely do it. So, this makes the set-it-and-forget-it a clear winner for me.

  2. I can change the questions as much as I want. Anytime I’m wondering something, i just head over to the survey, swap out a question, wait a few days then have my answer. If I only did time-bound surveys, I’d have to wait until the next one to ask the question.

Okay, so now you know I love the set-it-and-forget-it survey, here’s how I set mine up.

In the example I’ll be showing you how to do so using Squarespace (You can sign up for a free trial of Squarespace here and I also got ya a little off the price, use code PAIGE10 for 10% off your first year. (Yes, that’s an affiliate link!)) and ConvertKit, my personal faves for a website and email marketing system.

I’ve recorded a quick video to show you how this is done.

So, while now you know I’m obv a big fan of the set-it-and-forget-it option, I think there’s a lot of benefits to the time-bound survey too. Or of course there’s the option to do both!

I want to know, which do you think you’d prefer to use in your business!? Leave me a comment gal!

You’ll also love … 

My favorite set-it-and-forget-it survey collection method