Both email and SMS surveys are powerful ways to voice your opinion. But is one really better than the other?
We hear the prediction regularly: email surveys are a thing from the past. Who still wants to fill in long surveys these days? SMS surveys and other market research tactics are here to stay – the emails have to go.
Except that here in the Surveyeah team, we don’t believe that at all! Email surveys are a relevant and powerful tool to gather consumer insight, test out ideas and find out what consumers really think and how they behave.
SMS surveys, focus groups and communities, market research applications and mystery shopping are important tools as well, of course, but it doesn’t mean that email surveys are condemned to extinction any time soon.
Surveys enable detailed targeting
The first argument in favor of email surveys is detailed targeting.
Consumer panels consist of tens of thousands of people and the surveys that are sent out can be targeted very carefully to correspond to the client’s needs. This is especially beneficial when surveying specific topics.
For example when conducting political surveys, selecting a non-biased panel is crucial. For a large consumer panel, this is an easy task. On the other hand, if the respondents are searched through social media ads or similar means, the ads will be seen by people belonging to certain demographics which will then show up in the results.
Consumer panelists can be incentivised
The second argument to support email surveys and consumer panels is the easy incentivising and encouragement that panels make possible.
Typically consumers joining a panel get a small reward for their participation, which guarantees a high participation percentage and also quick responses.
However, the incentives must be combined with a scrupulous quality control that makes it impossible to cheat in a survey. It also excludes participants who are too eager to give their opinion to keep the panel diverse.
On the other hand, panelists can also access new surveys not only via email but also through their profile on the consumer panel site and answer interesting questions whenever it suits them.
Read more: 4 Characteristics of a High Quality Panel
Email questionnaires can be longer
Incentives lead us to our third argument: thanks to rewards and quality control, email surveys enable longer and more thorough questionnaires than SMS surveys, for example.
While text messages can be a good way to get instant feedback for customer service, for example, it doesn’t go very deep into the details. Emails, on the other hand, enable longer surveys and more qualitative responses.
Sending questionnaires via email doesn’t exclude other methods either. For many panelists it’s important to have an opportunity to answer email surveys via their mobile phone or to use an application, which is easy to access.
This is why, after all, it’s important to combine different types of survey methods and choose one that matches the question at hand in an optimal way.
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