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Mobile Marketing

5 Tips to Writing Effective Surveys for Mobile Apps

Ezra Siegel  //  December 19, 2013  //  4 min read

Whether you are a seasoned survey writer or brand new to the scene, writing effective surveys for mobile apps can be challenging. As with any survey the first question to ask is “what’s the goal of this survey?” In order to write an effective survey you must have a goal that will help guide you in writing concise, data-oriented questions.

Nobody likes a long a survey – especially on a mobile device. That means all of your questions need to be extremely relevant – so no fluff. Only ask the questions that are essential to making decisions. Keeping surveys short and simple makes it easier to analyze the data and make decisions based off the results.

There may be many questions you want to ask your customers, but breaking all your questions into smaller surveys will work better than compiling all of your questions into a single survey.  Focus on a specific goal for each set of questions and you will get better data than trying to ask various questions that aren’t all connected.

Apptentive surveys for mobile apps

Writing Effective Surveys for Mobile Apps

The data from a survey is only as good as the questions asked. Therefore it is extremely important in how you phrase both your the questions and the answers you provide. To help you out, here are five tips to make the most effective surveys for mobile devices.

1. Personalization

Holding the mobile device is a single individual you are looking to engage and have answer a couple questions for you. You need to write questions that feel as if they are directed at each customer instead of a general approach. You are surveying them and want their opinion, thoughts, and feelings on the matter.

Begin your questions with phrases like “How do you feel about…” and “What you do think of…” The importance of the survey is to hear what your customers think. There is no wrong or right answer. Phrasing questions in this way opens the way for customers to share their thoughts and provide new insight on something you haven’t considered.

2. Simple, Direct Questions

There isn’t a lot of real estate to use on mobile devices therefore your questions need to be simple, and direct to the point. Don’t waste space circling around the real questions you want to ask.

3. Provide Accurate Answers

The more accurate your answers are the easier it will be for you to analyze the data. Avoid number rating scales because it is difficult to gauge an experience with numbers. In a rating scale up to
10, there are some people who think 6 is still a positive experience, but many who feel otherwise. Words are a better way to accurately portray how someone is feeling in a way that other people can understand.

When providing ranges in your answers, don’t let your answers overlap or your data will be off. If you ask “How often do you play Angry Birds a day?” Don’t include the following: 1-2, 2-5, 5-10. Instead use: 1-2, 3-5, 6-10.

4. The Other


One of the most over-looked answers to many questions is “Other.” Where appropriate, including the “Other” as a possible answer, followed by the generic “Please Specify” input area can be an incredibly useful method to learn something important from your customers that you may not have expected.

5. All Questions Required


All questions included in a mobile survey should be required. If you have a question you are not requiring don’t include it in the first place. This will force you to focus on only the most important questions to include in your survey. The one exception is the common “Do you have any other feedback or suggestions for us?”

Apptentive surveys for mobile apps

When To Use A Survey:

There are many great ways to use surveys to better understand your customers. Here are a couple of examples of how surveys for mobile apps can be used to drive your business.

• You want to know what your customers thought about a recently released feature or share their thoughts about new features they’d like to see.

• You’d like to better understand the demographic of customers who continue to use your app 20, 30, or even 40+ times.

• You have a purchasing funnel (or just a set of steps for a customer to complete) and want to know why customers aren’t completing the process.

• You want to know if customers would recommend your app to a friend.

There are many reasons why mobile apps should use in-app surveys. The most important reason is to better understand the people using your app. When you have a better understanding for why people use and like your mobile app you learn how to make faster and smarter decisions, better monetize your app, and make your customers happy.

If you take into account these 5 tips you will be off to a great start to writing a results oriented survey for your mobile app. If you want to start using mobile surveys in your app, here’s a great place to start.

About Ezra Siegel

Ezra is the VP of Community at Apptentive. He is a Chicago Sports Diehard and loves travel. Some day he would he plans to visit every country in the world. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ .
View all posts by Ezra Siegel >

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