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What to do after you have designed your survey?

Learn surveys with Meena Das - Part 2: Setting up survey

P.S: We encourage our readers to go through the entire blog post, but should your reading time today be even limited than you expected, then please scroll down to the summary section at the bottom. Every minute you have for reading should empower your perspective for the minutes you are not reading.

Welcome to the second part of the mini-series Learning Surveys with Meena Das.

With the first part talking about best practices of survey design, this part is going to focus on everything that needs to happen after you have designed your survey and before you are ready to analyze your results.

General thinking would say that you designed a survey (hopefully based on best practices :)) and now you should go and launch it. Well, not so fast. Remember, your survey is not just answering your objective questions but if set up correctly, your survey is also an easiest form of marketing of you (or your organization) to your survey recipients. So, this part is just as important as designing or analyzing your survey. Below are the three key next steps you should practice:

Step 1: QA (Quality Assurance)

You designed a survey, awesome! You defined your objective as granularly as possible, you researched on the best practices and implemented to the best of your understanding. Well, this step if your wall, should you have missed anything in the design phase. So, obviously, this is a step that must be done by someone who hasn’t seen the survey already, like a real survey taker. But what are they testing for? Here is a comprehensive checklist that can be used to QA your survey. Feel free to add more to this list if it makes most sense for you or your organization.

QA Checklist:

1).Survey Title

2).Survey has introduction; if there are any links in the introduction then they should be going to right places. For example, if there is a link for your organization then the link should open your homepage, however, if there is a link of your email address, then clicking it should open an email platform.

3).All questions and answers choices have consistent fonts and color, as appropriate.

4).All answer choices are well-rounded.

5).Questions are not double-barreled or adding any bias.

6).Right question types are used. For example, if your question is asking your respondent to make one choice only, then ensure that the question type chosen is radio button and not checkbox.

7).All scale-based questions are set up correctly, i.e. if you have a Likert scale question, ensure that the weights are assigned properly.

8).All questions have logical sections. By logical I mean questions are divided into sections that goes from “introduction” of your topic to “conclusion”. All those sections are in their own separate pages (for better clarity) and their exists and forward and backward button to move between the sections.

9).Your survey logic is set up correctly.

10).Your survey looks and works the same way in both desktop (i.e. web browsers like Chrome, Firefox etc.) and mobile.

Step 2: Determining how you want to launch

Regardless of the survey portal you are using to launch your survey (e.g. SOGO, Qualtrics, Survey Monkey etc.), almost every portal offers several platforms to launch your survey. It could be email, SMS, social media, official website etc.

Should you prefer it on email, the most common method of surveys in Fundraising studies, you need to first clean your email list, just so not two same emails receive the survey. And, next, based on the preferred situation below, pick your launch option:

1) When you need to track who gave the response

In situations where you are looking for answers from a specific population, you need to use a launch method where every participant has their own unique URL. For example, testing your case message for upcoming campaign. For surveys with such objective where you want to track the comments of your constituents, every constituent would need their own links.

2) When you do not need to track who gave the response

In situations where you are looking for answers on a broad topic, where you do not need to know gave which response, then you can launch your survey with every participant having the same link. For example, measuring alumni engagement when you do not need to know who gave which response.

Step 3: Monitoring your live survey

So, your survey is now LIVE! Congrats! You made this far. Now starts the cycle of monitoring your survey. Typically, surveys are left open for 15-21 days. As a best practice, they are launched Mon-Wed, 9 am – noon, in your organization’s local time zone. Monitoring means you should note how the response trend is going, are there huge incomplete after a week of launch and are there too few responses. Should you see a low response rate, you can think of sending appropriate reminders.


1. Perform a thorough Quality Assurance of survey.

2. Determine where and how you want to launch your survey

a. Clean your email list if you are launching through emails

3. Monitor your survey for appropriate number of reminders.


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