For organizations looking to learn a little more about their customers, a survey seems like the logical next step. They’re easy, cost-efficient, and require minimal effort on the customer’s end. The good news is, we’re not here to try and convince you otherwise. Survey’s rule!
What doesn’t rule is boilerplate survey questions that provide surface-level insights with no potential for future data exploration 🤛🖐🎤.
Today we want to shift the focus onto one of the most popular kinds of surveys: the “how did you hear about us” inquiry. Variations of this question are asked to customers every day by businesses curious about where their clients are finding out about them.
The most common mistake one makes when writing these types of surveys is cutting it short after asking that very first question. It’s not enough to know how or where they heard about you. To really squeeze the juice out of your survey, you must dig deeper into the customer’s intent. Why were they there in the first place?
The only way to 100% ensure a respondent has every option available, you want to let them write in where they found you. However, this opens up the possibility for people to respond with “N/A”, “don’t remember” or any number of unhelpful things.
If you know the places you’re pushing out content, you may want to opt for a dropdown menu of choices a respondent can select from. And if you do go with a dropdown, what options should you include to ensure you have the best chance of getting the most accurate responses? We’ve got the scoop, plus a little something extra!
Determining your dropdown menu options should be driven by where your money and time are going. At the top of your list should be your most relevant paid advertising spots as well as the general and all-encompassing “search engine” option.
Going from there, you want to shift your focus to the potential third-party spaces, such as social media or blogs where your information was potentially shared.
Next, you want to include options that can’t be otherwise digitally tracked, such as radio or tv. These cover your bases should any digital tracking tools you’re already running fall short.
And finally, to close out with an extra safety measure, feel free to include an “other” option where a respondent can write in their own answer. While this may lead to someone ultimately skipping the question, it prevents them from selecting an inaccurate answer for the sake of getting through a required question. It’s better to have someone tell you they don’t remember rather than give you false information.
To make it easy for you, here’s the survey question in action that you can copy and paste into your survey tool of choice.
How did you hear about us?
The internet is like a hallway in an old Scooby-Doo cartoon. You can run in one door and pop right out of another a few doors down. A user may have clicked on an article that led them to your website, but where did they find that article? Was it sent to them via email, did they find it on social media?
Learning a little more about your new customer requires some peeling back of their internet behaviors. Did they Google something unrelated that led to this article? Do they read blogs like that often? Did they stumble on the blog because a friend shared it?
How a customer interacted with your content will tell you a lot about what you should (and shouldn’t) be doing to drive more engaged customers to your CTAs.
The key to successful surveys is what we call defining questions. These supplementary survey questions compliment your primary inquiry: how did you hear about us?
What kind of defining questions you choose to include ultimately depends on your marketing goal (what are you trying to measure?) To give you an idea of how to write these questions we’ll share our top four five favorite options.
The main objective of your follow up questions should always be to determine a customer’s motivation. They should uncover more about why a customer found you where they did. Here are a few “how did you hear about us” examples that demonstrate our point.
For the sake of the example, we’ll assume a customer replied to the survey with one of the most common answers: they found you on Google.
1. What did you search for on Google that brought you to us? This simple follow-up question can actually tell you a great deal. For starters, it can indicate the keywords that your pieces are ranking for. Keyword-based optimization is a strong tool for any marketer looking to capture organic search traffic. SEO tools that tell you what you’re ranking for can get pricey; asking your users to find out what keywords they’re looking for is free.
2. Did you continue to explore our website after finding what you were looking for via Google? A question like this can give you an inside look at how effective your interlinking is. Are you driving visitors deeper into your site at every opportunity? If people are leaving your site after one or two clicks perhaps there’s more you can be doing to entice them to stay.
3. Was it easy to reach us and find what you were looking for?
Continuing with the concept of SEO, this is a great way to find out how much a respondent had to dig to come up with your page. Were they scouring the internet before they found you, or did you show up as a featured result?
4. Have you seen or heard about us anywhere else? While this question deviates a little from the main focus, it lets you know if your brand is relevant to this customer outside of specific searches. Are they receiving targeted ads on social media? Has a friend mentioned you to them?
One of the final thoughts we’ll leave you with is this: only ask people information that you’re committed to using. Although surveys don’t ask too much from people, it’s still their time, and time is valuable.
These questions can give you valuable insight, but don’t go through the process of asking if you’re not committed to evaluating responses. People can tell what’s “busy work” and what’s genuine, so take the time to add a personal note when you reach out to people with your “how did you hear about us” survey. Thank them in advance and let them know what you’ll be doing with the information. People will be more likely to respond (and less likely to be frustrated) if they know their data has a purpose!
Now, happy surveying!