Q: My client wants to find some services that allow us to send a survey to people that the service already has in a database (probably similar to a mailing list service). Since the book was just published, we are working on growing our mailing list, and at this time, we do not have a mailing list/subscriber list that we may send out a survey and receive responses.
Do you know of any survey companies that would permit us to do this?
Kelly Johnson, Online Business Manager
A: Hi Kelly–
I’m not aware of a survey service that permits you to survey people in their database. I would encourage your client to continue to grow her own list. In terms of surveying a larger number of people, how about asking a colleague to survey his/her list or to co-sponsor the survey? The list would need to contain the same target market as that of your client, and your client would need to offer the partner something for her list — a free download or teleclass for participants, or perhaps to share the results of the survey with the partner–perhaps a co-branded survey?
Another option would be to buy a list (this would be a snail mail list from a list broker, not an email list) and send a postcard to the list with an invite to take the survey. Again, your client will need to offer an incentive for recipients to participate.
A third option would be to buy classified advertising in ezines that reach out to your client’s target market and create a compelling ad for people to take the survey.
A fourth option would be to create a Google Adwords campaign with an ad that directs people to take the survey in return for a free ebook. I’m doing that with one of my clients currently.
My last suggestion would be to contact a market research firm to develop and administer the survey, but you can expect that to cost at least $10,000, if not much, much more.
In terms of services, I personally use www.SurveyMonkey.com. The free version is pretty powerful, but the paid version lets you customize the survey with your logo and send people to a thank you page on your site, among other things.
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