Best Practices for Conducting a Successful

Best Practices for Conducting a Successful Membership Survey

Membership surveys are useful for collecting feedback, ideas, and gauging how members feel, while also promoting participation and more. 

To make the most of these surveys for the organization and its members, you need to build them right.

Let’s jump into some of the best practices for conducting a successful membership survey.

1. Refine Your Survey’s Objective

Why are you conducting the survey in the first place? The answer to this question offers the basis for framing your questions, so try to be as clear and specific as possible to boost the chances of getting helpful answers.

Once you determine a focused goal for your survey, think about the type of information you need to collect to achieve that goal.

Working backward when creating a survey ensures that each question you include helps contribute to the result you want.

2. Avoid “Stretching” and Ambiguity

One of the main reasons people leave surveys unanswered is that they take too long. This is usually the case when the survey contains an excessive number of questions, is overly wordy, or requires too many open-ended responses.

To make sure you don’t run into the same problem, consider these tips:

  • Keep the number of questions at the absolute minimum that achieves your goal. Respect the fact that you’re taking up your members’ time and remember, fewer questions mean more thought going into answering them.
  • Use straightforward language to get accurate answers. Members shouldn’t be guessing what your questions mean.
  • Rely on rating scales for answers and limit the amount of free-answer questions you include. This helps speed up the survey and provides a more accurate system to evaluate the responses.

3. Pick Your Time

Asking a person to take time out of their day to fill out a survey isn’t exactly convenient but asking them to do it on their day off builds a whole new level of annoyance.

Sending out survey invitation emails or posting a survey on your webpage is going to see a higher response rate if you time it right. 

Steer clear of weekends and holidays and focus on workdays instead, especially the middle of the workweek when people are typically most productive.

4. Make an Attractive Offer

People often need encouragement to get things done. In the case of completing surveys, incentives work great in getting members to spare some of their time.

Here are some ways you can drive your members’ interest in providing you with answers:

  • A free membership period.
  • A referral code.
  • A coupon or gift card. 

5. Test and Share

Be sure to test the survey on a small sample of members first to gauge the general impression. Optimize the survey based on their feedback before rolling it out to the rest of your membership.

Finally, don’t overlook sharing the results with the members and always issue a thank you message. They’re part of the experience and would always appreciate knowing how you plan to use the results to improve the association.

Final Thoughts

A survey lets you check in with your members at an actionable level. It provides real insight into the issues they’re facing, topics they’re interested in, and tells you how their membership experience is going so far.

Applying these practices maximizes the impact of your surveys as you chart your association’s route to growth and success.

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