Tuesday, September 4, 2007

11 Ways to Use Zoomerang -- and 14 Tips

A product I frequently use at my association is Zoomerang -- It's survey software. Worth the money. Advantage to doing many surveys is allowing members to weigh in on a lot of issues. And if they don't, they can't say they were never asked.

11 Ways I use Zoomerang:

1. Record email votes (choices are yes, no, abstain - then their name) - software records date/time they responded
2. Online exams (will randomize answers for test takers)
3. Education Program and Convention evaluations
4. Member opinion - single question
5. Member opinion - multiple questions
6. Collect anecdotes on issues for legislature/Congressional members
7. Collect recommendations for changes or ideas
8. Registration for free courses
9. Game to see how many know answers to certain questions (send survey in advance, show responses on screen -- "how many got the answer right")
10. Collecting data when responders may want to be anonymous (salary surveys, etc.)
11. Store "Feedback" from comments button on web site

My 14 Tips for Using Zoomerang:

1. Use yes/no or multiple choice with one answer as much as possible - helps with getting percentages, and helps with cross-tabulation
2. Capitalize the KEY WORD(S) in your question

3. Use mandatory response feature only if essential they answer that question
4. Create a survey that solely stores standard demographic information to later use with other surveys (then "create from existing survey" to have already drafted). Avoids needing to retype each time. Helpful to keep demographic info consistent across membership surveys (mine include member criteria - part of state, # years licensed, age range) -- those fields used to cross tab to see if responses change by criteria

5. End with Open Comments Box that says "Any additional comments about these or any other issue" -- Amazing what they may want to communicate with you that has nothing to do with survey questions, but is good feedback
6. When send email invitation be sure to tell how long it will take and why they should take it -- "This will take you two minutes to complete and will help guide our legislative agenda"

7. Subject line should sound immediate - "Need Member Input Now about (Issue)". If give too much time to answer a survey, they'll never answer. For online, one week is plenty. Keep questions short/simple.
8. Providing an incentive significantly increases responses - e.g., "answer by 4PM Friday to enter drawing for one of three $50 gift certificates to Amazon" or whatever. Our price point for response is around $50 - doesn't need to go higher but more than one helps too. Announce who won in e-newsletter.
9. Give option to include their name or not. Such as: Name and email (Optional): [Note: If provide incentive, I find more than 90% will include name for drawing. Around 40% if no incentive.]
10. Know Excel basics to use download results function. Also, if need to mail survey takers, include mailing address in name, street name, town, state, zip format (five different fields) on survey to later create labels.
11. I include the survey link in email as way to distribute -- prefer not to post on web site as non-members also go there. Use "one response per computer" feature so can't take multiple times easily.
12. Limit distribution of results. It's one of many things to be used in decisions. Especially with legislative questions, don't want responses used against the association.
13. Always use spell check. There's a "live survey edit" feature if find typo after activation.
14. Read comments before you distribute. Redact individual comment(s) only if legally essential.

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